Saturday, July 27, 2013


    England and Wales became the 16th and 17th countries in the world to recognize gay marriage after Queen Elizabeth II gave “royal assent” to a same-sex marriage bill. Under the new law, gay men and women will be able to join together in civil ceremonies or in church services — although no religious denomination will be forced to carry out such services. Cheers, laughter and clapping broke out in the House of Commons when Speaker John Bercow announced the bill had been approved. “The fact that the bill passed through both Houses (Commons and Lords) undefeated is a huge accomplishment for the government,” said Equalities Minister Maria Miller. “This is an historic moment that will resonate in many people’s lives. I am proud that we have made it happen and I look forward to the first same sex wedding by next summer. The title of this bill might be ‘marriage’ but its fabric is about freedom and respect.” 
    This while the BBC accuses Christians who oppose gay marriage as "damaging the church". 


As reported by the New American,, here is the letter from Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President. See:

July 19, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ –
Grace and peace to you in the name of the living Christ who lives and moves among us,
who calls us to the Table, then sends us forth to serve.
I write to share a word with all Disciples congregations following an important vote at the
2013 Orlando General Assembly.
In these days following assembly, my heart is prayerful; my spirit hopeful; and my love
for our church is strong. Surely, God has given Disciples a blessing and a mission
for wholeness, welcoming all to the Lord’s Table of reconciliation and love.
That blessing and mission for Disciples begins in a congregation. In congregations we
come forward and make or reaffirm our confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and
Savior. There we are baptized, our babies are dedicated, we are married and our parents
buried. Our faith is nurtured and sometimes challenged in a beloved community of other
Disciples we know and love.
We extend the blessing as we join hands with other Disciples congregations to share God’s
love in our communities and around the world. We offer words and prayers of comfort and
challenge, as well as hands-on help, to our neighbor in times of need. In many diverse
ways, we learn the story of Jesus and invite others to walk in his love.
The recent vote to “adopt” Resolution GA1327, Becoming a People of Grace and Welcome
to All, has significance for the Church, but it is important to recognize the nature of that
significance. The intent of the resolution is to urge Disciples to welcome into our
congregations and other ministries all who seek Christ. It serves as a reminder that
among Disciples we do not bar the church door or fence the table from those who
desire the embrace of God’s love.
Here is what this “Sense of the Assembly” resolution is not:
 It is not a statement of “unwelcome” for Disciples who did not support the
resolution. All who confess faith in Jesus Christ are welcome. All means all.
 It is not a policy change. The congregation where you worship and serve will not be
requested to establish (or change) a policy on gay or lesbian persons in the life of
the Church. The region where your congregation is affiliated is not required to
change its policies on ordination. Your pastor is not required to bless same-gender
 It is not a theological mandate. It does not say that we have the same biblical
understanding of sexual orientation or gender identity. Disciples, prayerfully and with
biblical study and other research, come to their own understanding on these
This resolution does, however, carry symbolic importance in the life of our Church. It
reminds us that our baptism into the living Christ continues to be our common ground
It points out that within the broad membership of Disciples, among the many congregations 
in covenant with each other, there have always been gay and straight, lesbian, bi-sexual 
and transgender persons who participate fully in the life and leadership of the church. It
urges us to treat each other with gospel hospitality as we seek to understand each
other better.
My deepest hope is that, in the coming weeks and months, with God’s help, we will
continue in worship and mission together even when we profoundly disagree – as we have
so often done before – recognizing that it is God’s covenant of love that binds us to God
and to one another1
in Christ. My prayer is that together we will continue to witness to
God’s gift of reconciliation and wholeness before the brokenness of the world.
United though not uniform, diverse but not divided, let us name our differences, then
claim our common calling to be and to share the good news of Jesus Christ who
came “that the world might be saved”. (John 3:17)
Your sister in Christ,
The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada


From the PA Attorney General, this press release:, followed by a legal analysis from New American:
July 11, 2013
Attorney General Kane will not defend DOMA
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced that the Office of Attorney General will not defend Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act in a recently filed lawsuit (Whitewood, et al vs Corbett, et al). The lawsuit challenges Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act, based on the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution.
The law, commonly referred to as DOMA, prohibits marriage between people of the same sex. In addition, under DOMA, same-sex marriages that are legally made in other states are void in Pennsylvania.
"I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's version of DOMA where I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional," Kane said.
"It is my duty under the Commonwealth Attorneys Act whenever I determine it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth to authorize the Office of General Counsel to defend the state in litigation."
"Additionally, it is a lawyer's ethical obligation under Pennsylvania's Rules of Professional Conduct to withdraw from a case in which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement with the client," said Kane.
Kane made the following points about DOMA:
  • Pennsylvania's DOMA, like the federal DOMA, imposes a disadvantage, a separate status, and a stigma on those who enter into same-sex marriages. 
  • Pennsylvania's DOMA wrongly denies same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry in Pennsylvania; and for those same-sex couples who legally marry outside Pennsylvania, it denies them the fundamental right to have their lawful marriage recognized in our state.  
  • Pennsylvania's DOMA has no legitimate purpose other than to disparage and injure same-sex couples by placing them in a less respected position than others.  
  • The discriminatory treatment explicitly authorized by DOMA violates both the US and Pennsylvania Constitution.
"I know that in this state there are people who don't believe in what we are doing, and I'm not asking them to believe in it. I'm asking them to believe in the constitution," Kane said.

The issue of same-sex marriage is squarely in the tradition of the struggle for civil rights in the U.S.
"We have always stood strong in the face of discrimination, which in its various forms has never withstood the test of time," Kane said.
"It is our duty, each and every one of us, to protect the constitutionality, to protect the rights and dignity of others, and to protect the equality of all men and women in this Commonwealth."