Bishops propose solution for full access to same-sex marriage rites

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Posted Jun 29, 2018

“Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing” was one of the rites General Convention authorized in 2015 for trial use. Photo: Church Publishing Inc.

[Episcopal News Service] Three bishops have proposed a resolution on same-sex marriage that “seeks to ensure that all of God’s people have access to all the marriage liturgies of the church, regardless of diocese, while respecting the pastoral direction and conscience of the local bishop.”

Long Island Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, Pittsburgh Bishop Dorsey McConnell and Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisely said in a news release late on June 28 that their Resolution B012 is “an attempt to move the church forward in an atmosphere of mutual respect, reconciliation and the love of Jesus Christ.”

The resolution continues to authorize the two trial-use marriage rites first approved by the 2015 meeting of General Convention without time limit and without seeking a revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

“Given our particular time in history, this resolution provides a way forward for the whole church without the possible disruption of ministry that might be caused by the proposed revision of the Book of Common Prayer,” the three bishops said.

Resolution B012 proposes that access to the liturgies be provided in all dioceses, without requiring the permission of the diocesan bishop. Instead, congregations that want to use the rites but whose bishops have refused permission may request and will receive Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) from another bishop of the church who would provide access to the liturgies. DEPO is a 14-year-old mechanism devised by the House of Bishops for congregations that disagree with their diocesan bishops on matter of human sexuality and other theological matters.

Access to the rites has been a sticking point from the beginning in a small number of dioceses.

General Convention in 2015 authorized the two marriage rites for trial use (Resolution A054) by both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The bishops and deputies also made the canonical definition (via Resolution A036) of marriage gender-neutral.

The Task Force on the Study of Marriage said in its Blue Book Report it found widespread acceptance of the rite across the church except that eight diocesan bishops in the 101 domestic dioceses have not authorized their use.

The task force is proposing (via Resolution A085) that convention require all bishops in authority to “make provision for all couples asking to be married in this church to have reasonable and convenient access to these trial rites.” It also would have convention say that bishops will “continue the work of leading the church in comprehensive engagement with these materials and continue to provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.”

Episcopalians who support that effort have been active ahead of convention. Claiming the Blessing, which formed in 2002 to advocate for the “full inclusion of all the baptized in all sacraments of the church,” according to its website, has published an advocacy piece. Some Episcopalians in the Diocese of Dallas have developed a website called “Dear General Convention” that includes videos and written stories about people who cannot be married in that diocese.

The task force’s Resolution A085 also calls for adding the trial-use liturgies to the Book of Common Prayer. And, it proposes changes to the prayer book’s other marriage rites, prefaces and sections of the Catechism to make language gender-neutral.

When General Convention authorized the trial liturgies for use, not all dioceses’ civil jurisdictions allowed same-sex marriage. Church canons require compliance with both civil and canonical requirements for marriage.

Since 2015, Colombia has enacted marriage equality and Taiwan is set do so by May 2019. A ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights this past January in a case brought by Costa Rica effectively requires members states of the American Convention on Human Rights to enact civil marriage-equality laws. The ruling effects the Dioceses of Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Honduras. However, it is not clear when or if those countries’ legislatures or courts will act on the ruling.

Moreover, Inter-American court action does not apply to Venezuela. And, the diocese includes Curaçao, a Dutch territory that does not allow same-sex marriage despite the Netherlands’ enactment of marriage equality in 2000. The same is true for the British Virgin Islands, part of the Diocese of the Virgin Islands. Among the countries in the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, Italy and Switzerland do not allow same-sex marriage. And, it appears that residents of American Samoa, part of the Episcopal Church, do not have marriage equality. A description of the status of marriage quality worldwide is here.

Five Province IX diocesan bishops and one retired bishop representing the dioceses of Ecuador Litoral, Ecuador Central, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Honduras had warned the task force that if convention makes changes about marriage that would force them “to accept social and cultural practices that have no biblical basis or acceptance in Christian worship,” the action would “greatly deepen the breach, the division and the Ninth Province will have to learn to walk alone.” The bishops of Colombia and Puerto Rico did not sign the statement.

