WHEREAS, on June 24, 2011 the State of New York Legislature, following controversial debates, passed a new law legalizing same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed.
WHEREAS, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, under the direct leadership of his Eminence, Metropolitan Archbishop PHILIP (Saliba), and the Local Synod of the Archdiocese, continues to shepherd its faithful members throughout all of North America, and as such, are deeply concerned about the recent developments regarding “same sex marriage”.
WHEREAS, the Holy Orthodox Church recognizing marriage to be a fundamental institution and teaching that marriage and sexuality, which are firmly grounded in Holy Scripture, Two thousand years of church tradition, and canon law, hereby holds that marriage consists in the conjugal union of a man and a women and that authentic marriage is blessed by Almighty God as a sacrament of the Church.
WHEREAS, The Holy Scripture attests that God created man and women in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:27-31), that those called to do so might enjoy a conjugal union that ideally leads to procreation. While not every marriage is blessed with the birth of children, every such union exists to create of a man and a women a new reality of “one flesh”. This can only be achieved in a relationship between individuals of opposite gender. “God made them male and female...So they are no longer two but one flesh” ( Mark 10:6-8).
WHEREAS, the Holy Orthodox Church also teaches that the union between a man and a women in the Sacrament of Marriage reflects the union between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:21-33). As such, marriage is necessarily monogamous and heterosexual. Within this union, sexual relations between a husband and wife are to be cherished and protected as a sacred expression of their love that has been blessed by God. Such was God’s plan for His human creatures from the very beginning.
WHEREAS, the Holy Orthodox Church is cognizant that God’s divine purpose is increasingly questioned, challenged or denied by society as secularism, relativism, social and political pressures work to normalize and legalize “same sex” unions.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, this 50th Archdiocesan Convention, duly assembled at Chicago, Illinois, from July 25-31, 2011, resolves through the clergy and laity of the Antiochian Christian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, the Orthodox Church cannot and will not bless “same sex” unions of any degree. It is further resolved that marriage between a man and a women is a sacred institution ordained by God, homosexual unions are not. Like adultery and fornication, homosexual acts are condemned by Scripture (Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). However, this being said, we must stress that a person with a homosexual orientation is to be cared for with the same mercy and love that is bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ upon all sinners. All persons are called by God to strive toward holiness.