The gay marriage issue used to be clearly answered by opposition from religious leaders. In fact, churches were very outspoken in their opposition to gay marriage rights in the past. However, the gay marriage issue is not as cut and dry as it used to be in regards to religious affiliation. While the Catholic Church still holds that marriages are sacred and meant to procreate, many church members believe in legalizing gay marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships.
In fact, churches are beginning to recognize and respond to, the internal conflict within congregations. In addition, many religious leaders are pushing for laws that ban gay marriage, to help put an end to the conflict within congregations. In fact, church leaders fear that they are becoming the minority on the gay marriage issue. Many churches wish to avoid a divide between government and churches on such issues.
While the separation of church and state is still very important, churches still seek reaffirmation of their beliefs, in laws that offer support to those beliefs. In that way, churches do not have to take such a firm stance, because the laws already answer the question for church members.
In addition to the gay marriage issue, many congregations are taking part in the debate about gay clergy. In fact, many churches have excommunicated clergy that have officiated over gay marriage ceremonies or admitted that they were gay. Citing their interpretation of biblical truth, many church leaders are morally opposed to any type of the LGBT lifestyle.
In fact, many church leaders fear that they will eventually be forced to conform to popular opinion on the gay marriage issue. Church leaders fear that they will be forced to change their teachings in order to conform with public opinion so that they can avoid alienating entire communities.
In fact, many clergymen fear that they will be forced to perform same sex marriages, in the same way that Catholic doctors perform abortions. However, churches are not generally required to allow same sex ceremonies, even in states that legally allow them to take place.
Many churches supported Proposition 8 in California which effectively banned gay marriage. In fact, churches led the way in gaining support for their side of the gay marriage issue. Conversely, some churches in Canada, where same sex marriage is legal, are willing to perform same sex marriage ceremonies.
In fact, the United Church of Canada, allows same sex couples to wed in religious ceremonies performed in churches. In addition, Unitarian, Quakers and some community and Jewish synagogues also perform same sex weddings. While this is not necessarily true on a wider scale, it is evident that some congregations are supportive of LGBT rights when it comes to the marriage issue. In fact, the Jewish reform movement has brought wider religious attention to the issue of same sex marriage. Other churches have agreed that congregation members are entitled to equal rights, regardless of sexual orientatio