To address their concerns, Resolution B012 also calls for a Task Force on Communion Across Difference, “tasked with finding a lasting path forward for all Episcopalians in one church, without going back on General Convention’s clear decision to extend marriage to all couples, and its firm commitment to provide access to all couples seeking to be married in this church,” the three bishops’ news release said. The task force would seek a path consistent with the church’s polity and the 2015 “Communion across Difference” statement of the House of Bishops, prompted by bishops who objected to convention’s actions on marriage.

Seven bishops, five who refuse to authorize the rites and two of the five bishops who signed the Province IX statement, said on June 28 that they will implement Resolution B012 if it is passed.

“Should the proposal before us pass, we would entrust in charity congregations that do not read Holy Scripture in this way to the care of other bishops in the Episcopal Church with whom we remain united in baptism,” they wrote. “While we cannot endorse every aspect of this proposal, we will be grateful should it help us all to continue contending with one another for the truth in love within one body.”

Provenzano, McConnell and Knisley praised that pledge. In addition, they said, “since the canons of the church state that General Convention may set terms and conditions for trial-use rites, the terms and conditions specified in this resolution have by extension canonical force. All bishops are obliged to abide by these terms and conditions, as by canon law. We believe that they will hold if challenged.”

The proposing bishops contend in their news release that their proposal “allows conservatives to flourish within the structures of the Episcopal Church, but not at the expense of progressive congregations in conservative dioceses. While at first glance it may sound unnecessarily complex, it is a ‘middle way’ that makes room for all in one church.”

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is the Episcopal News Service’s senior editor and reporter.

A previous version of this story gave the wrong name for the Diocese of Pittsburgh bishop. This version also clarifies three things: that B012 would require bishops to grant all requests for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight, the number of bishops signing the June 28 statement and the status of marriage-equality laws across the countries of the Episcopal Church.


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Comments (29)

  1. Larry Waters says:

    I believe that God made women and men the way He did for a specific reason. And for that reason, again my belief, marriage should be between opposite sex people in the church or civilly. Conversely, if same sex couples want to be together, then the church should not be involved but let those same sex couples be joined in a civil ceremony. The same sex couples would have all the “legal ” and spiritual protections as heterosexual couples, but the “marriage” remains in the church for opposite sex couples.

    1. Bruce Bogin says:

      Mr. Waters, your comment puzzles me. Didn’t the same God who “…..made women and men the way he did for a specific purpose…..” also make homosexual people for some specific purpose which we do not understand. If the same God made some people heterosexual and made others homosexual, why shouldn’t they all be treated alike both by civil authority, churches and society? God doesn’t seem to differentiate or discriminate? Why should we?

  2. Joan Geiszler-Ludlum says:

    Resolution B012 offers open-ended trial use without any eventual amendment of the Book of Common Prayer. Providing the liturgies for marriage for trial use in this manner relegates the liturgies for marriages of same-sex couples to perpetual second-class status. At some point, preferably sooner rather than later, these liturgies need to stand beside the current Prayer Book marriage liturgy as authorized alternatives. Baptized committed members of this Church and the LGBTQ+ communities have been waiting over 40 years for this Church to value and bless their committed, lifelong relationships on the same footing as the Church values and blesses the committed, lifelong relationships of different-sex couples. How much longer will we make them wait?

  3. Ruth Meyers says:

    The bishops’ resolution deals only with the marriage liturgies approved for trial use in 2015, not other revisions proposed by the Task Force on the Study of Marriage. Resolution A085 would also change “Concerning the Service” of Marriage and the Catechism to state that marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two people. This language allows room for broad interpretation: those who understand marriage to be available to same-sex couples as well as different-sex couples, and those who understand that the two people must be a man and a woman. The trial-use liturgies would be added to the Prayer Book, not replacing the current marriage service, and so not requiring anyone to use the gender-neutral versions of the rite.

  4. Thomas Ely says:

    I think there is some genuine well intended effort behind this resolution, but I think it is limited in scope and effectiveness. I wish there had been some conversation with bishops and deputies who served on the Task Force for the Study of Marriage (I was one) in the same way that there appears to have been conversation with some Communion Partner Bishops. I would also add that following the 2015 GC, the Presiding Bishop appointed a “Communion Across Differences” Task Force of bishops, to which the bishop members of the TFSM reached out for conversation. Sadly, those conversations never materialized. Calling for such a Task Force in resolution B012 might be a good thing but would be better proposed (IMO) as a separate resolution. Let the substance of B012 as it relates to A085 be considered by Legislative Committee #13. My first reading and reflection on B012 is that it continues to relegate marriage of same-sex couples to a 2nd class status (not BCP) and the DEPO language used is vague and begs the question of whether every couple desiring to be married in The Episcopal Church, will be able to do so in their home church, by their local priest. I look forward to the thoughts of others and to conversation in Committee #13, of which I am a member.

