Thursday, March 3, 2011
Gay Marriage Bill - A Cause for Religious Celebration!
While in Chicago, our neighborhood and shul had the dubious distinction of being a targeted by Fred Phelps, his family and their vitriolic message of hate. The Westboro Baptist Church is a particularly stark example of how one purportedly religious family can claim religious support for a message of deep intolerance. But, there are plenty of other leaders in the faith community who, while never resorting to such extreme tactics (or beliefs) as the Phelps', still hold that religion and gay rights are mutually exclusive.
Today, the House of Delegates will consider making Maryland one of the few states in the union with legal same-sex marriage.
As a religious leader in Baltimore, I have been saddened by the rhetoric and vehement opposition to this bill among some of my colleagues in the faith community. Surely, this is an historic moment in Maryland’s history and one that ought to be cause for celebration! The Bible teaches that each human being is created in God’s image and that finding a partner with whom to share life’s journey is a great religious value.
In a nation where so many struggle with isolation and loneliness, where attention spans are shorter and where technology pulls us in so many different directions, here is an opportunity to honor the desire of gays and lesbians to make life-long commitments to one another, to raise children and to enjoy the same benefits that have long-made marriage a core American value.
The courage of religious conviction should not be limited to those who take one particular view of our sacred texts, traditions and beliefs. In my view, this is not a moment for religious excuses, but religious affirmation