Speaking to the Select Committee yesterday, 22 January, representatives from the Tongan community expressed their concern that same sex marriage would destroy the traditional Tongan family structure.
The Tongan Branch of the Methodist Church explained that “Within a marriage between a male and a female, the female person’s maternal uncle or ‘fa’e tangata’ has a different obligation to that of the male person’s paternal aunty or ‘fahu’.”
“The fahu, the highest-ranking woman in the family, can only have that rank if her brother is married to a woman and they have children.”
They say that same sex marriage is “unnatural” and goes against Gods intention that a man and a woman would create children for the world, “Gays and lesbians cannot produce children,” they say.
A group representing the Tongan christian churches, Kainga Tonga o Aotearoa, also presented to the committee and say that gays in their community believe that marriage should stay between a man and a woman. ”They said we know our boundaries, marriage belongs to religious culture, we support you.”
The Select Committee will continue to hear verbal submissions this week in Auckland before moving on to Christchurch.
| Sarah Murphy