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St John Paul II, Pope of the family

ImageThis last weekend was historic. It has been described as the day of 4 Popes. Pope Francis canonised two of his predecessors, Pope John XXIII and John Paul II, while Pope emeritus Benedict XVI was present.

For us in the pro-life movement, the canonisation of Pope Saint John Paul II is particularly special. He was a fearless defender of human dignity, human life, and the family. And his insights into human interpersonal relations, including sexual relations was profound, and has been described as one of the Church’s best kept secrets.

Pope Francis in his Regina Coeli address after told the pilgrims of Bergamo and Krakow “Dear ones, honour the memory of these two holy Popes by following their teachings faithfully.”

St John Paul II’s life was remarkable.

He grew up in the town of Wadowice, Poland. A town with a large Jewish population, some of which he counted as his close friends.

It’s ironic, but the “Pope of the Family” lost all of his family by the time he was twenty. An elder sister died before he was born. His mother died when he was eight years old. His older brother when he was twelve, and finally his father died when he was twenty, leave the future Pope as the only surviving member of his family.

At the time of his father’s death, Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany. He had to take manual labouring work at a mine, and then a chemical factory to avoid being deported. He is also credited with protecting many Jews from the Nazi authorities. It was at this time that he began to feel the call to the priesthood. He started his studies for the priesthood in an underground seminary and eventually had to go into hiding from the Nazi authorities until the end of the war.

As a priest he became popular with young people and as Pope he started World Youth Day, which he and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta are now the patrons. As a bishop, he was involved in Vatican II, and had a role in preparing influential documents for the council. He also published his important book “Love and Responsibility”. As Archbishop he was influential in the writing of the encyclical Humanae Vitae.

He was a walker, runner, kayaker and skier. As a cardinal he was asked if it was becoming for a cardinal to ski, his reply was, “It is unbecoming for a cardinal to ski badly”. He continued to run and weight train in the Vatican during the first few years of his pontificate.

His election as Pope was a surprise. He was the first non-Italian Pope in over 460 years. His energy and achievements as a Pope were outstanding. He travelled to 129 countries and fearlessly preached to all who would listen. Dictatorships fell after his visits, notably in Chile and Haiti and Paraguay. His support for the solidarity movement in Poland was the catalyst that brought down communism in Poland, which started a chain reaction in the eastern bloc countries.

St John Paul II sent out a call to defend life, faith and family before the Cairo conference on Population and Development, and as a result the attempt the make abortion a “human right” failed.

Wherever he went he attracted large crowds, as many as 5 million attended the 1995 world youth day in Manila, the Philippines. His funeral attracted 4 million to Rome, with over 250 000 within the Vatican.

Defence of life, faith and family was his personal mission. His weekly angelus audiences for the first years as Pope were devoted to the “theology of the body”. It’s a teaching that is slowly gaining popularity within the Catholic Church, and recently within other Christian Churches too.

St John Paul II was a priest, Pope, theologian, writer, poet, actor and sportsman. He wrote 14 encyclicals, beatified 1340, canonised 483 and improved relations with Judaism, Islam and other Christian denominations. He was shot and critically injured, but survived, then meet and forgave his attacker.

But he will be remembered as Pope Francis said, “the Pope of the family”.

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Frozen with an expiry date

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November 22nd this year will be a bad day to be an embryonic New Zealander in vitro.

That’s the first deadline of the 2004 HART (Human Assisted Reproductive Technology) act. All embryos in New Zealand that have been frozen for 10 years or more will be destroyed on that date, unless their parents obtain specific permission by May this year. That permission to extend frozen storage must be granted from an ethics committee, not the facility storing the embryos. One chain of fertility clinics says 350 couples or women will be affected at this deadline. And with over 10 000 embryos in storage in New Zealand, it’s only the start of this issue.

So why are there so many frozen embryos?

IVF has a relatively low success rate per cycle and per embryo. This is particularly true for older women. So to achieve a birth, many embryos and several cycles of IVF may be needed. As there is the expectation that several cycles of IVF may be needed, many oocytes (eggs) are removed from the women and fertilised at once. The ‘best looking’ ones are used for the first cycle of IVF and the remaining embryos are frozen as backups if the first cycle isn’t successful, or if the couple want subsequent children.

