Concerns About Getting a Marriage License in a Same-Sex Marriage State

Would it be wrong for my bride-to-be and me to submit our relationship to the regulations of a government that has seen fit to legalize same-sex unions? Would we be endorsing sin by applying for a marriage license in a state that has moved in this direction? We believe in biblical marriage, and we plan to tie the knot at church in a God-honoring ceremony in the presence of family and friends. At the same time, we're thinking seriously about not getting a marriage license. How do you feel about this?

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

In the past we’ve responded to questions about the validity of state-authorized marriage licenses by pointing out that there is a distinctly communal aspect to genuine biblical marriage. This is implied in a husband and wife’s decision to “leave” their parents and “cleave” to one another (Genesis 2:24). In “leaving” and “cleaving,” a man and a woman initiate a new family unit. The family unit, in turn, is part of the larger community. This means that marriage is anything but a purely private affair. It involves a couple’s public commitment to build a strong and lasting relationship. That relationship isn’t just a foundation for the nurturing of their own children. It’s also a building block of social stability. It’s a contribution to the well-being of society. This explains why the secular state has always had a strong vested interest in marriage. And Romans 13:1-7 indicates that government authority exists by to God’s design.

Does your state’s decision to legitimize same-sex marriage change any of this? We don’t think so. Everything we just said remains true in spite of the new legislation. The existence of so-called “gay marriage” doesn’t prevent a Christian couple from presenting a strong witness to the world by making their commitment to one another a matter of public record. It’s never wrong to do the right thing, no matter what the rest of the world thinks. The words of the apostle Peter seem relevant at this point: “This is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (I Peter 2:15).

We realize, of course, that you may wish to forgo a marriage license as a way of protesting the new law. If after earnest prayer you sincerely believe that the Lord is calling you to do this, it’s not our place to try to change your minds. To a certain extent this is a matter of conscience. But on the whole, we tend to feel that believers should continue to marry in accordance with the regulations and requirements of the state unless such time as it becomes absolutely impossible to do so.

If you think it might be helpful to discuss these ideas at greater length, don’t hesitate to call our pastoral counselors.

Resources
If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

God and Government: An Insider’s View on the Boundaries Between Faith & Politics

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.