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Prop. 8 prompts more than 700 residents to gather

Residents discuss definition of marriage

Posted: September 8, 2008 10:38 p.m.
Updated: November 10, 2008 5:00 a.m.

More than 700 worshippers from a handful of Santa Clarita Valley congregations gathered at Grace Baptist Church on Sunday to hear speakers discuss the Bible's interpretation of marriage, sexuality and relationships.

The event, spurred by Proposition 8, brought together members of Grace Baptist Church, Heart of the Canyons Church, Royal Oaks Community Church of Stevenson Ranch and Copperhill Community Church.

It was inspired by the ongoing discussion of the definition of marriage, especially as Proposition 8 is expected to appear on the November ballot.

If passed, it would amend the California Constitution, making marriage between a man and a woman.

The event featured three speakers, Dr. Mark Saucy, professor at Talbot Theological Seminary in La Mirada, Pastor Brian Howard of Copperhill Community Church and attorney Steven Lewis, who spoke to the hundreds of worshippers at Grace Baptist Church's hilltop worship center about the theological, cultural and legal effects of marriage under the theme of "What Does the Bible Say?"

In between the prayers and musical performances, Mike Gaston, outreach pastor for Grace Baptist Church, spoke to the crowd, saying the event wasn't just a way to oppose same-sex marriage.

Rather, it was an opportunity for everyone to discuss marriage and evaluate their personal situations, he said.

While same-sex marriage has become an ongoing discussion, Gaston said the California Supreme Court's decision in May against Proposition 22 prompted church leaders to look to the scripture for guidance.

With that, Gaston said churches from the local area as well as the rest of Southern California took part in conferences to discuss the Bible's perspectives on marriage.

Soon after, Sunday's undertaking began to give people a way to understand what God says about marriage and sexuality, especially as Proposition 8 is set to appear on the November ballot, he said.


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