Bahamas Faith Ministries (BFM) Senior Pastor Dave Burrows said yesterday that there is no need for “special rights to be afforded” to same-sex couples.
“In a country that is a representative democracy, I would have to leave it up to those individuals and parties involved to determine what is best for them, as they fall in an entirely different category,” Burrows said in a statement.
“I believe all humans have a right to be loved and treated with respect, but at the same time, I do not think we can equate the two relationships.
“To my understanding, existing laws allow for persons to have legal rights and privileges as citizens that are sufficient to peacefully exist regardless of their background, persuasion or orientation and there is no need for new or special rights to be afforded.”
Last week, it was reported that Pope Francis had expressed support for same-sex civil unions.
The pope’s remarks on same-sex civil unions were made in a documentary that premiered on Wednesday.
The New York Times quoted the leader of the Roman Catholic Church as saying: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way, they are legally covered.”
Yesterday, Burrows said he was “a bit surprised to hear of the assertion that the pope supported same-sex unions, given the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage as a God-created institution specifically and exclusively identified as between man and wife”.
“I have only seen and read news reports and have not read actual transcripts or seen the actual interview. So, at this point, I am speaking from what he allegedly said,” he said.
“While I understand that same-sex relationships exist and persons in those relationships seek legal or familial rights in their context, I have to respond as always from two perspectives.
“As a practicing Christian leader, who views the Bible as a constitutional document outlining the policies, norms and mores of the kingdom of God and of the faith, I see no context where same-sex relationships are considered as an approved option and, therefore, cannot support unions in that context.”
He said he understands that some individuals want to have legal and familial rights.
“But, I, personally, do not endorse or subscribe to such relationships being afforded the same recognition and rights as normal marriage relationships,” Burrows said.