The head of the Anglican Church in Barbados, Reverend Michael Maxwell, says the church is not supportive of the Mia Motley government’s intent to recognize same-sex unions.
Bishop Maxwell told the publication Barbados TODAY, that the Anglican Church in Barbados and others of the Province of the West Indies remained fortified in its position stemming from a decision of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops in England that marriage is a lifelong union of a man and a woman.
“The position really is that our church continues to stand against what it considers to be same-sex marriages,” he told the publication.
Last week, Barbados Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, addressing the opening of a new term of the Barbados Parliament, said the island has always been in the vanguard of pioneering social justice, the protection of civil rights and the battle to ensure dignity to the poor, marginalized, vulnerable and dispossessed.
Dame Sandra said the legal systems of modern societies recognize many different forms of human relationships and that Barbados is now increasingly finding itself on international lists, including within the multilateral system, which identifies the island as having a poor human rights record.
She said the Mia Mottley administration will do the right thing, understanding that this too will attract controversy.
Bishop Maxwell said the Anglican Church, will “continue to follow the ruling of our Lambeth Conference which is a conference that is held by all of the bishops of the world coming together.
“They would have made a statement abiding by the principles that we understand Scripture outlined to us of the fact that a marriage is really between a male and a female. It is the best arrangement for family life.”
The Anglican Bishop also hinted the church would not perform gay couple marriages if same-sex marriages were to be legalized in Barbados.
“This is not something that the Province of the West Indies upholds at this stage for sure. I am not sure what the future will hold in terms of whether or not the church would change its position.
The Anglican Church head said the government’s recognition of same-sex civil unions would have an impact on the thinking of persons going forward.
“Personally, I believe that persons need to be given the freedom of choice that God has given us all to decide the way of life that we want to live,” he told Barbados TODAY, adding “however, we do know that according to our Scripture, according to the church’s teaching, there is still a right way and there is a wrong way to live our lives.”