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On Same-sex Marriage

WHEREAS, The Vermont legislature established “civil unions” which bestow the rights of marriage on same-sex couples; and

WHEREAS, Since the law became effective in July 2000, eighty-five percent of the more than 5,600 civil unions performed in Vermont were for out-of-state homosexual couples; and

WHEREAS, The legislative Assembly of the state of California has passed a bill that says registered partners “shall have the same rights” that are “granted to and imposed upon spouses”; and

WHEREAS, Courts in Massachusetts and New Jersey currently are considering the legalization of same-sex “marriage”; and

WHEREAS, The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution requires that marriages solemnized in one state be recognized in all fifty states; and

WHEREAS, The Vermont experience indicates that if same-sex unions are recognized as “marriage” in a state court, then same-sex couples wishing to marry will inundate that state to “marry” and return home demanding that their states recognize their “marriages” and provide all rights and benefits afforded to traditional marriages; and

WHEREAS, Proponents of same-sex “marriage” have indicated their intention to challenge state laws and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which define marriage as between one man and one woman; and

WHEREAS, Same-sex “marriages” are now legal in Belgium and Holland; and

WHEREAS, An appellate court in Ontario, Canada, has changed the definition of marriage from a union of one man and one woman to the “voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others”; and

WHEREAS, Newspapers are beginning to recognize homosexual unions by publishing announcements of same-sex commitment ceremonies; and

WHEREAS, A vast segment of the entertainment industry has pursued an agenda of legitimizing homosexual relationships; and

WHEREAS, Public school textbooks and curricula are beginning to portray families with two homosexual “parents” as equivalent to families with a mother and a father; and

WHEREAS, Jesus states that marriage is a sacred, lifelong bond between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4–6); and

WHEREAS, Legalizing same-sex “marriage” would convey a societal approval of a homosexual lifestyle, which the Bible calls sinful and dangerous both to the individuals involved and to society at large (Romans 1:24–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; Leviticus 18:22); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 17–18, 2003, affirm that legal and biblical marriage can only occur between one man and one woman; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any court or state legislature to validate or legalize same-sex marriage or other equivalent unions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit ourselves to pray for and support legislative and legal efforts to oppose the legalization of same-sex unions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon all judges and public officials to resist and oppose the legalization of same-sex unions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we oppose all efforts by media and entertainment outlets and public schools to mainstream homosexual unions in the eyes of our children; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptist churches to commit to guard our religious liberty to recognize and perform marriages as defined by Scripture; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptists not only to stand against same-sex unions, but to demonstrate our love for those practicing homosexuality by sharing with them the forgiving and transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9–11).