Gay marriage opponents collected twice as many signatures as needed to send the state's same-sex marriage legislation to the ballot.

According to Reuters, the success of Referendum 74 was led in large by religious conservatives.

Some, however, have asked why gay marriage is a religious issue at all. We looked at it from a broader perspective and asked our panelists about marriage.

Is marriage a spiritual partnership?


  1. John VanDerWalker

    In my faith tradition marriage is a sacramental rite of the church. At one time the sacramental function of marriage was a way to cover the sin of sexual expression and to bless the union with procreative success. That is not what we mean by sacrament.
    A Christian is bound to Christ through the sacrament of baptism. They are bound to the church through confirmation, or the baptism of spirit. When a couple comes together in marriage, if sacramentally, they are expanding the foundational aspect of baptism and confirmation into their relationship as a couple. When Christians marry they are entering into a relationship asking God to be a part of that relationship, when done in the middle of the church community, the church is also joined in the relationship. When a couple enters into this union with God there is power in the union during the good times and the bad. Because the community is a part of the union there is a vested interest of the community for success of the marriage.
    Because the church sees the marriage in this way there is a division with the interest of the state. The church recognizes that marriage is a stabilizing factor for society as does the state. The state also has an interest in accurate tax records and that is a main function of the marriage license. For the church the interest is in the individual, their health and spiritual well-being, marriage should be major factor in the individuals happiness. The church, as a part of the marriage covenant is a factor in the happiness of the couple as well, offering counsel and support for a successful and prosperous marriage.
    So in my opinion marriage is spiritual, it is the engagement of God in the life of a couple as well as the engagement of the church in that couple’s lives as well. It is also a physical relationship, sexually and in the midst of caring community.

  2. John VanDerWalker

    As I understand it, there was a time in Christian history where the marriage ceremony was a work that covered sexual activity in marriage, sex was understood and sin. I remember that from undergrad study but am not able to quote or foot note. Sorry Eric for the vagueness.

    There is a lot to this marriage thing that is not being discussed. I am one who believes the administration of marriage by the church acting as an agent for the state is wrong and should be separated. Marriage in the church should be a high and holy worship of celebration and covenant with lots of prayer, reflection, humility, whooping it up and having a good time. I think something is missing in a lot of marriage ceremonies especially the reflection and dare I say: repentance.

    Repentance is an essential part of marriage. The meaning of repentance, as you know, is: to turn from. When a couple gets married they need to be repentant because they are turning from the old life as a single person to a married person in covenant community with another and the body of Christ. This whole thing could be much deeper if we just spent some time talking about it and exploring the complexity of marriage in the church. Same sex, one woman one man, those are just superficial (mechanical/biological/social?) things compared to the real nature of marriage. In my humble opinion. (ok, so I’m not so humble)

  3. John VanDerWalker

    I should probably clarify that I think a conversation about the “definition of marriage” is important. But the definition must go deeper than who gets to participate.

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