Colin Powell supports marriage equality

Politico reports that Colin Powell endorses marriage equality:


Former Secretary of State Colin Powell supports same-sex marriage — and he doesn’t necessarily believe the issue should be left up to states.

“I have no problems with it,” Powell, who served under George W. Bush, says in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that airs in full at 5 p.m. Wednesday. “I don’t see any reason not to say that [same-sex couples] should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country.”

A story in Parade Magazine relates that when Powell served as Senior Warden at his local Episcopal Church and says he learned about kindness from the priest:

Many years ago I was the warden—the senior lay­person—of a small suburban Episcopal church in northern Virginia. During that time, the bishop assigned to our parish an elderly priest, in some kind of distress and in need of a parish, to serve as an assistant pastor. I never knew the ­nature of his problem. We just welcomed him into the church, treated him as one of us, and ministered to him, just as we ministered to one another. He was with us for a year. On his last Sunday, he was assigned the ­sermon. As he finished, he looked out over the congregation and with a smile on his face quietly concluded, “Always show more kindness than seems necessary, ­because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.” That sentence hit me with a special force that has remained with me for four ­decades. His lesson was clear: Kindness is not just about being nice; it’s about recognizing another human being who deserves care and respect.

Comments (23)

I'd like to think that Episcopal priest, and President Obama, had some influence in Powell's attitude toward marriage equality.

I have always held Colin Powell in the highest regard and will continue to do so, especially now.

I don't care if Tony Perkins endorses it, it still wouldn't persuade me to do so.

Also, respect is earned, not given.

I don't care if Tony Perkins endorses it, it still wouldn't persuade me to do so.

OK Nicole, I'll bite: is there a living person who WOULD persuade you? Whose endorsement of marriage equality you would study from a perspective of "Only if I can personally DISPROVE it"? Just curious.

JC Fisher

Mr.Fisher, I didn't put out any bait for you or anyone else to bite on. It's just that people tend to use people's endorsements of things, such as positions, or even the products we by at Target,etc. The only thing I'm saying is that doesn't fly for me.

We need the movable middle in this battle for equality for all before the law.

Gary Paul Gilbert

I didn't put out any bait for you or anyone else to bite on

I'm pretty sure that most folks believe that the reason that you are here and the reason that you only comment on this specific type of topic is purposely "as bait." These comments are "stick it to them" comments. What other purpose would you have to constantly comment on a site where you are the lone negative voice in a thread with the topic of same gender marriage?

Brother David

Like minded posters only, Brother David? Even on more conservative forums, various voices post. I don't have an issue with this, why, pray tell, do you?

And try sticking to the actual topic and not individuals. Isn't that the policy on most forums, including this one?

More to the point, who would NOT endorse marriage equality?

I bet people are forming disorderly queues in order to sign up to support inequalities right across society - gender, race, age - you name it. This is the new politics! Another no-brainer, folks.

Andrew Holden

Nicole, I do believe you've made it clear that you are not in favor of same sex unions/blessings/marriages. My suggestion is that you not enter into one. That's pretty simple.

"What other purpose would you have to constantly comment on a site where you are the lone negative voice in a thread with the topic of same gender marriage?"

In Nicole's defense, I would like to point out that she doesn't "constantly" comment about same-sex marriage (she didn't comment at all on the last two stories regarding this subject). The fact that many of us, myself included, disagree with her is beside the point. Negative or not, her opinion should still be welcome here.

I'm not trying to rock the boat, but I felt this needed to be said.

Cullin R. Schooley

I would appreciate it if folks spoke to each other about the issues, and not about their purposes for being here. All voices are welcome as long as people speak civilly and don't make false assertions.

Nicole wrote above:

"Even on more conservative forums, various voices post."

Would that that were really true. It is true on the Café that one may find one's views challenged. I have had more negative personal experience on more conservative blogs such as "Titus 1:9" for example. In a conversation about a liturgical issue (customs regarding dress of a visiting bishop) when the ABC declined to let KJS wear her typical Episcopal regalia, my comments were edited/deleted, even though I was doing nothing more than looking to learn if there was an established custom to be followed. No dissenting "heretical" voices tolerated there, and arbitrary "silencing."

We're better than that, I hope.

On the original topic, it is nice to hear that Mr. Powell now supports same-gender marriage. For those of us who agree with this, this is only more good news, not as argument but as more evidence that the tide on this issue has turned definitively. Persons who never would have endorsed same gender marriage continue to do so in ever-increasing numbers. I also did not need Mr. Powell's endorsement to convince me, as I am long persuaded, of course.

