International LGBT Pride Day

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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Dear Pastors

International LGBTQ+ Pride Day

International LGBTQ+ Pride Day is a day dedicated to LGBT Pride. It is held on the 28th June each year to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969 making it part of Pride Month (1st - 28th June each year). In New Zealand, Pride day/week is ‘celebrated’ mostly in March every year although that can vary from city to city.

Pride month aims to promote acceptance, equality, education, and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and to challenge homophobia and discrimination. Pride month is about being proud of who you are no matter who you love.

According to the 2021 Household Economic Survey 2021, there are approximately 169,500 adults who identify as LGBTQ+ in NZ. That’s approximately 4.4% of the country’s population.

According to Stats NZ, 4,100 same-sex marriages have been registered to couples living in New Zealand since the Marriage Amendment Act came into effect in August 2013. That’s just over 2% of all marriages to couples in NZ over the past decade.

“What would be really cool if we - 400,000 Christians in NZ - would support a National Marriage Day”

Here are a few of my reflections on this issue:-

  1. In a free democratic society like NZ, people no matter what their lifestyle choice is, should be able to live free from discrimination and harassment. I really believe that is a critically important starting place for us as Christians to affirm.
  2. Jeanette and I have previously worked with Gay people and found them to be professional, courteous and generally very nice people and good to work with.
  3. I am amazed how many Christian families have a Gay child, sibling, cousin or someone close to them. I have a Gay cousin whom I care about deeply even though I am distressed about his personal lifestyle choices.
  4. All this said the overall numbers of Gay people and same-sex marriages are relatively small (as noted above) and I doubt they will get much bigger on a per capita basis. There is certainly no evidence of a large increase year on year……not in NZ anyway.
  5. Being committed to heterosexuality does NOT make you homophobic. Being committed to monogamy (one man married to one women for life) as I am, does not in and of itself make you a homophobe.
  6. Most Christian churches that I know welcome Gay people at there Sunday gatherings while at the same time holding a strong view on the Biblical definition of marriage. In fact some churches are adding the biblical definition of marriage into their ‘Statement of Belief’.
  7. In some respects as Christians we should be as concerned (perhaps even more concerned) at the numbers of heterosexual couples who are opting NOT to marry.
  8. Personally I wish that there was no need for a Pride day, week or month. Pride parades in my opinion, are for the most part needlessly provocative and unseemly. Certainly not family friendly.
  9. I totally disagree with the ‘push’ that is going on in our State schools to advance Gay ideologies. This is not right and there should be strong opposition to this by everyday New Zealanders. It isn’t right or fair that when the numbers of Gay people are so small that schools support this social movement in such overt ways.
  10. It feels to me that the tide may be turning. More and more people are over this and plucking up the courage to say so. It is interesting to me that the swing to the right in the EU that we are currently witnessing could be one sign that the tide may be turning.
  11. What would be really cool if we (400,000 Christians in NZ) would support a National Marriage Day every year. Imagine every Christian couple giving ten bucks to a national campaign fund that simply has as it’s purpose to extol the beauty and magnificence of traditional marriage – a man and a women committed to marriage and the raising of children in that context. No stone throwing, no rants and no judgement, just simply lifting up the beauty of marriage. That my friends would simply be AWESOME!

As always let me know what you think.


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