In North Carolina, the United Church of Christ has launched a legal challenge to the state ban on gay marriage, because it limits their religious freedom to decide which couples it may bless in marriage.
Also in the South, United Church clergy have joined with Methodist and other religious leaders in a coalition to support gay marriage – because they are Christians, not in spite of it.
Oklahoma faith leaders form coalition supporting marriage equality
More than 50 Oklahoma faith leaders have formed a coalition in support of marriage rights for all couples, whether gay or straight.The Oklahoma Faith Leaders for Marriage group includes leaders of congregations of Mennonites, United Methodists, Unitarians, Episcopalians, United Church of Christ and at least one Baptist minister and two rabbis.
Standing in the sanctuary of Church of the Open Arms, Kenny Wright and Bo Bass are an Oklahoma City gay couple who say they will get married in Oklahoma if the state’s same-sex marriage ban is overturned. Photo by Jim Beckel, The OklahomanThe United Methodist and United Church of Christ denominations have the most coalition representation, with at least eight United Methodist clergy and at least eight United Church of Christ ministers among the faith network’s members.“Expanding marriage equality will finally remove a long-standing obstacle to our pastoral care — and allow us to minister equally to all families in our community,” the coalition said in a statement released after its April launch.
-More at News OK.
I have long believed in the importance of equal marriage. I’ve preached about it, worked for it, and shown up at rallies. Last summer I spent time in the halls of the New York statehouse joining the call for the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in that state. It’s always been a matter of justice for me.
But until recently, it’s been a relatively academic one. I’d never met anyone I’d seriously considered marrying. Even as I officiated at my friends’ weddings I joked with them about being a happy, perennial bachelor. Equal marriage was great. For other people.
God has a sense of humor. I say that because five months from today, my fiancée and I will be joined in marriage. Which means that in the past few months I’ve learned a new language, spoken only by those who have been through the minor trauma of wedding planning, which comes complete with phrases like “save the date cards,” “cake tastings,” and “wedding website”.
But I’ve learned another language too. One that only same-sex couples living in the era of DOMA learn. Things like “filing married in Vermont and single on our federal taxes,” “counting my partner’s inclusion on my health insurance as earned income,” “medical power of attorney for when we travel out of state,” and “saving extra in case I die because my partner can’t receive my social security”.
Still, my partner and I are the fortunate ones. We are getting married in Massachusetts and then residing in Vermont, both of which recognize equal marriage. We are both members of the United Church of Christ, which means our denomination recognizes and blesses our marriage. And we both have our families’ full support.
-full reflection by Rev. Emily C. Heath at Huffington Post