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May 3, 2013

Anglican Church sends message to governments on marriage

Philip Wright

On the eve of the UNIBAM case, the Anglican Diocese has issued a strong statement on the definition of marriage. Protecting marriage as a union between man and woman was one of the central topics discussed in the past few days by the House of Bishops of the Caribbean and the Standing Committee of the Province of the West Indies. The Anglican Church province is made up of eight dioceses and all diocesan bishops along with suffragan bishops and retired bishops along with members of the Standing Committee which includes clergy, priests and lay persons; penned a very strong message to the governments of their respective countries. The Anglican Diocese recognizes that developed nations are open to same-sex marriages while redefining gay rights as human rights. Pressure on the regional governments may come in the form of aid, but the church demands that their governments refuse to bow to that international pressure. Philip Wright, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Belize, returned from the meeting in Barbados today and spoke to News Five about the church’s defense of marriage.


Philip Wright, Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Belize       

“The essence of the message I think is a defense of marriage as understood by the church. And what we sought to say in that publication is that marriage from the perspective of the church is a gift of God; a means of god’s grace as we say in every marriage ceremony that we perform and it is to be between a man and a woman. That is the teaching of the church and I think that is what the church seeks to defend at this point in time.”


Jose Sanchez

“You made some references to the role of government? How is that?”


Philip Wright

“I think when we met as well, we also were aware of the fact that every so often those larger nations and larger economies appear at times to want to pose a threat to these smaller nations especially when it comes to aid and financial aid. They would frame some of their rhetoric in terms of either you toe the line or we will withhold our support. And as a house of bishop and as a standing committee, we particularly took offense; that should not be the way in which these relationships should carry forward.”


Jose Sanchez

“It seems like a strong message when you speak of it as dangling the economic carrot stick.”


Philip Wright

“Yes and you have to remember as well that you’re talking about the entire Caribbean region. And the bishops who represent various countries are fully aware about the approaches made by richer nations in terms of how they seek to deal with the poor nations.”


Jose Sanchez

“For example, the US refers to it as a human rights issue. Do you take offense to it being reefed to as that; these same sex unions?”


Philip Wright

“Well if you are talking about same sex unions, perhaps you can couch that in terms of human rights. But the church is talking about marriage and same sex unions and marriage as far as the church is concerned are two different things.”


Jose Sanchez

“Would there be some support from the church for the governments in terms of the pressures that they feel from these other forces?”


Philip Wright

“And I think that is precisely why we put out the statement and we want the statement to go to all leaders to say the church stands for you when it comes to this issue. And yes indeed the church is prepared to give support in that regard.”


Bishop Wright says that it is merely a coincidence that their message comes at a time the churches in Belize are fighting the UNIBAM case. However, he did discuss the threats the churches are facing in Belize at the House of Bishops meeting. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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9 Responses for “Anglican Church sends message to governments on marriage”

  1. Storm says:

    The Bishop makes a strong point, “marriage” is a union BLESSED BY GOD. “What God has put together, let no man put asunder,” is part of the traditional ceremony.

    Whatever homosexuals do privately may be their business, but it is not and never will be “marriage,” because it can never be blessed by God Who condemns it.

    The idea of same-sex marriage is an attack on the foundation of the Christian religion.

  2. John bailey says:

    The church has always gotten it wong u cannot dictate or force your belief on others just as u respect others religious choice they should respect others right to live their lives that is why theirs a separation of government and religion they’s no place for this kind of discrimination against other espicialy from the church to be succinct..come in to the twenty first century please

  3. Belizean says:

    I would extensively reiterate what @ Storm says..Whoever wants to be sinful is their choice, but it should never be imposed on people that are GOD-FEARING citizens, and the rights of people that are upright should not be infringed upon by these foreign elements..

  4. Mrs. Karla says:

    There is a difference between marriage and civil unions. Unibam is not asking for marriaage lets not confuse and do fear mongering with the ignorance of people..They are asking that they have a right to be what they are and if one day the other fight is MARRIAGE that can never happen its going to be CIVIL UNIONS. where for exmple if their partner diez they have right to inheritance etc.. nothing to do with the church. AS a mother of a gay son, I also was ignorant to these issues and i startED informing myself because i want my son to have rights as everyone esle in this country. I do not have to agree with what he does . I do not agrree with ALCOHOLICS, DRUGADDICTS, GANGS, PROSTITUTION which causes more damage to our society and moral structure than two gay men. children arre without fathherss, wommen making unwanted babies andd brreeding future criminals and poverty,, WHERE is the church here.. The doublé standdard of the church is appalling and that iits why they are losing followers. Remember that as christianss iits GOD the one to judge,, The bible also prohibits infideliity, also prohibits divorce or women will be stoned to death but was changed as time passed.beacus she has a right to seepeeraatee if she is not happy and be living hell.. The future children and younger generation gets it than the old generation of bible thumpers thinking they are doing gods work by being intolerannt and throwing stones and being jjudges. the church in history in the name of god have killed so many innocent people and have otten iit all wrong and you would think thay by now they would have learnt.Kindness andd tolerance of each other human dignity is a moral value as well even if you do not agreee.. iit the fiber of our modern day century. My son tells me, MOM they really behave wee can influence chiildren to become.. ITS DUMB. He says, I grew my entire life iin a heterosexual environment, and i am still gay.IIf ti wasnt for human rights women woulld sstiill be useed only to procreae children,, be hoousewwifes,, not use birthcontrol, not voting etc…. all this was once seen 35 years ago as wrong. TODAY, it makes sense..In some countriess woemn are still stooned to death or hanged for speaking, divorcing, ggooing to school etc… does this mindset remiind us of something as a society in the dark. TIS COUNTRY IS ALREADDY IN THE DARK AND BELIEVE ME ITS NT BECAUSE GAY PEOPLE WILL HHAVE A RIGHT TO CO-EXIST. start looking at our children,, marriage, education and love… THIS IS WHEEREE THEE CHURCCH SHOULD BE PREACHING.