The process of removing eggs from a women is very invasive and carries real risks for the women. So it’s not something that the medical staff want to put the woman through repeatedly. It is possible to freeze unfertilised eggs rather than embryo, but currently frozen eggs are far less successful for achieving pregnancy. Embryos survive freezing much more successfully, so the clinics fertilise the extracted eggs, both to implant into the women and to store frozen.

If a cycle results in a live birth, the remaining embryos are left in frozen storage, unless the couple wants another child, or they decide to destroy the embryos.

So it’s the inefficiency and risks of the process that results in the temptation to make ‘excess’ embryos. Most of the embryos that are created don’t survive. Some are discarded after fertilisation. Some don’t survive the freezing and thawing, and are discarded. And many that are implanted don’t survive to birth. And many just remain in storage, with their parents not knowing what to do with them.

Throughout this process, and particularly when the embryos are in frozen storage, they are considered property. And tied to this is the attitude that parents have the right to have children.

The Church considers children to be a gift, not property or something that the parents are owed (CCC 2378). She also teaches that a child’s origin should be an act of love between his or her parents. In this way the child’s interests are put first. And as the weakest party, it should always be the child’s interests that are considered first.

This doesn’t mean all infertile couples are condemned to be childless. IVF isn’t the only answer that medicine has for infertility. Originally it was to be the last resort for couples who had trouble conceiving. It has now all but replaced the more conventional approach of diagnosing the specific problem and providing a therapy for that problem, where possible.

But the result of this attitude to children is the large numbers of embryonic children are in frozen storage in New Zealand and around the world. For most of them, it’s a death sentence. The ones that survive are treated for at least some of their life as possessions of their parents. Unfortunately this feeling of entitlement to children is spreading, and was very evident in the recent marriage legislation debate.

For the sake of our children, we need to defend the right of a child to be born from an act of marital love, and to parents known to him or her.

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NuvaRing – dying for contraception

Last year the ministry of health has approved a ‘new’ contraceptive device. Although it’s new to New Zealand, but has been around in the United States and Europe for more than 10 years, so we already know a lot about it. NuvaRing is a vaginal ring, designed to be ‘worn’ inside a women’s body for 3 weeks of the month. It contains the same type of chemicals that are found in the combined oral contraceptive pill. Being a device rather than a pill, it’s designed to deliver a constant low dose of hormones directly to the reproductive organs. There are two reasons for this. The first being convenience, not having to take a pill every day. And the second being to lower the concentrations of the synthetic hormones in the ‘contraceptive’. This is an attempt to reduce the side effects of these synthetic hormones.

These are major problems for hormonal contraceptives. More than half of oral contraceptive users stop taking the pill within 6 months, with side effects being a significant reason. So manufacturers are looking for ways to make lower dose contraceptives to reduce the side effects. And they are significant. For NuvaRing, the list of common side effects (>1/100 women) is long and disturbing.

Common Side effects:

Acne,

headache

migraine

depression

libido decreased

abdominal pain

nausea

toothache

weight gain

medical device discomfort

device expelled

breast tenderness

dysmenorrhoea (painful periods)

pelvic pain

vaginal discharge

genital pruritus female (itch)

vaginal infection

bronchitis

coughing

pharyngitis

rhinitis

sinusitis

Upper respiratory tract infection

allergic reaction

fever

influenza-like symptoms

That’s a lot for a women to have to put up with, especially since this medical device isn’t designed to treat any disease. The promoters of contraceptives typically balance their side effects against medical problems that can occur during pregnancy. This is a false comparison. It a women stops using one form of birth control, she often moves to a different method of birth control. As NuvaRing doesn’t treat a disease, this is really just another ‘lifestyle’ product, and it’s side effects should be compared to non-therapeutic products, not lifesaving medications.  I can’t imagine people putting up with a consumer product where large numbers of users stop using it after 6 months due to it causing medical problems. And that is exactly the case we have here. NuvaRing is a consumer product. Fertility is not a disease, and sex isn’t compulsory.

If a smartphone caused acne in some users, it would be withdrawn from the market. If a TV caused abdominal pain in 1% or more users, it would be redesigned to be safe. But because it’s a medicine to ‘treat’ the healthy state of fertility, we seem to be ok with the damage it causes.

But it’s one of the less common side effects that is really disturbing:- death.

