Church of God Re-Releases Statement on Same Sex Marriage Bill

On November 29, the United States Senate passed legislation called the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which, among its contents, called for the protection of same-sex marriage. The vote was characterized as a landmark bipartisan vote. The legislation has since passed the U.S. House of Representatives and was signed into law yesterday, December 14, 2022, by President Biden.

While the legislation does not nationally require states to legalize same-sex marriage, it requires that states recognize another state’s position of legal marriage. The bill ensures that the federal government recognize same-sex marriages. In addition, the bill repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, enacted into law in 1996, which defined marriage solely as between a man and a woman. While there are supposedly provisions in the Respect for Marriage Act that provide for religious exemptions, many are calling for additional clarification regarding religious liberty and the protection of religious beliefs concerning marriage.

Over recent years, the Church of God has repeatedly noted by doctrine and stated resolutions that we “affirm our commitment to the Word of God and its ever-present defense of marriage as a holy and sacred union between one man and one woman.” Further, the Church of God clearly stands in “opposition to the rising trend toward legitimizing homosexual unions.” In 2016, the Church of God General Assembly resolved, “the unequivocal testimony of the Holy Bible is that homosexual activity deviates from the standard God has established for human life, and so-called homosexual marriages cannot be understood morally and biblically as the equivalent of marriage.”

As Christians, we exhort believers to live in moral purity and demonstrate Christ’s love to all those they encounter. To unbelievers, we reach out with love and compassion. However, we cannot condone sinful sexual behavior that violates the sanctity of marriage. The Church of God continues to strongly affirm its belief and practice that marriage is a holy and sacred union between one man and one woman.

These are turbulent times! General Overseer Tim Hill and the International Executive Committee call the Church of God to prayer for divine intervention in America and for the preservation of the sanctity of marriage.

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