Saturday, December 19, 2009

"We wanted to dispel the rumor that you cannot be pro-God and pro-gay"

Via AmericaBlog Gay:
"We wanted to dispel the rumor that you cannot be pro-God and pro-gay":
"Today's Washington
has a recap of the event at which Mayor Fenty signed the District's
marriage equality bill into law. The article makes note of the role religion
played in this debate. While the focus is in the media is on the anti-gay
religious leaders, there is strong religious support for marriage. That was made
evident by the setting for the signing ceremony -- the All Souls Church:
Although [anti-gay Bishop Harry] Jackson and other opponents tended
to dominate the headlines, more than 200 local faith leaders joined to form
Clergy United for Marriage.

The Rev. Rob Hardies, pastor of All Souls
Unitarian, said he and the Rev. Christine Wiley, co-pastor of Covenant Baptist
Church in Southeast, decided to form the group when they overheard a protest by
Jackson in front of the Wilson Building in May.

'We wanted to dispel the
rumor that you cannot be pro-God and pro-gay,' Hardies said.
Rev. Christine Wiley and her husband, Rev. Dennis Wiley, also have an op-ed
in today's Post
titled, Why Two Black D.C.
Pastors support gay marriage.
It's a very thoughtful piece about race,
religion and homophobia. And, it's got a very positive message. Michael Crawford
from DC for Marriage told me the Wileys were instrumental in building the
religious support for the new marriage law. Here's an excerpt from their op-ed,
but read the whole thing:
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon a couple of years ago, we entered
the sanctuary at Covenant Baptist Church and took our places in front of the
altar, just as we had countless times before in our more than 20 years as
partners in ministry. We had been united in holy matrimony ourselves in the same
spot where we now stood to unite others.

As the couple walked down the
aisle, we recalled the previous evening's rehearsal, when we commended all the
participants for their courage and prayed that God would be in our midst at the
ceremony. When we pronounced the couple 'partners for life,' we felt our prayers
had been answered. It was the same feeling we had experienced so many times
before when asking for God's blessing of the union of a man and a woman. Only
this time, the union was of a man and a man.

Our church is the first and
only traditional black church in the District of Columbia to perform same-sex
unions. We conducted our first two union ceremonies, one gay and one lesbian, in
the summer of 2007. The rapid political developments that followed in our nation
and our city have made us optimistic that by the summer of 2010, same-sex
nuptials will be not only blessed by churches such as ours, but also sanctioned
by law in the District. "


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