MEMBERS of the Independent Loyal Orange Institution, who are mainly from the North Antrim area, said as a Christian and biblical based organisation they to express concern at the Government’s intention to introduce legislation to legalise same-sex marriage by the next general election.
A statement said: “The Independent Loyal Orange Institution believes that redefining marriage is not an issue of equality or fairness, as argued by those calling for this change. Equality does not mean sameness but recognises diversity. Marriage is a ‘physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman created by their mutual consent of heart, mind and will thereto, and as a holy and lifelong estate instituted of God.
“Our chief concern is that society will be the poorer if the definition of marriage is rewritten. Marriage is foundational to a stable society and so much else depends upon it. Changing the definition of marriage would therefore have a profound effect on our society, as traditional marriage gives children the complementary parenting of a mother and father which same-sex marriage does not provide.
“It is an unarguable fact that a working marriage is the foundation of social stability, a proven source of human happiness and the best basis for the nurture of children.
“Marriage between a man and a woman is one of the key foundation stones of a stable society and is something we must hold in very high esteem. Far from being an invention of man, it was designed by God at the creation of the world, for, as the Westminster Confession of Faith succinctly puts it,” the mutual help of husband and wife; for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness”. The Lord Jesus Christ attended the marriage at Cana in Galilee and performed his first miracle there. Marriage is rich in spiritual significance for, as the Apostle Paul explains in Ephesians 5, it is an illustration of the relationship between Christ - the bridegroom - and the Church – His bride.
“As an evangelical protestant institution we believe that the Bible is the ultimate authority to govern the way we live our lives and act within society but we would also point out that there are many who differ from us in religion, or who don’t hold to any faith at all, yet they recognise the near universtality of the pattern of traditional marriage throughout the world. We believe that the proposed legislation is made for the worst reasons; this is a bad proposal, and one that could have a lasting impact on society and we would therefore request that it be removed from the Government’s legislative agenda.”