SILVER SPRING - The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America today approved a statement dealing with human sexuality that included sections on biblical principals, sexual orientation and practice, nature and nurture, church attendance and membership, employment, and participation in same-sex weddings. After many days of deliberations and several rounds of edits, the North American Division Executive Committee voted the statement with 74 voting in favor of approving the document and 17 in opposition. The vote came on the fifth day of business at the division's 2015 Year End Meeting.
North American Division president Daniel R. Jackson clarified that the statement did not rise to the level of policy, but as an officially-voted statement, it represented the thinking of the leaders of the North American Church, and was authoritative on that basis.
Crucially, the document states that "Seventh-day Adventist Church employees are not to officiate, perform, or have an active participatory role in a same-sex wedding ceremonies. Attending a same-sex ceremony is a matter of personal conscience and should be considered with discretion."
The second clause under the "Marriage Ceremonies" section concerning attending same-sex ceremonies was the subject of much discussion, and one committee member made a motion to strike the sentence from the statement. The motion was voted down, and the line remained.
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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