OREGON -- The battle against homosexual marriages continues as church leaders of various denominations now voice their opinions derived from the context of scriptures and biblical law and supporters of same-sex marriage emphasize equal rights.
Local clergy and religious leaders in Benton County confronted the government officials to stop them from following the lead of Multnomah County in issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
"The Gospel of Jesus teaches that God loves all people. It is un-Christian to speak hatefully or act in an unloving manner toward anyone. But in regards to marriage, the church has the obligation to her Lord to maintain his standards and designs of nature in the ordering of our lives," said the Rev. Marc Andresen, pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church.
"This works for the long-range well-being of the individual and society. So we are compelled to teach and practice marriage as being between a man and a woman," he said.
Scott Dyer, pastor of Prince of Peace Community Church in Adair Village, said he bases his opinion on what the Bible says. "I believe God's word declares the homosexual/lesbian lifestyle as a perversion and an abomination."
Gayle Schoepflin, pastor of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, agrees. "The Bible is clear that the gay lifestyle is absolutely forbidden.
"On the other hand, the government is not the church, and although we stand against gay marriage, we will not disallow the freedom of gay individuals," Schoepflin said.
"I believe, as Christians, we should not blow this matter out of proportion. It is exceedingly disgusting for me to see gay couples kissing in public. But it is equally disgusting to see people, calling themselves Christians, carrying signs with hateful words on them taunting gay people," he added.
The Archdiocese of Portland explained how Roman Catholics do have respect for all persons but in terms of marriage but he emphasized there’s greater need for protecting the traditional marriage for the well being of our society in response to what has happened in Portland.
"The action taken by Multnomah County is a serious affront to the well-being of marriage in our society," Archbishop John G. Vlazny said Thursday.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement last November in regards to the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling saying "Marriage, whose nature and purposes are established by God, can only be the union of a man and a woman and must remain such in law." The bishops along with the Vatican asserted that marriage is a basic human and social institution established by God and although it is regulated by civil laws and church laws, “neither church nor state can alter the basic meaning and structure of marriage.”
The conference has no legislative body but it is reported that it influences more than 63 million Catholics in the US.
No matter how some Christians are failing to follow the scriptural voice, more Americans are still in favor of traditional marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
According to polls conducted by major news companies in the last month show a majority of Americans are against legalization of homosexual marriages.
According to ABC News and the Washington Post, the number of Americans that are against homosexual marriages comes out to be 55 percent and according to CNN, USA Today, and Gallup Poll, the number comes out to be 64 percent.
For civil unions, people are divided more evenly on the issue the percentage ranging from 45 to 48 according to the survey conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post.