  5. XMON says:

    storm u could’nt say it say it better watever they do behind close doors thats there problem but when they talk bout human rights now theres a problem

  6. Liberty & Freedom says:

    The union of a man & woman is the essence of a family unit. Many homosexual couples adopt children with the intention of making their lifestyle a natural act for the children to accept. How can they ever explain the birds and the bees? Let us get it very clear, it is Adam & Eve, not Adam and Steve. This is not about being a homophobe, this is about choice. Homosexuality is a lifestyle. You are not born a homosexual, just like you are born a thief. The impact is on the children. Check out (don’t do it on a full stomach). This is what the UNIBAM agenda is all about. Ask Caleb Orozco if he likes little boys. When did sexual preference become a human right? Sex is between a man and a woman. It is not a right, it is normal human behavior. I have not addressed the religious aspect, since atheists deny the existence of a Supreme Being; most do not deny that homosexuality goes against the natural order of mankind. Can two men or two woman produce a child without the intervention of surgery or artificial insemination? the answer is a resounding NO.

  7. Belizean Pride says:

    o.k lets see the point here, lets say caleb goes to a church to marry with joe, but the pastor or the one that does the marriage ceremony refuses to marry them due to the fact the God says man and woman to be married. this will bring problems, soon you’ll be hearing unibam suing such pastor for refusing to marry them, now here come the part where will see pastors being jailed for that reason, do we get the picture. do the supporters of unibam sees this?

  8. John Doe says:

    As some one who struggled with homosexuality and still face temptations from time to time, I can tell you, it is not natural. We are convicted of it, without anyone having to tell us or reading the Bible. It is a sin and we naturally know it… hence the reason people struggle to find their identities. The conscience God gives us, reminds us of it each day especially when we make the decision to give in to the temptation. Many homosexuals hate God, the Bible and Christians because they managed to silence their own conscience and now want to silence Christians because Christians become their living conscience. Same is true for the Bible. Some become atheists, and prefer believing in evolution, forgetting their lifestyles goes against the principles of evolution. Some follow false gods or false Christianity which speaks what they want to hear to satisfy that spiritual need we all have. Proponents of homosexuality speak of love and tolerance, yet they are the most intolerant and hateful. They spew out Bible text without understanding the Bible or even sitting down to read it unbiasedly. Having lived the homosexual lifestyle, I can tell you it is not natural. The Holy Spirit has worked in my heart to move away from that lifestyle. I even fell in love with a person of the opposite sex. Making love to my spouse is different than making “love” with some one of the same sex. You sense the purity and the extreme fulfillment you get when making love the way God intended it.

  9. DoctorMD says:

    I live in the UK and we are on the brink of having same sex marriage made legal. This means we will have not two types of marriage but one type…genderless marriage. The nature of marriage will be changed for ever and it will mean that homosexual activity will have to be taught as a normal variant. Chidren in school will be have to be taught all about homosexual sex just as they are taught about heterosexual sex and the homosexual community is already disseminating literature to schools, to prepubescent children, promoting the gay lifestyle. Do not be fooled, fellow Christians in Belize. The UK legalised civil partnerships several years ago and we were told there would be no push for gay marriage. But the ‘Equality and equivalence’ agenda is being pushed vehemently by aggressive homosexuals who want not just equality but special concessions, not just tolerance but approval.
    Teachers who dare to disagree with this agenda are being suspended. Lord Dannatt, during the House of Lords debates going on now , has already highlighted one such case. There is much more to read. Please be warned by what the UK is going through now. Genderless marriage is not God’s design!! Do not get on the slippery slope like we in the UK are on.
    I do not hate gays. As doctor I have looked after a number of them, some with AIDS. AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are a lot more common because homosexuals are more easily infected. But I reject their lifestyle as unbiblical, and downright dangerous and the present homosexual agenda in the UK as subversive and undermining of marriage and family life.
    If you want to know more about the Uk and other countries where gay sex has been decriminalisedl or there is gay marriage alreaady visit the Anglican Mainstream website. And there aer many other reousrces.
    The Anglican church has a real battle on its hands to be faithful to God on this and I can only pray that the Caribbean bishops will not allow liberal thinking on God’s revealed word to sway thier thinking under pressure from UNIBAM and others. I pray for God’s guidance for your country that a way to treat homosexuals with compassion be found without encouraging the lifestyle. I admire your government for resisting the pressure from the US and other internatiional organisations. God bless you.

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