Sunday, January 20, 2008

Today's letter - even Presbyterians can see the folly of exclusion

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger -

I have written to you before about the rift over homosexuals in the Episcopal Church, but now it seems as though the Presbyterians are headed towards similar turmoil.

Lisa Larges is a deacon in San Francisco who is seeking ordination as a minister in the Presbyterian Church. The constitution of the church limits its clergy, elders and deacons to people in man-woman marriages or who are sexually abstinent; but it also has a policy of allowing exceptions for conscientious objectors.

Larges has called the special ban on gay clergy a “mar upon the church and a stumbling block to its mission” with enough conviction that the regional body of 77 churches voted last week to allow her third application to proceed by 167 to 151, and she will be interviewed in April.

She says “The church is a beautiful, messy thing. It's about loving the church in spite of the church. It's about being part of a movement to call the church back to its best self.”

If the Presbyterians can make an exception to their special ban on same-sex marriage, can’t you?

To borrow Ms. Larges’ words, depriving just some people of the ability to participate fully in our economy and society is a mar upon the state and a stumbling block to its mission of ensuring life, liberty, property and happiness for all. Governor – it’s time to call your state and your party back to its best self and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

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Acts 10:28 "And he said to them, ''You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.''"

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