Affirmation Celebrates Recent Marriage Decisions

For immediate release, Wednesday 5/20/2009

By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

The season of Easter is a time of renewal, of love reborn, of hope rekindled, and of the resurrection of the One who is Life.  This Easter, Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns, joins with others in the larger faith community in celebrating the recent decisions affirming same-sex marriage.  The Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in the case of Varnum v. Brien, understands that different-sex and same-sex families have value and are to be legally recognized, honored, protected, and celebrated.  Affirmation was an Amicus in the case that resulted in this ruling.  Likewise, both the Vermont and Maine Legislatures and Governors have very wisely acknowledged that civil unions are not the same as marriage.  All loving couples deserve equal status and protection.  In addition, the legislative debates and decisions in New Hampshire and New York state legislatures are very encouraging.

This good news is not universally celebrated.  Alas, people are generally resistant to change, even when that change is to a more caring and loving and equal society.  While some people will still say these decisions are opposed to ‘God’s Will’, a clearer reading of the Scriptures does not support discrimination of same-sex individuals or couples.  Rather, we are to celebrate and use all of our gifts for God’s service in this world.

There will also be voices calling for popularist votes on this issue.  Yet even in this Easter season we cannot forget the voices of Lent, and particularly of Holy Week.  Those community actions so long ago show what can happen when mob rule takes over.  Rarely does a society grant civil rights to the oppressed.  It frequently takes strong individuals, such as currently sit in the Iowa Supreme Court and in the Maine and Vermont government, to guide our society into equality.

We recognize that these are civil decisions and not religious ones.  We hope the United Methodists of Iowa, Maine, Vermont, and eventually the entire United Methodist Church, will be able to rejoice in these decisions and honor those who choose marriage for their lives.  We pray for the best for all couples, both different-sex and same-sex, who decide to officially marry.

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As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people, Affirmation radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church as we journey with the Spirit in creating God’s beloved community.

Affirmation is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

How to Contact Us: email: umaffirmation@... Affirmation web: http://www.umaffirm.org