Users of NuvaRing are six and half times more likely to suffer venous thrombosis (blood clots) than women who don’t use hormonal contraception. And venous thrombosis can be fatal. Even for those it doesn’t kill, it’s a serious medical event that leaves some of the survivors with ongoing health problems. Women using NuvaRing have died from blood clots. In the United States 2000 women have filed a NuvaRing lawsuit, and the FDA have received 5 500 reports of complications. This is unacceptable.

The makers of NuvaRing have attracted a lot of criticism because of their attempts supress information about the more troubling side effects. Hundreds of millions of dollars in profits are involved. Promoting NuvaRing is in the manufacturer’s best interests, it’s not in the best interested of women.

But there is an alternative. There is one form of birth control that doesn’t have any side effects. It doesn’t have a major corporation promoting it, so you might not have ever seen it promoted as a real option. It’s Natural Fertility Regulation. Not only is it free from side effects, it’s easy to learn, very effective, strengthens marriages, and empowers a woman with knowledge to take charge of her own fertility. It can also be used achieve a pregnancy. Isn’t it time you found out about it?

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Getting the marriage conversation right

family black and whiteMercatorNet took the opportunity to interview William B May regarding the language surrounding redefining marriage.  William May is an advocate for not using the terms “same-sex marriage” or “gay marriage”.  There is only one way to describe marriage, he says, and that is that “marriage unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union.”

Attendees at Family Life International NZ’s Conference “Rise Up Together in the Service of Life” this coming 27th to 29th September will have the opportunity to hear William May speak first hand about “Getting the Marriage Conversation Right”.

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Getting the marriage conversation right

MercatorNet: People trying to defend marriage know that “same-sex marriage” is a contradiction in terms, nonsense in fact, but isn’t it just shorthand for referring to an issue? What’s the harm?

William B May: The only reason there is a debate about the legal definition of marriage is because of confusion about its true meaning and purpose. Without truth about marriage, people take positions based on emotion and sentimentality. To restore the truth about marriage we must witness it in a way people can understand.

The first thing to consider is that no one is really proposing to put something called “same-sex marriage” in the law. They take “a man and a woman” and replace it with “two people.” That has consequences that people are not considering. So be careful not to oppose something that is not there.

When they eliminate “a man and a woman” from marriage laws it eliminates the only civil institution that is specifically geared to unite children with their moms and dads – the sole reason for marriage being a privileged institution in the first place. That exposes the hidden agenda and the truth about what is at stake.

Opponents argue that they don’t want to change marriage, and men and woman can still get married, so what is the big deal. The problem is that men and women are not getting married, and this has created a crisis with increasing fatherlessness and associated consequences, and an increasing number of children living in poverty. Removing this child-centric institution from the law removes authority to actively promote the unique value of men and women marrying before having children. It makes it illegal for public institutions to do so and makes it legally discriminatory for anyone else.

What should we say instead of “same-sex marriage”?

Using the term “same-sex marriage” is one of the traps we fall into. It implies the issue is about participation in it by same-sex couples and makes us sound like our only motive is to oppose their aspirations. It is critical to educate people that the issue is redefinition, not participation and that redefining marriage has consequences. Redefining eliminates the only civil institution that is geared to uniting children with their moms and dads. The issue should be whether or not we need such an institution.

Why do the terms we use matter so much? Are there implications we are not seeing?

We live in a relativistic culture in which words mean different things to different people. For example when you talk about children needing a mother and father, or say that a married mother and father is good for children, that statement may be true, but different people have different understandings of what children need and what is good. This invariably leads to a debate about outcomes for children and competency in parenting, and who can do a better job, which escalates emotions. Ironically this has little to do with the meaning and purpose of marriage.

Being born into a family with mom and dad united in marriage is a human right, as the Catholic Church teaches, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child implies (in Articles 7 and 9 ). Our moms and dads are part of our identity and we carry their flesh for all of eternity. With every right there is a corresponding duty to promote respect for that right and in this case to promote civil marriage as the foundation of the family of common ancestry.

It is also important for people to be able to distinguish between a real human right, that can only be recognized by law and never created, and a claimed individual right or license. A human right applies to each and every person without exception. The human right of children to know and, as far as possible, to be loved and cared for their moms and dads is a right that can be known by both reason and our own desire for connection with the man and woman from whom we originated. This is also an experience of God’s plan for creation, but is not dependent in belief in God.

