A Issue About Marriage
In November in California there will be an issue on the ballot called "Proposition 8" which, in essence, limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman. Clearly the battle lines are sharp. One the more liberal side of the agenda are proponents who argue that this is a civil rights issue. Gays and lesbians should be allowed the same civil rights and heterosexual couples: insurance, estates, child custody, medical information etc. Those on the conservative side say this is the slippery slope, that if defeated, would not only allow, but mandate facility use be made open for gay couples as well as heterosexual couples. That to say "no thank you" to a gay couple wishing to have me marry them or use the facility would be tantamount to refusing an African American couple or a blind couple.
My navigation of these waters is naive to say the least. So far as I can see it heterosexual marriage is the normative pattern for the Bible. I am not able to see myself officiating or participating in the blessing of a gay marriage. That being said, I am called to practice only one behavior pattern in the communities in which I live: love. I am committed to loving and respecting all people; those who agree with me and those who disagree with me, those who are orthodox and those who are heterodox, those who are addicted and those who are free, those who are obese and those who are anorexic, those who are gay and those who are straight. I want my life to practice the motto of Dr. Richard Mouw: "Convicted Civility". Those with whom I disagree should know my convictions deeply and those with whom I disagree must experience my civility. I should be ready to die for the civil rights of those with whom I differ, without compromising the beliefs I hold dear.
Does the legalization of gay marriage pose a threat to the practice of your faith as a pastor? Do you feel it will "force" you to officiate in marriages you would decline?