The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches has decided to vote in favor of same-sex marriages.
The federation made up of 26 member churches and nearly 1,000 congregations recently voted on whether or not to allow same-sex marriages in their faith. While making the vote at a nationwide assembly, the congregation of delegates voted 46 to 11 in support of “marriage for all,” according to a press release. That said, the delegates also decided to leave the final judgment of whether or not to officiate a same-sex wedding to each individual church and pastor.
“The delegates recommend that the member churches presuppose the opening of marriage for same-sex couples at civil law level, as well as the possibly new civil law concept of marriage for the church wedding,” the release states.
“The member churches gathered together in the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches agree that the fullness of the divine act of creation is reflected in the variety of sexual orientations,” a draft of the new legislation reads.
This vote comes after the federation’s council endorsed the proposal for civil unions and same-sex marriages this summer. It seems the Swiss Prostatant Religion has been increasingly vocal in its pro-gay and pro-gay couples support in this year. In June, the federation’s assembly of delegates announced the official pro-gay position where “God wants us the way we were created.”
“We cannot choose our sexual orientation,” the assembly’s position statement reads. “We see it as an expression of created abundance.”
That said, the pro-gay stance and pro-same-sex marriage vote didn’t come without its heavy debate. But thankfully, this vote went much better than votes at other Christian conferences of recent past.
Toward the start of this year, the United Methodist Church was fractured between more conservative minds and progressive religious followers. Methodist church delegates held a similar religious conference but the result was much different.
The Book of Discipline currently states that Methodist clergy members are not allowed to lead same-sex weddings. “Self-avowed practicing homosexuals” are also not allowed to become members of the clergy.
At the conference, delegates initially planned to lessen restrictions, but they ultimately voted to tighten them instead. By voting to support the conservative “Traditional Plan,” Methodist Church leaders ended up ostracizing many of the congregation and their religious followers.
These two instances highlight just how much can change in a year. While the year started with the United Methodist Church in the USA restricting its LGBTQ members, the Swiss Protestant religion is opening its arms to LGBTQ people of the faith at the year’s close. Hopefully, the United Methodist Church is taking note.