What definition of marriage do you recommend we should use in debating this issue?

“Marriage unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union.” That is what marriage is; that is what it does. The trouble is that children and family have been disconnected from marriage.

Factors include no fault divorce making it adult-centric, the separation of sex from procreation and marriage, having children becoming a life-style choice for personal fulfillment, and the increasingly accepted practice of intentionally depriving children of their moms or dads or both through assisted reproductive technology (sperm and egg donation, and surrogacy).

Considering these factors, it is difficult for people to understand marriage by discussing complementarity, procreation, motherhood and fatherhood, etc. It must be expressed in its totality. In reality, marriage unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union. It is a fact, something that the law can only recognise, not change. If the word is redefined in the law, marriage will still exist, but will be no longer recognized in law as such. It becomes discriminatory to advocate that is has any unique value to society, at least under the name of marriage.

What do you think of the term “traditional marriage”? Is it useful?

I just use the word “marriage”, but I am careful to use it in a context so people know what I mean. “Traditional marriage” communicates what we mean but nothing about its true meaning and purpose in a way people can understand. Traditional has a connotation of connection with and holding onto the past. However, marriage is about the future.

How does this work out at the ballot box? How are referendums worded?

I have felt that defining marriage between a man and a woman in law does not go far enough. The law in some way needs to imply its public interest; clarifying that its purpose is more than recognizing loving, committed relationships between men and women. Perhaps it should state something like, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognize. All public institutions must promote its unique value as the only civil institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers.”
Opponents will object because it reveals the real meaning and purpose of marriage. They argue that children raised by same-sex couples have a right to married parents, but this changes the subject because every child in this situation has lost their mom, dad or both. Arguments that this could provide stability for such children implies that marriage is merely a human creation for some sociological objective. Marriage is about the free choice of a man and woman to make themselves irreplaceable to each other in preparation to receive life as a gift. Marriage is the foundation of the communion of irreplaceability we call the family.

Opponents cause further confusion by saying marriage can’t be about procreation because not all married man and woman have children. That may be so, but every child has a mother and father and has a right, as far as possible, to be born into a family with them united in marriage. All married men and women engage in the same conjugal act, which is a commemoration and renewal of the marriage vows. Even sociologists from across the political spectrum agree that it is important to reestablish a norm for men and women to marry before having children.

How can we stay on the front foot in debates on this issue? Can we ever avoid being labeled “bigot”?

When we use the term “same-sex marriage,” it immediately tells people we are against someone and the so-called “rights” they are advocating. It’s an unfortunate tactic of our opponents to attribute motives to those defending marriage in an effort to seek sympathy, discredit, and intimidate. Avoiding the use of the term and instead focusing on what we are for will help greatly.

We can understand the sincere desire of some people to have same-sex relationships recognized, but marriage would have to be redefined in the law in a way that eliminates the only civil institution that unites kids with their moms and dads. How can anyone justify that? This issue is not about homosexuality at all. It is about whether marriage is a reality that not only unites a man and a woman with each other, but with any children born from their union.

What opponents are really proposing is that marriage be redefined in the law to be merely an institution for recognizing committed relationships for the benefit of the adults. What is the public interest in that? We love talking about other people’s sins, so it takes discipline to avoid getting drawn into a conversation about sexual ethics and personal behavior and stay focused on the reality of marriage.

Actually, the marriage redefiners seem to agree with you. They don’t use “gay marriage” or “same-sex marriage” either, but talk about “marriage equality”. Why do you think that is?

Their research shows that 58% of people in the US already believe that the purpose of marriage is to recognize committed relationships for adults. So all they have to do is to say same-sex couples want to marry for the same reason anyone else does.

The current understanding of marriage is one of the factors contributing to the fact fewer people are marrying and more than half of children born to women under 30 are outside of marriage. This is a crisis that is touching almost every family. The focus must be on changing current ideas about what marriage is for the benefit of society and our own families instead of focusing on why same-sex couples don’t qualify.

I imagine that marriage redefiners don’t want to use the term “same-sex or gay marriage” because their current approach is more effective, and the terms conjure up “anti-gay” feelings.

