Ban on same sex marriage: Some Tucson churches put it in their bylaws

Ban on same sex marriage: Some Tucson churches put it in their bylaws

CREATED Mar 26, 2013

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- The Supreme Court has heard arguments that could lead to a landmark ruling and will do the same Wednesday.

The court heard a challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage.  Tomorrow, it will hear a challenge to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. Some local churches already are taking action -- banning gay marriage in their congregations.

Preachers in the bible-thumping states shout it loudly from the pulpit -- their stance -- on same sex marriage, but at churches around here -- a new push to put it in writing -- right in the bylaws.

We showed some Tucson folks that new wording from Christ Community Church. Tony Mazza reads: "Sexual intimacy is to occur only between a man and a woman -- who are married to each other."

Reporter Valerie Cavazos asked Mazza "Do you have issues with churches making that kind of stand? and define it?" He answered, "No, that's their religious view."

El Camino Baptist Church did it too -- putting it in writing that you can come in their church if you're gay, but don't expect them to marry you. Reporter Valerie Cavazos asked Paster Ronald Rushing, "They're a gay couple -- they want to be married. You tell them what?" Rushing said, "I tell them I'm sorry I can't do it here. It violates who we are as a church and our faith."

Carmen Valdez says the bylaws against gay marriage sound good to her.  "I think they should go ahead with it," she said.

The bottom line: Tucson churches don't want to be sued. Christian legal experts are putting out the word that with gay marriage gaining momentum, churches need policies saying they won't be tying any of those knots.