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Auckland stalls on gay marriage

Auckland Synod rejects a motion pressing for progress towards gay marriage, despite both bishops voting in favour.

Taonga news  |  08 Sep 2013  |  5 Comments  

Auckland Diocese has rejected a motion pressing for progress towards gay marriage, despite the two bishops voting for it.

The motion was debated at this weekend's diocesan synod.

While largely aspirational in nature, the motion sought both legal and liturgical progress on same-sex marriage.

It failed to reach a majority among the laity and thus failed to pass.

The voting was:

Bishops 2 for, 0 against; clergy 80 for, 44 against, 4 abstentions; and laity 72 for, 65 against, 8 abstentions.

A second motion in effect was an endorsement of liturgical blessings for same-gender couples.

It asked for work to be done on developing services for the blessing of same-sex relationships, to be taken to General Synod/te Hinota Whanui. 

This motion passed comfortably in all three houses:

Clergy 91 for; 36 against; laity 104 for; 49 against; and the bishops assented.

The difference in voting seemed to reflect the perception that the word “marriage” is sacrosanct.
Any definitive change will require related motions to be passed at General Synod in May next year.


Jim Neill

Or has the liberal clergy missread the laity's adversion to having homosexuality thrust into their perspective at every occasion same sex marrages are very popular with one section of society. It does not mean that we love anybody less by saying no this is not appropriate. What is the obsession with trying to be all things to all people?

Leo Te Kira

I know that when I open the gospels I see a Christ abounding in grace, understanding and love. Whether the denomination my mother and father baptised me into sees that same abundant grace, understanding and love I'm not too sure of at the moment.

Ronnie Smith

A very close vote for the laity, it would seem. Does this reflect the fact that we clergy have not engaged our parishioners on the importance of accepting ALL people as fellow children of a loving compassionate God?

Contrary to Chris, I think we have for too long pussy-footed about this subject, it is vital for the world to see the Church engaged in the process of 'doing justice'.

Aaron Galey-Young

This was the right decision. As the law only protects someone from Human Rights and civil law claims of discrimination if the religious body they are licenced/affliliated with has a clear prohibition with regard to marriage. There is no room for personal conscience within the law when acting as a state functionary for weddings. Either the religious body allows it and that means that every cleric must marry couples within the bounds of the new law, or, the religious body must have a clear prohibition against celebrating at same-sex marriages. The latter is the only protection someone opposed to celebrating weddings of the same gender is afforded. If the New Zealand Anglican church were to change its canons to amend our rules about marriage it would force many clergy to cease doing marriage all together to avoid discrimination claims levelled at them.

Chris Darnell

Interesting use of language on "progress" and "stalling". Others might say "standing firm" and "holding fast". I think we need to be very careful on the language we use.