Document Sample
vineyard Powered By Docstoc
					                 association of

                                              churches s.a.
To: The Minister
The Honourable Mrs. N Mapisa-Nqakula
Department of Home Affairs
Private Bag x114
Tel: 012-8106126 / 8108911
Fax: 012-3237312 / 8108169
eMail: Chief Directorate: Communication (

cc. The Director General / Mr. J.R. Chavalala

Honourable Madam


I write on behalf of the above Association of Churches, to address the issue of
the recent passing and signing into law of the Civil Unions Bill.

We attach hereto, in case you have not had sight of it, our submission to the
Portfolio Committee regarding same sex “marriages”, and wish to say that our
position has not changed from this one, that we reject the abuse of
democracy and violation of divine authority that is represented by the passing
of the legislation. By way of explanation, and for the record, we wish to re-
state the following, which was also sent as part of an open letter to the State

     1. The mandate given to Parliament by the Constitutional Court was

         For 6 unelected judges to re-define Marriage, without first consulting
         with elected leadership and the citizens on whose behalf those
         leaders lead, is an insult to democracy. The action of those judges
         exceeded their mandate, and imposed a new definition, replacing
         thousands of years of understanding and morality by the arbitrary
         inclusion of same sex couples in what is a God-given institution.

     2. The process of public discussion was fraudulent.

Tel 021 7121619 Fax 021 7150136 Email Web
         The public was invited to discuss a proposed version of the Bill, which
         contained only one reference to the word “marriage”. It was the only
         element thereof with which we as the leaders of numerous church
         groups took issue. We made written and oral submissions to the
         public hearings and the Portfolio Committee. We marched to
         demonstrate our passionate defence of Marriage. After all this, a
         brand new version of the Bill was tabled, only 3 days after our
         representatives held their last talks with you as the Minister. No
         member of the public, to our knowledge, had seen the new version,
         which entrenched civil unions as “marriage” in almost every clause,
         which requires marriage officers (thankfully excluding religious
         marriage officers) to apply for (as opposed to being simply allowed to
         exercise) conscientious objection against having to perform same-sex

     3. The passing of the Bill was a complete denial of democracy.

         Parliament debated the Bill in one day, and MP’s were required to
         vote. The ANC disallowed its representatives either abstention or a
         conscience vote. The same applied to the NCOP, where we are
         aware that only 2 out of more than 200 representatives spoke in
         favour of the Bill, but all were forced to vote the party line. This is a
         scandalous denial of the democratic right of Christian leaders in the
         political sphere, and adds insult to the injury of having a Bill imposed
         on them by what was described under points 1 and 2 above.

For all these reasons, and with considerable feelings of betrayal, we want to
state that your Department’s “re-definition” of Marriage does not stand in the
Court to which we are accountable, and we do not recognize it.

We continue to teach, uphold and defend the Biblical definition of marriage as
a life-long commitment of one man to one woman, and to reject homosexual
unions as sinful, let alone being worthy of the word “marriage”. We will teach
this in our pulpits, our Bible schools and seminars, without compromise. God’s
Word will never be changed by weak-willed governments.

We of course do not wish to be designated “Marriage” officers in terms of this
aberration, and continue to call upon the Government to repeal this Act, and
to pass a Constitutional Amendment for the protection of marriage.

Yours faithfully


Tel 021 7121619 Fax 021 7150136 Email Web