The opponents of marriage equality focus on how it damages "traditional marriage" and "Christian marriage" as they see it defined in the Bible. With more and more people in our country not affiliated with a church, what I think we really need is to make it clear that the issue is equality in civil marriage, which I think would appeal to more people.

Whether a specific church or denomination is willing to bless what is essentially a civil act is another issue. I think that we can take a lot of the wind out of the opponents sails if we re-frame the issue as a civil right. I think we need to follow the lead of places like the Province of Quebec that make it very clear that marriage is a secular institution and that if you want the churches blessing on it, then that is your business to pursue once you are done getting married at the city hall.

I suspect we all are united in being able to find that workable gloss to make the Scriptures agree with us. I particularly delight in how the "marriage once received" folks gloss over bot Jesus' and Paul's admonitions against marriage. For both of them it is a compromised estate because it divides our loyalties and energies. Kindom work is everything, worldly estates nothing.

There is likewise no discernable return to Eden theology among the eschatalogical passages to prop up that gloss of the scriptures. New heavens, new earth, new Jerusalem (not Eden), and no one given in marriage to anyone.

I am always amazed too that people surrender control of their lives to people who live differently. My marriage is not in the slightest affected by what anyone else does. What we actually have, in my estimation, is arrested development theology, sprung from the eighth grade when what we do is affected by what everyone else is doing and I can only like people who are like me. The answer to that is to grow up.

The Pentecost Gospel offers us that path, btw, a Spirit who reveals things to us as we are ready to hear them.

It's important that folks who are as highly respected and as publicly visible as the General speak out on such an issue as civil same gender marriage. His opinion on the matter will be effective in helping some folks who respect him come to a similar opinion. It also assists folks to realize that this is a civil rights matter, not a religious matter. Religious groups have never been forced to perform marriages of which they do not approve in the USA in the entire history of the Union and to infer that they would have to in regard to same gender marriage is a red herring that has no application.

Should Tony Perkins ever come out in support of same gender marriage, could someone kindly check the weather forecast for Hell?

Brother David

Nicole, if my colloquialism "I'll bite" suggested to you that I took your previous post as bait, I assure you that was NOT my intention.

I am just *genuinely curious* what living Christians are influential to you. If you'd prefer to reach me by email, you can at jcf1899 at gmail dot com

Pax et bonum,
JC Fisher

First of all, thank you very much, General Powell, for your kindness to us. I find it unbelievable that someone put your thoughtful point of view, and indeed you yourself, beneath a snake like Tony Perkins in her estimation.

Second of all, be real, y'all. I can't imagine what it takes someone to get over a conviction that basically boils down to this: that one's own yuk factor is so important, and tuned into an eternal truth, that one feels no conflict with their conscience in depriving others of life, liberty, or property, even believing that these deprivations serve a common good. Evidence to the contrary is never, and will never be, as persuasive as this primal yuk, esp. if this is a shared yuk backed up with millenia of prejudice and custom. Further, this yuk need not be relinquished because no harm, deprivation or pain comes to the one whose yuk is this important. This person will never know, and can never know, and has no interest in ever knowing, what suffering this yuk has wrought in the lives of millions throughout human history. But one Day this will be laid bare, and the least will become greatest, and the greatest will become least. One Day, these yuk-ers will know what they have wrought, and ask for mercy for actual suffering and harm inflicted on those who did not deserve it. The hope and promise is that this mercy will be granted. But these yuks have cast great millstones around the necks of those already drowning. Yet, Father forgive them, these yuk-ers, they know not what they do.

Until I googled "Tony Perkins," I was wondering why the opinion of the actor that played Norman Bates in _Psycho_ would be persuasive for anybody when it came to marriage equality...

Now that Colin Powell is out of office, he can perhaps speak the truth, unlike when he was Secretary of State under George W. Bush, when questioning official policy would have cost him his job. What courage! He gave that infamous presentation to the U.N. Security Council on the U.S. case against Iraq in February 2003 where he used faked evidence to show that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. His job was more important than the lives of American service members.

http://tinyurl.com/6zfg65c

In 1993, when he was Chairman of the Service Chiefs, Powell forced President Clinton to abandon his plan to open the military to openly gay people. His opposition to gays in the military made Clinton come up with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

What a hero when he had power!

Still, at least he seems to acknowledge his errors. But this is not a great spokesperson for equality, when African-American politicians back in the nineties were accusing him of cowardice for not standing for equality for all service members.


Gary Paul Gilbert

BillD, *that* Tony Perkins was, more or less, publicly gay. ;-p

JC Fisher

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