The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage, by Mark Achtemeier

I first met Mark Achtemeier in one of the committee rooms at a Presby­terian Church (U.S.A.) General As­sembly in the mid-1990s. We were on opposite sides of a perennial issue for Presbyterians: whether the church’s ban on gay ordination should be codified in the denomination’s constitution.

At that point Achtemeier had become one of the most vigorous and articulate spokespersons for the conservative cause in Presbyterian circles, a frequent keynote speaker at national church gatherings of Presbyterians for Renewal and other evangelical groups, and one of the chief defenders of church orthodoxy on matters of sexual purity.

After leaving the Presbyterian ministry because I had been outed as a gay man in 1990 by two members of the congregation I served, I soon became an advocate for change in the denomination. At the time I met Achtemeier, I was national co-moderator of the More Light Presbyterians.