Religious Leaders and Gay Marriage

Randall Stephens

Several days ago NPR featured a story on "Pastor Debates Moral Issues Of Gay Marriage." In the wake of the legal decision in New York, news outlets across the country have been interviewing and polling pastors and congregants on the subject.

"The campaign for same-sex marriage and civil unions have already scored some significant legal victories recently," comments Michel Martin. "As we just heard a few minutes ago, Rhode Island just accepted a measure to allow civil unions for same-sex couples. Later this month, same-sex couples in New York will be legally allowed to marry. . . .

Bishop HARRY JACKSON, JR. [senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Maryland just outside Washington, D.C.]: Well, I still believe that spiritually we're dealing with whether we're going to inculcate a pro-gay lifestyle culture. Nobody wants anybody to be discriminated against or hurt, in terms of employment or any of those kinds of things. I think in many places, the legal issues are settled. The moral issues still remain."


Anonymous said…
If only the Reverend were right. While it is true that the campaign for gay marriage is rapidly advancing, attempts to win equal rights in the workplace are largely stagnant. Hell, in the workplace, women barely have equal rights (thus the need for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act) today. Marriage is great, and everyone deserves that right. But the sad truth is that when most folks walk into the workplace, especially those workplaces without unions, they leave most of the rights they otherwise take for granted at the front door. Despite sometimes believing otherwise, this continues to be the case in the academy as well as in all sorts of workplaces. (A google search for "women tenure study" returns plenty of unpleasant results).

I would urge the Bishop, and readers of this blog, not to be misled into believing that achieving gay marriage or civil unions is the same as securing for citizens of this country even their most basic rights in the workplace. That fight continues, and I hope that religious leaders, with their unique authority, are at the vanguard. For a great example of religious leaders taking a role in the struggle for workplace rights, look at the Reverand CJ Hawking's ARISE organization.

Popular Posts