Opinion

Marriage Is More Than A Contract Between Individuals

Only a man and a woman together have the natural biological capacity to conceive children.
10 Apr 2019 13:26
Marriage Is More Than A Contract Between Individuals
Same Sex Marriage In Fiji

When people talk about sexual orientation and its relationship to same-sex marriage it needs to be discussed holistically. Many of our values today are based
on our religious beliefs.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s statement that there would be no same-sex marriage here as long as his FijiFirst Government is in power is based on a majority belief by many Christian and non-Christian religious organisations in Fiji.

They believe it is based on a fundamental and eternal truth that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

The family is therefore ordained of God.

Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honour marital vows with complete fidelity.

Many churches believe that over the years the institution of marriage has been under attack and faces grim challenges.

The biggest challenge for these churches is the recognition by several national governments and some states around the world that same-sex marriage—formal unions between two individuals of the same gender—are the equivalent of traditional marriage.

The churches believe that God’s purposes for establishing marriage have not changed – that marriage is the law- ful union of a man and a woman.

They reinforce that there is a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality – that intimate relations are acceptable to God only between a husband and a wife who are united in the bonds of matrimony.

It is a moral imperative. They are concerned over the consequences of same-sex marriage on religious freedom, society, families, and children.

It is equally important that those who oppose same-sex marriage should address the issue with respect and civility and should treat all people with love and humanity irrespective of their
sexual orientation.

In Fiji we have come a long way about our attitude to those who are gay. The hostility that used to exist has waned replaced by tolerance.

As we embrace the Constitutional provision of non- discrimination and human rights we now generally accept them as valuable members of our community.

But we fall short of giving them the full rights, we are entitled to, like the right to be married.

Any move to achieve it would go against the fundamental belief that marriage is sacred and was ordained of God from before the foundation of the world.

Christians believe that Jesus Christ affirmed the divine origins of marriage:

“Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”

From the beginning, the sacred nature of marriage was closely linked to the power of procreation. After creating Adam and Eve, God commanded them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,” and they brought forth children, forming the first family.

Only a man and a woman together have the natural biological capacity to conceive children.

This power of procreation—to create life and bring God’s spirit children into the world— is divinely given. Christians and non- Christians believe the misuse of this power undermines the institution of
the family.

They testify that for millennia, strong families have served as the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations the moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilisation.

In 1948, the world’s nations issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, affirming that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society.”

Marriage is far more than a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations.

Rather, marriage is a vital institution for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults.

Throughout the ages, governments of all types have recognised marriage as essential in preserving social stability and perpetuating life.

Regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, in almost every culture marriage has been protected and endorsed by governments, including Fiji, primarily to preserve and foster the institution most central to rearing children and teaching them the moral values that undergird civilisation.

This is where Mr Bainimarama was coming from when he spoke about same-sex marriage in Raralevu, Tailevu, on Monday.

Tomorrow: Inherent challenges caused by same-sex marriage

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