The Canadian Conference of Orthodox Bishops Speaks Out on the Issue of Same-Sex Marriage
The issue of"same-sex marriage"is being hotly debated in the House of Commons these days. The Canadian Conference of Orthodox Bishops recently outlined the Orthodox position on the question in the following letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Canadian Conference of Orthodox Bishops
86O verlea Blvd. Toronto, Ontario M4H 1C6 Tel: (416) 429-5757 Fax: (416) 429-4588
January 31, 2005
The Right Hon. Paul Martin Prime Minister of Canada House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Dear Prime Minister:
God created human beings"male and female". He commanded that there will be a marriage between one man and one woman to assist one another, to enjoy themselves and to procreate. This is what has been revealed to us by God, and this is what the position of our Church is. Same-sex unions is something else not commanded by God.
Freedom is of utmost importance for every person. God Himself respects our freedom that He has given us, even when we sin. Therefore, people who do not accept the traditional marriage are free to live their own lifestyle. However, they should not try to impose their lifestyle on other people.
The Government may protect their lifestyle with enactment of laws about same-sex unions. These same-sex unions should be neither confused nor equalized with the marriage between a man and a woman, for indeed it is not the same thing.
The Government must protect the rights of religions and their institutions. Their freedom to teach things the way they have been revealed by God. Your government claims that with the proposed law, it protects the rights of religions and their ministers not to perform same-sex unions. This is not sure, because it seems that it is in the jurisdiction of the Provincial Governments to order priests and ministers of religions to perform same-sex unions, and the recent remarks of the Hon. Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of Foreign Affairs add to this uncertainty. The proposed law must be revisited and amended, and the Federal Government must secure the agreement of all Provincial Governments.
I wish you continued health and success.
Yours with distinct honor and blessing,
signed:+ Metropolitan Soterios