UCC yet again, steps up in favor of gay rights
This endorsement of marriage for gays by the United Church of Christ should incur the wrath of the Reich in short order. It’s not clear yet how many churches will leave the fold over this, but I seriously doubt the church, known as progressive, will collapse, as the naysayers are moaning.
he president of the United Church of Christ said his denomination “acted courageously to declare freedom” when it passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage on Independence Day.
The resolution calls on member churches of the liberal denomination’s 1.3 million members to consider wedding policies “that do not discriminate against couples based on gender.” It also asks churches to consider supporting legislation granting equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples and to work against laws banning gay marriage.
The endorsement by the church’s rule-making body Monday makes it the largest Christian denomination to endorse same-sex marriage. The vote is not binding on individual churches, but could cause some congregations to leave the fold.
“On this July Fourth the General Synod of the United Church of Christ has acted courageously to declare freedom, affirming marriage equality, affirming the civil rights of same gender couples to have their relationships recognized as marriages by the state, and encouraging our local churches to celebrate and bless those marriages,” said the Rev. John H. Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ.
Roughly 80 percent of the representatives on the church’s 884-member General Synod voted to approve the resolution Monday, a day after a committee recommended it.
A small group of conservative congregations had proposed an alternative resolution defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and suggested that supporting gay marriage could lead to the church’s collapse.
The Rev. Brett Becker, who represents a group of more conservative churches, said it is possible his congregation at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Cibolo, Texas, will leave over the resolution.
“I would like to see us stay in the denomination and network for positive change,” Becker said. “However, many of my members have expressed very clearly that this decision would cause great consternation and that, if this happened, they would want to see us leave.”
…”If we had put it to a vote of the people in the pews, it would have failed overwhelmingly,” he said. “This is truly Independence Day for the UCC â€” we have declared ourselves independent from the teachings of Jesus and the clear teachings of Scripture.”