The United Church of Christ – the folks of the “God is still speaking,” campaign that was banned on several mainstream television stations for its stand on openness and acceptance of all peoples – voted in the affirmative on a resolution to support equal marriage rights for all people, regardless of gender. The full story is on their web site.
Here is the resolution:
The marriage equality resolution (1) affirms equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender and declares that the government should not interfere with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of legally recognized marriage; (2)affirms equal access to the basic rights, institutional protections and quality of life conferred by the recognition of marriage, (3) calls for an end to rhetoric that fuels hostility, misunderstanding, fear and hatred expressed toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, (4) asks officers of the church to communicate the resolution to local, state and national legislators, urging them to support equal marriage rights, (5) calls upon all settings of the church to engage in serious, respectful and prayerful discussion of the covenantal relationship of marriage and equal marriage rights, (6) calls upon congregations, after prayerful, biblical, theological, and historical study, to consider adopting Wedding Policies that do not discriminate against couples based on gender, and (7) urges congregations and individuals of the UCC to prayerfully consider and support local, state and national legislation to grant equal marriage rights to couples regardless of gender, and to work again legislation, including constitutional amendments, which denies rights to couples based on gender.
Compare this to the coverage by Catholic.org on the Vatican’s response to the legalization of gay marriage in Spain. My favorite line in that article, after defining family as “based on marriage between a man and a woman”, says this: Any attempt to change God’s plan on the family is also an attempt to disfigure the most authentic face of humanity.
Is my humanity disfiguring and inauthentic? And the humanity of millions of men and women all over the world – is their humanity disfiguring and inauthentic? You tell me, as someone who was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic high school and a Catholic college, where do you think I’m more inclined to worship? At a place that welcomes my humanity or at a place that considers a fundamental part of my life to be “disfiguring”? I am disgusted by the authorities of the faith in which I was raised.
And at the same time, I am heartened by the governing body of the UCC. Thank you to the delegates at General Synod 25 for your clarity of faith, love, and vision.