Over the past several decades the Seventh-day Adventist Church has felt it necessary to clearly state in various ways its position in regards to marriage, the family, and human sexuality. These subjects are at the heart of many pressing issues facing society. That which for centuries has been considered to be basic Christian morality in the marriage setting is now increasingly called into question, not only in secular society but within Christian churches themselves.
The institutions of marriage and family are under attack
and facing growing centrifugal forces that are tearing them
apart. An increasing number of nations are not only debating
the topic of “same-sex unions,” but some have already
passed various pieces of legislation, thus making it a world
issue. The public discussion has engendered strong emotions.
In light of these developments, the Seventh-day Adventist
Church is clearly restating its position.
We reaffirm, without hesitation, our long-standing position
as expressed in the Church’s Fundamental Beliefs: “Marriage
was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus
to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving
Though “sin has perverted God’s ideals
for marriage and family,” “the family tie is the closest, the
most tender and sacred of any human relationship,” and thus
“families need to experience renewal and reformation in their
relationships” (An Affirmation of Family, 1990).2
“marriage, a covenant-based union of two genders [male
and female] physically, emotionally, and spiritually, spoken of
in Scripture as ‘one flesh.’” “The monogamous union in marriage
of a man and a woman is . . . the only morally appropriate
focus of genital or related intimate sexual expression.”
“Any lowering of this high view is to that extent a lowering of
the heavenly ideal” (An Affirmation of Marriage, 1996).3
Homosexuality is a manifestation of the disturbance and
brokenness in human inclinations and relations caused by
the entrance of sin into the world. While everyone is subject
to fallen human nature, “we also believe that by God’s grace
and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an
individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s
Word” (Seventh-day Adventist Position Statement on Homosexuality,
We hold that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation,
are loved by God. We do not condone singling out any group for scorn and derision, let
alone abuse. Still, God’s Word
that transcends time and culture
does not permit a homosexual
lifestyle. The Bible’s opposition to
same-sex unions/marriage is anchored
in God’s plan at creation
for marriage (Gen 1:26-28; 2:20-
24), in divine legislation (Lev
18:22; 20:13; 1 Cor 6:9-11), and
in Jesus’ explicit confirmation of
a permanent, monogamous, and
heterosexual marriage relationship
1 Seventh-day Adventists Believe: An exposition of the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Doctrine 23 on “Marriage and the Family.”
2 Public Statement, An Affirmation of Family, released July 5, 1990, at the General Conference Session, Indianapolis, Indiana.
3 Statement voted by the General Conference Administrative Committee on April 23, 1996.
4 Statement voted by the Annual Council of the General Conference
Executive Committee, October 17, 2012.
This document was approved and voted by the General Conference
of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee, October 17, 2012.