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franklin county times

Church leaders discuss same-sex marriage issue

By Staff
HERE COME THE BRIDES? This photo illustration of two women in wedding gowns shows what could be possible if same-sex marriages are ever legalized. In this story, two Meridian ministers address the issue, a white-hot topically both nationally and locally. Photo illustration by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star.
By Ida Brown / staff writer
November 13, 2004
The same-sex marriage debate is hitting closer to home.
In last week's presidential election, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman was added to several state ballots, including Mississippi's.
While Mississippi voted "yes" to the amendment, the issue remains a white-hot debate locally.
As opinions are expressed in discussions and on newspaper opinion pages, how are religious leaders addressing the issue with their congregations? Is their advice solely from a religious perspective or do they also consider an individual's "human rights?"
Although attitudes are changing about gay relationships, religious beliefs still influence most people's opinions about homosexuality and what constitutes marriage.
Good values and morals are important to most people, but many are divided about the government's role in determining those values and how far the government should go to encourage or enforce them.
All of which intensifies the debate.
Considering The Word
The Rev. Mike Boles of Evangel Temple says the word of God must first be examined.
Leviticus and Romans are often cited by religious leaders and Bible scholars when refuting homosexuality, as well as other sexual sins.
According to the Bible, God created humans in his image to be in relationships with him, as well as other people. And while the scriptures celebrate friendships such as that of David and Jonathan, they also teach that sexual acts between people of the same gender is wrong.
Without that complete giving in a manner ordered toward generating life, there is not the marital relationship that mirrors God's love.
Why an amendment?
Noting that all sexual sin, including adultery and fornication, are condemned by the word of God, Boles poses the question, "Would society consider giving a man and a woman having an adulterous relationship the same rights homosexuals are demanding?"
Thus, to alter the definition of marriage from that of one between a woman and man would be against the Biblical teaching of God's word.
Simmons said the amendment is especially important because it represents the reason for marriage generating life.
Leviticus 18:22-28
22) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 23) Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. 24) Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you.
Romans 1:24-28
24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. 28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.

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