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Gay marriage bid 'attack on Christian faith'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 18, 2012

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A PETITION against gay marriage which was circulated by an Ammanford minister has been described as "ferocious and deeply offensive" by a leading charity.

The minister of Saron Baptist Church, Lyn Rees, said he was taking a stance against what he feels are UK Government plans to change the definition of marriage — which he believes is "divinely ordained".

But Stonewall Cymru, the gay, lesbian, and bisexual charity, said Mr Rees's petition was part of a wider campaign which has in recent weeks compared equality for gay people to "slavery, child abuse, polygamy and bestiality".

On being told about the petition, Andrew White, the director of Stonewall Cymru, said: "There is a ferocious and deeply offensive campaign which many people — including some leading clerics and political figures — are waging to frustrate the move to end the ban on civil marriage for same-sex couples.

"In the past six weeks alone equality for gay people has been compared to slavery, child abuse, polygamy and bestiality.

"Marriage equality is an incredibly important aim for gay people throughout Wales, including many people of faith, which is why Stonewall Cymru is campaigning for it.

"Our message to those who disagree with same-sex marriage is simple: Don't marry someone of the same sex."

Mr Rees said his petition was an independent document being circulated to Baptist churches in the area. Although he said it is not directly linked to the UK-wide Coalition 4 Marriage (C4M) movement, which campaigns for similar aims, his petition does direct people to it.

"If people want to live in a different way, no problem," said Mr Rees. "But once they come into the realm of the Christian faith, I resent anybody trying to change the definition of marriage I believe is God-ordained.

"Personally, I feel it is another attack on the Christian faith and I felt I had to just get my point of view across."

It is understood Tycroes Baptist Church is among two churches in the area to sign the petition, but it declined to give an interview when approached by the Post.

Mr Rees's petition criticises UK Coalition Government plans to allow same-sex couples in England and Wales to marry.

A 12-week Home Office consultation on the issue was launched on March 12.

The proposals would: Allow same-sex couples to marry in a register office or other civil ceremony; allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert it into a marriage; and allow married people to legally change gender. But the plans would not alter the law for religious marriage.

Mr Rees said he would present the petition to Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards and AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas.

In a joint comment, Mr Edwards and Mr Thomas said: "Looking at the recommendations by the UK Government, we cannot see any threat to the independence of nonconformist denominations or the services being held in their chapels.

"Plaid's political philosophy is based on creating a civilised and equal society. To realise this vision we support policies which prevent discrimination on the basis of language, gender, race, religion, age, disability and sexuality.

"As people will be aware, Plaid politicians have reacted angrily to anyone who discriminates against individuals or organisations in relation to the Welsh language. It would be hypocritical for us politically, therefore, to support the view of discrimination against another minority group."

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  • UpperBank  |  April 19 2012, 9:33PM

    Whatever happened to that family who wanted a massive council house a few months back? What happened to those squatters in the Dolphin Hotel? Why isn't there another awkward picture of Chris Holley in today's paper? What happened to the outcry when that bird infested hedge was cut? Did they actually build a McDonalds in Morfa? Were there really irregularities in the council 18 months ago? Well. I bought a Bible to find some answers but it just went on and on about the Middle East and thieves. And that is why The Evening Post is better than the Bible, only facts make the grade in this local newspaper.

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  • gorseboy  |  April 19 2012, 8:11PM

    TaipeiSteve It was not my intention to post again on this thread,but having read again your posts.I will respond firstly by apologising for my response to you first enquiry,I read it in a state of unbelief at the remarks made by others that I mistakingly took yours in the same vein. Now to answer if I can your enquiries: Marriage,the best I can do is refer you to the first letter to the chuch at Corinth chapter 7,there is also a statement on Marriage in Hebrews 13 v4. Destruction of the Amalikites in 1Samuel is a consequence of the words found in Exodus17 v14. Infanticide in Psalm137. First we must place the writing into context. The children of Israel were in captivity in Babylon where they were due to theirfailure to obey the word of God. The Psalm is prophetic in that it speaks of the destruction of Babylon and the consequences. The period is around 600BC. The invasion by Cyrus,King of Persia is when this slaughter took place. Slaves You use the NIV translation,the King James gives the word Servant,both are correct in a way as the Greek word is Oiketis meaning a menial or household servant. As we know the period in which this was written (First Century AD) when servants were in fact slaves. Today one could use the position of an employee toward his employer. I trust that this has been of some help.

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  • canugrwndi  |  April 19 2012, 7:47PM

    If these Christians really want to follow the Bible's advice on marriage, they need to follow it all, not simply pick and choose whichever verses support their own bigoted point of view. Maybe they should start with Deuteronomy 22: 13 - 21... "A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed." Oh God 'elp us all!

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  • williamwaun  |  April 19 2012, 4:31PM

    They can do what they want in they churches, but don't go telling others how to live their life's.

  • TaipeiSteve  |  April 19 2012, 4:23PM

    Gorseboy stated: 'Yours sadly is a typical response, the Bible has to be taken as a whole to get anywhere near a balanced picture of God's intention for his creation.' It was not my intention to disparage yours or anyone else's belief system. I had a genuine curiosity as to whether all passages in the Bible are meant to be taken literally or are open to interpretation. Your reply implies that they are not to be understood independently, but instead taken in the context of the teachings as a whole. In this respect, then, they are open to interpretation. Taking this logic a step further, how do we know that the statement that marriage is to be between man and woman is not to be taken in a historical and cultural context? Who decides how this advice fits in to 'balanced picture of god's intention'?

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  • Anon300  |  April 19 2012, 4:18PM

    Surely everybody has a right to their OWN opinion. If your against is so be it, if your for it so be it. Not everybody is going to agree all of the time. Its just life

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  • gorseboy  |  April 19 2012, 12:25PM

    I will leave this topic as I have a right to believe what I believe. The Bible says to go into the world to tell others of the saving Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. If they do not wish to hear then shake the dust from off your shoes(figurately speaking that is what I now do)

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  • williamwaun  |  April 19 2012, 12:04PM

    Ever time a minister opens their mouth they get less popular. Be nice to everyone and you won't go far wrong.

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  • 1983starshine  |  April 19 2012, 9:30AM

    Gorseboy, why are you afraid of something that does not exist?

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  • 1983starshine  |  April 19 2012, 9:23AM

    Clearly he is allowing himself to be controlled by a silly book written a very long time ago by silly men who were very bored. He needs to get real. After death, there is nothing anyway. how can there be? Do you remember before you were created??? Religion is simply a method of stopping us from being afraid of the inevitable. How we live during our lifetime shouldn't matter as long as we do not physically harm other living creatures. Life itself is short and a complete mystery so why waste the precious time fussing over who does what with who in the bedroom??? If it's not physically hurting you, why make such a big deal about it?

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