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Religious arguments for and against marriage rights for same-sex couples are not always evenly divided among theologically conservative religious groups and liberal groups.While self-identified theological liberal organizations such as the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), support same-sex marriage, other more conservative and or orthodox organizations including some Mennonite churches, the Church of the Brethren, the Old Catholic Church,) at their 2009 General Convention declared that: "bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church." On July 9, 2012, the Episcopal Church passed a resolution that was to be voted on later to approve an official liturgy for blessing same-sex unions.Some Christians support religious and legal recognition of same-sex marriages based on a moral commitment to equality, or a belief that "human sexual orientations, whether heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual, are a gift from God", as affirmed by the United Church of Canada's 37th General Council.Even within the Roman Catholic Church, there can be found a few a groups who support for same-sex marriage.The United Church of Christ's General Synod (998,906 members) passed a resolution affirming "equal marriage rights for all people regardless of gender" in 2005.
Helminiak argues that Biblical passages said to be against homosexuality (and same-sex marriages) do not actually say anything against gay and lesbian sexual relationships or identity.
Historian John Boswell claims the 4th century Christian martyrs Saint Sergius and Saint Bacchus were united in the rite of adelphopoesis, or brother-making, which he calls an early form of religious same-sex marriage.
Some same-sex married couples have challenged religious organizations that exclude them from access to public facilities maintained by those organizations, such as schools, health care centers, social service agencies, summer camps, homeless shelters, nursing homes, orphanages, retreat houses, community centers, and athletic programs.
By 2014, the General Assembly passed an Authoritative Interpretation permitting pastors to sign marriage licences for same-gender couples where permitted by civil law in the states where their church was found, which took immediate effect.
On March 17, 2015, ratification by a majority of presbyteries was reached on a constitutional amendment passed by that same 2014 General Assembly, which broadened the definition of marriage in the Directory for Worship from only being between "a man and a woman," to "two people, traditionally a man and a woman," thus giving official sanction to, while not making it mandatory for, any congregation's pastor to preside over and bless marriage ceremonies for same-gender couples.
There are also progressive congregations and organizations within mainline Christian denominations, that have not yet officially voiced official support for same-sex marriage, but have spoken out themselves in support of equal marriage rights in the church and through the state.