June 18, 2014

Where Christian churches, other religions stand on gay marriage

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) plans to hold a historic vote on same-sex marriage this week that could reverberate beyond the church’s nearly 2 million members. Church leaders gathering in Detroit are expected to decide as early as today whether to allow gay marriage or to continue to prohibit it, a move some Christian leaders believe could influence other centrist and liberal mainline Protestant churches as they also grapple with the issue.

FT_14.06.18_ChurchesOnSSM (1)

In the last two decades, several religious groups have moved to allow same-sex couples to marry within their traditions. This includes the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

At the same time, many of the largest religious institutions have remained firmly against allowing same-sex marriage, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Jewish movement, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the Southern Baptist Convention and other evangelical Protestant denominations. (Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project has published a fact sheet on religious groups’ positions on same-sex marriage.)

Among the four largest mainline Protestant churches, however, the same-sex marriage debate has not been so simple. The Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church of America, which opposes same-sex marriage) have wrestled with the issue for years, often as part of a larger debate on the role of gays and lesbians in the church.

And while all of the major mainline denominations now allow gay clergy and welcome openly LGBT members, none of these churches have fully embraced same-sex marriage.

This is not the case for members of the mainline Protestant churches. Indeed, a solid majority of people who identify as mainliners now favor allowing gays and lesbians to wed. In a survey we conducted in February, 62% of mainline Protestants now say they favor same-sex marriage, up from just 34% a decade earlier in 2004.

Of the four mainline Protestant groups, the Evangelical Lutherans have come closest to fully sanctioning same-sex marriage. In 2009, the church passed a resolution recognizing that there was no church-wide consensus on the issue and giving its ministers the option of marrying same-sex couples.

Two other major mainline Protestant denominations now allow congregations to bless same-sex unions. The first to do so was the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which issued a decision in 2000 allowing its ministers to bless same-sex unions as long as those ceremonies do not equate these unions with marriage. In 2012, the Episcopal Church followed suit, approving an official liturgy for blessing same-sex unions that largely resembles a marriage ceremony without officially being one.

The United Methodist Church (which does not allow same-sex blessings or marriages) also has been intensely debating the issue, particularly in the last year or so, after a church court tried and eventually defrocked Frank Schaefer, a Methodist minister who had performed a same-sex marriage ceremony for his gay son. In recent months, the action against Schaeffer has split the church, with some clergy flouting the rules and marrying same-sex couples and other, more conservative, members threatening to leave if the church does not hold to its current rules prohibiting gay marriage.

The Presbyterian, Episcopal and Lutheran churches also have endured similar turmoil over gay marriage and similar issues, with some more liberal congregations and even bishops allowing actual marriage ceremonies (as opposed to blessings) in their churches and other more conservative congregations and bishops officially leaving their national church to protest what they see as its growing acceptance not just of same-sex marriage, but of gay ordination and other related issues.

UPDATE: On June 19, the church’s General Assembly voted to sanction same-sex marriages, a decision that will take effect only if a majority of the church’s 172 regional presbyteries approve it over the next year.

Topics: Christians and Christianity, Gay Marriage and Homosexuality

  1. Photo of David Masci

    is a Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.

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160 Comments

  1. srg writer2 weeks ago

    This is not even a possibility. You cannot knowingly, willingly, go against the word of God, and then call yourself a house of the Lord. His character does not change. We cannot go along with the world, just because it’s the popular stance. The ways of this world are not His ways. Now, I’m not one of those hypocrites who harps on this one sin. There is not less grace for this sin. We are to show love not hate and witness to everyone. But we cannot approve or support any sin. Besides, pastors, those claiming God’s authority to lead, are held to higher standards. If you mislead, especially the young ones, well, held to a much higher standard.

    Reply
  2. Omaki4 weeks ago

    Voting in the church about homosexuality is a Demonic idea, the Church is not a political entity, but relies on the Bible, the word of God, as a manual of it’s operation and no law is paramount to that. Sodoma and Gomora where burnt because of Homosexuality, which means it is not Godly. Please keep the idea of homosexuality out of the church, the holy worship house of God.

    Reply
  3. Laura4 weeks ago

    Same sex marriage should only be between two people who love each other. Why can’t you all get that through your heads? God made all of us, just because it is a sin to love the same sex does not mean that we can’t ask Him for for giveness.

    Reply
    1. Danny2 weeks ago

      I agree totally that you can ask and receive forgiveness, part of the process must include repentance, ( turning away from sin) .

      Reply
    2. srg writer2 weeks ago

      Laura, as Danny said, you can ask and receive forgiveness, grace can’t be used as a free pass to sin without effort to change. And, the church cannot sanction it. They cannot allow members who refuse to repent, to attempt to put sin behind them, to be official members. It is said that if a person refuses to repent they must be asked to leave. Now I assume that a person should be given some time to make the decision before this would happen, but it is state in Romans. You can’t take what you want and leave the rest. That’s not how it works.

      Reply
  4. rameshchauhantng@gmail.com1 month ago

    I accept christian religion.

    Reply
  5. Becktemba Kazemde2 months ago

    How many sins can a church “vote” to accept? None. Those “churches” that condone “Same Sex” marriages are not “Christian” anymore than a Basketball player can be considered a Football player that dribbles on a football field and says he his playing football.

    This is like saying The NBA votes to accept the 3 point shot for NFL teams. Both are sports but play a game with entirely different rules.

    It would be like comparing PGA golf to frisbee golf its just not logical.

    Mainline Frisbee Golfers rule that there is no out of bounds in PGA golf!

    Reply
    1. David2 months ago

      Who make you judge and jury?!? You are neither God nor Jesus, so before you judge and think that you are right, look long and hard in that mirror!!!

      Reply
      1. srg writer2 weeks ago

        David. We are called to hold each other accountable in the church. It’s in Romans. Therefore, actually yes, God did call us to do this. Now you are supposed to consult with other brothers, to assure that you are not mistaken, but we are to keep the church holy. Yes we are also to look in the mirror. Homosexual acts should not be singled out as the only sin to hold people accountable on. But this is the issue being discussed.

        Reply
  6. Mateusz2 months ago

    The most hypocritical religion is protestantism. When you are hetero man and pastor you can even get marry, but in very few protestants denominations homosexuals can marry. I think few days ago maybe God only support civil union and church blessings for homosexuals, but it is possible that maybe Lord support equal right for homosexuals – same sex marriage. I don’t know. I’m conservative catholic and I must be carefull about what want God. When i will be atheist, buddhist or protestant I must support same sex marriage or when I don’t support it I will be most hypocritical and unfair bigot. But I’m conservative catholic and I only support civil union and church blessing. One reason that I don’t know to support these marriages is anger of God.

    Reply
  7. rocket4 months ago

    Hi, It disturbs me that those who want tolerance and acceptance for the life they choose to live, cannot accept that others have chosen to live a life opposite to them. Both in belief and conduct. That is understandable for those who choose to live according to the world will never understand those who choose to live according to God righteous holy ordinances. The strangest annomally is those who call themselves by His name have no fear of the consequences of their actions ( for supporting the homosexual agenda) especially the clergy, who face the double bind judgement for leading the flock astray. Only a theologian contortionist could find reasons to support the homosexual agenda.