William B May is president of the United States organization Catholics for the Common Good and played a prominent role in the Proposition 8 effort that successfully restored the definition of marriage between a man and a woman in California – since overturned by the courts. He is the author of Getting the Marriage Conversation Right, a Guide for Effective Dialogue .

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Redefining marriage ‘an arrogant act of cultural vandalism’: New Zealand family leader

by Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent
Reposted from LifeSiteNews.com

AUCKLAND, NZ, August 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – More than 30 same-sex couples have “married” over the last 24 hours, as New Zealand’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act has come into effect.

Despite little debate, and strong opposition, politicians chose to pass the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill 77 to 44 in April. Marriage now lawfully means “the union of two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

Louisa Wall, the Labour MP who presented the bill that redefined marriage, was present at a lesbian couple’s wedding at the Auckland Unitarian Church in Ponsonby. She said it was an “amazing day to be here to celebrate” the couple’s “commitment they have to one another and the institution of marriage.”

But others say the new law defies the national mood and common sense.

“Despite their grandiose view, the politicians never had the authority to redefine marriage,” said Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First NZ. “They committed an arrogant act of cultural vandalism with no clear public mandate.”

Many people have commented on the bias in reporting on the day’s events. The mainstream media featured laudatory coverage of the weddings themselves, giving little attention to opponents’ views.

Australian couple Trent Kandler and Paul McCarthy were flown from Australia to Wellington by Tourism New Zealand, where a “wedding” was held at the national museum, Te Papa. The company hopes to stimulate wedding tourism from same-sex couples around the world.

Several organizations took advantage of the moment by offering free prizes to homosexual partners.

Air NZ provided an in-flight “wedding” ceremony for a lesbian couple, Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau, where Jesse Tyler Fergusson from the TV series Modern Family was present. The package included a honeymoon at a Palms Spring Resort in the U.S.

Lance Huxford is calling for people to complain to the media, saying he is “shocked at the unbalanced coverage of the same sex marriage law coming into effect on both TV 1 and TV 3.”

Pro-marriage groups and most churches continue to promote marriage as being between one man and one woman despite an ever-increasing attitude that marriage is simply about happiness and love.

“We must continue to speak up for marriage as uniting a man and a woman with each other and any children born from that union” Dame Colleen Bayer, national director of Family Life International NZ, said. “For the sake of our children, we cannot stand by and let marriage be mocked.”

For more information on how to make a complaint and the grounds under which a complaint can be made visit Broadcasting Standards Authority, visit www.bsa.govt.nz

Complaints may be addressed to the Chief Executive of the broadcaster:

TVNZ
P O Box 3819
AUCKLAND
Phone: (09) 916 7000
Fax: (09) 916 6864
www.tvnz.co.nz

TV3
Private Bag 92 624
AUCKLAND
Phone: (09) 377 9730
Fax: (09) 366 5999
www.tv3.co.nz

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Redefined marriage becomes a reality today

Same-sex couples all over New Zealand are legally marrying today as the law which redefined marriage comes into effect.

The media is abuzz with the news that 31 same-sex couples will marry today.  Images of same-sex couples dressed in traditional wedding attire are being posted on all online news sites and there is a real sense of celebration in the air by those who see this as a victory for equality.

But is this new look marriage really what marriage is all about? Is it speaking the truth of marriage?  And ultimately will the move to redefine marriage be a good step for New Zealand society?

The language couched around redefining marriage is all about feelings, love and equality.  But love is only one aspect of marriage, albeit a very important aspect.  Is love really the sole reason why societies all over the world for centuries have protected marriage between men and woman?

William B May, author of Getting the Marriage Conversation Right explains that there are two conflicting understandings of marriage in society today.  The first is that

marriage is the public recognition of a committed relationship between a man and a woman (or two adults) for their fulfillment.

This is what most people believe marriage to be now.  It is why the love and equality arguments ring true with so many people, in particular with Church-going Christians who are misguided in their understanding of sexuality and marriage.

The second definition of marriage is

marriage unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union.

This second definition is what most people would refer to as “traditional marriage”.  May goes on to say “that is what marriage is, and that is what it does.  It expresses God’s plan for creation but is not dependent on belief in God.”

Somehow, in our romantic notions of love and marriage we have forgotten this truth.

By redefining marriage, our lawmakers have eliminated the only institution that united children with their mothers and fathers.  They have said that no one in a child’s life is irreplaceable.  They have said that equality, feelings and the fulfillment of adults is more important than the stability of the natural family and the welfare of children.

