14-F. Marriage On Amending W-4.9000 (Item 10-02) The 221st General Assembly (2014) directed the Stated Clerk to send the following proposed amendment to the presbyteries for their affirmative or negative votes: Amend W-4.9000 by striking the current text and replacing it with the following: [Text to be added or inserted is shown in italic.] “Marriage […]
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That we understand the Episcopal Church to be in a period of discernment about the meaning of Christian marriage, with faithful people holding divergent views; and be it further
Resolved, that the 77th General Convention urge members of the U.S. Congress to repeal federal laws that have a discriminatory effect on same-gender civilly married couples, and to pass legislation to allow the U.S. federal government to provide benefits to those couples.
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 77th General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies to appoint a task force of not more than twelve people, consisting of theologians, liturgists, pastors, and educators, to identify and explore biblical, theological, historical, liturgical, and canonical dimensions of marriage; and be it further,
WHEREAS, The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 was passed with overwhelming majorities in the 104th Congress (House: 342-67; Senate: 85-14); and
WHEREAS, The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by President William J. Clinton on September 21, 1996; and
WHEREAS, The Defense of Marriage Act defines the words marriage, spouse, husband and wife for the purpose of application to United States law; and
WHEREAS, The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife”; and
A Call to Affirmation
We affirm that sexuality is a good and beautiful gift of God, a gift of identity, and a way of being in
the world as male and female.
We affirm that we can feel positive about our bodies and our sexuality because we are created in
God’s image and know our Creator.
We affirm that sexual drives are a real part of our lives, but that the satisfaction of those drives is
not the chief good in life.
We affirm both the goodness of singleness and the goodness of marriage and family in the Lord.
Serious questions about moral behavior and relationships continue to arise in many nations. These issues are complex and difficult to understand outside their particular settings because of strikingly different cultural histories, customs, and understandings of scripture. For example, the issues include female submission, female genital mutilation, child brides, forced marriages, and sexual permissiveness.
WHEREAS, Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime; and
WHEREAS, The husband and wife forming a two-parent family is God’s ideal, ordained by God to perform a unique role in the birth, loving discipline, and nurture of children; and
WHEREAS, American culture and public policy have failed to prevent a dramatic decline in the number of traditional two-parent families; and
WHEREAS, The family is the first institution established by God (Genesis 2:18-25; Ephesians 5:22-33) and is ordained by God as the basic unit of society (Genesis 1:26-31); and
WHEREAS, Marriage is a sacred covenant between one man, one woman, and a holy God, intended for life (Matthew 19:4-9; Romans 7:2); and
WHEREAS, Marriage is honorable and is the only context for appropriate sexual expression according to biblical standards (Hebrews 13:4); and
WHEREAS, Increasingly, the institution of marriage is being attacked from many directions; and
WHEREAS, Marriage is the foundation of the God-ordained institution of the family (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-8); and
WHEREAS, The union of one man and one woman is the only form of marriage prescribed in the Bible as God’s perfect design for the family (Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 13:4); and
WHEREAS, This traditional family is the fabric of all social order and the foundational institution that builds and maintains strong societies; and