    Reply
  8. Charles Tormos4 months ago

    Jehovah’s Witnesses, though not listed, do not accept homosexual marriages. The biblical stand on 1 Corinthians 6:9 reflects the clear statement by the Great Teacher, Jesus of Nazareth in St. Mathew gospel chapter 19:4,5 ” God … yoked Man and Woman…”

    Reply
  9. John J Flanagan4 months ago

    Sadly, so many churches are falling away. The Bible no longer is their authority, and with heretical theologians offering some twisted and distorted reasoning for the immoral and unnatural idea of two men or two women being “married” to one another…..we now face an apostasy of huge proportions in American Christianity. The Bible speaks of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding feast. The very notion of a same gender marriage ever mentioned then or 2000 years later would offend most everyone calling themselves a believer. It is just plain wrong and used to be “unthinkable” and gross. But here we are now, in 2014, living in a land growing increasingly wicked, at a time and place when Christian churches refuse to bear any light in an age of darkness. God forgive us, because some of our American churches now hold their conservative and orthodox brothers and sisters in disdain, hold God’s word in contempt, and have joined in the chorus of the wicked to celebrate sin instead of testifying against it.

    Reply
  10. Josh L4 months ago

    The fact of the matter is that religious organizations were happy to feed from the government’s hand when it was advantageous and society was basically moral; now we see a reversal of societal roles and the same hand smacking religious liberty in the face. Now we see religious having to beg to have their so-called rights back. The same privileges associated with a religious sacrament, marriage, has become secularized and progressives with the force of government are all to happy to use that to wedge the churches out of society.

    Government has never been the friend of religion; except in times when the religious were in the seat of government. The law is theft, as Bastiat said. You go to bed with a thief and you will wake up naked.

    I am devoutly religious, and traditional, but this is the deal that was made by aligning religion with the State while accepting the special treatment.

    Reply
  11. Curt Pedersen4 months ago

    First time visitor and find it very interesting a great divide in a so called tolerant America!
    I find America is now either Black of White and I don’t mean racial B and W, I mean there is no grey area it seem to me from all the comments I have read. Can some one please show me the common grounds or the grey area!
    Maybe you are right there is none..
    Curt A Pedersen

    Reply
    1. RM3 months ago

      Curt,
      By the Homosexual activists declared strategy, their goal is to change the cultural landscape and thereby change the laws. As pastor John Piper stated, “There is no demilitarized zone pertaining to Homosexuality and Same Sex marriage”. If you don’t accept that lifestyle, you are demonized while the victim (the homosexual) is exalted. That is a strategy right out of their playbook. Recently, Tony Dungee was demonized by the Gay activists, not for what he said, nor for what he didn’t say, it was for what he thought.

      RM

      Reply
  12. Richard4 months ago

    Why is it that gay marriage states allow two unrelated bisexual rapists to get married but the law-abiding brother and sister they raped cannot get married? Likewise, why can’t two or three law-abiding adult sisters who have served their nation in Afghanistan get married?

    What business is it of anybody else what law-abiding adults do in their private life? Surely the courts will strike down laws that ban close relative marriages as they violate the constitutional rights of law-abiding adults to marry the close relatives they dearly love.

    Reply
  13. Steven4 months ago

    Homosexuality is a sin. Here is why. God when he created us made it so man and woman could reproduce. He wanted man and woman to be married and create children on this earth. We are not to marry a man because it would go against God’s wishes for us. To even question this is going against God.

    That being said, God still forgives us no matter what we choose. Homosexuals will ultimately be forgiven. We are all sinners.Everyone of us here on earth will be sinners until the day we day. No man, I say again no man on this earth is without sin. Even the Pope is a sinner. To question this also goes against God. The only one without sin was Jesus Christ. And he died for us so that we could be forgiven of our sins.

    You see, it’s a reproduction thing why homosexuality is a sin. God wanted man and woman to reproduce and be married. Let’s just put it this way. If the entire world went gay and stopped reproducing. The world would end in about 100 years. Nobody would be there to reproduce since we all went against God and wanted to be gay. Yes gays can adopt and raise a child together but how do they get that child? A woman had to give birth to it. We need women on this earth for reproduction. Same thing with women to women marriage. With no man, women can’t reproduce.

    If people want to be gay it will still be a sin, but again sin is forgiven. But I think marriage, absolutely not. No way should a homosexual be allowed to get married. Civil unions and domestic partnerships are ok. Because those aren’t the same as marriage. Marriage is a biblical institution, and to go against what the bible says about marriage is to go against God. I have gone against God in my life and the consequences weren ‘t good so I repented and got baptised and changed my ways. Not saying gays should do this but still it is good for them to go to church and repent.

    Reply
    1. Jack4 months ago

      So why don’t priests and nuns get married?

      Reply
      1. patrick3 months ago

        As far as priest go, you can not serve 2 masters. Granted, deacons now can marry, and in some communities that is the only teacher. I turned down my community wanting me to be a priest, because I like a woman, and with that comes….

        Reply
    2. Tez4 months ago

      Um, which god?
      You’re assuming the Christian god is the one and only based on the sacred Christian text. But the same is true about any other god – just read their books. Also the same about all gods: They are the result of human imagination when people could not otherwise explain the world around them.

      Being gay is neither a sin nor a choice and it appears you are suppressing some feelings deep inside…

      Reply
      1. srg writer2 weeks ago

        Tez, I’m not trying to be offensive when I say your logic is limited. Because you have not yet found a relationship with God, does not mean that God does not exist. Also, that old line that people who don’t agree with homosexuality as an acceptable righteous lifestyle, are themselves hiding a repressed feeling, has no founding. Homophobia does exist, but it is not fear of becoming gay, but fear of something they don’t understand. But not all people who believe homosexuality is a sin are homophobic. Many know and love a family member or friend who is gay, but that does not mean they approve of it. There is a difference between asking for tolerance and asking for approval or support.

        Reply
  14. Muthyavan.4 months ago

    Where Hinduism stand on same sex marriage is very open. Hinduism is a very old religion based on vedas , which is directing an ancient way of life to many communities , with many different languages and dieties. In the southern Indian community. There is a strong culture of Aiyappan god worshiperrs. Which now fast spreading all over the world. Hindu Veddas tell a story of two male gods Siva(who is half women and half male) and Vishnu(god of spreme birth) in a Purana story gave birth to the God Aiyappan. Mostly male genders ,wearing all black dress make journey to this temple which is located in the hills of Kerala province. Even though gay marriages are not practiced in Hinduism. Gay couples have lived in stories of Puranams and ithihaasams.

    Reply
  15. Linda4 months ago

    Why are people against homosexuality until a family member announces they are homosexual? They are not true to themselves or God.

    Reply
    1. Cara4 months ago

      I have a daughter who announced to her father and I that she was a homosexual. She is now “married”. I do not believe she is living according to God’s will. Even though she has announced this I am still against same sex marriage. I continue to love my daughter and hope someday she will repent her sin.

      Reply
  16. Duane Romberger4 months ago

    You article states “And while all of the major mainline denominations now allow gay clergy….” Assuming you considered the United Methodist church a major mainline denomination, that phrase would be incorrect. According to their own website (and Book of Disciple) “¶ 304.3: The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.” Please see umc.org/what-we-believe/what-is-… should you want to research the matter further.

    Reply
  17. Chris4 months ago

    BTW, Frank Schaefer’s credentials were restored today.

    Reply
  18. Sue4 months ago

    Proud to be a member of the United Church of Christ!

    Reply
  19. Rachel4 months ago

    American Baptist Churches can neither “prohibit” same-sex marriage nor “allow” gay clergy, since the denomination holds no authority on these matters. Authority resides with the local church – which is held accountable to its association churches. Due to this structural priority placed on theological freedom, there is diversity on both counts among local churches and among Baptist regions.

    Reply
    1. srg writer2 weeks ago

      Which in itself is odd, the authority structure that is. As I assumed that God is our ultimate authority, our ultimate lawmaker, and our ultimate judge. Whatever is going on in the world does not change God’s character.