But how did we get here?

Leighton Smith from Newstalk ZB had some home truths to tell Christians today on his talk back show.  He explained that Christians do not have a real understanding of what marriage is.  He reminded us that Christians have embraced certain aspects of the sexual revolution – divorce, the acceptance of cohabitation and children being tossed around from one parent to the other.  “How can you argue against the gay marriage thing?” he asked.

And he is right.

Too many Christians have embraced aspects of the sexual revolution.  Divorce and contraception and sterilization are widespread.  IVF is a commonplace treatment for couples who experience infertility.  Many Christians have brought the lie that marriage is about the fulfillment of adults.

Smorgasbord Christianity has contributed to the demise of marriage and family in society.

Faithful Christianity will build marriage and family back up again.

As William May says “The focus must now be on rebuilding a marriage culture and protecting, as far as possible, the rights of children and the best interests of society for the future.”
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William B May is the President of Catholics for the Common Good, a lay apostolate for the evagelisation of the culture based on the social teachings of the Catholic Church.  He will be speaking in New Zealand at the “Rise Up Together in the Service of Life” Conference, September 27 to 29th at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna.  His book “Getting the Marriage Conversation Right” can be purchased through Family Life Catholic Gifts.

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90 percent of unmarried couples with babies will break up by baby’s teens: Study

wedding ringsLONDON, May 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Half of all British children born this year will be living with only one parent by the time they reach their teens, a study has revealed.

The study, titled “The myth of long-term stable relationships outside of marriage” undertaken by the Marriage Foundation, found that 45 percent of British teenagers between the ages of 13-15 are not living with both parents and that 9 out of 10 children born to unmarried, cohabiting “partners” will be living in single-parent households by their teens.

The study examined the differing rates of “family breakdown” experienced by married and cohabiting couples using data from the Understanding Society national longitudinal survey of 40,000 British households.

The numbers indicate that half of all cohabiting couples will break up within a year of moving in together. Nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of babies under a year old do not live with both natural parents, and that number jumps to 47 percent by the time the child is 15.

Significantly, the numbers are radically different for the children born within marriage: 93 percent of parents who stayed together were married before they had a child.

“The relative scarcity of ‘long-term stable relationships’ outside of marriage confirms that it is disingenuous and untenable for government to keep airbrushing marriage from family policy papers,” the study’s author, Harry Benson, said. “This should be an important issue for government since the direct costs of family breakdown are estimated at £46 billion,” more than the entire budget for national defense.

Benson, the founder and director of the relationship education charity Bristol Community Family Trust, takes the government to task for papering over the link between marital status and family breakdown, saying that in nearly all government reports “overlook, disregard, or dismiss [it] altogether whilst talking glowingly of so-called ‘long-term stable relationships.’”

“The key variable in calculating family stability over time becomes marital status at birth. Fewer married parents means fewer relatively stable couples,” he emphasized.

“A trend away from marriage, all other factors remaining constant, should therefore lead to an increase in family breakdown,” Benson said.

The study was released on the day that the House of Commons voted to approve the government’s “gay marriage” bill, which was promoted by Prime Minister David Cameron as a boon for marriage in general.

But research shows that creating a legal construct for same-sex partners does nothing to increase the longevity of their relationships.

In a submission on the bill, Dr. Patricia Morgan, a sociologist and researcher on government family policy, told the House Committee that the evidence has shown “a publicly professed, legal, partnership does not prevent homosexual couples from breaking up more frequently than married heterosexual couples.”

Dr. Morgan said that “across all countries analyzed” there has been no “causal link” found to “support the idea that same-sex marriage prevents marital decline.” On the contrary, legalized “gay marriage” reinforces the “idea that marriage is irrelevant to parenthood,” which is the “principle factor” behind the collapse of natural marriage, that between a man and a woman.

In these countries, the introduction of “gay marriage” has coincided with sharp increases in the rate of cohabitation and children born out of wedlock.

Dr. Morgan’s paper, presented to the Committee on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said that “gay marriage” leads to the “casualization of heterosexual unions and separation of marriage and parenthood.”

The evidence that “gay marriage” harms natural marriage is borne out by statistics from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Canada, and some U.S. states where it has been implemented.

