Covenant Network Regional Conference, November 8th, 2014, Idlewild Presbyterian Church / Memphis, TN: “We keep hearing the stories that connect our present with our past. The stories continue but what is our place in the stories? What are the stories we tell? What are the stories that shape us today and give us life? “
A Sermon on Marriage Equality and the Church, by Layton E. Williams
Matthew 22:1-14 ~ Springfield Regional Conference, October 11, 2014
“…Marriage matters, but we haven’t fought this long and hard because it is the only thing that matters, we have fought because it is part of something so much bigger that matters so much more—and that is the covenant of God to which we are all invited and all called. And it matters how we show up, it matters what we clothe ourselves in, what we wear, because every act of covenant with God—between two people and between all people—is not just a celebration. It’s also an act of holy protest against brokenness…”
An oft-cited reason claimed by opponents of same-gender marriage is the concept of “gender complementarity — the idea that men and women are different from one another in essential ways, and that Christian love depends on the pairing of just those differences.” Duke University Professor Mary McClintock Fulkerson critiques this idea in her essay from the Covenant Network’s 2006 publication, Frequently Asked Questions about Sexuality, the Bible & the Church: Plain Talk About Tough Issues.
The Rev. Marc Benton’s complaint against the Presbytery of Hudson River in 1999 led to a decision by the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission forming an important precedent in the development of the constitutional interpretation about marriage in the PC(USA). In a statement to be presented at the next meeting of the presbytery, Benton explains how he changed his mind about same-gender marriage, and asks forgiveness.