Did Jesus Christ Preach Against Gay Weddings?

Jesus Christ is the reason a Washington state florist has refused to provide a floral arrangement for a gay wedding. The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, has said providing flowers for a gay wedding would betray her religious beliefs.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson alleges that Barronelle Stutzman is illegally discriminating against one of her longtime customers, Robert Ingersoll. According to Fox News, Barronelle Stutzman knew that her customer was gay, and that he often bought flowers for his partner, Curt Freed. When Washington state started permitting gay marriages in 2012, Ingersoll asked Stutzman to provide the floral arrangements for his upcoming wedding to Freed.

Stutzman testified under oath that she could not provide the floral arrangements because of her relationship with Jesus Christ.

So what did Jesus Christ actually preach about marriage? According to a recent article by Candida Moss in The Daily Beast, not much apparently. The Old Testament defines marriage very broadly as a “relationship between a man and a woman, a man and several women, a man and his fertile slave girl, and a man and his rape victim.”

The Daily Beast points out that when it comes to Jesus Christ and the New Testament, there is very little support of Jesus Christ’s endorsement of traditional marriage. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus Christ speak in favor of marriage, only opposition to divorce. Besides the wedding at Cana, Jesus never celebrates, participates in or references a wedding, writes Ms. Moss. In fact, Mark 10:29-30 documents that Jesus encouraged his disciples to leave their families behind and join him, with apparent disregard for child or spousal support. Then there is also the matter of whether Jesus himself was married.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Jesus’ Apostle Paul is actually anti-marriage, and prefers that his followers do not marry and remain celibate just as he did. The Daily Beast’s Ms. Moss quotes Jon Marks, a professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte who said, “…different cultures emphasize different roles that marriage serves and consequently it takes many diverse forms across cultures and classes.” In other words, there is no one size fits all when it comes to marriage.

Barronelle Stutzman was offered a chance by Mr. Ferguson to resolve the issue by paying a $2,000 fine and agreeing not to discriminate in the future. In response to the Attorney General’s offer, Stutzman wrote to him, “You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver,” referring to Judas selling out Jesus Christ. “That is something I will not do.”

[Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]