In May of 2011, the denomination in which I am a minister voted to make it possible for LGBTQ folk to be ordained. It was a weird day for me. I was both elated and still remarkably unsatisfied. It seemed to me, that it needed to be seen as a beginning point of a journey not as a destination at which we had arrived, as so many of the celebrations seemed to implicitly convey.
I asked myself, "Self?" (oddly enough, I begin more internal dialogues like than most people can comfortably imagine), "What's the next step?" Then I wrote this blog post, "until ALL can wed." Basically, I was the downer at the "We Can Ordinate Gays" party.
I couldn't help but think, "...it is the Church's duty to be advocates and partners with those who are not treated in a way which recognizes that they are created equally in God's image." And while the possibility of ordination within one of hundreds of denominations was... well, nice, it certainly wasn't a clear and full recognition of the reality that we are all created equally in God's image.
Let's face it, when two people love each other, but aren't allowed to marry, we are delivering a pretty specific message of not being seen as equal. So, I took a pledge.
I no longer sign marriage certificates.
The thinking is this: if we are all created equally in God's image, as a minister one of my goals is to treat people equally. So, I'll do for all people what I can do for all people. What I can't do for all people, I'll do for no people. I can participate in anyone's wedding ceremony - so I WILL! But state law prevents me from signing the wedding certificate for a same-sex couple - so I WON'T sign for anyone.
I'm not the first minister to arrive at this decision, plenty of ministers have been doing it for years. Recently, a whole church in my state decided to make a very similar pledge. So, think of "until ALL can wed..." not as something new and cutting edge, but rather as something that reaches all the way back to the teachings of a man who said that siding with love is always the right thing to do. Think of it as a gathering place for those who already have made the commitment and those who have decided to do the same. If you are a minister, I hope you will make the pledge. If you aren't a minister but are supportive of those who do take the pledge, please show your support by 'liking' the Facebook page.
Alone we can make a statement.
Together we can make a difference.