Protestant Churches Polarized Over Giving LGBTQ Members Equal Marriage Rights
Protestantism is a religion that was basically founded on the concept of reform. It should come as no surprise therefore, this Christian faith has been polarized by a new reform movement that gives equality of marriage rights among LGBTQ members.
Protestant denominations are divided, as the two largest Protestant denominations have expressed strong oppostion to same-sex marriages.
Protestant Denominations in Support of LGBTQ Marriages
Leading the movement of giving equal marriage rights to LGBTQ memmber is the United Church of Christ. Since 2005, this denomination was the first major Protestant sect to allow same-sex marriages.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America took a similar stance in 2009. Evangelical leaders left it to the local ministers to make the final decision on such matters.
The Presbyterian Church USA took a different route by holding a general assembly in 2015, to vote on the matter of amending the definition of marriage in the Presbyterian Book of Orders. Seventy-one percent of the sect’s church leaders voted in favor of defining marriage as “union between two people,” which paved the way for gay marriages.
The Episcopal denomination found favor with the Presbyterian approach and therefore followed suit in 2018. Likewise, the result gave LGBTQ Episcopal congregants the right to get married in any Episcopal church.
Protestant Churches Opposed to Same-Sex Marriages
The largest of all Protestant denominations, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has the most hardcore position in keeping marriages traditional. As it is, the SBC has not shown any signs or intentions of giving in to the calls for allowing same sex marriage in any of their congregation.
The SBC maintains that gender identity is determined biologically and not on an individual’s self-perception, as a means of justifying the alternative lifestyle being adopted by LGBTQ members.
In trying to solve the unending debate over allowing same-sex marriage among LGBTQ members, the United Methodist Church has put forward a proposal that would see this second-largest Protestant sect divided.
Notwithstanding that Methodist churches have been experiencing a continuing decline in membership numbers, since 1964. The unsettled question about LGBTQ marriages only heightened the unending decline in church attendance,
The Methodist proposal is to create a new denomination that would distinguish a Methodist church with an anti-LGBTQ marriage stance as “Traditionalist Methodists.” The proposal however, does not provide the equitable solution sought by Methodist LGBTQ members.
Electing to officially make a Methodist congregation a “Traditional Methodist” denomination depends on the result of a local voting process. Obviously, the LGBTQ members in each congregation will have a difficult time mustering the number of votes needed to sway their congregation from traditional concepts.
It is interesting to note that Pope Francis, the current head of the Vatican State, keeps an open mind toward members of the LGBTQ community. The pope previously remarked
“Who am I to judge gay people?”