Baptist Union holds to one man, one woman marriage for ministers

The Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) has reaffirmed its stance that ministers are not allowed to marry someone of the same sex.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Union’s Council concluded that its rules governing marriage and ministry “will remain unchanged”.

However, individual churches cannot be prevented from hosting same-sex weddings if they choose.

LGBT pressure

The process was triggered in 2022 by a letter to the Council demanding the phrase which defines marriage as being “exclusively as between a man and a woman” be dropped from the rules governing ministers.

At that time, activists from pro-LGBT groups, including Affirm and Open Table, gave presentations to Council members promoting ‘equal marriage’ and ‘inclusivity’.

But, following a two-year period of “prayerful and careful listening”, it voted by 49 votes to 27 that “an accredited minister should not themselves be in a same-sex marriage”.

According to BUGB’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.

Biblical sexual ethics

Last year, Church of England Evangelicals urged its bishops to heed the “sense of grief, dismay and betrayal” expressed by Anglicans across the world at the leadership’s vote to bless individuals in same-sex partnerships.

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) made the remarks following GAFCON IV, where over 1,300 Anglicans from 52 countries met to discuss their response to the CofE’s leadership’s rejection of biblical sexual ethics.

The CEEC urged bishops to “step back from the brink” to explore a “structural re-organisation without theological compromise”.

In November, the CofE narrowly agreed to trial “special standalone services” for blessing those in same-sex partnerships.

Also see:

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