"In a country that is still facing the challenges of racial reconciliation and the societal damage of the AIDS pandemic, traditional families need to be defended as a basis for healing."
Contact: Loralei Coyle, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- The South African parliament's move to approve same-sex "marriages" has been met with intense criticism from much of the rest of Africa, where same-sex unions are unheard of. South Africa is one of only five countries in the world to recognize same-sex marriages.
The Institute on Religion and Democracy President Jim Tonkowich released this statement:
"The South African parliament's approval of legislation providing for same-sex unions is an unfortunate move that diminishes the traditional role of the family on a struggling continent.
"In a country that is still facing the challenges of racial reconciliation and the societal damage of the AIDS pandemic, traditional families need to be defended as a basis for healing.
"Unfortunately, South Africa's endorsement of same-sex marriage undermines the traditional families that have been so important to African life. When marriage is entered into and gotten out of lightly, when it is no longer the boundary of sexual activity, or allowed to be radically redefined, a host of personal and civic ills can be expected to follow.
"The institution of marriage is vital to the health and well-being of Africa, I join the leaders of pro-family groups in South Africa in declaring the importance of marriage in culture, and in protecting that providential institution from those who would impose a radical redefinition."
Tonkowich also criticized the African National Congress (ANC)-led government, which used strong-arm tactics to push the law through parliament.
"When the ANC's caucus chairman refuses to allow a vote of conscience to its members on such a divisive issue, he goes against the democratic principles South Africans fought decades for. We might be seeing a different result today if the South African public was able to have an open vote on this issue."