      Reply
  20. David Stutzman4 months ago

    Praise God there are still a few Bible believing churches who will not condone the sin of homosexuality. I’m thankful I was saved in an Independent Baptist church.

    Homosexuality is after all just sin of lust of the flesh:
    Romans 1:32 “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    Reply
    1. srg writer2 weeks ago

      As far as I can tell, from what I’ve seen and read, most churches still say marriage is one man and one woman. Certain sources may claim that it is the minority of churches that don’t condone homosexuality, but I’ve found it is the opposite.

      Reply
  21. billy wingarten4 months ago

    all tthe anti gays marrying – note the big ones are baptist and catholic – the4 same denominations that see women as second class and dont allow them to be religious leaders.

    Shame on them

    Blah blah blah re churches marrying gay people – keep it up, most of the people in them are old folks and time will heal that wound as the younger generation rejects their animus toward the gay part of Gods creation.

    second we are talking about civil law benefits. For that the bible is non – existant, we live under the constitution. Your church can do as it wants, we dont care as long as you dont go around condemning as many do gays, just like Jews were condemmed by christianity and both ended up in the death camps.

    its so interesting that much of the world that doesnt let gays marry or eve does worse to them include the former commie states, the people whose nut balls gave us 9=11, stalin , ho chi minh, mao etc.

    Conservatives will be known by the company they keep

    Reply
  22. Lyn Clarke4 months ago

    I am horrified that the church closest to my own church, still refuses to sanction gay marriage or to even bless same sex unions.
    Jesus Christ came to bring us into the way of love, that to me includes everyone including those who we believe it is impossible to love. It is all too easy to glibly state that we love everyone but it simply isn’t true. To love is to actively love to invite the challenge and to meet it gratefully because we have an opportunity to change, to embrace the ability to change given us by the Holy Spirit. If we don’t it means nothing and we lie.

    Reply
    1. Linda4 months ago

      Homosexuality has NOTHING to do with love or God.

      Reply
    2. srg writer2 weeks ago

      Lyn, Jesus did love everyone. He showed love to the sinners, ate with them, spoke with them, basically was a friend to them. But nowhere did he approve of their sin. You cannot change God to what you want from Him. Jesus said “Let he without no sin cast the first stone. But then he said go and sin no more.” Do not let the enemy twist God’s word. There were many things stated in the bible that were for a specific time and situation. But if something is said consistantly through different parts of the bible, it is meant for now also.

      Reply
  23. Julie4 months ago

    United Methodists do NOT welcome LGBT out ministers. In the closet and celibate? Maybe. But there is ample history of discrimination against gays and lesbians wishing to be ordained.

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      Wrng I know several UMc who are openly gay. some of their churches do marriage ceremonies for gays,and last year a thousand of their ministers asked the national body to make it official gays can marry.

      Also its beginning in the disciples of christ, a methodist spinoff.

      the big deal is it is happening in many denominations as more and more people understand that gays are part of gods creation

      And I havent touched upon how 19 states now allow gays to marry under civil law and a dozen more allow it per the courts except that the judges have given the opponents a stay of these laws under our legal system

      Reply
      1. Linda4 months ago

        Homosexuals are a part of God’s creation that needs to return to God. Currently their backs are turned. You can’t say you love God and yet use him to further sin. YOU CAN’T SERVE TWO MASTERS!!!

        Reply
    2. billy wingarten4 months ago

      I’m willing to bet that the churches where some do and some dont marry gays are aligned with whether they are located in the north and coastal states

      or are in the old confederacy and near those states.

      You will be known by the company you keep

      Reply
      1. billy wingarten4 months ago

        And i should add – look at what happened in the great marriage rally where a half million were predicted to attend by NOm etc

        about 2000 showed up Many had signs claiming the need for a mother and a father but none seem to care that 30% of american chidlren are growing up in signle parent families

        and that gays want to support the instituion of marriage being wrecked by the str8s with their 53% divorce rate

        MA has had marriage for gays for 10 years, of course it was considered the cradle of liberty long ago. the sky hasnt fallen, it has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, 36%L

        We are a secular democracy where you can practice your religion freely but not force your beliefs on others.

        that was learned over the period of the dark ages, the holy inquitision and and finally led to a parial reformation

        BTW Pope Francis of “who am I to Judge” great man, wathc all the judgement negative comments here about gays

        And he’s considering civil unions ,a she supported them which he was in argentina.

        for such a conservative church,, thats an enormous step forward

        BTw last monday very cathic luxemburg voted in marrigage 56 to 4. a few mos ago very catholic malta voted in civil unions 37 to o with some abstentions.

        full adoption rights also.

        its not marriage but a great step in the right direction

        Reply
      2. David Stutzman4 months ago

        Yes, the company I keep is the Lord, Jesus Christ; I can live with that.

        Reply
    3. Linda4 months ago

      The Church is against Satan too, is that discriminatory?

      Reply
  24. Jdc4 months ago

    You need to check the statement about the Episcopal Church. Episcopal Priests may perform a same sex marriage in states where it is legal to do and the consent of their bishop. Check their website.

    Reply
  25. Neefer4 months ago

    Based on my totally unscientific poll of my children’s friends (11-14), this is going to become a non-issue. The most common response that I received was, “What is the big deal?” The majority of them knew at least one child who has same sex parents, and they speculated that there were probably many more among their acquaintances for whom they had no idea what the kid’s parental situation (married, divorced, same sex, separated, abandoned, widowed, never married, etc.) is.

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      thats very similar to what came out of talking to manypeople. Only about 3 percent would actively oppose same sex marriage, eg serious political organizing against it etc

      Reply
      1. TruthSeeker4 months ago

        Why do you think this is so? Could it be that (1) they don’t read the Bible, (2) they did not have parents who had the time or biblical knowledge to provide any guidance to their children or be an example of christian living to their children, or (3) they have never heard a preacher give a sermon for or against anything – just a weekly little 30 minute jump start to help you feel better about yourself and leave you with that “warm and fuzzy good feeling” about yourself and this God-friendly, God-fearing nation we live in (NOT). They know what they have been taught – which is nothing. The old saying “a man who stands for nothing will stand for anything” could also apply to the church. Jesus wanted us to love and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ, but he also told us to repent and turn from sin and live changed lives – lives that do not conform to the world but stand out from the world. If you cannot tell a difference between people of the world and people of the church, there is something seriously wrong with the church. Also, a large congregation is not a sure indicator of a faithful church – as a matter of fact I am very suspect of a church with large numbers of people – given the character of the average christian today, you know there probably has to be some serious worldly entertainment going on for that many to show up.

        Reply
  26. Tim4 months ago

    They left off “in America” after Evangelical Lutheran Church. It’s ELCA, not ELC.

    Reply
  27. Richard Harmon4 months ago

    From all I can find David Masci’s statements concerning the position United Church of Christ is at worst absolutely wrong or an outright lie and at best overly simplified! As with most other issues the position of the United Church of Christ on Gay Marriage is to be addressed by the individual congregation! I find this to be far from what he stated! Any person with the title “Senior Researcher” should pick his words with more care – unless his goal was to promote a particular pro gay marriage agenda. While I personally would do nothing to forbid gay marriage I would never write any article which bends the truth.

    Reply
  28. Dot4 months ago

    My mother goes to Presbyterian Church I am sure when she hears about this that all her friends will quit going to church!

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      your talking about the most common divide – the younger generation knows gay people and accepts them. The older doesnt because of the vicious self segegations scheme called the closet which is being broken

      Reply
  29. Dan4 months ago

    as for me, I do not agree with SSM, but we as a nation have lost many good soldiers fighting for the rights of each of us to choose how we live our lives. So, do what you will, but please do not insist that I must agree.

