Shuck and Jive

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marriage Equality Mailbag

Last week the Johnson City Press asked readers to comment on President Obama's support of marriage equality. The paper printed my letter yesterday:
It is obvious that President Obama can see the numbers. Polls show that the majority of Americans now support marriage equality. I count myself in that number.
This is a matter of justice similar to other civil rights struggles regarding race and gender. Even though marriage licenses have nothing to do with religion, there are those who think their religious beliefs exempt them from treating others equally. They think marriage equality infringes upon their religious liberty.
I happen to be religious. I am a Christian minister. Social justice is a component of my religious practice. I believe marriage equality is a social justice issue. As a matter of justice and morality, I officiate at ceremonies for same-gender couples.  The state of Tennessee’s refusal to grant marriage licenses to these same-gender couples infringes upon my religious beliefs. Whose religious beliefs are more important?
So you can see, making this a religious issue gets us nowhere. Marriage licenses are granted by the states. Marriage equality is a matter of being an American with liberty and justice for all.  One day soon, as women gained the right to vote and as we ended segregation, so marriage equality will be a reality in Tennessee and all over the United States. The majority of Americans see this as a matter of fairness and the president can see the numbers.
First Presbyterian Church

The Johnson City Press also printed the letter from Linda Sorrell, our Director of Children's Ministry:
Thank you, President Obama. I, too, support gay marriage.
I have discovered that couples, gay or straight, who are in a long-term committed relationships strengthen my own marriage commitment.
Johnson City

1 comment:

  1. It was a good letter.

    I read this earlier today, as well:

    "For the past two days I was privileged to sit in on the proceedings of the CJLS – the Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards of the Conservative Movement at JTS. Many important and interesting issues were on the table but the main issue for me – and many others – was the passing of the responsum on same-sex weddings – offering a template and model for these sacred unions. I sat in on a similar meeting back in November, when the draft was sent back for more extensive work.

    Yesterday and today some important points were debated – but with a vote of 13 yes and one abstaining – the responsa passed!

    It was a dry, legalistic moment with but little smiles, a matter of business almost – and the meeting was adjourned immediately after. But I had tears in my eyes, the only gay man sitting in that room full of rabbis who were directly dealing with MY life and hopefully future ceremony – or at least the ones I’ll be leading…. ‘No trumpets!’ I said to one other student sitting next to me in the back of the room. “Pretend” he told me. And I did. And it was beautiful, like the joyful noise right after the groom breaks the glass.

    Mazal Tov!!!!"

    here's the link:

    So, we have the President, VP, Colin Powel, the NAACP and now the CJLS, all in the space of a few weeks, proclaiming support of marriage equality. And JCPenneys has a new Father's Day ad featuring a gay couple. And today DOMA was ruled unconstitutional, for the cherry on the sundae. Wow.