Friday, July 06, 2012

Here I Stand, With Tara

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) this afternoon failed to endorse an assembly committee's recommendation to send to the church's regional bodies (Presbyteries) a proposal to change the denomination's constitutional worship directory definition of marriage. The change would have replaced the words "a man and a woman" with "two people."
While I am a strong and outspoken supporter of marriage equality, I don't think this measure had a chance to pass in the presbyteries, and I'm not going to miss that fight. We will stand in the struggle, and continue to do what God calls us to do -- including blessing the Christian marriages of same-gender couples regardless of what the state or the church calls them. I will continue to end such services saying, "I declare that, in the eyes of God and of this church, you are married! Y'all can kiss!"
From my Facebook page from earlier in the week: It's time to stand in solidarity with Tara Spuhler McCabe. But, first, a word from our daughter, who, when she heard that Tara is being brought up on charges for marrying a lesbian couple said, simply, "I thought she was already married." A little levity before some ecclesiastical disobedience.

I am thinking of that scene from the end of "In and Out," when all the high school kids stand up and say, "I'm gay." So, I'm standing up to say that I have officiated at same-gender services on more than one occasion. 

Though this pastoral work did not involve signing legal documents (because the state of Virginia will not issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples), I have declared same-gender couples to be married in the eyes of God and the gathered community of the church. 

Oh, and I knowlngly ordained married gay elders years before the denomination blessed that action. Who else out there among my Presbyterian colleagues will stand up and declare their participation in the exact same activities that Tara is being so cruelly attacked for?

It is time to declare: here I stand, I can do no other.

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