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      Your entitled to your beliefs. And lets remember that ending the dadt thing it was a travesty to keep soldiers in the closet

      here in MD one of the key people to help get marriage equality passed was a gay soldier who was so suicidal he finally didnt re-inlist after 18 years and lost his pension 2 year short of vesting

      I also met at a dADt rally in DC a retired 2 star general in full uniforM and he told us that we had lost about 50 arabic translators due to DADt. About 300 hundred soldiers were killed in Iraq where later it was found that if we had those translators we would have done things very differently and most would not have died

      Almost all west European nations have allowed gays to serve openly for many years

      Reply
      1. R c+christain4 months ago

        Yes and most of Germany agreed with Hitler, since when do numbers set the standard for what is right!

        Reply
      2. Linda4 months ago

        Many sins cause people to be suicidal. The answer is to be CLOSER to God, not further away.

        Reply
  30. Ed Willneff4 months ago

    As Evelyn Waugh explained to his son — and as told by his son: “The rectum is designed for the evacuation of waste material and not for the insertion of a foreign body.” Yes, boys and girls, sodomy is an unnatural act. Is it any wonder it causes so many diseases? For all of human history and in every society — including Plato’s Greece — what has only become to be called “homosexuality” in the last hundred years or so — has been rightly condemned as unnatural and, therefore, evil. For thousands of years, until the present moment, our Judeo Christian heritage has condemned sodomy as evil and unnatural. That so many self proclaimed Christian congregations now celebrate this unnatural evil act is merely a sign of the narcissistic arrogant pleasure seeking at all cost culture in which we live.

    Reply
    1. John4 months ago

      Amen.

      Reply
    2. Robert E. Hays4 months ago

      And amen.

      Reply
    3. billy wingarten4 months ago

      But sodomy has been twisted in its story – Sand gemmorah was about the rape of strangers in the desert which attempts to kill all, not same sex love

      Even the ultra conservative Koran says ” if your enemy comes to you in the desert you will give him salt (to help prevent dehydration)

      and if you did some serious research you’d find that the inspiration for the geneva convention re prisoners of war was from the need to protect them in a hostile environment

      Reply
      1. billy wingarten4 months ago

        the inspiration coming from the true story of s & G

        Reply
        1. R c+christain4 months ago

          Have you ever read the story, obviously not. The cities were condemned long before this stranger arrived to pronounce judgement. Let’s not rewrite the Bible.

          Reply
    4. Sue4 months ago

      You cannot legislate morality. I don’t care what you do in your bedroom, stay out of mine.

      Reply
      1. R c+christain4 months ago

        What do you think the law does, it legislates morality.

        Reply
  31. Rev. Kate4 months ago

    While it is technically true that it has only been a couple of decades that some of our Unitarian Universalist minsters have “married” same gender couples, since it has only been possible to have a legally recognized marriage for that long, many of us have performed religious marriages for same gender couples for much longer. My first such wedding was 33 years ago in a small town in Georgia and I know quite a number of Unitarian Universalist colleagues who blessed the spiritual weddings for gblt couples in the 1970’s. So it was a joyful day when Iowa caught up with us nearly three decades later and I could perform my first “legal” marriage of two women. We knew, even four decades ago, that those who used the Bible to condemn homosexuality were catering to the prejudices of their day in the same way that those who used the Bible to celebrate slavery or forbid women the vote did in the 19th century.

    Reply
    1. dickkist2 weeks ago

      Hooray for UU’s. The story is this-and the courts agree. Those religions that don’t believe in gay marriage don’t have to marry gays. Those religions that do believe in gay marriage can marry gays. The contract with the state that all marriages establish can obviously be entered into by gays or non-gays. If you are in a religion that doesn’t believe in gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person. Gay marriage does NOT harm non-gay marriage in any way. Those of you who don’t think gays should marry, please go away while we UU’s (and other denominations) help create wonderful unions between people who love each other.

      Reply
  32. edward4 months ago

    Its a sin against God and mankind. Homosexuality is evil a abomination!

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      bye now

      Reply
  33. Trillian Orfner4 months ago

    The legal recognition of same-sex marriage will become the law of the land due to Sect. 1 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which requires equal treatment under the law in all States for all citizens. The SCOTUS has determined that marriage is a civil right. As such SSM is a civil right regarding eligibility to enter into the legal contract of marriage. That said the religious sacrament celebrated by churches can put in place any restrictions they choose thanks to the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As the country works through the progression of legalizing SSM in all States it in no way has any impact on the policies of any religious organization. No clergy will be forced to officiate any wedding for any couple who are in violation of the teachings and beliefs of their church. However the legal status of the marriage contract with all its rights and responsibilities must be offered equally to all citizens.

    Reply
    1. Manny Clay4 months ago

      Trillian, I wish I could share your optimism but at the end of the day churches will lose tax exempt status if they fail to comply. This will separate the true biblical churches from the false. you cannot serve God and mammon. Come out from among them will be the cry made from heaven.

      Reply
      1. rocket4 months ago

        The best thing for the church would be to loose the tax exempt status, good oil floats, the sludge will fall to the bottom and as we know the stats of homosexuals in the society is in the low single percentage figures. In the same way when being a part of the true will be then illegal Biblical church, the percentages will be the same. Except for one thing as the old saying goes “One righteous person and God is a majority”.The days are here my friends when righteousness is a sin and for many a crime, the place will now find this a fact is sadly in many of in his name churches.

        Reply
  34. Paula Coyle4 months ago

    I’m not trying to defend the ELCA as I believe they are definitely going apostate. But I’m reading the ELCA documents the article links to, and I’m not seeing any sanctioning of same sex marriage or leaving it to individual pastors whether or not to carry out same sex marriage ceremonies. The only place I find reference to a pastor’s discretion is here:

    “Lutherans long have afrmed that the public accountability of marriage, as expressed through a legal contract, provides the necessary social support and social trust for relationships that are intended to be sustained through- out life and within changing and often challenging life situations. In this country, pastors carry both legal and religious responsibilities for marriage. In carrying out these responsibilities, pastors hold and exercise pastoral discretion for the decision to marry in the church. In the community of the church they preside over the mutual promises made between a couple seeking the lifelong, monogamous, and faithful relationship of marriage.”

    This comment is made in the context of already having defined marriage as a man and a woman. They do mention the disagreement about what to call same sex relationships, but in the document linked in the article it does not say that homosexual marriages can be performed by ELCA pastors. The last thing I heard that they did regarding this was allow practicing homosexuals to be ordained.

    Reply
    1. Jim4 months ago

      Paula,
      I think it is wise to remember what apostate means. You can only be apostate when you are outside the Christian faith. While I do believe they teach some doctrines that are condemned by the historic church, they still confess the ecumenical creeds; they still have the sacraments; they still preach Christ crucified and risen from the dead.

      Reply
    2. Sister Clare3 days ago

      Hi Paula,

      The ELCA has affirmed that its ordained pastors may perform same-sex marriages in states in which that is a legal option. As this article acknowledges, the churchwide ELCA has provided for freedoms (e.g. the ability to call a pastor who is in a committed, monogamous same-sex relationship, the ability of a pastor to celebrate a same-sex marriage or union). However, individual congregations and pastors decide how or whether to respond to these possibilities.

      I hope that is helpful clarification. The ELCA has been careful and intentional in its discernment as a community.

      Reply
  35. Chris D4 months ago

    I believe the official position of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is that congregations that desire to do so can offer liturgies and blessings for “publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.” I believe the church intentionally avoided the use of the word “marriage” for these same gender relationships.

