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A clergy perspective on marriage equality

A clergy perspective on marriage equality

The Rev. Winnie Varghese, Priest in Charge, St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, has a blog post today in Huffington Post on the subject of marriage equality.

I am writing to make only one point. State recognition of same sex marriage is about freedom, an all-American value, more libertarian than liberal. It is about removing a state imposed barrier in the construction of family.


As human beings, and specifically as persons of faith, we organize ourselves as families based upon values much more profound than simply the code of law of the country we happen to inhabit. As followers of Jesus our standards for relationship are quite high and often distinct from any legal requirements. The law does not require fidelity, love, skill in communication, or signs of a healthy relationship. The church increasingly requires articulation and signs of those kinds of qualities in relationship before blessing a marriage or relationship.

As a church we hold quite a diversity of opinions on this subject, but as a church we have not allowed those who hold one opinion to restrict the freedoms of other people. That is quite the opposite of what those who oppose gay marriage are trying to do. They are trying to maintain a level of discrimination, historic and traditional discrimination, but discrimination, a restriction on freedom enshrined in law that now also violates our common understanding of human sexual identity as diversely ordered in the human experience.

Episcopalians are often quite traditional and deliberate in our approach. We often do not make change quickly, and when we do, we do so informed by our tradition. We are proud of our tradition of holding human dignity and reason, our capacity to take in new information and respond faithfully, as foundational values undergirded by the teachings of Jesus as known to us in the Bible.

Read it all.

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