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The General Synod of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) approved its first official statement on same-sex relationships in 1978. This study, along with other follow-up reports adopted by subsequent synods, is the RCA’s official position on the subject, although nothing explicit has been written into its constitutional documents. In recent years, the level of dissent and debate over this issue has risen dramatically in the RCA, reaching almost the same level of intensity as in other mainline denominations. In 2005, the fissures in the RCA were exposed by the trial and conviction of the Rev. Dr. Norman Kansfield, then president of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, for officiating in Massachusetts at the marriage ceremony of his daughter Ann to Jennifer Aull. This trial was painful in the church, and its aftermath has likely made the task of keeping to an orderly approach to this problem more difficult; one is reminded of the legal maxim, “Hard cases make bad law.”
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