Official Religious Opinions On Gay Marriage - A Few Surprises


I was wondering the other day about christianity in all its forms and other religions and how each sect reacts to gay marriage. Not many surprises here

American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.

In 2005, the governing body of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. affirmed that "God's design for sexual intimacy places it within the context of marriage between one man and one woman" and that "homosexuality is incompatible with Biblical teaching." In 2006, the church's southwestern regional board (which includes churches in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona) split from the national church in reaction to its failure to penalize congregations that welcomed openly gay members.


There is no universal Buddhist position on same-sex marriage. According to some interpretations of the Buddha's teachings, one of the 10 non-virtuous deeds that lead to suffering is "sexual misconduct." The term is primarily understood to refer to adultery. However, some Buddhists interpret this term to include homosexuality, largely due to different cultural attitudes toward the practice in certain Buddhist countries.


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes gay marriage on the ground that "marriage is a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman." In 2003, the conference stated that "what are called ‘homosexual unions' [cannot be given the status of marriage] because they do not express full human complementarity and because they are inherently nonprocreative."

Episcopal Church

Although the Episcopal Church has not explicitly established a position in favor of gay marriage, in 2006 the church stated its "support of gay and lesbian persons and [opposition to] any state or federal constitutional amendment" prohibiting gay marriages or civil unions. Furthermore, in 2009, the church’s national convention voted to give bishops the option to bless same-sex unions.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The ELCA currently defines marriage as a "lifelong and committed relationship between a man and a woman." In August 2009, however, the church's legislative body will vote to decide whether to adopt a new social statement on human sexuality. Specifically, the proposal at issue asks the church to "commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships."


There is no official Hindu position on the issue of same-sex marriage. Depending on different cultural attitudes toward homosexuality, some Hindus do not support the practice of homosexuality. But others may choose to follow ancient Hindu texts, such as the Kama Sutra, that allow for homosexual behavior.


Islamic law explicitly denounces homosexuality, and the practice of homosexuality is a crime in many Islamic countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia.


While the Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish movements are ardent supporters of gay and lesbian rights, including the right of same-sex couples to wed, they do not require rabbis to officiate at the weddings of gay couples. The Conservative movement, which does not sanctify gay marriage, grants autonomy to individual rabbis to choose whether or not to recognize same-sex unions. The leadership of Orthodox Judaism has defined marriage as an institution between a man and a woman and therefore does not accept same-sex marriage.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

In 2006, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod reaffirmed its position that same-sex marriage is "contrary to the will of the Creator."

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mormon theology stipulates that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God." As a result, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not endorse same-sex marriage.

National Association of Evangelicals

In 2004, the National Association of Evangelicals reaffirmed its 1985 resolution that homosexuality is not sanctioned by the Bible. Thus the group does not support gay marriage or civil unions.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Although the Presbyterian Church's governing body has not explicitly addressed the issue of gay marriage, the church issued a ruling in 1997 prohibiting the ordination of homosexuals. Regional bodies and clergy, however, have challenged this ruling, causing a major rift among Presbyterians.

Southern Baptist Convention

In 2003, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a statement confirming its opposition to gay marriage. It called 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)."

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

In 1996, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations passed a resolution in support of same-sex marriage.

United Church of Christ

In 2005, the United Church of Christ voted to legally recognize and advocate in favor of same-sex marriage.

United Methodist Church

In 2008, the United Methodist Church's top policymaking body reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman. The church does not sanction civil unions, despite recent objections from some regional congregations and clergy.


I was suprised that some buddhists are opposed to homosexual lifestyles. However, this sounds more like a personal belief and not a religiously mandated stance. I was also confused about the methodist position for personal reasons as I have a friend who attends a methodist church who is gay and his particular church seems very accepting of him and his partner, their lifestyle and commitment to one another.

It's important to point out that official doctrines do not nessecarily dictate how specific churches operate, but if a church is willing to ignore the rules of it's own sect, then why do they maintain afffiliation with these institutions at all? Somehow I think standing up for equal civil rights might easily enough take a backseat to pre-determined tax exemption and other sect-specific perks - but pointing that out would be so very atheist of me, wouldn't it?