Elevate Marriage
How will gay marriage impact your marriage?

If you’ve ever been in a debate with someone about gay marriage, one of the conversation stoppers that proponents often throw out is this: “How does gay marriage hurt traditional marriage?” Or more personally, “How does my gay marriage corrupt your straight marriage?” The thinking goes like this. What two people do in the privacy of their own home ought not concern you, even if they choose to reinvent society’s most basic institution. After all, who are you to judge someone else’s pairing? If some people want to call gay unions a “marriage,” what’s that to you? Read more

Illinois issues 5,000 licenses to same-sex couples

A new survey shows 21% of same-sex couples in Illinois have opted to wed since it became legal in the state June 1, but a second survey asks how long those marriages will last. And two more new polls cast doubt on the percentage of homosexuals in the U.S. Read more

For the church, a better 'defense' of marriage is offense

Ask church leaders what is the single biggest threat to marriage right now, and most would probably give the same answer: the stunning wave of approval for same-sex marriage. But a changing definition of marriage isn’t the only thing endangering the institution, said Baptist leaders at an April summit on sexuality and the Gospel. In fact, it may not even be at the top of the list. Read more

When same-sex attraction hits home: How families can help

It's a moment many Christians have had to face: a family member's announcement that he or she is gay.

Amid feelings of sorrow, guilt, fear and anger that families may experience surrounding such an announcement, biblical counseling experts say believers must have hope and realize that Jesus always changes those who come to Him in repentance and faith. Read more

Should we let him join the ladies' class?

Two women recently visited Mindy Cobb’s Sunday school class at Uptown Baptist Church in Chicago. They told Cobb they were in a lesbian relationship and asked if they would be accepted by the class. “I told them we would welcome them and love them, but not affirm their relationship,” she recounted. They didn’t come back. Read more

Resolutions address sinner's prayer, gay marriage

Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention approved resolutions Wednesday reaffirming their convictions regarding the means of salvation and the inerrancy of Scripture while indicating their intention to continue cooperating in the Great Commission despite some theological differences. Read more

Same-sex marriage is here, what's next?

As of Sunday, June 1, 2014, counties throughout the Land of Lincoln are now legally required to redefine the institution of marriage by opening it up to homosexual partners, thanks to highly controversial legislation that was signed into law late last year. Attorney Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society discusses religious freedom for individuals and churches in Illinois after the legalization of same-sex marriage. Read more from IFI

Critics of IL Gay Marriage Bill concerned about religious protections for Christian photographers, bakers, florists

Some critics of Illinois' gay marriage bill are concerned that the religious freedom of Christian photographers, bakers, florists and other wedding industry professionals is not protected under the act. Read more from the Christian Post

Religious protections on gay marriage in doubt

Exemptions based on a person's beliefs are not spelled out. Read more from the Chicago Tribune

Gay marriage legalized, ending conservative Christians' long protest

Gay marriage will be legal in Illinois starting June 1, after the General Assembly passed the bill Tuesday. Lawmakers in both houses approved an amended SB 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Next, it goes to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. Read the full report at iB2news.org.

Reaction to same-sex marriage bill's passage in Illinois

Reaction from around the state to the Illinois General Assembly’s November 5 passage of SB 10, the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act”: Read more

Marriage debaters rally in Lincoln's shadow

Voices for and against same-sex marriage in Illinois gathered for separate rallies at the Capitol in late October, as legislators returned for their fall veto session. Read more

Reporter's Notebook: What message are we sending?

More than a decade ago, in a University of Illinois graduate school class, I was asked by classmates why “Southern Baptists hate gay people.” The semester had just begun and our professor had asked each of us to introduce ourselves and tell the class where we worked. When I explained I worked for the Illinois Baptist State Associations, the questions came quickly. I explained we didn’t hate gay people, just as we didn’t hate people for overeating or committing other sins. It’s their behavior we can’t condone, not them. Read more

Marriage bill would guard religious liberty

New legislation designed to protect freedom of conscience regarding the definition of marriage should receive support even from legislators who favor same-sex unions, says Southern Baptist ethicist Russell D. Moore. Read more

ADF warns of possible legal ramifications of BSA's new youth membership policy

Boy Scout alternatives like Trail Life are a good option for churches that used to sponsor BSA troops, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom memo, which says, "Under threat of litigation, a church that chooses to maintain ties with BSA could face forfeiting the ability to teach biblical principles of sexual morality to its Scouts and to require them to adhere to those principles." Read more (topic begins at "Word of Warning," one-third of the way down article)

Marriage rally planned when fall veto session begins

Illinois Family Institute plans October 23 rally at the Capitol
The Illinois Family Institute (IFI) is urging supporters of traditional marriage to rally at the Capitol the day after lawmakers return for the fall veto session in October. The House is expected to take up the bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, and IFI wants to keep the pressure on lawmakers to prevent its passage. Read more

Defend Marriage Lobby Day webpage

Gay marriage: Does it harm anyone?

