ERLC Files Bible-Heavy Prop. 8 Brief

Not surprisingly, several Religious Right groups have filed briefs in the Proposition 8 lawsuit making the same basic arguments against marriage equality that they always make:  marriage is for procreation; bans on gay marriage are not discriminatory because men and women are still free to marry those of the opposite sex, etc…

The Family Research Council and the Thomas Moore Law Society filed a brief (PDF) that makes all of these claims and more, and also released a statement likening this case to Roe v. Wade, warning that a court decision will “only make the issue more volitile”: 

“After major setbacks in Maine, New York, and New Jersey, advocates for same-sex ‘marriage’ are turning to their old standby: the courts. Homosexuals have failed at the ballot box, where the people have made their commitment to traditional marriage clear time after time. So now, proponents of same sex ‘marriage’ are attempting to sue their way to legitimacy in the courts of America.

“The marriage laws of all fifty states would be endangered should this lawsuit succeed. As with abortion, the Supreme Court’s involvement would only make the issue more volatile. As such, it’s time for the far Left to stop asking judges to redefine our most fundamental social institution.

“The plaintiffs are really asking for a wholesale recasting and redefinition of this vital human institution that has been the foundation of civilization’s progress for millennia.

Whereas the FRC brief focused primarily on legal issues and filled with legal citations, the same cannot be said for the brief [PDF] filed by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, which consists primarily of Biblical citations as it attempts to make the case that one-man, one-woman marriage is the only arrangement acceptable to God: 

Our love for God and our love for all people, not atavistic hatred of difference, motivates our opposition to all forms of non-marital sexual union, including between persons of the same sex. We believe that any sexual conduct outside the bond of marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is contrary to the will of God because God has designed marriage as the only appropriate context in which sexual relations should occur. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25.

Engaging in sexual conduct outside the bond of marriage demeans the dignity of the individual, ignores God’s full plan for marriage, and interferes with a person’s relationship with God. Sexual activity within God’s design is good. Hebrews 13:4. When one engages in sexual activity outside of God’s design, that person demeans his or her dignity as God’s creation in His image. Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:18.

The Baptist Faith and Message affirms that marriage provides for a man and a woman “the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.” Article XVIII, “The Family.” Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverb 22:6; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21. Any sexual activity in which all of these fundamental purposes are not represented ignores God’s design for marriage.

Our beliefs about marriage and human sexuality must also be understood in the context of our love for all people. Matthew 22:39. There is no authority in Biblical teachings for hatred of any people including those who identify as gay or lesbian. Of course, sinful behavior cannot be approved or promoted, but we believe that all people are sinners. Romans 3:23. There are many forms of sin, including dishonesty, gossip, lust, envy, jealousy, love of money, and all sexual impurity (sexual relations outside the marital union of a husband and wife). We invite all sinners (or in other words all people) to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Southern Baptists must, and do, pray that all people, including those who experience same-sex attraction, come to know and love Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. We aspire to follow the example of Jesus Christ who loves all people and who extends the possibility of forgiveness and freedom from sin to all who seek Him.