'The Bible is very clear that sex is for a man and a woman in marriage only'
When President Barack Obama chose evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the presidential inauguration in 2009, there was outrage among liberal groups and gay rights proponents.
The socially conservative founder of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, was a very vocal supporter of California's Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriage in the state and passed on the same day Obama was elected president.
Warren's selection was seen as a slap by many in the LGBT community who Obama had heavily courted during his campaign.
More than three years later, Warren has not altered his views on gay marriage.
He was asked over the weekend by ABC News reporter Jake Tapper if his church needs to adjust its position on same-sex marriage in the same way the churches have throughout the years adjusted their position, for instance, on divorce.
Replied Warren: 'Well, if the Bible is the word of God, then I don’t have the right to change it. Policies come and go over the years. And so if I’m unpopular for certain beliefs, well, then I’m unpopular for certain beliefs.'
Then he added: 'And to me, the Bible is very clear that sex is for a man and a woman in marriage only… history shows that when the church accommodates culture, it weakens it. This is why there is a very weak church in Europe today. It’s almost non-existent in many areas.'
One thing Warren has changed in the past is the language on his church's website. As recently as 2008, Saddleback Church had explicitly said that 'someone unwilling to repent for their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted as a member at Saddleback.'