A Declaration and Appeal

Editor's note: The following statement on marriage was drafted at the urging of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association in Executive Session: Oct. 6, 2004. It was amended and approved by the Presidents' Council on Nov. 16, 2004, and by NPUC’s Executive Committee on Nov. 17, 2004.

The North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, as the administrative arm of the church in a five-state region representing the Pacific Northwest, declares its support of the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This is in keeping with the world church’s biblically based view that “Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship.”

As such, we believe that marriage is the bedrock institution of society, established by God, and that it ensures society’s health and well-being. We believe current attempts to redefine marriage would have profound negative consequences for parents and children, and would impact social, emotional, physical and sexual health. Therefore, we urge legislators and citizens alike to avoid proposing or adopting any law that would redefine marriage and thus America’s moral code in its train.

In addition, we believe this calls for sound public policy that seeks to protect marriage and affirm the commonly understood definition of marriage that has existed in societies throughout all time.

Seventh-day Adventist Christians are sympathetic to the basic human rights of homosexuals. In recent years, however, efforts have been made in various states to modify the designation of marriage to include same-sex relationships. We believe this goes beyond the legitimate definition of constitutional “rights.” To attempt to legislate a new sexual ethic and alter the national moral code in the name of civil rights erroneously equates moral choices governing sexual conduct with skin color or gender, which can be neither chosen nor changed. It makes the unproven claim that homosexuals are born homosexual.

Moreover, in states where the voters have voiced their will on this issue and affirmed that marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman, any effort to change this definition would clearly contradict current law and should not be supported. Such an attempt would be blatantly unconstitutional and risks eroding respect for both law and democracy.

In conclusion, we are convinced that divine wisdom created and ordained marriage between a man and a woman. This is clearly reflected in public health and welfare data that is subject to objective assessment. We believe that same-sex marriage constitutes an experimental and dangerous social policy. We therefore urge all state governments in the Northwest to reject any attempt to re-define marriage.

Featured in: April 2005