    Reply
  36. Bob4 months ago

    Just a comment that while the Presbyterian Church (USA) has approved this, they do not speak for all Presbyterians. Especially for those of us in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

    Reply
  37. W4 months ago

    There are a number of Muslim groups in the United States that support same sex marriage rights and various other rights for queer people. You haven’t done your research. Lumping “Buddhism,” “Islam,” and “Hinduism” as one thing demonstrates an inability to grasp with the complexity and nuance of religions that are not Christian or Jewish in the United States.

    Reply
    1. W4 months ago

      “Imam Daayiee Abdullah welcomes gay Muslims to worship, marry” – Washington Post, April 17, 2013

      Reply
  38. Anne Taylor4 months ago

    Best research news on internet

    Reply
  39. Robert Norton4 months ago

    As a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) I am constantly having to make the distinction between the PCUSA and the PCA. Although the author does make a note saying that the Presbyterian Church of America (note: it should be IN not OF) does not allow same sex marriages, he goes on to say, later in the article that, “The Presbyterian, Episcopal and Lutheran churches also have endured similar turmoil over gay marriage and similar issues, …” It would have been much clearer and more effective and considerent to all of the Presbyterian denominations in the U.S. if he would have tried to remain consistent with the distinction.

    Reply
  40. Dan4 months ago

    “Conservative Jewish a Movement” cannot be conservative, if they subscribe to homosexuality.

    I for one, left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, for their embracing of the homosexual agenda. Until about 50 years ago, nobody would hear such nonsense from churches, even suggesting that homosexuality (read that to include GLBT) was normal or should be embraced/supported.

    It was the political agenda of liberalism, which brought the problem. More than just about anything, it has served to split Christianity and leave the conservative wing hardly able to tolerate the revisionist/liberal wing.

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      your entitled to not support the liberal wing. But the age distinction re support and rejeciton of SSM says we are on the right track to accept gays as part of Gods creation and allow them to marry in churches that wish to do so

      BTW the most conservative and opposed churches re gays marrying – their history is the church of the confederacy

      Reply
  41. slk4 months ago

    why all this talk about marriage, when more people are living together then married couples!!! and the only people other then gays, who are happy about gay marriage, are the divorce lawyers!!!

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      it would be nice if the anti gays marrying crowd were condemming those who dont marry, live together in sin, divorce, and for many reasons have 30% of American children living in sigle parent families. Instead of condeming in many cases loving couples who are different

      Reply
  42. Doc Kennedy4 months ago

    Thank you for the continued work to keep us informed on the many issues we are all facing in these days. We can all vote to accept Gay Marriage but the Bible votes against it. It is really pretty simple. Yet, the complexity comes from the “Cafeteria Faith” that picks and chooses what to believe, even though the statements are very clear. I have been counseling Homosexuals for years and few I talk with really understand the choices and how as well as how they are made. I have many friends who are Gay. Fortunate for me, all of them respect my view as I respect their choice. The most disheartens actions in the whole issue are those who hate…on both sides. I know that if all would leave the matter to those who choose either way of life and not seek to make others, either by law or use of guilt and any means to get their way, all would be happier. Now in some places a person with real tendency to be gay want to choose not to be cannot see therapy or just plain counsel. That is taking it to the level that only makes matters worse. Rather than wanting to be, for instance, an ordained minister in the Methodist Church that has a rule against it, go to a church that is at peace about it. The ‘in your face’ gays are making a great mistake, in my opinion. None of my friends are of that ilk.
    Bless them all for finally this short period here will be over and we will get the final word where there is Absolute Truth. I think many on both sides will surprised.

    Reply
    1. katie b4 months ago

      Disagree.

      Many books and articles from biblical scholars explain how the bible does not forbid modern homosexual relationships, but here’s a link with an easy-to-read primer on it from HuffPo: huffingtonpost.com/john-shore/th… Enjoy.

      Reply
      1. Brian Foxworth4 months ago

        I didn’t see any biblical basis for their decision on homosexual marriage; however there is a lot of scripture about not staying in our sin. People get confused when they hear that God’s love covers a multitude of sins and they take that to mean that He is okay with us living out our sin. God does loves us all no matter what our sin is; however, He wants all of us turn away from our sin everyday and become more like Him, not embrace our sin and try to make God more like us so that we can live in our sin everyday. When people hear John 3:16 they don’t hear the full message because they take it out of the context it was written in. Here is the full context: “John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
        I can hear the next question from those that believe homosexuality is not a sin (evil): “Who are you to say that homosexuality is a sin? Why do you hate homosexuals?” First of all, I don’t hate homosexuals. I have friends and family who are homosexuals; however, I do hate the sin in me and all of us whether it is cheating on your spouse, lying, stealing, murder, homosexuality, etc. Second, I can only say that homosexuality is a sin because the bible says it is a sin in numerous places:
        Leviticus 18:22“‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”
        Leviticus 20:13“‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. ”

        Romans 1:24 “Therfore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

        26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

        28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

        1 Corinthians 6:9″Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

        12“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”b 17But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.c

        18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

        1 Timothy 1:8″We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”

        Those are 5 scriptures that say homosexuality is a sin. I haven’t seen any scriptures that say “allow homosexual couples to marry each other because this is holy in God’s sight”, “continually cheat on your spouse with anyone you want as long as they are attractive to you”, “lie to each other and steal whatever you want”, “be sure to do whatever makes you happy” because those scriptures do not exist.

        Any church or denomination that does not preach and practice ONLY the Word of God, is no longer part of God’s church by their very action of accepting the world’s view instead of God’s view.

        Christians we have to make sure we aren’t just stating out opinions, instead we need to state the scriptures.

        Reply
    2. billy wingarten4 months ago

      Absolute truth well lets look at western Europe.

      the only nations without relationship recognition under law for gay couples are italy and monaco

      Iceland, norway, sweden, denmark holland, Belgum portugal, spain, France, england, scotland Luxemburg Wales allow gays to marry. The only large nations that dont are Germany Switzerland Ireland, N> Ireland, al of which have CU or RP .

      the further east you go into the former soviet union the fewer you see with marriage, eg zero. though austria, Hungary, slovenia and Chech repub have CUs

      South america is changing – Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico have marriage, Equador has civil unions the situation is confused in columbia but it looks like CUs are in place. Of course canada has full marriage, same re NZ, Australia has a hodge podge of civil unions, we shall see , give them a few years Cus are under dicsussion in chile and the president of peru is supporting the idea of marriage equality

      Asia is just starting to make progress ,eg Vietnam now allows “gay marriage ceremonies (previously forbidden and the fine was about $10 US,) even thought the marriages arent legally recognized. Taiwan will probably be next IMO

      Reply
      1. ChicagoIrish4 months ago

        What does that have to do with “Absolute Truth”???

        Reply
  43. Ken Howes4 months ago

    One important distinction is that whereas the Presbyterian Church-USA can to some degree claim to represent Presbyterians (they are about 80% of all America’s Presbyterians) and the Episcopal Church can likewise claim to represent Anglicans in America (they are about 85% of America’s Anglicans), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America cannot claim to represent America’s Lutherans. They are a little over half of America’s Lutherans and sinking fast, while the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which does not support any of these developments, is larger than any liberal main-line church other than ELCA and the United Methodist Church–they are larger than the Episcopal Church or the Presbyterian Church-USA. Numerous congregations are leaving ELCA, principally into the North American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, and the Augsburg Lutheran Churches.

    Reply
  44. Rob4 months ago

    “Real” Christians act as their higher selves, that part of everyone that is “of God,” and express love, grace, acceptance in thought, word and deed, not judgement, bile-filled ignorance or anything resembling imperious criticism about others who advocate for more love, less hate. I wish for everyone who doesn’t “get” this, hat they will evolve on this issue, be a trend setter, influence others to more loving-not the contrary.

