With all of the news about same-sex marriage across the country, it should come as no surprise that some ministers are deciding to take a stand against these unions. In a meeting with a group of Baptist pastors, one Baptist pastor said that it is time for religious officials to stop signing marriage licenses. This interesting statement and the suggestions the man made might be of interest to our Texas readers.

Historically, marriage licenses were used to transfer the ownership of a woman to her husband from her family. They were also used to stop interracial marriages. The pastor, who is affiliated with the First Baptist Church in Athens, says that marriage licenses have been used for the subjugation of females and for racial oppression. He says that these licenses are nothing more than a way that a state can control people.

Instead of signing marriage licenses that the state issues, this pastor says that religious officials should only do covenant marriages. In a covenant marriage, the couple would have to go to the county offices to sign a “declaration of informal marriage,” which offers legal protections that are equal to that of a traditional marriage. The declaration, however, is less costly.

The Baptist pastors who participated in the meeting seemed to be in agreement that the current laws regarding marriage are watered down. The no-fault divorce laws were brought into the conversation because the pastors say that marriage isn’t really a life-long commitment any longer.

While the idea of only performing covenant marriages is something these pastors can hold true for their churches, not everyone wants to have a covenant marriage. Not everyone is going to stay married forever. When a marriage doesn’t work out, couples do have the right to divorce. If that happens, it is vital that you ensure that your rights are protected.

Source: The Baptist Standard, “Bad idea for ministers to sign marriage licenses, pastors insist” Ken Camp, Nov. 18, 2014