Ireland Votes to Allow Gay Marriage

150604ireland_mapBy Baptist Press

DUBLIN, Ireland — Ireland on May 22 became the first country to hold a public vote amending its constitution to allow gay marriage, but the change will not force houses of worship to perform the unions.

Instead, gay couples will be able to enter in “civil marriage,” a separate institution from but affording all the legal benefits of “religious marriage,” according to the Yes Equality civil group that spearheaded the drive for the constitutional change.

“No religious institution can be forced to marry a lesbian or gay couple against their beliefs,” the group’s website reads. “Churches will be able to continue with religious ceremonies and will not be required to conduct wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.”

Ireland’s Justice Department plans to draft a marriage bill this week that will permit those taking vows in civil ceremonies to choose either to be “husband and wife” or “spouses of each other,” satisfying the demands of religious groups including Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims that no church will be required to perform gay marriage in the country, the Associated Press reported. [Read more…]

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History Made During Summit

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Elected officers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention at its Nov. 11-12 annual meeting were, from left, Nathan Washburn, pastor, First Baptist Church, Greenbrier, second vice president; Michael Ellis, pastor, Impact Baptist Church, Memphis, president; and David Leavell, pastor, First Baptist Church, Millington, vice president. — Photos by Connie Davis Bushey

TBC elects first African-American president; strides made toward 50/50 CP distribution

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

BRENTWOOD — By unanimous consent, messengers to the 140th annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention elected the first African-American president in convention history during the Nov. 11-12 meeting held at Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood. [Read more…]

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Look Who’s Calling Us Hypocrites

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

We have all heard the accusation. Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites. They preach one thing, but live the exact opposite.

Sadly, there are Christians who do just that. But there are also Christians who try the best they can to match their words with their actions.

Christians, however, do not have the market on hypocrisy.

For those who read the Baptist and Reflector regularly, you are well aware that the paper and the Tennessee Baptist Convention, led by our executive director, Randy C. Davis, has taken up the banner for Yes on 1 (see stories on page 1 of this issue). [Read more…]

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