As it currently stands, our church, UCC, allows for homosexuals to be members of the church, be baptized, confirmed, hold office, and be buried in our cemetery. The only rite that is not currently allowed is marriage. As the state of Pennsylvania, and all states now recognize gay marriage as per the US Government, our church decided that it was time to put it to a vote.
Unfortunately, it did not pass and the church will continue to deny the rites of marriage to our homosexual members.
I admit that I was saddened by the results.
During the meeting, I stood to say my piece, which, I would like to now share here with you.
In my younger years, I made the mistake of marrying the wrong person. It isn't important for me to go into the particulars of it, but the marriage was abusive and toxic. When I divorced, my membership to the church I attended at that time was revoked. A few years later, when I decided to remarry, I was asked to not return to the church.
I happily complied. I don't want to be anywhere that I am not wanted.
Our UCC church welcomed me and my husband (a Catholic) into the fold. No one ever questioned that I had been divorced and remarried. No one questioned a thing about my past. I was lovingly accepted from day 1.
The Bible has some very clear guidelines on divorce. It is only acceptable to divorce if there is infidelity. Remarriage, per the Bible, is a form of adultery. I would be guilty of the sin of adultery for the rest of my life. I refuse to believe that God would want me to spend my life without love. I also believe that God forgives us of our sins.
That being said, NO ONE ever questioned the religious validity of my second marriage. It was fine. I've never been shunned or outcast at my church for breaking this Biblical law. Now, on the cusp of this decision, we are faced with a JUDGEMENT call on what God things of gay marriage. The BIBLE tells us not to judge, that only one without any sin should cast the first stone.
Why then are we trying to deny a right to these people? We are loving accepting church. The homosexuals among our congregation can be members, they can tithe, they can sit on our leadership boards, but they cannot get married??
Something seems out of balance. Something seems hypocritical.
The Bible gives us laws that just don't apply anymore. It says that women should cover their heads, yet no one wore a hat to church today. It says that women shouldn't speak in church, yet we have a female minister. It says divorce is a sin, yet I am welcomed with that sin attached.
We will bring it to a vote again in a few years, I'm sure. We will eventually win.