It is with great disappointment that we acknowledge the results of Californians’ vote in favor of Proposition 8 to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. For the past 57 days, Adventists Against Prop 8 have endeavored to bring to attention the challenges that this Proposition brings not only to the historic Adventist principle of church-state separation, but also to our prophetic witness as a people of fairness, freedom and compassion. We still believe that it was inadvisable for the Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council to be on record providing support for this Proposition. We also believe that this Proposition represents a misguided attempt at codifying Christian mores and values. Thus, we commit to standing firm with 48% of Californians who have registered their disapproval of this Proposition.
In fact, we are heartened by the marked increase in the percentage of Californians opposing the language of this Proposition. In 2000, Proposition 22 which first introduced an exclusively heterosexual definition of marriage to the California Family Code, passed with 61.4% voting yes and 38.6% voting no. In just eight years, popular objection to the same language has risen to nearly the 50:50 level. With voters under 45 voting decidedly against the Proposition, it may be only a matter of time that this Proposition will be stricken from the California state constitution. It is toward that end that we will continue to work.
To the 1,000+ individuals who have signed our petition, and the almost 700 who joined our Facebook group, we thank you for partnering with us in this ministry of advocacy and reconciliation. We hope that you will turn your disappointment and frustration into acts of compassionate advocacy. We look forward to working with you in promoting justice and religious liberty from a distinctly Adventist perspective.
At the same time, we recognize that the disagreement over Proposition 8 has deeply divided many religious groups, including our beloved Adventist community. What binds us as a people of God and followers of Jesus Christ is greater than any dispute we may have. Good and faithful servants of God’s kingdom can have honest differences in their interpretations of Scripture and in their specific applications of great biblical principles. Though we object to many of the arguments given in favor of this Proposition by the CSC and the spirit with which some Adventists have expressed the same arguments, we do not wish to disrespect the CSC’s ministry, but affirm its significance to the Adventist community. We also respect the conviction and passion that supporters of Proposition 8 have displayed. We join them in the desire to lift up the sacred institution of marriage. We also invite them to work with us in leading the Adventist church toward establishing a more compassionate culture that affirms the God-given dignity of each of us, straight, gay and lesbian.
As we press ahead with prayer and humble re-assessment of our thoughts, feelings and actions, we trust that the Spirt of truth and grace will lead all of us to a deeper understanding of God’s will and courage and wisdom to act upon that will.