Lewis churches input to same-sex consultation
The Lewis Presbytery of the Church of Scotland has sent a submission to the Scottish Government Consultation on Same Sex ‘Marriage’ 2011.
'The Church of Scotland Presbytery of Lewis whilst recording its appreciation to the Scottish Government for the opportunity to respond to the proposed legislation it expresses its grave concern and sadness at the proposed introduction of same-sex marriage into Scotland and about which it wishes to make the following observations:
Martin's Memorial Church of Scotland; Stornoway
1. The Presbytery of Lewis recognises the intrinsic value of all persons irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexual, social or political orientation, religious belief or age.
2. It abhors any actions of violence, discrimination & intolerance against heterosexual or homosexual persons;
3. The Presbytery believes marriage to be exclusively a union between one man and one woman and is the only sexual union ordained of and approved by God, for the blessing of humankind and that to His own ineffable glory by ensuring the continuance of humanity through the birth & bringing up of children in a loving, family unit;
4. It recognises such marriage to the bed-rock of a stable, moral and safe society, the withdrawal of which will lead to moral and social instability;
5. It believes that the imposition of a law of same-sex marriage changes the legally enshrined definition of marriage and undermines the fundamental human rights of British citizens contained within Article 161 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights which clearly states that marriage is a union of' a man and a woman'. As well as Article 12 of the European Convention of Human Rights which safeguards for 'men and women of marriageable age the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing exercise of this right';
6. Nor does Presbytery recognise that there is a genuine grass-roots demand for same-sex marriage legislation to be introduced as empirically demand for same-sex civil partnerships since 2006 has been in significant, year on year decline from its zenith of 1,047 per annum in 2006 down to 465 in 2010. A reduction in demand of 55.6%i. In contrast to the steady flow of applications for marriage during the same period of between 28,480 to 30,881 per annum;
7. The Presbytery of Lewis respectfully urges the Scottish Government to rescind its proposals for the introduction of same-sex marriage for the moral good, safety and blessedness of our nation clearly seen in the bible.'
Earlier this year the Lewis Presbytery urged its ministers, elders and members to remain in the Church of Scotland in the wake of the denomination allowing homosexual clergy to remain in office.
In a statement to congregations on Sunday, 19 June 2011 the Presbytery said:
"The Presbytery, while recognising the strength of feeling engendered by the outcome of the debate at this year's General Assembly on the Report of the Special Commission on Same Sex Relationships and the Ministry, urges all Kirk Sessions and congregations within its bounds to remain united within the Church of Scotland during this forthcoming period."