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The debate that wasn’t: New Zealand’s rushed marriage revolution

The following blog post by Carolyn Moynihan raised concerns over the lack of debate held over the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill and its subsequent passing into law last Wednesday 17th April.  Thank you Carolyn for writing so eloquently the thoughts of many who have had concerns over the lack of debate and the sheer determination to stamp over anyone who believes that marriage should only be for one man and one woman.   This article was published in  Conjuguality.

The debate that wasn’t: New Zealand’s rushed marriage revolution
Last night (April 17) 77 people changed the institution of marriage in New Zealand from a conjugal union with the potential for generating children and providing them with the nurture of their own mother and father into “a union of 2 people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity” with the potential for systematically depriving children of their mother or father, or both. All in the name of “love”. Starting in August.

Actually, just 17 people managed to do that, because the New Zealand Parliament currently has 121 members and if 17 of the 77 who finally voted for the “definition of marriage” bill had voted against it and with the 44 who opposed the move, this South Sea revolution could have been put down and time taken to properly discuss the whole idea. The notion put about by MPs and journalists that there has been a “fierce debate” on same-sex marriage over the past seven or eight months is sheer fantasy.

The truth is that those in favour of law change didn’t want a public debate. They didn’t broach the subject in the last election campaign (nor the one before) but sprang it on us through a private member’s bill — fortuitously drawn from the ballot soon after it was introduced by lesbian MP Louisa Wall. Calls for a referendum — taken up by New Zealand First, a minor party in the government, and by a few other MPs — were rejected by the majority in the House on grounds that include: it would be difficult for people to exercise an informed vote (of course, if you won’t give them time to be informed) and “minority rights issues” should not be the subject of a referendum (even though no-one has shown us how people incapable of marriage can have a right to it).

What many politicians appear to want most of all is to show that “we are modern/tolerant/compassionate too”. This applies to the several MPs whose first — and last — word on the subject was “It won’t affect my marriage” or some similar statement. Prime Minister John Key led the way here and other National (“conservative”) members followed suit. Key himself took his cue from Barack Obama, declaring his support for gay marriage the day after Obama announced his, and also from British Prime Minister David Cameron who nailed his rainbow colours to the mast some time ago, causing a mutiny in his Conservative Party’s ranks.

Read more at Conjuguality

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Same-sex “marriage” bill not passed yet

Supporters of same-sex “marriage” are showing their arrogance today as they begin to celebrate the win they expect tonight when the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is read for the third and final time in Parliament.

I can’t help but think of the story of the tortoise and the hare.  The hare, so sure that he would win the race, got distracted and had a rest.  Meanwhile, the tortoise steadily kept on going, faithful to the very end.  It was not the cocky hare who won the race, but the tortoise, slow, steady and faithful.

The Bill may very well go through.  If it does, it is because the politicians have been swayed by the gay lobby’s cry of “love” and “equality”.  They will not have listened to the very valid arguments against the legalisation of same-sex “marriage”.

If, the Bill is not passed, it will be because Truth has prevailed, having been heard above the noise of the same-sex supporters.

No one should be so arrogant as to think that this is in the bag.  This is the eleventh hour.  Anything can happen yet.

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Same-sex “marriage” and the threat to religious freedom

John-Henry Westen and Rachael Wong outside St Patrick's Cathedral Auckland 14 April 2013The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is due to be read in Parliament for the third and final time tomorrow evening.  If this Bill is passed in the House tomorrow night, it will be legal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children in New Zealand.  No one will have the right to refuse wedding services (such as venues, flowers, catering) based on their views that marriage can not ever be between two people of the same sex.

Out of concern, Family Life International NZ held two talks given by John-Henry Westen (Editor-in-Chief of LifeSiteNews.com) on the topic – one in Wellington last Thursday night, and the other this past Sunday.  Thousands of people have been blessed with the wisdom of John-Henry over the last two weeks, in particular youth.  Canada is John-Henry’s home, and same-sex marriage has been legal there since 2005.  Enough time has elapsed to see just what the ramifications of legalising same-sex marriage has been for Canadian’s.  New Zealand should heed the warnings.

John-Henry Westen spoke about the following cases where legalising same-sex marriage and normalising homosexual behaviour has led to ordinary citizens finding themselves in trouble with the law.

