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Pitcairn Island, population 48, passes law to allow same-sex marriage

Tiny Pacific island has no gay couples but follows countries which have approved legislation

Pitcairn Island has passed a law to allow same-sex marriage.

Pitcairn Island has passed a law to allow same-sex marriage. Photograph: Alamy

Pitcairn Island, a tiny speck in the Pacific that is home to just 48 people, has passed a law allowing same-sex marriage, but has no gay couples wanting to wed.

First settled in 1790, Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory that has some legal autonomy and is often considered the world’s smallest country by population.

Islanders are descended from the mutineers of the British navy vessel Bounty and their Tahitian companions.

Pitcairn deputy governor Kevin Lynch said on Monday the new law came into effect on 15 May but initially was not published online after the island’s website encountered some technical problems.

He said the change was suggested by British authorities after England, Wales and Scotland legalised same-sex marriage last year. He said the law change was unanimously approved by the local council.

Seventh-generation resident Meralda Warren said there had been no same-sex marriages since the law passed and she did not know of any gay couples wanting to marry.

As with most law changes, she said, a notice was put up on the verandah of the town hall and a second at the island’s general store.

It’s not Pitcairn Islanders that were pushing for it,” she said. “But it’s like anything else in the world. It’s happening everywhere else, so why not?”

She said it wasn’t even a point of discussion until the outside world began catching up on the news in the past few days.

“I kind of cracked up when I saw the Google alert in my inbox,” she said. “I scanned down and smiled again, and thought, ‘We’ve kept that one quiet for a couple of months.’”

Warren said she knew of just one islander who had identified as gay, and that was a long time ago. And she said any gay couples wanting to marry might have difficulty, as the island’s only preacher was a Seventh-Day Adventist, a religion which opposes gay marriage. She said the island administrator might be able to officiate.

Rodney Croome, the national director of the same-sex advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality, said even if there were no gay couples living on Pitcairn, there might be some who had left the island who could return to marry.

“And assuming there’s not a residency requirement, I could imagine some couples from off the island might find it a romantic destination, including Australians who can’t marry in their own country.”

Croome said the law change also sent an important message.

“It shows how much the islanders value equality and inclusion,” he said. “It effectively says that gay islanders belong on Pitcairn Island as much as anyone else, and that’s a positive message.”

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2 Peter 6_18, "By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen."

Pr T 

seems like you did not read the post its all there in Black and white.

Pastor T

Pastor Neville Toesen did plenty so much he was deported and sent home, so appalled he threatened the members with the Queen and criminal investigations....it is a sickening story...and the same sex marriage is only a front hiding a much deeper secret evil....

May we too stand up against the backsliding in our churches and help with hard love discipline as required, as well as soft love nurture, we sheep so desperately need.

Shalom

Indeed Rob the Church needs to grow a backbone.

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