Friday, May 29, 2009

No Marriage for Straight People

Here's the scoop, from an article posted on "The Advocate.com:"

Two California pastors have found a perfect way to rally against the state supreme court’s decision to uphold Prop. 8 -- they won’t be officiating any heterosexual marriages at their churches.

The Reverend Art Cribbs of San Marino Congregational Church and the Reverend Anne Cohen of the First Congregational Church in Glendale have both said they will not be performing wedding ceremonies of any kind until the ban on same-sex marriage is lifted.

The two are expected to hold a press conference Friday afternoon to discuss their decision.

And here are some photos from that press conference -- held at the Pasadena Court House (just about a block from my desk here at All Saints Church) just a few minutes ago:


A good media turnout ... everything from The Pasadena Weekly to CNN.

The Reverend Art Cribbs ...

The Reverend Anne Cohen ...

And me ... doing the "standing in solidarity" with thing. (Note former ASC Senior Warden Bob Long in the background there ... what a trooper!)

Declining to officiate at opposite sex weddings is NOT the position All Saints Church has taken in response to Proposition 8. We are continuing to offer sacramental equality to all our couples while working to achieve civil equality with our justice allies through our work with California Faith for Equality.

And it was a tremendous privilege to stand today in solidarity with courageous clergy who have made another choice, modeling exactly what I think we're talking about when we talk out valuing both freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

We reject the right of anyone to write their theology in our constitution because we are a nation that values freedom from religion in our foundational value of separating church and state. We are also -- thankfully -- free as citizens of this great nation to make the decisions our conscience dictate about who we choose to marry (or not!) within our respective faith traditions BECAUSE of the freedom of religion that is also a foundational American value. And so I applaud the choice that Art and Anne made so publicly today.

From the statement read today by the Reverend Art Cribbs:

In the aftermath of our state’s highest court ruling to ban same-sex marriage, it is my personal and painful decision to no longer perform weddings in the State of California until discrimination against same-sex couples is ended. This decision does not come without sacrifice, but it is necessary for the ministry to have any integrity, I must stand in solidarity with men, women and families who suffer and are unjustly hurt because of discrimination now protected by Proposition 8.

Our State Constitution is a document that protects the rights of all citizens and increases the civil liberties of the people of California. This week, the stain of shame marred our State Constitution and the California Supreme Court failed to protect a vulnerable minority from the tyranny of the majority. I will not conduct another wedding in California until this wrong has been corrected.

It is love that has been put on trial. It is love that suffers the fate of injustice. It is love that stands in the glare of malicious assault. In sacred covenant, loving couples share their love openly as a reminder of God’s love for us. Those whom God has joined together let no one separate. Not even the California Supreme Court or the vote of the majority who dare to rein tyranny on a minority.



And let the people say, AMEN!

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UPDATE: News report from the Pasadena Star News.
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8 comments:

Sidney said...

ROTFL. The pastors doing this have nobody to marry in their churches anyway. Heck, I'm almost 40 and I've only seen the Episcopal marriage liturgy once, way back in 1987. And they weren't even parishioners.

If these pastors will fast from consummating their OWN marriages until Prop. 8 is repealed, I'll buy them lunch.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Really, Sidney? Pity. Art said he typically does about six weddings a month ... we had three last weekend here at All Saints ... two opposite and one same sex couple.

Maybe you need to find a active congregation to hang out in!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well said, Susan.

And, trust me, most of us are saying a loud and hearty, 'Amen.'

Jim said...

I dunno where Sidney lives, but we have about a wedding a month here.

FWIW
jimB

bob said...

Let's see, this will have a great effect on all those straight couples who....*aren't* already shacked up? I mean, we all know how terribly important premarital continence is among Episcopalians. Yes, they'll have to struggle along, won't they? You see, you have to already *have* something people take seriously (like marriage) in order to make an impression by witholding it. Like you have to *have* a eucharist to make any sense out of having it "open" to anyone who wants it. You all at once discover that no one wants it at all if it's you who's offering it! So let's not mourn just yet over a lack of straight marriage opportunities. Why would anyone seek something so cheap among Episcopalians? It means so very little that a man has to believe his fianc'e is the exact equivalent of Gene Robinson's beau. Very few men have so little respect for the woman they want to marry. More happens at a Land Office wedding than in any Episcopal parish.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

bob -- can't say I exactly found your point in all that but thanks for taking time to comment.

susankay said...

As opposed to the incoherence I found in a couple of comments here -- I'd just like to say that this is why I am so proud to have grown up in the Congregational (UCC) Church and hope to be as proud of my current membership as an Episcopalian and member of Integrity.

Neil Houghton said...

Bob.... put down the pipe.