Rev. Jane Spahr is a colleague and friend of mine. I believe that same gender couples deserve to be married in the eyes of the state and in the eyes of the church. LGBT couples and families are children of a beloved God, not children of a lesser God.
Rev. Spahr has reached out to LGBT couples her entire life. I was a dissenting opinion (4-2 vote) on the Judicial Committee that found her guilty of marrying same gender couples in August 2010.
I am also a member of Redwoods Presbytery that on Tuesday voted 78-18 to stand with Rev. Spahr.
The great struggle in American life today is the debate on the inclusion of LGBT couples within the institution of marriage.
For 400 generations of human history marriage was never imagined to be anything other than between a man and a woman. In less than one generation we now stand on the edge of expanding the definition of marriage to include same gender couples.
Twenty years ago this conversation was not even possible. It wasn’t a reality.
One side says “marriage is for a man and a woman” and expanding this definition “weakens society and will erode our moral fabric.” The other side says, “our
families, our love, our children deserve marriage equality. We are not children of lesser God. We are children of a beloved God.” And then we have varying opinions that range in the middle. And the question is: Who is included, and who is not?
When I officiate at a marriage, the moment comes when I talk about the meaning of marriage. This is what I say; “Marriage is a holy promise between two people who love each other, trust each other, and face all of life together. Love and marriage is built of imponderable things of the spirit: loyalties, memories, imagination, sacrifices, joy, laughter and tears.”
Believing that we are all beloved children of God can be easy words to say, but have real life struggles. And today we are in the midst of one of these great struggles.
I have not one, but three sisters in law who are lesbian. How one family hits
the gay trifecta I have no idea! Their spouses and children are equal parts wonderful and beautiful.
Marriage that includes LGBT couples is not some abstract debate I can support or oppose. Marriage equality is my life. It is my family. A family I care for very much, as long as I don’t have to be in the kitchen with them on Thanksgiving.
When we speak out and reach out to those who get singled out, when we build a bridge, it should cause people to tremble. Easy to say, hard to live.
We are receivers of God’s grace, not keepers of it.
Here a link to the audio of Rev. Dan’s Mother’s Day sermon on marriage quality.