In a discussion that moderator J.D. Greear said needs to happen in local churches, ethicist Russell D. Moore and pastor Voddie Baucham addressed how homosexuality can be wrong if it "doesn't harm anyone." Read more

State of the unions

Marriage buttonsWhile bells were ringing at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decisions advancing same sex marriage, Christians elsewhere were lamenting the actions. And in Illinois, people on both sides of the issue were considering the impact of the high court’s rulings on the push to legalize same-sex marriage in our state. Read more

Russell Moore: Explaining the marriage debate to children

With the Supreme Court's gay marriage decisions all over the news, some Christian parents wonder how they ought to explain all of this to their small children. I've faced the same question as my children have asked, "What is the Supreme Court doing that's keeping you so busy?" So how does one teach the controversy, without exposing one's children to more than they can handle? Read more

Trevin Wax: Why gay marriage is good & bad for the church

Christians believe marriage is defined by God and recognized by government. But many today believe marriage is defined by government and must be recognized by all. Read more

Gay marriage rulings: 'new ministry situations on horizon,' seminary scholars project

Wedding ringsThough the Supreme Court's ruling against traditional marriage was a "dark day in American history," it's time to accept the reality and move on to discussing how to minister in a new context, Jeff Iorg and other seminary leaders are saying. Read more

ERLC chairman speaks a pastor's perspective

The church, more than any other institution, must constantly address issues of ethics and morality -- which Richard Piles understands as well as anybody in the Southern Baptist Convention. Read more

Obama, gay marriage advocates push for more

President Obama needed only a day after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage to call for its recognition by all states. Read more

Marriage bill momentum slowed by religious coalition

Christians urged to stand firm as bill is not dead

A months-long round of legislative sparring over same-sex marriage ended May 31, when Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), failed to call for a House Floor vote on SB10, the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.” Read more

Reporter's Notebook: Everybody's talking, but nobody's listening

We might have imagined that debate about changing the law of the land would be ponderous and reserved, set in marble halls and paneled chambers that echo with the steps of historic statesmen. But not so in Springfield in May. Read more

Pastor rallies people to pray for legislators

As people on both sides of the debate wait for the Illinois House to vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, Christian leaders continue to gather together to pray the state legislature will vote to protect a traditional definition of the institution. Read more

Politicians, pastors take sides on same-sex marriage

The same-sex marriage debate continued in Illinois, while the U.S. Supreme Court took it to the national stage late last month with their discussions on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. And everyone, from state and national legislators to former baseball players, is being asked to choose a side. Read more

Illinois State House vote on same-sex marriage pending

Breaking newsIllinois lawmakers took another step on Tuesday toward legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. Members of the House Executive Committee voted 6-5 to move the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act” to a full vote on the House floor. Read more at iB2news.org

Illinois Baptists, other Christians rally at Capitol to speak out against same-sex marriage

Capitol rally against the redefinition of marriage
Hundreds of people rallied on the steps of the Illinois Capitol Wednesday, February 20 in support of a traditional definition of marriage. They gathered in front of the statue depicting the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and listened as speakers urged them stand up as Christians and to make their voices heard inside the Capitol Building. Read more at iB2news

Baptist pastors on hand as IL Senate debates, then approves same-sex marriage

The Illinois Senate voted Thursday afternoon to pass SB 10, which would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, by a vote of 34 to 21. The bill now faces a vote in the State House.

A few Illinois Baptists – who were vastly outnumbered by supporters of same-sex marriage – were present in the gallery for the vote and the debate which preceded it. Read more at iB2news.org

The unseen danger of same-sex marriage

At first glance, the fight about same-sex marriage appears to be over whether to “normalize” homosexuality. But there is a more chilling danger lurking unseen: legalizing same-sex marriage will change the government’s posture toward religion from neutral to antagonistic. Read more

Groups seek to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois

Last summer when civil unions became legal in Illinois, many homosexual groups said the action did not go far enough and they would continue their efforts to make same-sex marriage legal in the state. Read more

Religious groups object as legislators consider marriage bill

Baptists join other groups in making defense of traditional marriage known
Proponents of same-sex marriage still see Illinois as the likely tenth state to make gay marriage legal, despite a setback in state legislature’s lame-duck session last week. Meanwhile, advocates for traditional marriage, including a variety of religious groups, are using the time before a new bill is introduced to make their opposition to the possible law known. Read more

The marriage debate and the evangelical response

Last year I wrote a brief post on the future of the evangelical response regarding homosexuality after Starbucks’ Howard Schultz withdrew from speaking at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. In that post, I listed five principles to consider about the issue of homosexuality and evangelical churches. Those principles still apply today. Read more

NAMB: Chaplains don't support gay marriage

The North American Mission Board's executive director for chaplaincy, Douglas Carver, is reiterating that Southern Baptist military chaplains endorsed by NAMB on behalf of the convention do not support same-sex civil unions or marriages that might take place on some military installations. Read more

Another turn in the same-sex marriage debate

African American SBC pastors criticize President Obama’s new view, but new poll shows a shift in the pews
Characterizing President Obama’s changing opinion on same-sex marriage as betrayal, a prominent Southern Baptist pastor who is also African American came out against the president’s declaration, capturing the views of many black Christians whose political support of the first African American President is being challenged by their convictions on this biblical issue. Read more

Attorney: Church bylaws should define marriage

With the U.S. Supreme Court set to take up gay marriage and potentially legalize it this summer, churches that host wedding ceremonies or other events for traditional couples should examine their bylaws and shield themselves from the impact of possible litigation, says an attorney who specializes in religious liberty issues. Read more

Churches urged to prepare for marriage issues

Pastors and churches need to be prepared to address same-sex marriage in biblically faithful, Christ-like ways, new ethics entity head Russell D. Moore and other panelists said at a discussion preceding the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Read more

ERLC fact sheet addresses gay marriage rulings

The Supreme Court has ruled on the much-awaited decisions on same-sex marriage. How should your church respond? The first way is by recognizing that marriage is not merely a public good, and it’s certainly not simply a “culture war” political issue. Get the fact sheet

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