26 February 2018 | The South Caribbean Conference of the Adventist Church, which presides over the denomination in Trinidad and Tobago, has run a newspaper advertisement opposing homosexuality and same-sex marriage. The Jamaica Observer reported that the ad defined marriage as being “between a genetic male and a genetic female.”
The ad also stated that the denomination believes that “all people, regardless of gender, race and sexual orientation, are God’s children and as such should be treated with civility, compassion and Christ-like love.”
Same-sex marriage is a hotly debated topic in the Caribbean. Bermuda briefly legalized gay marriage through a Supreme Court ruling last May. However, Bermuda Gov. John Rankin signed a bill into law this month that reversed the earlier Supreme Court ruling and only allows for same-sex domestic partnerships. This allows gay couples similar rights as married couples, without the legal marriage title. In Jamaica, activists are fighting to abolish “anti-buggery” legislation that punishes sodomy with imprisonment and hard labor for up to 10 years.
In its advertisement, the SCC stated that ‘sexual intimacy belongs only within the martial relationship of a man and a woman.” It added that this model “was the design established by God at creation,” and said that the Bible “makes no accommodation for homosexual activity or relationships.”
According to the Adventist denomination’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, the South Caribbean Conference has 126 churches and a membership of 58,070.