21 November 2022 |
The North American Division (NAD) released a statement on November 20, 2022, regarding the Respect for Marriage Act advanced by the U.S. Senate on November 16, 2022. Two summarizing excerpts from the NAD statement read as follows:
The Respect for Marriage Act repeals and replaces previous federal provisions that defined marriage as between a man and a woman with provisions that recognize marriages valid under state law. The legislation additionally requires states to recognize marriages from other states, including same-sex and interracial marriages.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church respects the right of others to believe differently; however, its view on marriage is not based upon a secular rationale and it will continue to teach and promote its understanding of marriage, sexuality, and family. The Adventist Church has not endorsed or advocated for the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. However, due to concerns expressed by the Adventist Church and other religious freedom advocates, the amended legislation now contains provisions that address the core religious freedom concerns raised by the bill.
The full NAD statement can be read here.
Comparatively, it seems that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken a surprising stance on the subject. According to Axios, the church will support the bill to codify the right to same-sex and interracial marriage. In their statement, they asserted that:
We are grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
We believe this approach is the way forward. As we work together to preserve the principles and practices of religious freedom together with the rights of LGBTQ individuals, much can be accomplished to heal relationships and foster greater understanding.
A slightly different perspective was presented in a Facebook post by Latter Gay Stories:
“The approval from the Church is in sharp contrast to public statements made by Dallin H. Oaks, next in line to lead the church as its prophet and president. Oaks has lamented that even a single generation of gay marriages will “depopulate a nation, and if sufficiently widespread, would extinguish its people. Our marriage laws should not abet national suicide.”