Leaders of the churches, the chiefs, women and the youth have begun signing a petition opposing same sex marriage in Vanuatu.
The signing ceremony was held at the Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC) offices in Port Vila Friday during which the first signatures on the petition were by the Chairman of the VCC, Pastor Allan Nafuki, the Vice Chairman, Bishop John Bosco, the Executive Director of the Vanuatu National Council of Women (VNCU) Leiasmanu Cullwick, and Pastor Simon Aki, the Chairman of Port Vila Ministers Fraternal.
VCC Chairman, Pastor Nafuki stated that leaders of the Malvatumauri council of chiefs, their members and the leaders of the Vanuatu Youth Council will sign after the country visit of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
It is planned to get the signatures of as many people as they can on the petition to present to Parliament to emphasize that these four national organizations who represent 99 percent of the country’s population are strongly opposed to any legislation allowing same sex marriage in Vanuatu.
The petition titled ‘The Church Statement on Biblical Sexually’, prepared by VCC and civil society organizations, in which they “Affirmed that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant of love between Christ and his bride the church.”
“We DENY that God has deigned marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage of a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.”
Speaking after signing the petition, Pastor Nafuki said as Christians and as leaders they must all stand together to get the government’s support against any planned legislation going before Parliament for same sex marriage.
“I have spoken to the Prime Minister (Charlot Salwai), to let him know that we the civil society are opposed to same sex marriage in the country,” he added.
His vice, Bishop Bosco called on all civil society leaders to stand together because there will be many challenges but with one voice they can be effective.
Leiasmanu Cullwick pledged that the women of Vanuatu stand with the VCC against same sex marriage in the country.
The action is a response to reports of attempts by certain leaders to get a legislation into parliament to allow same sex marriage in the country.
At the same ceremony, they signed a petition to the Senate of the University of the South Pacific that they cannot accept the restrictions the religion and belief policy of the USP imposes on their members and their families who attend the university as staff and students.
“Our strong objection to the revised policy is based on our belief that it: 1) violates Vanuatu’s Constitution and the UN instruments that Vanuatu is party to; 2) violates the widely held basic tenants of the Christian faith; 3) violates Vanuatu’s rich culture, history and values.” The petition reads.
They specifically object to the points of the policy prohibiting employees and students from engaging in proselytizing while on University property.