Community of Christ Extends Marriage to Same-Sex Couples

In their National Conference held April 19-21, The Community of Christ (formerly The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) moved to extend marriage to same-sex couples.

The specific recommendations of the Conference to the Community of Christ First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are as follows:

The 2013 USA National Conference recommends the sacrament of marriage be extended, where legal in the USA, to persons of the same sex/gender. Thus the 2013 USA National Conference recommends a change to the current policy for the USA on the sacrament of marriage; and

The 2013 USA National Conference recommends that a church-recognized way for two persons of the same sex/gender to publicly express their covenant to each other be made available in places in the USA where marriage is not legal. Thus, the 2013 USA National Conference recommends a change to the current policy for the USA regarding same-sex/gender covenant commitment services where marriage is not legal; and

The 2013 USA National Conference recommends allowing a priesthood call to be processed according to established procedures regardless of sexual orientation, including a person in a monogamous, committed, same-sex/gender relationship (e.g., legal marriage, civil partnership, covenant relationship) in the USA. Thus, the 2013 USA National Conference recommends a change to the current policy on ordination for the USA.

Since gay marriage is only authorized in a small amount of states (and since marriage is a state contract), the Community of Christ appears to be preparing an official commitment ceremonies for those couples that reside in states without gay marriage. The third point above seems to me to be the most striking. The Community of Christ will acknowledge monogamous committed relationships as on par with marriage, in matters of priesthood calls, not matter whether there are labeled as legal marriage, civil partnership, or a covenant relationship. In other words, the legal difference between states will not impact have the Community of Christ approaches these relationships.

It is very interesting to see how different branches of the Latter-day Saint Restoration movement have approached this issue.

NOTE: For some additionally reflections on this matter see my follow-up post.

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