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Prop. 8 Decision Cause for Joy for Christians, Too?

Members of the Inland Empire's Seventh-day Adventist church challenged Proposition 8 four years ago before it went before the voters.

Members of the gay and lesbian community are not the only ones happy to see Proposition 8 struck down at the hands of the United States Ninth District Court of Appeals.

Members of the Seventh-day Adventist faith fought against the measure, which amended the state constitution to provide that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

On Tuesday, the court of appeals issued a 2-1 decision that the proposition banning same-sex marriage statewide is unconstitutional.

In 2008, in response to Prop. 22 passed in 2000, the California Supreme Court ruled that state laws restricting the right of same-sex couples to marry violated the state constitution. But later that year voters approved Proposition 8.

While the debate over Proposition 8 heated up, Julius J. Nam, PhD., an associate professor with the Loma Linda University School of Religion, served as one of the spokespersons for Adventists Against Prop 8, an “initiative by a small group of Adventist pastors, teachers and students in California who decided, out of their commitment to the historic Adventist principle of the separation of church and state, to voice their concerns about (1) the Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council’s public support of California Proposition 8 and (2) the imposition of a fundamentally religious definition of marriage that this Proposition represents.

“As a Christian minister, as a theologian, I am very concerned about the type of ads and kind of campaign that is going on among the for Proposition 8 groups,” Nam said in 2008 in response to the information being put out by the proposition’s proponents. “It must stop. You must stop the lies you are propagating. You must stop the scare tactics and the fear mongering that is going on. It does not reflect well on the religious principles that we want to uphold as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as Buddhists, as followers of the divine.”

The Pastor and several members from around the Inland Empire took their position that was in opposition to the Seventh-day Adventist Church’ official position that “sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman.”

Nam reached out to his religious brethren to uphold the Christian values of tolerance and respect.

Voters statewide passed Proposition 8 in Nov. 2008, which amended the state Constitution to institute a ban on gay marriage. The measure was approved with around 52 percent of the vote, reported the Los Angeles Times. Proposition 22, a 2000 ballot initiative banning gay marriage, had been approved with 61 percent of the vote, but was later struck down by the state’s high court.

“Today's ruling is a victory for fairness, a victory for equality and a victory for justice,” said State Attorney General Kamala Harris. “Proposition 8 denied to gay and lesbian couples the equal protection to which all Americans are entitled. By striking this unconstitutional law from our books, the court has restored dignity, equality and respect to all Californians.”

The issue may now head to the Supreme Court. But it's uncertain if the court will hear the case, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Times, the high court might choose to steer clear of the dispute because of the narrow California-only approach adopted by the appeals court.

If so, that would leave for another day — perhaps several years in the future — a national ruling on same-sex marriage.

carl miller February 09, 2012 at 12:07 AM
It is good to know that there are still a few Seventh day Adventists who are not stuck in the fundamentalist hate trap. Good for Pastor Nam for standing up for what is right and just!
Emily Mass February 09, 2012 at 03:31 PM
TY for this!! It is sooo important.
Tom Durst February 09, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I'm a former SDA and am glad that some pastors and leaders in the SDA Church stand for human fairness and equal rights for all people. I'm thankful for progress being made in the SDA Church which is more towards freedom and open mindedness. I no longer wish to be a part of this church but rejoice for its growth towards being more fully human in God's image and likeness. A lot of the old sectarianism is slowly dying out because of its lack of any kind of substance.
Derech Emet February 11, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Soon the SDA will face a huge division among members when they decide to baptize and even ordain homosexuals to the ministry. Equality is not the word here but compromise.
Lazarus Mollel April 09, 2012 at 01:53 PM
The USA was once blessed due to its religious liberty. But now it is leading in leading in allowing abomination by rendering the Bible irrelevant in many issues against the 10 commandments. The USA will experience such hazards to a day when the country will remember their original constitution but will be too late.

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