To Special Committee on Civil Unions and Marriage – 8/09

To the Special Committee to Study Issues
of Civil Union and Christian Marriage

August 14, 2009

The Board of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians is thankful for your leadership in helping the Presbyterian Church (USA) explore issues related to civil unions, Christian marriage, and the church, and appreciates the opportunity to participate in the conversation.

What is the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community?

Gay and lesbian Christians are members of our families and congregations, no different from all members of the Body of Christ in being full participants in the Christian community by God’s grace.   The church is called to provide wholehearted support which fosters the well-being of all families.

Gay and lesbian persons in committed same-gender partnerships stand in the same relation to God as all other persons. Therefore, the church should extend to them the same pastoral care it offers to other couples and families, helping them to work out their discipleship in the context of their relationships, not apart from them.

The church blesses heterosexual marriages contracted under civil law because for centuries marriage partners have testified that their bond is a means of grace.  When same-gender partners testify that their committed relationships have the same benefit, they should receive the same blessing.

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