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Churches Re-Write Bylaws Over ‘Gay Marriages’

From the Associated Press:

Churches changing bylaws after gay marriage ruling

By TRAVIS LOLLER | August 24, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Worried they could be sued by gay couples, some churches are changing their bylaws to reflect their view that the Bible allows only marriage between one man and one woman.

Although there have been lawsuits against wedding industry businesses that refuse to serve gay couples, attorneys promoting the bylaw changes say they don’t know of any lawsuits against churches. Critics say the changes are unnecessary, but some churches fear that it’s only a matter of time before one of them is sued.

The churches are almost certainly right.

"I thought marriage was always between one man and one woman, but the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said no," said Gregory S. Erwin, an attorney for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, an association of Southern Baptist churches and one several groups advising churches to change their bylaws. "I think it’s better to be prepared because the law is changing. America is changing."

In a June decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law. A second decision was more technical but essentially ushered in legal gay marriage in California.

Kevin Snider is an attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit legal defense group that specializes in conservative Christian issues. His organization released a model marriage policy a few years ago in response to a statewide gay marriage fight in California. Snider said some religious leaders have been threatened with lawsuits for declining to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies

He has to ask?

Although his organization has not advocated it, [Rassbach] said it could strengthen a church’s legal position to adopt a statement explaining its beliefs about marriage.

"A number of groups don’t have a written doctrine," Rassbach said. "Say a group like the Primitive Baptists – they don’t want a written-down credo, but the courts like written-down things."

Rassbach said it was important for churches to get their beliefs in writing before a dispute arises, otherwise it can look to a court as if something was done after the fact as an attempt to cover up hostility to gays…

They are probably dreaming if they think that putting this into their bylaws will protect them from any lawsuits.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, August 26th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Churches Re-Write Bylaws Over ‘Gay Marriages’”

  1. “A number of groups don’t have a written doctrine,” Rassbach said.

    Try the Books of Romans, I &II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colosians, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus and Hebrews.

    If they write down anything that disagrees with those books then they aren’t practicing Christianity.

  2. Inevitable extension of the liberalization of the Church.

  3. John Carter

    If the US Supreme Court ruled that dead, decaying flesh does not put out a stinky odor it would stil stink.


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