  5. Susan Russell says:

    My take: B012 is a well-intentioned but badly framed effort at compromise that creates more problems than it solves. It enshrines a separate and ergo inherently unequal status of second class access to the sacrament of marriage for same-sex couples. And it privileges the theological consciences of some Episcopalians over the 1976 promise of “full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church” to the LGBTQ baptized. We can do better. As laity, clergy and bishops working together we can craft legislation that guarantees that no one will be compelled to participate in nor to preside at any marriage — and at the same time assures that no one will be denied access to the sacramental rites for marriage offered by this church to its members. I believe A085 gets us a long way toward that goal and look forward to the work of Legislative Committee 13 as we work together to listen to the Holy Spirit as she continues to call the Episcopal Church into God’s future.

  6. Wayne Helmly says:

    It pains me that some of my siblings cannot be married in their parish, with their priest officiating. That is a privilege that I had, and I will cherish for the rest of my life.

    But I also grieve over the fact that this is problematic for some, especially (but not exclusively) those in Province IX. I understand that loving Christians can disagree about theology.

    I’m am praying that the Spirit moves over GC and that same-sex couples, allies, and our more conservative siblings can find a way forward that is loving and affirming for us all.

    I’m not suggesting that GC stop or delay the realization of the “full and equal claim,” but I pray a way can be found to be gracious.

    As for B012, I would also remind us that equality is not selective; it’s everywhere or nowhere. Separate but equal has never been (and never will be) equal.

  7. Doug Desper says:

    God designed marriage perfectly (1 man/1woman). Jesus calls our attention back to that first design (“in the beginning”) by including the Genesis 2 quotes in the Matthew 19 narrative. That word from Christ himself to clarify marriage was left out of the Marriage Study and those who put their name on such a flawed effort should be ashamed for that. I, for one, think that the study was designed to support a pre-determined outcome. The Marriage Study is nothing other than a device to move the Church to accept a conclusion that marriage is “evolving” and that the Church can, therefore, invent new definitions. Odd that Jesus didn’t get that memo when he shut down any debate on what marriage should look like. He told hard-headed religious experts to basically go back and read their Scripture and follow it, in the case of marriage, to go back to Genesis. “Haven’t you read…?” Jesus asked of the experts. Of course they had read Genesis 2, but what the read didn’t fit what they wanted. Promoters of the novelty of same gender marriage like to say that anything less than full equality is treating people as second class members of the Church. They, however, set up that false equivalency to start with by having absolutely no Scriptural warrant to alter marriage. Marriage was designed perfectly. Any human meddling to that design will always be second class.

    1. Matt Ouellette says:

      That statement from Jesus was addressing divorce, not same-sex marriage. It’s disingenuous, in my opinion, to use Jesus’ teaching on divorce, which includes an affirmation of heterosexual marriage, to condemn something Jesus wasn’t addressing. Also, there are plenty of ways to read Scripture in a way that affirms marriage equality. I recommend God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines for starters. It is not true that all affirming Christians deny the authority of Scripture, we just interpret it differently.

      1. Doug Desper says:

        Matt, a question about divorce was the setting for Jesus’ clarification about marriage as the whole. He didn’t address divorce apart from original design. What stands out was that Jesus returned listeners to “the beginning” in order to understand relationships. In the Lord’s day every kind of pairing up had been tried and was being practiced. In that context He put any question back to the frame of reference of Genesis 2. Gay marriage is a novelty defended by hosts of authors but there is not one successful argument to counter Jesus’ conservative understanding of Genesis 2 as the norm.