  • A couple who ran a bed and breakfast refused to let a room to a homosexual couple and kindly asked them to find another bed and breakfast.  As a result the Christian couple were sued and their business was shut down.
  • A printer in a district where there were numerous printing businesses was approached by a customer wishing to have homosexual activist material printed.  The printer, explaining that he disagreed with the material, asked respectfully for the customer to choose another printing company.  Because he refused the printing job, the man was sued and lost his home trying to defend himself.
  • A teacher in Alberta wrote a letter to the editor in support of traditional marriage (note it had nothing to do with what he said in the classroom), and was fired by the school because of his views.
  • A well-known Canadian sportscaster from Toronto was fired after he sent a tweet supporting traditional marriage. He lodged a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, however, it has just been reported that it was dismissed.
  • When same-sex marriage was introduced, marriage commissioners were fired if they were not in support of the legislation.
  • The Knights of Columbus were sued when they refused to hire out a hall in their ownership to a lesbian couple who were wishing to celebrate their union.
  • A Bishop in Calgary was sued $100,000.00 when he wrote the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality in the newspaper.
  • In Ontario, a parish priest allowed a same-sex couple to serve at Mass.  There were 15 parishioners who felt that this was not on, given the Church’s teaching about chastity, marriage and homosexuality.  The parishioners wrote to the Bishop expressing their concern.  The Bishop then wrote to the parish priest explaining that it was unacceptable, only to be sued by one of the homosexual men who were serving for $25,000.00.  Each of the parishioners were also sued for $20,000.00.  Thankfully, it was all settled and the charges were dropped.

Each of these concrete examples of persecution because of religious beliefs are shocking.  It is truely concerning when we realise that this is just the beginning.   John-Henry explained the thinking of the gay lobby that is so desperate to transform what is ‘normal’ saying

“The very first and most important point is to stamp out this opposition.  Remember when I said it was likely conscience driven?  Guess what?  Once you pass same sex marriage your conscience is still there.   But then, the thinking goes ‘but that’s because these kind of people exist in society, we’ve got to stamp out this type of racism…’ “Well these catholics these christians they keep raising up this kind of prejudice in their children so we’ve got to get to the children.’ They do it through schools”

The evidence is so shocking of the indoctrination of school children that it will leave your blood running cold.

  • One province has a curriculum which is to be taught in all public schools, all Catholic schools, all private schools and most schockingly, by all home schooling families. The programme teaches relativism of all religious groups and equality of all types of families.  One family, sure that they could not be told what to teach in their home, took a case to the Supreme Court and lost on a technicality.
  • Catholic schools in Ontario have been forced to teach about anti-gay bulling, but are not allowed to educate the children about Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
  • The Education Minister of Yucon has just recently said that Catholic schools are not allowed to teach against homosexuality because it is against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is a Charter for all of Canada.

However, John-Henry reminded us that the troubles are worst for those inclined to homosexuality.  He explained that our greatest call and duty as Christians is to love our neighbour citing he Matthew 25:35-40 .

“My brothers and sisters, you have to know that you are called to love… Our brothers and sisters who are inclined to homosexuality are now facing a massive threat with the government stamping approval on this behaviour which they need to know is deadly and we are called to suffer.  And we are called to tell them that it is dangerous for them.  And what about the question ‘when I was inclined to grave sin that would cause my body harm and my soul’s eternal home you didn’t tell me?’  We must love enough to stop same-sex marriage.  We must love enough to tell our brothers and sisters inclined to homosexuality and every other sexual sin that it harms your body and it harms your soul.”

The talk on Sunday, which also included a Prayer Vigil and Procession to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland was concluded by a short synopsis of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill by an Auckland lawyer, Rachael Wong, Rachael explained that the clause inserted to protect religious ministers in the Bill is very narrow, and questionable.  She is also concerned about children and the changes the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill will make to adoption legislation.  She explains that

“a consequential effect of the bill will be to allow same-sex couples to adopt children by giving them status of spouses… This consequential change to our adoption laws clearly impacts children.  And parliament’s failure to consider the best interests of children throughout the entire legislative process is in contravention of its obligations under the UN Convention of Rights of the Child.”

If New Zealand’s politicians truely have the best interests of all our citizens at heart, they will choose to put this Bill to rest tomorrow and keep marriage as a union legally recognised by the State as only being between one man and one woman.