Inspired by the bravery of Jimmy Creech, I signed the public statement to do primarily two things: stand in solidarity with my friend Jimmy, and stand in opposition to the current wording of the Social Principles concerning covenant ceremonies. The mainstream institutional church is condemning of homosexuality, where it should be condemning of promiscuity, ragardless of sexual orientation. One way to encourage loving, committed, long term relationships is to bless them-- gay or straight. I hope that the United Methodist Church can take the lead in this regard, and remove the negative language altogether in our Book of Discipline.
Some day the Church will see that the movement toward affirming homosexuals, divisive as that is today, is just like our movement toward the inclusion of African Americans as free people and women as ordained clergy. Breaking down dividing walls is what the Gospel is all about. We are way behind on this issue, and thousands of sexual minorities are leaving the Church because it has not been there for them. It seems that perfect fear is casting out love. It is time to change that and I want to plant my flag on the side of love.
Maurine C. Waun
Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference
March 31, 1998