However, the church also supports “laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” The church believes that gay men and lesbians have a right to serve openly in the military, but forces glbt pastors deep into a closet of "don't ask, don't tell." We believe sexuality is a good gift from God, but refuse the use of General and Annual Conference funds to encourage thoughtful conversation and study around sexual orientation, because it might "promote the acceptance of homosexuality."
As I write this, Delaware has become the 11th state to legalize marriage between same sex couples, and Minnesota is poised to be number 12. Currently, 48% of Americans live in states that offer legal rights/protections for gay and lesbian couples. As more politicians come out in favor of marriage equality and more than 50% of Americans support this movement, it is clear that the tide has turned in the US, and marriage equality will eventually be the law of the land.
|The Wedding of Dan & Bill 2004|
Bethany UMC San Francisco
The deeper crisis is the church's failure to recognize God in the midst of love. Scripture tells us that God is love. When marriages were legal in San Francisco in 2004, God was EVERYWHERE! I, who have been trained as a United Methodist elder, had never before encountered God so fully as those beautiful weeks when love was celebrated, covenanted, blessed and licensed! The City was brought to a whole new level of joy, as complete strangers stopped to give flowers to newlyweds, as offices shut down to throw wedding showers, as parents dropped everything to fly into SF to be at their children's sides for the most important day of their lives.
If the church can't recognize this as something holy and true, one has to wonder: what in God's name is wrong with the church?