        1. Matt Ouellette says:

          Again, an affirmation of heterosexual marriage is not a condemnation of gay marriage. And no, Jesus did not address any other form of relationship in this scriptural reference; this reference is specific for divorce, so you will need to point to other scriptural arguments to make your case on other issues. It is wrong to use this scriptural reference to make it condemn something that it is not addressing. And asking people in gay relationships to consecrate their relationships in the sacrament of marriage and to remain intimate only within the confines of marriage and only with their partner is not a novel sexual disciple, but is an ancient Christian discipline. The only change is recognizing that these relationships can happen either heterosexually or homosexually, which is needed given the relatively new discovery of sexual orientation as an unchanging component of a person’s identity. It is the fulfillment St. Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7:9 that it is better to marry than to burn (and no, heterosexual marriage will not satisfy this need to gay people who are not attracted to the opposite sex).

  8. Robert Button says:

    I trust and pray that after General Convention the sacrament of marriage will be available in all dioceses, including my own in Dallas. B012 should not be blindly accepted – it is offered at the last minute as an alternative to A085 which resulted from careful, deliberate study over many years by the Task Force. It is time to act and ensure that “separate but equal” no longer applies to The Episcopal Church.

  9. Robert Walker says:

    As a 76 year old gay man I write from personal experience. I knew that I was “different” from other boys at an early age. My parents noticed also. When hormones kicked in during my teen years, I discovered what exactly was different. It has been both a blessing (when I was in a loving, committed, exclusive relationship for many years), but also a burden due to the treatment and opinions of those who are what they call “normal”. While gay men and women have long been part of God’s creation, we are now more visible due to changes in laws and attitudes of heterosexual persons. However, perhaps God has increased our numbers? Only God knows, but perhaps it is an answer to the pending overpopulation of our planet. The earth given to us by God can support only a limited number of people and while I am not a scientist and do not know what that number is, I am sure that there must be a limit. This comment is only meant to give people something to think about and not to create discord. We are all of the same faith and Church. Think of all that unites us, not what we may disagree on.

  10. Joan Gundersen says:

    Let’s get something straight. Marriage is NOT a sacrament. It is a sacramental rite. Take a look at the Catechism in the current BCP. Pages 857-58 address what is a sacrament. There are two: Baptism and Eucharist. Pages 860-861 address “Other Sacramental Rites” and read the first two questions and answers. In the BCP the various rites for marriage are included under “Pastoral Offices.” According to the rubrics for marriage, the marriage is a solemn covenant and the only purpose of the priest is really to pronounce the blessing and celebrate communion if it is included. So . . . let’s stop calling marriage a sacrament. Having said that, I support all couples being able to have their unions blessed by making their vows in church. I do not support piecemeal revision of the BCP which is what is being proposed by the Task Force on Marriage. I believe that it would be better to create approved resources in ADDITION to the BCP with equal canonical standing. Is this somehow separate but unequal? Not if they have full canonical status. That is the way the Church of England has handled liturgical revision. What the Bishops are proposing is a step towards that, but does not go far enough. DEPO leaves a number of church members without the ability to say their vows in their own parish. However, my guess is that most of them would be refused by their priest EVEN IF the task force version passes. Also note that according to our TEC canons Title III.9.6.a.2 “gives the Rector or Priest-in-Charge use and control of the Church and Parish buildings, its furnishings and records. Thus bringing in another priest also could be stopped by the rector. Something like what the bishops are proposing may be the only thing that has a chance of passing in the HOB. Thus a question for us all is whether we would accept a half loaf rather than none.

    1. Matt Ouellette says:

      I agree with your support for marriage equality, but as an Anglo-Catholic I do believe that marriage is a sacrament, one that both gay and straight couples should have access to. It being labeled a sacramental rite doesn’t mean it can’t also be a sacrament, just not on par with the Dominical sacraments of baptism and Eucharist. However, I understand that there are more Protestant theological interpretations on marriage in our church, and I respect our differences of opinions on this issue.

  11. Larry Waters says:

    Mr. Bogin, re: your comment on June 30th, Since I believe that marriage is something sacred between a woman and man, then I would humbly propose that the “sacred rite” of marriage be fulfilled in a church between opposite sex couples. Same sex couples who desire to be together can certainly have a civil ceremony performed, and they would be welcomed in the EC as a spiritual and legal couple. I think society, the EC, people in general, and civil authorities don’t discriminate against same sex couples. There will ALWAYS be evil people who are ugly toward same sex couples the same as there will always be bigotry. Regrettably, those are human traits. My comments hinge of the belief that marriage , in the church,should be only between opposite sex couples. My guess is that the EC will approve same sex marriage and that conservative people like me will simply leave the EC. I try to treat all people equally [whether I succeed is problematic, I am sure] regardless of their sexual identity or ethnicity.

