Clergy protest by refusing to bless marriages

An article in the Baltimore Sun this morning reports on clergy in a number of denominations and religions who are beginning to refuse to solemnize weddings between men and women as a form of protest against what the clergy perceive as discrimination by the state in not allowing legal forms of same-gender blessings to be recognized.

From the article:

“Some rabbis and ministers in states including Virginia, Minnesota, Michigan and Connecticut have told their congregants that when it comes to weddings they are in the business of religious ceremonies – only – and they have redirected couples to the local courthouse for the paperwork.

‘There’s sort of a steady drip, drip, drip of people starting to do this,’ said the Rev. Donald Stroud, minister of outreach and reconciliation at That All May Freely Serve Baltimore, an organization that advocates for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Presbyterian Church.

‘I think it does raise people’s consciousness – that’s one element. But I think a lot of ministers who do this do this first because their conscience compels them,’ said Stroud. The Presbyterian Church does not sanction same-sex marriage, but it also does not compel pastors to sign licenses, he said. And like some of his colleagues, he would decline to do so if the issue arose because of what he sees as the state’s discriminatory laws..”

The article continues with quotes from a number of clergy around the country who discuss the reasons for their actions and the various ways their congregations and communities have responded.

Read the rest here.

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One Comment
  1. Josh Hoover

    I like this article and the direction clergy are taking this. But I just wanted to point out that your headline is misleading. You write that clergy refuse to bless marriages, when that is the one thing they are doing. They are refusing to act as agents of the state and be the legal presider over the wedding, but the blessing is still happening.

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