No gay marriage for the Caribbean, West Indian archbishops say

May only be a “matter of time” before US forces the Caribbean to adopt gay marriage, fears Drexel Gomez

The Church of the Province of the West Indies will not follow the American lead and agree to solemnize gay weddings, Archbishop John Holder, Bishop of Barbados declared last week. Speaking in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision creating a constitutional right to same-sex marriage and the Episcopal Church of the USA’s vote to authorize rites for the blessing of same-sex marriages, Archbishop Holder said the Anglican Church in the West Indies held to the “definition of marriage as the union between a man and woman.” However, the former Archbishop of the West Indies Drexel Gomez told reporters in Nassau that it would be “only a matter of time before pressure will be brought to bear on our government by the United States” to introduce gay marriage.. The “tendency is historically for the US to have its way and to ensure that you go their way when they give you aid and assistance,” he told the Nassau Tribune. However, civil law would not touch upon the church’s teaching. “I still maintain that the traditional teaching on marriage is biblical and represents God’s wish for the ways in which human beings can relate to each other,” said Archbishop Gomez. He expressed concern, however, between religious and cultural opposition to gay marriage in the Caribbean. “I think a lot of the resistance of the present is not of faith,” he said. “It’s more of a cultural thing. That is my fear. People who do this out of faith, their numbers are reducing. For example, in Jamaica they resort to violence. We don’t support that because we don’t support bigotry and violence. We recognise that humans are entitled to being treated in a humane way. But while we still have a strong religious body, when I speak to people in their early 30s and below, I get the impression they aren’t as attached to the religious tradition as older people are,” he said. “That’s why I have a fear. Their opposition to this is not based on faith; it’s based on culture. I approach it from the faith perspective. It’s up to the church to try to strengthen that as far as humanly possible.”


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