In a few weeks voters in six states will decide on state constitutional amendments that will bar same-sex marriage and any other legal recognition of same-sex couples. Most mainline denominations have come out against the amendments even though some of them do not allow same-sex couples to wed in their churches. Most evangelicals and Catholics support the amendments.
Both sides would do well to consider Jesus’ teaching—not on marriage, but on divorce. In the Markan passage, the Pharisees were seeking to trap Jesus when they asked him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” The setup reminds us of other situations in which people tried to trap Jesus—on occasions when they demanded signs, inquired about taxes or debated resurrection.