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Gay marriage may be the most divisive issue among today's Christians, pitting those who view it as sinful and contrary to God's laws against those who argue same-sex relationships are a normal part of human sexuality that churches should embrace and celebrate.

On Tuesday night, two Salt Lake City pastors on opposing sides will debate the question: Can you be Christian and gay?

The Rev. Jason Wallace, pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Magna, believes the two are antithetical.

"We are all sinners and all deserving of the wrath of a holy God," Wallace writes in an email. "Christians still sin, but we have been given a new heart and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. ... It is one thing to fall into sin; it is something altogether different to live in that sin."

Homosexuality is much like other "lifestyle sins" — drunkenness, adultery, theft and covetousness, Wallace says. "The Bible is clear that a Christian may sin by getting drunk, but not that he lives in drunkenness."

The Rev. Curtis Price of First Baptist Church in Salt Lake City interprets scripture differently.

"My position in simple terms is that homosexuality is not a sin and the Bible does not condemn it as sin," Price says. "The Christian church's fixation on this issue has been misplaced and is doing irreparable harm to good people and to Christian faith."

It is not a question of whether some can be gay and Christian, he says. "People are gay and Christian."

Like the two Utah clergymen, Christian churches across the country remain divided on the issue of homosexuality.

Some denominations, including the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have endorsed same-sex marriage and allow gays in monogamous relationships to serve as clergy.

That has propelled some congregations — including Mountain Road Church in Fruit Heights and Good Shepherd Lutheran in Sandy — to split off from their original Christian denomination and seek a more conservative religion.

Other faiths remain staunchly against such unions, including the Roman Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) and the Southern Baptist Convention.

The United Methodist Church continues to discuss the issue but, for now, has not endorsed same-sex marriage.

"Overall, a solid majority of white mainline Protestants (62 percent) now favor allowing gays and lesbians to wed, with just 33 percent opposed," according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. "A similar share (63 percent) say there is 'no conflict' between their religious beliefs and homosexuality."

In this antagonistic climate, Wallace hopes the debate can be civil and respectful, with neither side demonizing the other.

Price agrees — at least to the civility.

"While I am happy to have a friendly dialogue about the issue in the hopes of helping people understand that there is another view of things out there," he says, "ultimately, the heart of the gospel demands that the persecution of the LGBTQ community by the fundamentalist Christian church cease."

The dialogue will be in the Union Building's ballroom at the University of Utah at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.