Marriage

wedded couple in a field

Supporting Healthy, Biblical Marriage

Except for the nano-second of history represented by the last twenty years or so, marriage has always been viewed as a relationship between a man and a woman.

Rather than marriage being purely a social construct to be scrapped as society changes, marriage is the name that has been given to a life-long, sexually exclusive relationship between one man and one woman.

At FACT, we strongly support one-man, one-woman marriage and believe that same-sex marriage is out of line with a biblical viewpoint. Since the June 2015 Supreme Court Obergefell decision that redefined marriage to include same-sex marriage, FACT has been legally challenging that ruling.

Now that you know the general perspective of what FACT believes about the issue of marriage, here are more specifics on what we believe about civil unions, divorce, and homosexual marriage (same-sex marriage).

Cohabitation

Our culture might say that potential marital partners benefit from living together before marriage, but statistics show that cohabitation before marriage can lead to marital problems once the couple weds and can increase the risk of divorce.

Sadly, by trying to avoid the broken homes and shattered lives experienced by family members and friends they know, some young people or even frightened divorced individuals are somehow hoping to avoid brokenness again by this avoidance of a long-lasting, in-front-of-God commitment to one another in marriage. But the solution really only leads to two single people living under one roof, not two people living in unity.

And it can be particularly damaging financially when couples break up before marriage. Imagine investing five, seven, or even ten years of your life in an arrangement that seems semi-permanent only to discover you are now out of a home and a loving relationship because your partner has called it quits without warning. You have no legal leg to stand on, and you have to begin again. This cycle can lead to poverty as well as lead individuals away from love altogether.

All this can be avoided by reserving passion and home-building for the solid, long-lasting, protected covenant we call biblical marriage.
 
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Divorce

America began a social experiment decades ago with no-fault divorce, removing the historical requirement that there be grounds for divorce. This was a major shift in the understanding of marriage and the relationship between marriage and reproduction.
Consequently, this shift paved the way for declining marriage rates, increased co-habitation, and demands for homosexual marriage. Research is now very clear that, in general, divorce (particularly in the absence of abuse) has tremendous negative effects on women and children.

And there is a tremendous cost to taxpayers from family fragmentation, over $700 million in Tennessee tax dollars annually.

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Pornography

Pornography (including strip clubs euphemistically called “gentlemen’s clubs” or “adult-oriented entertainment”) is not a victimless activity. It is a tool that destroys marriages, affects the brain negatively, breeds disease and crime, and is used in sex trafficking.
 
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Same-Sex 'Marriage'

Support for homosexual marriage, or same-sex “marriage,” reflects not only a misunderstanding of what marriage is, but also a lack of appreciation for the impact the redefinition of marriage will have on society and the reasons that governments provide benefits and impose duties upon marriage.

We believe that marriage is between a man and a woman because that is the biblical definition. We believe that the United States Supreme Court showed governmental overreach by trying to legislate from the bench in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case, which opened the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

Tennessee does not currently have a specific marriage licensing law on the books that includes same-sex marriage, so the Court usurped state’s rights. 
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Sexuality and Identity

Human sexuality is a gift from God and is a visible expression of the invisible reality of the kind of unity, fellowship, union, intimacy, and commitment that exists within the nature of the Triune God. Therefore, any expression of sexual intimacy outside of the union and commitment reflected in the marriage between one man and one woman is a distortion of God’s design.

Apart from this theological underpinning, however, prudence would suggest restraint because of the relational, physical, and emotional harm that generally follows acts of marital infidelity, promiscuity, and homosexuality, and from the substitution of pornography for sexual expression within marriage.

When it comes to an individual’s identity, current secular society is pressing for us to use the term gender identity and to equate that term with the historically understood term “sex.” However, history shows us that the term "gender" is a grammatical term, not a biological one. Therefore, the terms are different and distinguishable. FACT prefers to use the term "sex" to indicate biological differences.

Though our culture is currently debating the trms "gender dystopia," “transgenderism,” “gender-neutral” pronouns, and the fluidity of gender expression in order to legitimize and legislate a new identity based on gender that is not concurrent with Scripture, the Bible makes it very clear at the beginning of God’s Word in Genesis that He made us “male and female” (Genesis 1:27).

Initiatives

God-Given Marriage

This year, FACT President David Fowler has begun a plan to bring marriage back to God’s definition – between a man and a woman—in the state of Tennessee through a key piece of legislation and a massive educational effort of Volunteer State citizens.

Pray for Marriage

For 40-days starting on April 28, 2015, months before the U.S. Supreme Court would decide in June on the constitutionality of marriage, FACT partnered with other conservative organizations in a concerted “Pray4Marriage” effort to stand for biblical marriage to pray for all the Supreme Court justices who would be hearing oral arguments.

Real Marriage

In 2006, FACT coordinated and led the Real Marriage campaign to pass the Tennessee Marriage Protection Amendment, which specified that only a marriage between a man and a woman can be legally recognized in the state of Tennessee. The amendment passed in November by the second-highest margin of all the 38 states that eventually passed marriage amendments. That’s more than 80 percent!
 

Legislative Victories

2016

House Joint Resolution 528 passed, which calls on members of Congress to adopt an amendment returning authority over the definition of marriage back to the states and to take specific steps to make the federal judiciary more accountable to the people.

House Joint Resolution 529 also passed in 2016, which affirmed the legal principle that the Obergefell Court overreached its judicial authority by purporting to require states to affirmatively enact same-sex “marriage” license laws.

2014

Thanks to FACT leveraging citizens through prayer and a petition drive, Chattanoogans voted in August to repeal a city ordinance that would have provided domestic partnership benefits to city employees in unmarried homosexual and heterosexual relationships.

2011

FACT fought opposition from the Tennessee Equality Project to bring a bill that blocked sexual orientation/gender identity “non-discrimination” (SOGI) law.

2007

FACT worked with legal experts during FACT’s first legislative session to pass one of the few statewide zoning laws regulating the location of adult entertainment businesses.
 

2006

FACT coordinated and led the Real Marriage campaign to pass the Tennessee Marriage Protection Amendment, which specifies that only a marriage between a man and a woman can be legally recognized in the state of Tennessee.

Find out what FACT is doing to fight for marriage in Tennessee.

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