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Feb 12, 2020

The Council of Churches Offers Options

Philip Wright

According to Bishop Philip Wright, the Council of Churches is open to further discussion on the Bill. The Council would be willing to consider if by way of a referendum, the people are given an opportunity to accept or reject the Bill and it does not supersede the Constitution. The Council also says that it would rather that specific legislations, such as the Public Health Act and the Labour Act, are amended to address issues of discrimination. Bishop Wright says that Senator Ashley Rocke has been a part of the ongoing discussion with the Council. 


Bishop Philip Wright, President, Council of Churches

“Initially, of course, we raised a number of issues that we thought would affect the work of the church. We were given some assurances; things like, the Bill will not affect who we ordain and who we don’t ordain and those sorts of things and it wouldn’t affect the church in terms of its religious practice. However, when we studied the Bill more deeply, four things emerged that particularly concerned us, in general speaking. One, we felt like the marriage act could be affected by the Bill and enough discussion on that matter has not taken place. Secondly, however, in this country, the church is not just a religious body; the church is also an employer. And therefore, aspects of the Bill that has to do with employer/employee relationships will affect the church. Thirdly, the church is very involved in education and again there are aspects of the Bill that will have implications for educational institutions and for those who manage that. And fourthly, the church runs businesses too—the church is involved in business, maybe small ones—and there too the Bill has implications for those who run business. And so it is when we looked at those areas we became very concerned that this Bill in its current form would not help the church in its work.”

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