KOTA KINABALU - The Anglican church here will not allow same-sex marriages to take place on its premises, said newly installed Anglican bishop Melter Jiki.
The 50-year-old bishop, who is the first native Kadazan chosen to lead the 90,000-strong Anglican community in the state, said this when asked about the church's policies and what to expect during his tenure.
"We are totally against the so-called same-sex marriage. We will not allow it in the church," said the father of four who was installed as the sixth Anglican bishop in Sabah on Tuesday.
Some Anglican churches in European countries have accepted gay marriages and even performed the ceremony in their churches.
Bishop Melter said while other Anglican dioceses and provinces decided to ordain women to the priesthood, South-East Asia had not taken the step yet.
"We are not ready for such a move.
"We are also not sure whether we will be open to the idea any time soon," he said.
Bishop Melter was appointed bishop of the diocese on Feb 20, replacing the late Bishop Albert Vun who passed away on July 15 last year.
The new bishop was born in Kg Nangoh, Labuk, Sandakan, and was ordained into the Anglican priesthood in 1993.
He has served in various capacities in many parts of the state.
The installation service was carried out at 5pm at the All Saints Cathedral in Kota Kinabalu.
The service was conducted by Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church in South-East Asia Datuk Bolly Lapok, who is also the bishop of the diocese of Kuching.
He was assisted by the bishop of the Diocese of West Malaysia Datuk Ng Moon Hing and the Bishop of the Diocese of Singapore Rennis Ponniah.