    1. Matt Ouellette says:

      My question to you would be, wouldn’t it be right to bless a union of same-sex couples and not just leave it to the civil courts? Surely something important like two people committing themselves to one another in life-long, covenantial monogamy should be celebrated by the church. Do you think some of Bishop Gunter’s ideas might be feasible?
      http://anoddworkofgrace.blogspot.com/2015/06/how-i-came-to-change-my-mind-on-ssu.html

  12. Enoch Opuka says:

    I also posit that marriage in church should be between man and woman but those of the same sex should be through civil means. There is room for each group. It has been proved that divorce among same sex marriage is so high – including the marriage of the Bishop of NH. But we should not forget that whether one is straight or gay they are still children of God and loved by God.

    1. Matt Ouellette says:

      Do you have any statistics to back up your claim that gay marriages have a divorce rate higher than heterosexual marriages? I am very skeptical of that claim.

  13. Bill Louis says:

    I believe the Sacrament of Marriage is for a man and a woman and should stay that way. I don’t care who sleeps with who be it a man/man or woman/woman. I work with gay people and I respect their decisions an get along with them. If they want a legal bond then I believe a civil ceremony is the way to go not via the EC The convention is a celebration of the liberal’s agenda. Just look at the Article: A Summary Guide….. I think the EC will pass the resolution approving same sex marriages and move ahead with changes or replacement the 1976 Prayer book. There a liberal EC’s all over the US and if they care to perform marriages thats their prerogative . I won’t leave my church because other churches feel they need to accommodate same sex marriages, however, I will leave the EC the first time my church performs one. I don’t really care what the Dioceses do. I’ve dismissed them long ago. I don’t contribute to the part of my church’s budget that the Dioceses pilfer and as long as our rector does not promote the EC’s liberal agenda I will continue to worship there.

    1. Enoch Opuka says:

      Bill Louis – you have spoken well.

    2. Matthew Ouellette says:

      But gay Christians don’t just want their unions recognized by civil courts and secular society. As Christians, we want our relationships blessed by the Church. So unless you have any other ideas on how to have gay relationships blessed and affirmed in the Church, opening the sacrament of marriage to gay couples is the simplest solution. And it’s not a liberal agenda to perform same-sex marriage, as there are plenty of orthodox believers (like myself) who believe gay relationships should be affirmed via marriage in the Church. I know you are a political conservative, and would probably rather the Church be the Republican Party at prayer, but that is not who we are as a Church.

    3. Robert Walker says:

      Bill, if you do not pledge financial support to your parish’s budget for fear the bishop will “pilfer” the parish’s money. I have an observation. You must know that each parish must contribute a set amount each month to the diocese and if you are giving any financial support to your home parish, how do you manage to keep it out of the parish’s checking account from which the diocese “asking’s” are given each month? It seems you must have created a very complicated way to manage to keep what is essentially God’s money, as all we have comes from God, out of the hands of your bishop, all because you disagree with him or the standing committee of your diocese. I fear that you are punishing your parish rather than your diocese with whatever system you have devised to “selectively support” your parish, which you love.

  14. Matt Ouellette says:

    Gay Christians don’t just want their relationships recognized by civil courts and secular society. As Christians, we want our relationships blessed and affirmed by the Church, just like heterosexual couples. And unless you have any ideas on other ways to bless and affirm gay relationships in the Church in a way that is on par with heterosexual couples, the simplest solution is to open the Sacrament of Marriage to gay couples. This is not a liberal agenda, as there are plenty of orthodox believers in the Church (like myself) who think this is how the Church should minister to gay Christians. I know you are a political conservative and would probably be much happier if our Church were either the Republican Party at prayer or completely apolitical, but neither of those are who we are as the Church. Our calling as Christians requires us to stand up for social justice, and that means sometimes supporting things that will upset Republicans as well as Democrats.