    Reply
    1. T.V.4 months ago

      GOD’s word is very clear on the subject and he is a loving GOD but he does not support the homosexuality sin among other sins. You are either with GOD or against GOD there is no time for straddling the fence.

      Reply
      1. billy wingarten4 months ago

        Hes’ not a loving god. Sounds like your church is one of those with a sign “fear god” I thought god was about love

        Reply
  45. Ann Tomsho4 months ago

    Inaccurate to say American Baptist churches do not support gay marriage… quite a number do, including my own First Baptist Church Jamaica Plain (MA). Might be better to say Southern Baptist refuse.

    Reply
    1. David4 months ago

      I agree with you in practice. I am also at an ABC-USA church that officiates same sex marriages. However, the author is right, because national has written down “that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” So – officially ABC-USA opposes same sex marriage. We just happen to not have to do what the denomination says since the power lays with the local church.

      Reply
  46. Emmy4 months ago

    A quick correction — the ELCA allows each congregation to determine if their minister may preside over same-sex marriages. The decision rests with the congregation, because the pastor is called and ordained as a pastor to a people. (Obviously, in practice, there can be significant dialogue over who’s making the real decision! But polity-wise, it is the congregation’s choice, not the pastor.)

    – a pastor-in-waiting in the ELCA

    Reply
  47. Daniel R. Winder4 months ago

    I am in no way any sort of official spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but their teachings on the family resonate with me:

    “WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

    lds.org/topics/family-proclamati…

    Reply
    1. mike4 months ago

      Their views on family resonate with you? Really?? How about the rest of their utterly absurd theology? Learn something about it. It’s as crazy as Scientology, maybe crazier. It just outer space lunacy, period.

      Reply
      1. Daniel R. Winder4 months ago

        John 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

        John 18:34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

        Pilate’s reaction seems to be an indication that this was an absurd idea. However, sometimes, ideas that may appear absurd to an outsider, are found to be true if we take the time to really consider the claims behind them for ourselves.

        Love your zeal, Mike.

        Reply
        1. ChicagoIrish4 months ago

          Daniel R. Winder, Mike’s comments may have been a little over the top, but there can be no denying that the Church of LDS holds many beliefs that are unbiblical, can’t be found in the Scriptures, and are patently extra-biblical. Mormons are very, very good at embracing the Scriptures of the Bible when it suits them, and downplaying the many extra-biblical beliefs they hold. That said, as an evangelical Christian, I greatly admire the family values you speak of that LDS members hold to. They put many Christians to shame.

          Reply
  48. Rob4 months ago

    They didn’t mention the largest protestant church in the world, Assembly of God, does not support gay marriages.

    Reply
  49. Mark4 months ago

    I wish the graphic was more clear. “The Evangelical Lutheran Church” listed is “The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America” – just one of 20-some Lutheran church bodies in the US, and the only one that supports homosexual marriage.

    Reply
    1. Jim4 months ago

      Good catch. I’m surprised that the graphic doesn’t represent a high standard of reporting. I usually expect better from Pew. “The Evangelical Lutheran Church” is a phrase that encompasses all Lutherans everywhere while “The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America” or ELCA is a particular subgroup of Lutherans.

      The graphic also shows a very Christian-centric focus. As noted above, Islam in America is not united on the subject. I’d be willing to be that Hinduism and Buddhism are not united either.

      Reply
  50. Tim4 months ago

    The PCA is offended that you included the PCUSA but not them.

    Reply
  51. Bob4 months ago

    Did you dig up any evidence of any denominations of non-Abrahamic religions that explicitly condemn homosexuality itself? I mean, I’ve come across religious stories that had same-sex relationships that were condemned but not for the same-sex part (such as some Hellenistic stories) and I’ve heard some passages argued to imply that homosexuality was a sin (such as the idea of sexual purity in Buddhism) which ultimately depends on a person’s interpretation of the passage, but I haven’t seen any quotes of leaders of non-Abrahamic religions (who claim that their decrees are a direct message from their deity or dieties) explicitly condemning homosexuality, no matter the circumstances, nor have I found any sort of passage from a holy text from a non-Abrahamic religion that can only be interpreted as homosexuality.

    Reply
  52. John4 months ago

    And while all of the major mainline denominations now allow gay clergy and welcome openly LGBT members, none of these churches have fully embraced same-sex marriage.

    Correction – the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod does not allow gay clergy. The LCMS also views believes that the Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is contrary to God’s Word and will, and seeks to minister to those who are struggling with homosexual inclinations.

    Please check the facts when lumping mainline denominations into the same category.

    Reply
    1. “Moruti ” Lutz4 months ago

      But would you call them “mainline”? They view themselves as a “confessional” denomination, which ( from my few observations over the years) appears to imply “narrow”. Do you know if they consider themselves as “mainline church” – and if so, what does that mean to them?

      Reply
  53. BarbaraCroft4 months ago

    Because of the stance of the ELCA, many congregations have left the ELCA. Their liberal policies and non-adherence to the Scriptures have brought this about. Our congregation in Liberty, TX, after discussion and prayer, voted to leave the ELCA. After severing the ties, we then became a congregation in the North American Lutheran Church. God will not be mocked.

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      by now wonder what history will think of you. TX conservative to the extreme especilly in east tx, next to the most backwards state in the Union, MIss

      Reply
  54. Rapturesaint4 months ago

    The recognition of homosexual marriage is something that the church cannot allow and remain faithful to the God of truth. It is not evidence of compassion to allow others to openly violate the clear teaching of the bible. Scripture describes those who practice the violation of the marriage covenant as taking steps that lead to Sheol; they live in accordance with death and damnation.
    If this is the case with those who practice the deeds, what about those who encourage such behavior through false teaching? A greater punishment comes upon the teachers of falsehood.
    The church is “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). and must therefore adhere to and speak the truth concering God’s institution of marriage.
    Marriage is God’s institution. God invented it. God has set its terms, and no one has the right to alter them according to his own whim or preference.
    How does God describe marriage? It is the union between a man and a woman. God is the one who has determined the nature of marriage.

    Reply
    1. billy wingarten4 months ago

      no it isnt – were talking really about marriage under civil law.

      Even Pope Francis supported civil unions in Argentina and is considering them for Italy

      for such a conservative church its a giant step forward

      Reply
  55. Loren Sanders4 months ago

    “And while all of the major mainline denominations now allow gay clergy and welcome openly LGBT members, none of these churches have fully embraced same-sex marriage.”

    How exactly do you define “major”, “mainline”, or even “denomination”?

    From where I sit, Baptists, Catholics, Mormons, Lutherans and Methodists all are definable under each of those terms, and under any combination of them – and even your own chart shows that they do not “embrace” homosexual marriage.

    Reply
  56. Mike4 months ago

    When you continue to throw God’s word under the bus, you can expect judgement from God. The “falling away” continues! Praise the Lord, time is short.

    Reply
    1. Bob4 months ago

      The thing is, these people don’t think God acts the same way that you do, so to them, they aren’t “falling away” but you are.

      Reply
    2. George Olds4 months ago

      Meh. Too bad America isn’t a theocracy or you might have had a relevant point.

      Reply
    3. Quentin4 months ago

      Yes it is! I am thankful for people like you who tell the truth and not believe a lie.

      Reply
    4. billy wingarten4 months ago

      I’m quaking in my boots and looking forward next weekend to my wifes gay brother Jewish, getting married in the temple

      the old fear of hell and mythcal life after death is just an insurance policy that if put under law, as it should be , would have the insurance people thrown in the jail – sp far we only know of one person who supposedly came back from the dead

      Reply
  57. Dan4 months ago

    Deceiving and being deceived, another prophetic sign we are in the last days. It,s not what “religion” decides to accept or deny same-sex marriage, it,s what God says about sin and the consequences. For the wages of sin is death.

