By Todd McFarland, associate general counsel, General Conference,
and Orlan Johnson, director, public affairs and religious liberty department, North American Division
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that finds a constitutional right to same-sex marriage raises a lot of questions for the church.
This decision, reached on June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, is one that many Seventh-day Adventist members greeted with apprehension. In particular, many church members wonder what, if any, impact this decision will have on the church’s ability to conduct mission consistent with biblical principles.
The Supreme Court’s decision is unlikely to have a direct, immediate impact on the church. Rather, the concern is what collateral effects will appear down the road after a legal structure endorsed a different definition of marriage than the church affirms. Further, and perhaps more importantly, this decision will impact already changing societal attitudes and thus will require the church to find a path to operate in a changed society.