The American Bible Society Affirms Biblical Marriage, Employees Resign in Protest
The American Bible Society, one of the world's oldest Bible distributing organizations, is defending its decision to ask employees to sign a statement of faith affirming traditional marriage.
The new policy asks employees to conduct themselves according to biblical principles, including refraining from extra-marital sex and honoring God through marriage between one man and one woman.
"I will seek to refrain from sexual activity outside of the marriage covenant prescribed and exemplified in the Bible: 'a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one,' symbolizing the relationship between Christ and His Church," the statement reads.
The document also asks employees to refrain from "malicious speech, stealing, cheating others," and drug abuse.
Employees who disagree with the guidelines, specifically the ones about biblical marriage, have submitted their resignations.
According to the Religious News Service, nine of the company's 200 employees have resigned.
Former Web Services Manager Jeremy Gimbel, an openly gay man, told RNS he quit after seeing the guidelines.
"It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I was being forced out after nearly 10 years of my life," he said. "I am hurt because this Affirmation specifically excludes me from the community it is supposed to foster."
Gimbel also added that he believes the organization "will suffer" for its decision to affirm biblical values.
However, American Bible Society President and CEO Roy Peterson believes the organization did the right thing.
"We did this because we believe a staff made up of people with a deep and personal connection to the Bible will bring unity and clarity as we continue our third century of ministry," he told RNS.
He added: "We understand there are differing views on these matters...This decision does not signal intent to advocate or champion any cause other than increased engagement with the Bible."
Peterson said the organization respects those who refuse to sign the affirmation and choose to seek employment elsewhere.
Employees have until January 2019 to sign the statement of faith.