Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some clergy make case for same-sex marriage

The proposed Vermont Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Promote Equality in Civil Marriage (S.115) has been the subject of hearings this week. It accommodates a "religious conscience" exception based on the First Amendment, as do similar proposed acts in Maryland, Rhode Island, and Maine. The object is to protect, from state intervention, those religious organizations that choose not to perform same-sex marriages.

Clergy in the Vermont hearings showed a division in opinion over the proposed Vermont Act. However, at a meeting hosted by the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry*, religious leaders in Maine expressed support that of that state's proposed Act to Prevent Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom. (124th Legislature, SP 384).

[*As of March 20th , the Coalition's website appears to have been the target of a cyber attack.]

03/18/09 Bangor Daily News

“'As a Christian theologian, I support marriage equality because I take the Bible seriously,' said [Rev. Marvin] Ellison, an ordained Presbyterian minister who lives in Portland [and a professor at Bangor Theological Seminary]. “'Denying marriage to loving, committed adult same-sex couples is based on the sinful assumption that gay men and lesbians are not made in the image of God and do not deserve full equality under the law.'”

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