May 15, 2014
Anglicans to address same sex issues
The Anglican Church is looking at how same sex relationships can be considered part of church life.
The church’s ruling synod, which brings together the Pakeha, Maori and Polynesia streams, is meeting in Waitangi this week to mark 200 years since the arrival of the Christian missionaries to Aotearoa.
Archbishops Brown Turei, Philip Richardson, and Winston Halapua say the synod upholds the traditional doctrine of marriage but it also wants to develop ways to respond to committed relationships between two people regardless of gender.
They say the synod has become increasingly aware of the pain the issue has caused to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and it apologises unreservedly for actions of the Church that have contributed to that pain.
A working party will be appointed to work out how to implement the new policy, including giving people the choice not to conduct wedding services if they believe such blessings are contrary to scripture, doctrine, tikanga or civil law.
Same sex relationships are still illegal in some Pacific nations.
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