Ruling Elder Ben Fitzgerald-Fye: “Sean loved God and Sean loved me and that reality began to build a bridge that would reshape my view of faith, of Christianity, and of God.”
Ruling Elder Ben Fitzgerald-Fye tells of his experience as a married gay man speaking during the debate on Amendment 14-F in the Presbytery of Kiskiminetas: “I had an intense conversation with God about reclaiming the right of gay and lesbian people to have faith and to shed the shame and fear we all knew too well. I began to feel that Saturday’s debate was no longer about myself and my husband, it was about the nature of Christianity as an accepting and socially just force in a much larger world than rural Pennsylvania.”
Laura Mariko Cheifetz on her own marriage: “I had become so accustomed to keeping this relationship under wraps in certain segments of the church. And I learned that being public meant something not just to us, but to other people. Neither of us missed the irony that our marriage happened in full view of another church and another state, instead of our own…”
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.
Former Covenant Network Board member Kent Organ reflects on the joy of witnessing the wedding of Gerri Mead and Gail Russell at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, where he had served as Interim Pastor: ‘ Lincoln Park’s current pastor, Beth Buckingham-Brown, said that this wedding was performed “by the authority of the State of Illinois.” Just before that, her co-officiant, a longtime friend, supporter and adviser to Gail and Gerri — as to many gay and lesbian couples in our denomination — the Rev. Janie Spahr, declared, “By the authority of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)…” and we all erupted in enthusiastic and sustained applause.’