NOM BLOG

Churches Change Bylaws to Protect Themselves from Lawsuits

 

By now, you've probably heard about the same-sex couple attempting to force the Church of England into performing a same-sex wedding for them. Even though the couple can get married elsewhere, perhaps at a church that would have no problem holding a ceremony, one of the men complained that he was "still not getting what he wanted". Okaaay.

Now churches across the nation are moving to protect themselves against potential lawsuits from same-sex couples. AP:

Church PewsWorried they could be sued by gay couples, some churches are changing their bylaws to reflect their view that the Bible allows only marriage between one man and one woman.

Critics say the changes are unnecessary, but some churches fear that it's only a matter of time before one of them is sued.

Kevin Snider is an attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit legal defense group that specializes in conservative Christian issues. His organization released a model marriage policy a few years ago in response to a statewide gay marriage fight in California. Snider said some religious leaders have been threatened with lawsuits for declining to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

Dean Inserra, head pastor of the 1,000-member City Church Tallahassee, based in Florida, said he does not want to be alarmist, but his church is looking into how best to address the issue.

Inserra said he already has had to say no to gay friends who wanted him to perform a wedding ceremony.

Eric Rassbach [an attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty] said it was important for churches to get their beliefs in writing before a dispute arises, otherwise it can look to a court as if something was done after the fact as an attempt to cover up hostility to gays.