From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Sexual orientation no reason to violate rights,

Date Mon, 2 Aug 2004 16:18:08 -0500

Note #8448 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Sexual orientation no reason to violate rights, WARC delegates told
August 2, 2004

Sexual orientation no reason to violate rights, WARC delegates told

by Noel Bruyns
Ecumenical News International

ACCRA, Ghana - Members of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches have
different views on homosexuality but Christians can agree that it is wrong to
violate human rights because of sexual orientation, WARC general secretary
Setri Nyomi told delegates at the alliance's general council meeting in

He said that the alliance's executive committee had engaged in a study of
where member churches stood, after the issue of the rights of gays and
lesbians had been raised at the 1997 general council, the last worldwide
assembly which took place in Hungary.

"While it is clear they have a variety of views on gays and lesbians, the
executive committee came to the conclusion that we can together as Christians
at least agree on the fact that it is wrong to violate the human rights of
anybody for any reason - including sexual orientation," Nyomi said.

The issue of homosexuality has been a major point of contention in other
world church groupings, such as the Anglican Communion which faces a
potential split over a liturgy in Canada for same-sex blessings and the
election in the United States of an openly gay bishop.

The Reformed alliance had a long-standing commitment to human rights,
recalled Nyomi who comes from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana.

"We may not agree with everyone whose rights we defend, but we certainly have
a Christian calling to be vigilant against denying people rights simply
because they are different from us," he said

In his speech to the 400 delegates and 600 other participants at the Accra
meeting, Nyomi said the Reformed alliance had been focusing on economic,
ecological and gender justice.

The alliance had also made presentations against rights abuses to the United
Nations Commission on Human Rights and spoke out against the death penalty
and domestic violence against women and children.

Priority had been placed on seeking to speak with unity on justice in the
economy and the earth, challenging member churches to embrace mission as a
partnership of women and men, and empowering young people in the church and
the world.

Stories from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches about the 24th General
Council may be found on the WARC  Web site (

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