    Reply
    1. Bob4 months ago

      So monogamy is a sin then? Since there is no difference between a serious same-sex romantic relationship, and a same-sex couple with a stable civil marriage beyond the fact that marriage is meant to last “until death”.

      Reply
    2. George Olds4 months ago

      “sin” is a man-made concept.

      Be that as it may, we let ALL the OTHER ‘sinners’ marry – even convicted child-molesters.

      If the word “sin” even appeared in the Constitution, we might care about your personal religious beliefs.

      Reply
    3. billy wingarten4 months ago

      more terrorism – hardly a way to get people to believed, except those who are brainwashed from birth before they have enough life experiences to say something nasty related to bulls

      Reply
  58. Servant of God4 months ago

    The Bible is our authority. If the speakers for these churches contradict the Bible, it is obvious that these churches do not intend to honor God or His Word. The Lord knows who are His sheep. Followers already knew this was coming and should have left these ungodly churches long ago. These churches will not obey God. We are responsible for listening to GOD – and NOT man.

    Reply
    1. Bobby4 months ago

      Since the bible was written by men it’s a little disintegrous to claim it is God’s word. Furthermore most of the clobber verses have been twisted over the centuries to suit man’s political goals. i.e. King James was gay, the church could not come out and directly oppose the king, so in writing The King James version of the bible they twisted verses as a way to criticize the king. Why is it people claim that Sodom was destroyed for homosexuality; yet other parts of the bible refer to Sodom’s sin as pride and inhospitality?

      Reply
      1. Keith4 months ago

        It wasn’t the Church that commissioned the translation of the English Bible (King James), it was King James himself who authorized it (hence it’s known as the Authorized Version). A simple study of the Hebrew and Greek will prove that their translations were 100% true and accurate. Also, please note that these same translations were also in the 1599 Geneva Bible and the earlier English Bibles as well as (most) subsequent English BIbles. It really didn’t take a turn downhill until the NIV came about. They softened their stance because a.) They used the Alexandrian Scripts and b.) there was a confessed Lesbian on the translating committee. So the NIV was poisoned from the beginning.

        Reply
      2. Bryce4 months ago

        If you read the Genesis account, the men of Sodom clearly want to forcibly sleep with the men (angels of God) that stayed with Lot. This is in a culture where you slaughter the fattened calf and throw a feast for complete strangers when they ask to stay with you. Instead, the men of Sodom want to rape these men, even over two virgin girls. Clearly, Sodom’s sins were homosexuality, inhospitality, and pride. Homosexuality, for obvious reasons. Inhospitality, for obvious reasons. And pride, because they thought that they were above the culture and treated it with contempt.

        Reply
      3. Dan4 months ago

        Bobby, your comments are simply not accurate. You present a fallacy when you say “since the bible was written by men…”

        Now if you don’t think God is capable of doing what He says, then I suppose I can’t go much further with you. However what does the Scripture say? “All Scripture is God-breathed…” what does this mean? It means that the Bible, our Scripture, is a collection of writings completely different than any other canon or book in the world! What other scripture is God-breathed? What other book can truly claim that? Now of course if you respond “that was written by a man too”, well then you are stuck in your disbelief and no further discussion is profitable.

        However if your faith demands or at least says to you “with God all things are possible”, then is it possible that what Scripture says IS true? And if it is truly possible, why not give God the benefit of the doubt rather than relying on your own reason and your own understanding. Afterall, what does the ancient Proverb say? “Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.”

        To doubt Scripture is to make an idol of your own mind – and that was truly the sin of Eve when she ate thinking she knew better than God.

        Reply
      4. slk4 months ago

        you have your beliefs, and they have there’s!!! if you don’t think they’re telling the truth, show the facts!!! anyone can say, “you’re wrong”!!!

        Reply
      5. His son4 months ago

        Finally! Someone who has actually read their Holy Bible and not just TOLD what to believe.
        All of this holds such enthusiastic debate. Curious. The number of homeless on the streets, increasing rates of impoverished, child abuse and neglect, bitterness and increasing lack of kindness towards each other…THIS is the ‘turning away’. We were not placed here to judge each other but to love God and show that love toward each other. The number of gay people turned away from Christian churches is staggering. The blood is on their hands , not God’s.

        Reply
    2. Bob4 months ago

      They think so too, and they think you are the ones messing up the Bible.

      Reply
    3. George Olds4 months ago

      The bible might be YOUR “authority” Bobby, but America’s is the Constitution.

      Reply
      1. billy wingarten4 months ago

        cheers and good night to all. If you dont like SSM dont have one.

        an example of what the nation thinks was shown on thursday in Dc where the predicted half a million to NOM was about 2000.

        Reply
    4. John Kahler4 months ago

      In the case of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, extensive study of the bible and the confessions of the church was carried out and debated before the denomination’s churchwide assembly passed the changes in church rules which allowed clergy in same sex committed relationships to be ordained and rostered, and opened the possibility for same sex marriage. A slight correction to the footnote, the decision on whether to marry a same sex couple in an ELCA church is the decision of both the pastor and the congregation council. And the ultimate decision to marry any couple is up to the pastor, no matter if they are same sex of opposite sex, even if the state has issued a marriage license.

      Reply
  59. Chris4 months ago

    The Orthodox Churches (Greek, Russian, Serbian, et al.) do not approve of same sex marriage either. Why are they left out of this discussion? They’re only the second largest group of Christians on the planet.

    Reply
    1. RP4 months ago

      The reason is that the mainstream media HAS to make an effort to ensure it looks tilted to favor the liberal side in anything. In this case, though most people can name 10 or more other large church organizations that would land in the “prohibits” column, adding them would show that this column is actually larger than all of the others. So instead they add “just enough” to make it look like some are opposed, but show “more than enough” on the other side to make it seem like everyone is on the liberal agenda side. You can make any poll say anything you want by selecting what elements and words to use. That’s one of the first things they taught us in college.

      Reply
      1. slk4 months ago

        bingo!!!

        Reply
    2. David Masci4 months ago

      Chris — Good point, although Orthodox Christians make up only roughly one percent of the American population. Still, we’ll likely be updating our larger fact sheet on same-sex marriage and religious traditions and I will push to include Orthodox Churches in the new version. Thanks again for pointing this out. David

      Reply
    3. George Olds4 months ago

      A much better question is: Why are religions inserting discussions about the religious ritual of matrimony when the topic under actual discussion is the civil institution known as civil marriage?

      Reply
      1. billy wingarten4 months ago

        Every thing from control control control to mytheology

        Reply
    4. Cyn4 months ago

      As an Orthodox Christian, I find there is a common misconception that we’re part of the “Catholic” religion (ie Roman Catholic)–we’re not. We are actually older than the Roman Catholics.

      Reply
  60. VB4 months ago

    It seems more natural to have multiple “spouses” of the opposite sex. The logical question is why is that prohibited? It seems anything goes now and the standard is…..none. For all the politically correct talk, those churches who sanction what Scripture denies, are the ones losing members. They make their choices. Those who exhibit courage and disagree are called “haters” or ignorant. Those who roll over in fear are somehow the enlightened ones. Pander all you’d like. It won’t fill the collection plates.

    Reply
    1. George Olds4 months ago

      That would only “seem more natural” if one were heterosexual, and we ain’t all that.

      And, the topic is not a religious one. Civil marriage is a secular, civil institution. Heck, we let ATHEISTS marry, no ‘God-talk’ required.

