Friday, January 14, 2005

A True Act of Religious Courage

Gay people are not allowed to marry? Well, then neither are straights. I'm overwhelmed with admiration.

NEW HAVEN, Jan. 13 - In a protest against the Episcopal Church's refusal to allow same-sex marriages, the leaders of a church in the stately East Rock section of this city have announced that they will perform no marriage ceremonies at all.

The decision, conveyed on Thursday in a letter from the priest to the 115 families of St. Thomas's Episcopal Church, is a novel challenge to the social and religious barriers to marriage between homosexuals.

Some Episcopal churches have handled the problem by offering gay couples a blessing ceremony that is not legally considered a marriage. Lay leaders at St. Thomas's have decided that the absence of a ritual at the heart of a church's spiritual and social functions is a powerful way to protest what they consider a form of religious discrimination.

6 comments:

FunkyB said...

I don't have a subscription to the paper you linked, but if I think it's what I think it is, all I can say is, someone has been listening in on my private thoughts on the subject.

If "marriage" is a religious institution, then marriages should only be arranged between partners and clergy. Licenses for unions should be the only legality at hand, and everyone who gets a driver's license would then be eligible. This is truly a cause I can get behind.

Sheryl said...

Three cheers for St. Thomas's Episcopal Church!!!!

FunkyB said...

Thanks for the synopsis, Lorraine! Once again I find myself saying, "I'm proud to be Episcopalian." My brother-in-law was ordained years ago and my husband and I decided to give their brand of interpretation a shot. As with all religions, we've found each one has its own particular brand of "practicing," but at the core are some very loving and giving beliefs. In particularly, I'm terribly fond of their attitude toward homosexuality. The church is a place of healing, not hurting... a place of ministering, not preaching...and the tenets of this faith are practiced in the real world. Recently we all rented a cabin in the Carolinas at one of their retreat centers. That same the retreat hosted a weekend marriage encounter, and it was absolutely soul-soaringly wonderful to see same sex couples there along with the heterosexual ones.

Some Guy said...

Excellent synopsis. This is a prime example of why avoid organized religion. Hate me if you like, but I try to be a good person and do good works w/o the church.

lorraine said...

Friends of mine have applied for a marriage license and were turned down because they both happen to be women. They are the most loving, devoted couple I have ever known. They model the kind of marriage that I believe to be sacred, and yet, both of them, individually, are complete persons unto themselves. The fact that the state tells them they can't get married hurts my heart.
I agree that if marriage is a sacrament, that the state has no role in marriage whatsoever. It should only offer civil unions to all people--anyone wanting to get married would have to do so through the auspices of a religious organization. But all couples, regardless of sex, would have equal benefits, rights, and recognition under the law of the land. Why is that so hard for people to accept?

Enya said...

Lorraine,
Love is divine, but marriage is not. The erotic is spiritual, but our attempts to control the erotic put us at odds with the sacred. Either all of us get to marry, or none of us do. Either all of us get to express our love for another adult human being, or none of us do. I agree with you. Love is not a privilege reserved for only some of us.