Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

God Created Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve-- Southern Baptists

Southern Baptist Convention Vetoes Gay Marriage


God created Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve, says Southern Baptist Convention.

In another skirmish in the conflict between religious and gay rights, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution supporting natural marriage this week. Citing verses from the bible, the SBC Resolutions Committee created a document stating, in part, "Any law that directly contradicts natural law and biblical truth is an unjust law."

The traditionalist Christian group did not go so far as to advocate violating US law, but did respectfully disagree with the 2015 decision made by the US Supreme Court to legitimize gay marriage, not only on the basis of the bible, but on the basis of the constitution - a position shared by some legal scholars who have no religious ax to grind. The SBC writes that redefining marriage "does violence to the Constitution."

The concern of the SBC appears to be the right of individuals to exercise their religious liberty in disagreeing with the legitimacy of gay marriage. They "urge lawmakers to pass legislation that protects religious liberty, and stands in solidarity to those who have faced religious discrimination."

Christians and other who disagree with the secular government's definition of marriage have been socially shamed and legally challenged when they have attempted to apply their first amendment rights to the free exercise of religion.

In the late 20th century, religious rites of marriage without legal recognition became increasingly common. The first law providing for marriage of people of the same sex in modern times was enacted in 2001 in the Netherlands. As of 28 April 2016, fifteen countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay) and certain sub-jurisdictions (parts of Denmark, Mexico, the Netherlands,] New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) allow same-sex couples to marry. A similar law in Finland is not yet in force. Polls show rising support for legally recognizing same-sex marriage in the Americas, Australia and most of Europe.

However, as of 2016 South Africa is the only African country where same-sex marriage is recognized, and although no country in Asia allows same-sex marriage ceremonies, Israel accepts same-sex marriages performed overseas.

In certain Middle Eastern Islamic countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by death, as prescribed by Sharia law.

Introduction of same-sex marriage laws has varied by jurisdiction, being variously accomplished through legislative change to marriage laws, a court ruling based on constitutional guarantees of equality, or by direct popular vote (via ballot initiative or referendum). The recognition of same-sex marriage is a political and social issue, and also a religious issue in many countries, and debates continue to arise over whether people in same-sex relationships should be allowed marriage or some similar status (a civil union).

Same-sex marriage can provide those in same-sex relationships who pay their taxes with government services and make financial demands on them comparable to those afforded to and required of those in opposite-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage also gives them legal protections such as inheritance and hospital visitation rights.[8] Various faith communities around the world support allowing those of the same sex to marry, while many major religions oppose same-sex marriage. Opponents of same-sex marriages have argued that recognition of same-sex marriages would erode religious freedoms, undermine a right of children to be raised by their biological mother and father or erode the institution of marriage itself.


Reader Comments

wearesinned writes:

As a Christian gay marriage supporter (like majority of millenial evangelicals), I do not fault the church for being against the definition of marriage. Marriage for many has always been between one man and one woman for many and people are free to believe being gay, sex before marriage or eating pork is an act against God, but their beliefs should not compel them to take actions on others such as refusal to serve pizza. Let's support the First Amendment and love each other as Jesus said.

integrityrules writes:

Who cares what the Baptist convention thinks? Same-sex marriage for gay people is the law of the land. The last time a church could circumvent a county's laws was...never. Anti-gay bigotry is a cancer in any religion. Every anti-gay church that tries to teach their parishioners that gays are evil or sinners runs the risk of riling up a disturbed, unstable individual, just like the shooter in the Orlando tragedy. Discrimination against gays has got to stop.


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