Baptist Union considers same-sex marriage for ministers

The Baptist Union of Great Britain is to reconsider its commitment to one man, one woman marriage for its ministers under pressure from LGBT activists.

In a letter to members of the Baptist Churches, the Union’s Core Leadership Team said it was “reflecting” on a request to allow ministers to marry someone of the same sex.

Individual churches may choose to host same-sex weddings, but in rules for members of the Baptist ministry, same-sex marriage is deemed gross misconduct.

Gross misconduct

General Secretary Lynn Green said the process had been triggered by “a letter signed by 70 people who are part of Baptists Together, the majority of whom are ministers”.

According to the church’s Ministerial Recognition Rules, “sexual intercourse and other genital sexual activity outside of marriage (as defined exclusively as between a man and a woman)” is specifically forbidden.

But signatories of the letter have demanded the phrase which defines marriage “exclusively as between a man and a woman” be dropped.

Removing this phrase, Green explains, “would mean that a minister who is in a same-sex marriage would no longer be committing gross misconduct and lose their accreditation”.

Process

At the Baptist Council meeting in March, activists from pro-LGBT groups, including Affirm and Open Table, gave presentations to members promoting ‘equal marriage’ and ‘inclusivity’.

The Core Leadership Team, Ministerial Recognition Committee and Trustees are currently deliberating on how to best respond to the request to abandon the biblical code of conduct for its ministers. A decision is not expected this year.

Also see:

Gay cake

Evangelicals decry Kirk decision to sanction same-sex weddings

Methodist Church abandons biblical teaching on marriage

Church in Wales approves same-sex blessings

Same-sex marriage: Your legal rights to object

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