"Proposition 8" and Adventism: Implications, Involvements, Effects?

Speaker: Categories: Feb 14, 2009


[1hr, 18min, 35sec / 25min, 51sec]


The November 4 election in California is over. More than two months have gone by. The issues and candidates were voted in or out by the will of the majority of those casting ballots. So, there's no need to go back and rehash what was decided - or is there?

As for the election of persons to office, there seems to have been little, if any, backlash. BUT one of the issues generated increased scrutiny after the ballots were counted. That issue was Proposition #8. And the role that the Adventist votes played has created a need for after-the-fact scrutiny.

Gerry Chudleigh,speaker for the next SDAF meeting notes:"Clearly, the battle over the legalization (or banning) of same-sex marriage is not going away. Not only is the issue still hot in California, it has yet to be argued and voted in most of the other states. After the backlash against the Mormon Church for its support of"Proposition 8", it is almost certain that the next time this is on the balloteveryreligious group will be pressed - both by gay activists and others - to clarify exactly where the group stands. And if the corporate church doesn't speak for itself, plenty of individuals will, so ignoring the issue is not an option."

"So where does the Seventh-day Adventist Church stand,"questions the February speaker,"on thelegalizationof same-sex marriage? Currently, the church has no official position on such legalization. The church, however, does have a position on the subject of same-sex marriage. Official statements say any sexual activity except that between a man and woman who are married to each other is sin. So, by church policy, same-sex couples can be denied church membership - or fired, if they are employed by the church."

"But church membership was not an issue on the ballot in 2008 and won't be next time.The question is where does the church stand on state or federal legislation limiting the freedom of non-members to live in a way the church considers to be immoral.

On the other hand, the church's statement on church-state relations includes this statement:Seventh-day Adventists are called to stand for the principle of liberty of conscience forall.[emphasis added]In keeping with our love for others, we must be ready to work on behalf of groups whose freedom of conscience is inappropriately impinged by the state. Such work may result in personal and corporate loss. This is the price we must be willing to pay in order to follow our Savior who consistently spoke for the disfavored and dispossessed.

But does this apply to same-sex marriage?

The February presentation will look at a process for the church, at least in the Pacific Union, to decide what public position to take. And we will categorize and evaluate the often tangled and conflicting arguments used by advocates on both sides of the debate within the church,"assures Gerry Chudleigh.


Gerry Chudleigh is presenting at the San Diego Adventist Forum for the first time. He is an ordained SDA minister, currently director of communication for the Pacific Union Conference, in Westlake Village. He is publisher of the Pacific UnionRecorder.

Chudleigh Was born in San Diego at Paradise Valley hospital, as was his mother and sisters. He attended school at the El Cajon Adventist Elementary School before graduating from San Diego Union Academy, La Sierra College, and the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.

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