If we had bacon …
If we had bacon, we could have bacon and eggs, if we had eggs.
I thought that quote was particularly apt when I learned today that the world’s smallest nation had legalised same-sex marriage.
We reaffirm, without hesitation, our long-standing position as expressed in the Church’s Fundamental Beliefs: ‘Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship.’
The Seventh Day Adventists once trumpeted their association with Pitcairn, but back in 2004, when the island found itself embroiled in a sex abuse scandal, pastor Ray Coombe, above, a senior Seventh Day Adventist minister from Australia serving as temporary pastor on Pitcairn, said:
According to this report, seventh-generation resident Meralda Warren said she knew of just one islander who had identified as gay – and that was a long time ago.
But if the island had any gay couples wanting to marry they might be able to get island administrator to perform a non-religious ceremony, she added.
Pitcairn Island (National anthem: “Come Ye Blessed”) – approved gay marriage in mid-May, but the news has only just reached the outside world. Deputy Governor Kevin Lynch explained yesterday that the new law hadn’t been published online because the island’s website had encountered some technical issues.
He said the change was suggested by British authorities after England, Wales and Scotland legalised same-sex marriage last year. He added the law change was unanimously approved by the local council.
Warren pointed out that, as with most law changes, 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. But it’s like anything else in the world. It’s happening everywhere else, so why not?
Rodney Croome, the national director of the same-sex advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality, said even if there are no gay couples currently living on Pitcairn, there could be some who had left the island who might be able to return and 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 sends an important message.
It shows how much the islanders value equality and inclusion. It effectively says that gay islanders belong on Pitcairn Island as much as anyone else, and that’s a positive message.
First settled in 1790, Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory that has some legal autonomy. It 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. The Pitcairn Islands group comprises Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno.
Pitcairn is the only one that’s inhabited. It’s a small volcanic outcrop situated in the South Pacific at latitude 25.04 south and longitude 130.06 west. It is roughly 2170km (1350 miles) east south-east of Tahiti and just over 6600km (4100 miles) from Panama. The Islands’ administrative headquarters are situated in Auckland New Zealand, 5310km (3300 miles) away.
You can see some great shots of Pitcairn here.