Same-Sex Marriage Will Affect the Pews Before the Pulpit

Peter Sprigg | July 14, 2015

The Supreme Court has asserted that the U. S. Constitution mandates all 50 states to license civil “marriages” between same-sex couples. You are a pastor who believes that God ordained marriage to be exclusively the union of one man and one woman. You know research shows that, on average, husbands and wives—and children raised by a married mother and father—are happier, healthier, and more prosperous than people in other living situations.  

What should you do now?

In the immediate term, the answer is “nothing different.” If you believe God ordained marriage to be the union of one man and one woman, you should continue to perform or host in your church only weddings that include both a bride and a groom.

The Supreme Court’s decision does not bind churches or clergy. It is about the licensing of civil marriages by the state. Religious weddings performed by religious institutions or leaders are an (almost) entirely separate question.

The First Amendment (Probably) Protects Pastors

Throughout the debate over the potential redefinition of civil marriage, the question of its effect on religious liberty has been a recurring theme. Accordingly, the question “Will my church (or pastor) be forced to perform same-sex weddings?” has often been raised.

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