Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Presbyterian Witness in California

If I were in California, I would be with clergy representing the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) against proposition 8. Here is the event from More Light Presbyterians:
Friends of Justice & Equality for All in California:

Please join the Presbyterian Witness Event for Marriage Equality and to Say No to Prop 8 near you, either in Los Angeles or California on Tuesday, October 28 at noon. These events are being organized by California Faith for Equality and Covenant Network of Presbyterians, and supported by PEP, the Presbyterian Equality Project of More Light Presbyterians....

Our friends and colleagues at GLAAD are working to secure media coverage for each of these witness events. Clergy are encouraged to wear ministerial collars or stoles; elders, deacons and other church leaders are encouraged to wear identifiable religious symbols such as stoles or crosses.

More Light Presbyterians is wholeheartedly committed to marriage equality within our Church and in society.

Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate equal rights for same-gender loving couples to marry in the State of California. Proposition 8 strikes down the historic decision for civil marriage equality by the California State Supreme Court in June, 2008. Proposition 8 would relegate LGBT persons and same gender loving couples to second class citizens in the State of California once again.

Proposition 8 is bad for families, harmful to parents and children, and hurtful to churches seeking to honor love and faithfulness between all couples. Proposition 8 fuels false witness, prejudice, discrimination and hate crimes against God's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children and their families.

The failure of Prop 8 will not change the religious definition of marriage nor compel any person or church to act against their conscience. The 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in June 78% in favor of an overture that reaffirmed support of "the right of same-gender persons to . . . all the benefits, privileges, and responsibilities of civil union."
For those interested in how the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stands on this issue (despite the noise from the right) see what was approved by the 218th General Assembly:
1. Renew and strengthen the long-standing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) commitment to equal protection under the law for lesbian and gay persons and the 216th General Assembly (2004)’s affirmation of the right of same-gender persons to civil union and, thereby, to all the benefits, privileges, and responsibilities of civil union.

a. Recognize that married couples enjoy more than 1,000 protections, benefits, and responsibilities that are denied to committed couples in same-gender partnerships and their children.

b. Recognize that equality under the law does not discriminate against some committed couples but sees that same-gender partners also have access to all protections, benefits, and responsibilities of civil union.

c. Request the Stated Clerk, the General Assembly Council, and other representatives of the PC(USA) to urge state legislatures and the federal government to apply the principle of equal protection to same-gender couples and their children.
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