The forthcoming referendum on same sex marriage has caused widespread debate and differences of opinion. We as Leinster Baptists would like to clarify briefly our position on this referendum.
We believe that every human is made in the image of God and is equal in value and dignity. We are firmly against any sort of discrimination or oppression of any person because of their sexual orientation. The love which we have received from God enables us to love and serve all our neighbours. Same-sex couples already have legal recognition under the terms of current legislation regarding civil partnership. Therefore we do not agree with redefining the term ‘marriage’ to include same-sex partnerships. This is not discrimination on our part, but a recognition that marriage is a unique institution.
We believe marriage is God’s gift for a man and a woman. ‘Jesus said, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”’ Matthew chapter 19 verses 4/5.
We celebrate marriage as set out in the Bible; it is the permanent and lifelong union, of one man with one woman. God designed marriage to be the context for children to flourish. Therefore we believe it is best for the wellbeing of children, our society and for our nation to leave the definition of marriage unchanged. This is about the uniqueness of marriage, it is not about the discrimination of same-sex couples. In fact we believe that to redefine marriage would be an act of discrimination against children who may be denied the blessing of having either a Mother or Father.
While we recognise it is possible to have a real marriage without children, and we recognise that many children are brought up well in single-parent families, we believe society will flourish best where children develop under the care of both a mother and father.
In our churches we pray regularly for the government of the day believing that God has ordained them to legislate for all citizens. We believe the government has an interest in human flourishing and the stability of society so therefore, we wish to uphold the Constitution’s definition of marriage as it is and would advise a ‘No’ vote as it is wrong to redefine the term ‘marriage’.