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Civil union and marriage issues questions and answers

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A summary of the 219th General Assembly’s actions on issues of civil union and Christian marriage:

What did the General Assembly do? What has changed?

The General Assembly approved both the final report and the minority report of the Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage and ordered they be sent out for study by the wider church. The vote was 439 in favor, 208 against, with 6 abstentions. By this action (sending both reports for study) the Assembly maintained the definition of marriage as between “a man and a woman.” With the action to send the reports for study, no change has occurred, or is pending.

What does it mean?

The special committee report provides descriptive material on the historical and theological aspects of marriage, as well as a look at current laws on same-gender partnerships and their children, and the place of same-gender covenanted relationships in the Christian community. They commend to the church their covenant, “Those Whom God Has Joined, Let No One Separate” as a guide for Presbyterians to come together to discuss difficult issues when there is disagreement. The minority report, also approved for study by the Assembly, concludes that Scripture is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman only and does not support any kind of sexual behavior outside heterosexual marriage. The minority report also contains a covenant for the wider church to use.

What next?

The special committee report and the minority report will be prepared for distribution as one document to the wider church. By sending both reports to the wider church, it is the hope of the Assembly that Presbyterians will find helpful background information on civil unions and marriage, as well as material to help individuals and groups remain together as they work through these difficult issues.

Where can you learn more?

Read the majority report online

Read the minority report online

Join the Discussion

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  • Obtain and select some good points from you and it helps me to solve a problem, thanks. - Henry
    by rachat de credit on 11/22/2010 p.m.30 10:42pm

  • I think it is about time that the persons that attend these conventions read the Bible and the long history of Christianity. It is not that we want to exclude these unhealthy acts and deeds it is that the Bible warns against such acts as these. We as Christians need to read and follow the Bible. If that is not your purpose then found a new church or theology. Perhaps I am an “old fogey” but the last time I read the Bible it warns against “fornicators” and other like acts. The bible is full of specific directions. From fornication to other forms of self love. Marriage is a life between a Man and a Woman, if not why not it is between a man and his dog or a woman and a monkey. Let’s stick to the Word and not make this stuff up. Man has violated the basic from the time of Moses. The very Ten Commandments are our direction and they are not perverted acts. It is eater follow the Bible or go your own way.
    by Rob Peterson on 09/19/2010 p.m.30 03:08pm

  • If we accept that sexual orientation is largely an inborn trait, rather than a matter of choice, as most psychologists and sociologists do, we are confronted with the question of how or why God would create a group of people who are, in the opinion of many others, inherently more prone to sin (by practicing their homosexuality). I think it is useful in this case to ask what would Jesus do, rather than what does Leviticus say.
    by Greg on 08/25/2010 p.m.31 03:25pm

  • I do not see the problem. The Bible would be the place to go for ANY further information you may need. Come on you guys! Can we PLEASE return to scripture and stay there?! The world is a scary place and PC USA needs to be united!
    by Kim English on 08/03/2010 a.m.31 08:07am

  • I don't understand why the gay issue is continually brought up. Preach and teach the Bible. Marriage is between a man and woman. You have to teach the Bible or you will lose more members. You aren't supposed to do things to be popular or that are politically correct.
    by Donna on 07/25/2010 p.m.31 06:16pm