    1. Bill Louis says:

      I am not a republican nor would I be happy with a republican prayer service just a traditional Anglican type service. Our congregation is diverse and we respect each other’s opinion. So far, I have not heard much support for same sex marriage from those in my church.
      Here’s the problem. Those that do believe in same sex marriage in the church are OK with shoving down the throats of those that don’t believe in it and you have the support of the EDUSA which we all financial support. So like it or not the choice for those of us that of us that not happy with going in that direction is to leave the EC or attempt to break away. If the choice is to break away then the EDUSA is free to defrock the rector and confiscate the church’s property and assets. The only choice then is to leave which I believe many will do. So, eventually the EC will be left with only those that will be perfectly happy with a liberal/democratic prayer service.

      1. Matt Ouellette says:

        Again, my question to you is what should LGBTQ+ people in the church do, in your opinion, if they want their relationship affirmed by the church and blessed, if not open the sacrament to marriage to them? Arguing for civil recognition only is not good enough for Christians, in my opinion. We are citizens of the kingdom of God first and foremost. Would some of these ideas from Bishop Gunter be of interest to you?
        http://anoddworkofgrace.blogspot.com/2015/06/how-i-came-to-change-my-mind-on-ssu.html
        This isn’t about shoving our views down the throats of conservatives, it’s about making space for LGBTQ+ Christians, which I’m sorry to say the non-affirming side does not adequately do.

    2. Doug Desper says:

      Matt: I understand the desires, the wants, and so forth, but the novelty of creating and endorsing gay marriage is untenable based on even the most sincere emotion and demand. There is nothing in Scripture or Apostolic Tradition which permits redefining God’s first institution for humanity. It was already designed perfectly. The Episcopal Church leadership has messed up royally by promoting that respecting the dignity of all equates to the same as demands that must be accommodated. The silence of Jesus on homosexual marriage is mistakenly being seen as being permission. But weigh a certainty against the novelty and the conclusion is the same. Only same gender marriage is Biblically supported in Genesis 2 and by the mouth of our Lord Himself. By using liberal revisionists’ standards of emotions and equating dignity with affirmation the Church in the not so far future will have to bless other kinds of relationships just because they are demanded. Having jettisoned Genesis 2 as authoritative, the Church of the future – whatever is left of it – will have to respect the dignity of 3 or more people wanting to be married, or whatever variations humanity decides to invent (those vibrations are already underway). Anything other than 1 man/1woman is an invented novelty and not part of the catholic and apostolic teachings passed to this generation. American individualism is not doctrine; at least it used not to be.

      At the rate of our institutional decline none of this will matter in about 40 years. Whatever is left of the Episcopal Church will be very niche, isolated, and a microscopic minority on the Christian landscape. We have only a half-million (maybe) showing up on Sundays now, and in 40 years a once proud and relevant Church will have the vitality of the Shaker movement. All of us obstacles to liberal advancement will be dead and gone. Meanwhile, I affirm the dignity and value of all people but do not have to trade in the Scriptures on demand to do so.

      1. Matt Ouellette says:

        It’s not mere “desires,” Doug. It’s an orientation directed exclusively towards the same gender, much like heterosexuality is exclusively towards opposite genders. The reason neither Scripture nor Tradition deals with this is because it was not something they were aware of. Sexual orientation was discovered in the late 19th century. Prior to that, homosexuality was assumes to be the result of an excess of sexual desire. Due to the assumption that homosexuality was associated with lust, it made sense that the church in the past condemned it. However, we know now that this assumption is wrong and that homosexuality is no more lustful than heterosexuality. Therefore, in order to fulfill St. Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7:9, gay people should be allowed to marry to avoid burning with passion (and no, heterosexual marriage doesn’t work here). It’s a better, more pastoral response than the novel teaching of mandatory, life-long celibacy taught by non-affirming Christians.

        Genesis 2 isn’t about gender complementarity, but about companionship (it is not good that the man should be alone), so gay marriage does not undermine its authority but rather reinterprets it. This is not mere liberal feel-good ideology, but well-thought-out theology. Again, I recommend God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines.

  15. Daniel Smith says:

    All you folks who believe that one man marry one woman is enshrined in the Bible need to think again. Women had no say in choosing a husband. Families arranged marriages and sometimes there was an exchange of animals at the same time. How many goats do I need to buy me a wife? Solomon’s wives and concubines give a good example of traditional marriage, don’t they? My point is that there were many kinds of marriages in Bible times. So tell me what you think is a traditional marriage, please.

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