The Supreme Court & Same-Sex Marriage
Presented Friday, November 6, 2015
Bishop Rosemary Lands
Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage
In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court on Friday, June 26, 2015, ruled that samesex couples can marry nationwide, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a historic victory. States may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.
Major Churches in the U.S. that allow same-sex marriage:
The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to redefine marriage as “a commitment between two
people, traditionally a man and a woman,” formally allowing same-sex marriages within the
church. The vote to modify the church constitution follows last year’s recommendation from
the church’s General Assembly.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America allows same-sex couples to get married, but
leaves it up to individual ministers of congregations to decide, according to a 2009 resolution.
“There is nothing that prescribes who a congregation pastor can marry or not marry, so long
as it is consistent with state law,” ELCA Secretary David Swartling said in 2012.
The Episcopal Church established a rite of blessing for same-sex couples in 2012 and prohibited discrimination against transgender people. It has welcomed gay people since 1976, when
its General Convention decided that “homosexual persons are children of God who have a full
and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and
care of the Church.” Technically it has no official policy sanctioning same-sex marriage, but
it will take up the issue in June.
The United Church of Christ has allowed same-sex couples to get married since 2005. At the
25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, it “affirmed equal marriage
rights for couples regardless of gender and declares that the government should not interfere
with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the
rights, responsibilities and commitment of legally recognized marriage.” It was the first major
Protestant denomination to do so.
Scriptures on Homosexuality
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination. “Do not practice
homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool
yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are
male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards,
or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of
you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right
with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the
natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of
having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful
things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty
they deserved. 28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their
foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.
“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men
have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital
1 Timothy 1:10
The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave
traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.
1 Corinthians 7:2
But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each
woman should have her own husband.
But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation.
And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with
immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve
as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.
And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each
other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within
themselves the penalty they deserved.