CARSON CITY, Nev. — Voters in the state of Nevada will decide this November whether or not to retain language in the state Constitution that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The ballot question will read:
“Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to: (1) remove an existing provision recognizing marriage as only between a male person and a female person and require the State of Nevada and its political subdivisions to recognize marriages of and issue marriage licenses to couples, regardless of gender; (2) require all legally valid marriages to be treated equally under the law; and (3) establish a right for religious organizations and clergy members to refuse to perform a marriage and provide that no person is entitled to make any claim against them for exercising that right?”
In 2000 and 2002, residents voted 69 to 30% and 67 to 33% to approve an amendment to the Constitution, which states, “Only a marriage between a male and female person shall be recognized and given effect in this state.”
However, as the U.S. Supreme Court “legalized” same-sex “marriage” in 2015 with its Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, in 2017, Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, a homosexual himself, presented Joint Resolution 2 to potentially repeal the language. A majority vote in two sessions of the legislature is required to put a question on the ballot.
In 2017 and 2019, the Assembly and Senate voted to allow the measure to move forward, with only two Republicans in the Senate voting no in 2019 and one Republican. Sen. Ira Hanson, R-Sparks, was the only Republican in the Senate last year to oppose the proposal.
If voters approve the question, the Nevada Constitution would be altered to instead read, “The State of Nevada and its political subdivisions shall recognize marriages and issue marriage licenses to couples regardless of gender. … All legally valid marriages must be treated equally under the law.”
Nevada would also reportedly be the first state to repeal its constitutional marriage amendment following the Obergefell ruling.
While a common argument among those who struggle with feelings toward the same sex is that they were “born this way,” the Bible teaches that all are born with the Adamic sin nature (Romans 5:19), having various inherent feelings and inclinations that are contrary to the law of God and being utterly incapable of changing by themselves (Job 14:4).
All men, therefore, face the same predicament, being natural lawbreakers and guilty in the sight of God (Romans 3:19), evoking His wrath.
“[W]e all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” Ephesians 2:3 outlines.
“All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way,” Isaiah 53:6 reads, “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
It is why Jesus came: to do what men could not do for themselves, to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Scripture outlines that Jesus came to be the propitiation for men’s sins (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10), a doctrine in Christianity known as substitutionary atonement, and to save men from the wrath of God for their violations against His law (Romans 4:25, Romans 5:9, Romans 5:16), a doctrine known as justification.
Acts 2:38-40 exhorts, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The Bible also teaches about regeneration, as in addition to sparing guilty men from eternal punishment, Christ sent his Holy Spirit to make those who would repent and believe new creatures in the here and now, with new desires and an ability to do what is pleasing in the sight of God by His indwelling and empowerment (Ezekiel 11:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Titus 3:5).
The late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once explained, “The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require — not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by His atoning death but from the dominion of their sins by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them but also to sanctify them.”