Churches' views on homosexuality

Here is a list of how some of the largest faiths view gay marriages:

  • Roman Catholic Church — In 2003, the church reiterated its position that "no ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman."
  • United Church of Christ — In 2005, the denomination (of which Modesto's College Avenue Congregational Church is a member) approved an "equal marriage rights for all" resolution, making it the first mainline denomination to endorse gay marriages.
  • Southern Baptist Convention — The nation's largest Protestant denomination says "marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant for a lifetime."
  • United Methodist Church — The second-largest Protestant denomination in the country last month rejected a proposal to become more inclusive of homosexuals, maintaining its stance that homosexuality is "incompatible" with Christian teaching.
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — Last August, it rejected calls to ordain homosexuals, but also called for restraint in disciplining ministers engaged in committed same-sex relationships.
  • Episcopal Church — Ordained first openly gay bishop in 2003, but its constitution defines marriage as "a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman ... with intent that it be lifelong."
  • Church of God in Christ — African-American Pentacostal denomination issued a proclamation in 2004, "We declare our opposition to any deviation from traditional marriages of male and female."
  • Unitarian Universalist — Supports the legal right to same-sex marriage.

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Rejects same-sex marriage, saying such unions would "make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families."
  • Conservative Judaism — (Modesto's Congregation Beth Shalom is part of this branch) In 2006, ruling allowed rabbis and synagogues to ordain gay rabbis and perform same-sex commitment ceremonies. Allows rabbis and synagogues to refrain from such actions if they prefer.
  • Buddhism — Although some Buddhists advocate tolerance of different lifestyles, countries with large Buddhist populations, such as Thailand and Cambodia, disapprove of homosexuality.
  • Islam — Prohibits same-sex marriage.
  • Source: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life