      Reply
  61. Gary B4 months ago

    Real Christians reject homosexuality and homosexual marriage. Rejection of homosexuality does not automatically indicate one is a Christian, but acceptance of them does mean one is not a real Christian.

    Reply
    1. Bobby4 months ago

      There are numerous Christian denominations (most estimates being around 42,000). They have different views on numerous subjects. Who are you to decide which ones are real Christians and which are not? Your statement is known as pride and that is considered a sin.

      Reply
    2. Bob4 months ago

      Christianity (noun)- “the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.”

      There is yet any evidence to suggest Jesus himself said anything about homosexuality. On the other hand, he said a whole lot about “loving thy neighbor” and other “undesirables”, living the golden rule, and serving others and being kind. He did not stand down from people in religious or political power and often challenged them, and he tried to convert others through examples, not threats.

      Reply
      1. ChicagoIrish4 months ago

        Bob – Jesus and His words are more than just the words in red in a Bible. He is the ENTIRE Bible: John 1:1–“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” If it’s in the Bible, it’s of Christ–and there’s plenty in the Bible that condemns homosexuality.

        Reply
  62. Inis Magrath4 months ago

    I sincerely respect that any article of reasonably brief length cannot address the nuances of religious positions on same-sex marriage.

    That said, the article states that, “many of the largest religious institutions have remained firmly against allowing same-sex marriage, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Jewish movement.”

    Speaking as a Jew, I do not believe that the Orthodox Jewish movement constitutes one of the “largest religious institutions” in America. According to the Pew Center’s own research data, less than 10% of all American Jews affiliate with the Orthodox movement. As Jews comprise roughly 3% of Americans, that means that Orthodox Jews are 0.3 percent of Americans — is that seriously among the “largest religious institutions?”

    The Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and unaffiliated Jewish populations make up the remaining more-than 90% of all American Jews. All of those faith traditions in Judaism embrace and support same-sex marriage and Pew’s own data reveal that roughly 85% of ALL American Jews support same-sex marriage.

    To the extent that Judaism as a whole (not just the Orthodox) is considered one of the “largest religious institutions” in America, Judaism is overwhelmingly supportive of same-sex marriage.

    Reply
    1. David Masci4 months ago

      Inis: Thanks for your comment. You’re correct about Orthodox Jews, although they are the fastest growing of the Jewish movements in the US. Regarding the sentence you reference: We wanted to list some of the traditions that oppose same-sex marriage and to include a variety of different ones in the mix. The reason that we said “largest” is because we included the Catholics and Southern Baptists and we wanted to let people know that they are, respectively, the first and second largest denominations in the US. Essentially it was a trade off. But, of course, you’re right about the Orthodox and thanks for pointing that out. David

      Reply
  63. George Olds4 months ago

    What a pitifully out-dated list of pro-equality faiths.
    The following denominations will marry same gender couples in 19 US States and the District of Columbia:

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ

    Please keep up. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  64. Larry W. Jones4 months ago

    Who cares? Nobody cares about religious marriage except religionists–and there are plenty of religions around who are very happy to marry same-sex couples as long as they have a state-issued marriage license; they will even bless your relationship without a marriage license. The battle here is for equal rights under the U.S. Constitution to civil marriage. Religionists always think every issue is about them; this is not.

    Reply
    1. George Olds4 months ago

      Well said, except for one minor part …

      Re: “they will even bless your relationship without a marriage license”

      In the State of Michigan, a clergyperson can be fined if s/he performs a marriage ceremony for any couple who do not present a valid (State-issued) marriage license.

      But of course, you’re correct – this is NOT a religious discussion. It’s about the secular, civil institution called civil marriage, NOT ‘holy matrimony’. I wish more “religionists” understood this fact. (Heck, I wish more would KNOW this fact.)

      Reply
      1. John Kahler4 months ago

        Trouble is, as one of my clergy friends notes, clergy act as agents of the state in marriage, which makes it a joint state/religious discussion. In other countries, such as Germany, there is civil marriage and there is church marriage, and they are separate.

        Reply
      2. billy wingarten4 months ago

        thank you I had a list like that and lost it

        the god botherers are probably going to have a fit. Of course its people like them that made me trash the bible long ago, get kicked out of religious school and never looked back

        the utter problem of religion is really that people cant accept the fact that we are products of a billion years of evolution., of course which most conservative xtians deny and to buttress their claims say that the earth is only 6000 years old.

        Makes me wonder how manking would have suvived the dinosaurs, or were those critters the dogs of the past

        then we should ask why very intelligent distant cousins, just because they cant speak,e g gorillas etc ,our fourfooted friends eg dogs – whys houldnt they go to an after life- because they dont say yes sir to the church – rediculous

        Reply
  65. Paul Elhard4 months ago

    The “turmoil” experienced in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 2009 came about after more culturally traditionalist conservative members refused to accept the decision made by congregationally elected representatives to the national assembly after years of study and prayer. We say we believe the Holy Spirit guides decision-making at these assemblies, even if the vote is close. Nevertheless, the fact is that many conservatives refused to even participate in the discernment process in the first place. Then they refused to accept the outcome, or work to change things from within. They actually complained that they did not have input, and ended up tearing some congregations apart with their bitter recriminations. Thus splinter groups were formed claiming to be more congregationally based. However, the ELCA is a big tent, inclusive and diverse church. And as this Pew Report indicates, the ELCA itself gives complete power to individual congregations to make their own choices on these issues. Reactionary resistance to change impedes God’s mission in a changing world. Those who trouble God’s house, and divide the Body of Christ shall inherit the wind.

    Reply
    1. Kristine4 months ago

      When the presiding bishop, Bishop Chilstrom, wrote in The Lutheran that those who disagreed with gay marriage should leave the church, and “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”, he made it very clear that the leadership of the ELCA was not inclusive, and the decision to let people follow their consciences was entirely hollow.

      Reply
    2. ZZ4 months ago

      ELCA is “Lutheran” in name only. Luther upheld the Word as inerrant and inspired by God. The ELCA tramples and manipulates the Word to fit the “changing world.”

      Reply
      1. “Moruti “+Lutz4 months ago

        “inerrant ” is an invention of modernity (19th century)., looooong after Luther!

        Reply
    3. Flickandswish4 months ago

      “Nevertheless, the fact is that many conservatives refused to even participate in the discernment process in the first place.”

      My guess is that they hold to the idea that you cannot vote on deciding what is or isn’t sin.

      Reply
  66. Peter4 months ago

    Also, re-reading the article, it seems the United Church of Christ is considered a “religious group” instead of a mainline Protestant denomination. That designation would probably surprise a lot of UCC members!

    Reply
  67. Peter4 months ago

    This is very interesting and i appreciate it in concept, but I think there are two flaws. One, it mixes up “religions” with religious organizations. I think it should be limited to specific religious organizations and should not include general belief systems like “Buddhism,” “Hinduism” and “Islam.” Contact specific organizations within those religions to get their positions on this issue, as Jeff Wilson suggested below.

    With Quakers, this is mistaken as well. There are three national organizations representing Quakerism in the U.S., along with many independent meetings and state-level “Conservative” affiliations that are not connected to a national group. Of the three national organizations, Friends General Conference does support same-sex marriage, but I am not sure about Friends United and I am quite sure the Evangelical Friends Association prohibits it.

    Reply
  68. Jeff Wilson4 months ago

    Thank you for this research. “Buddhism” here is listed as a single religion, rather than a collection of traditions like Christianity. To help a bit with this matter, please see my research on same-sex marriage in the Buddhist Churches of America: globalbuddhism.org/13/wilson12.pdf

    Reply
    1. Bobby4 months ago

      Thank-you for your link. A very interesting read if a bit long, but then the subject needs explanations like your research.

      Reply