Amendment 14-F does
- Accurately describe marriage as “a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives”;
- Recognize that marriage is not solely a private matter between two people, but also involves family, church, community, society, and God;
- Emphasize underlying principles rather than regulatory details;
- Honestly reflect current reality, consistent with the long history of evolving understandings of marriage – especially as affirmation of the equal dignity of women has lessened the prominence of strict gender roles.
Amendment 14-F does not
- Require any minister to officiate at a marriage of which he or she disapproves;
- Remove the responsibility of a minister to counsel with the couple seeking to be married;
- Change the responsibility of a Session in the approval of marriages on church property;
- Violate freedom of conscience in the interpretation of Scripture for Presbyterians of any perspective.
Approving Amendment 14-F will not eliminate the differences in the ways Presbyterians understand Scripture, but it better reflects the reality that there is a variety of views within our communion.
The 221st GA approved Amendment 14-F by a 71% margin – seemingly, expressing the strong desire to help the PC(USA) move beyond the decades-long conflict over human sexuality by ensuring that the Book of Order embraces the faithful views of a diverse church.
The Office of the General Assembly has provided a side-by-side comparison of the proposed language to the current text.
A collection of resources — including the work of Biblical scholars and theologians whose understanding of Scripture leads them to affirm same-gender marriage — is available here.