Marriage Equality: A Not so Conservative Proposal


Washington Episcopal Bishop says fidelity is the value in same-sex unions

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org

The Bishop of Olympia, the Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel believes he has come up with the perfect solution to same-sex marriage. He says his idea is not exactly new, but it is based on the notion of fidelity. “Fidelity is the value in most all our sacraments and also in our life as Christians,” he opined in a statement at his diocesan website.

“It seems to me we have held our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in a ‘catch-22’. We say they cannot live up to our value because they cannot be married, or even blessed in their union. While many of them have begged for this, it is still not possible. What they ask of us, the church and the government, is to put boundaries around their relationship, to hold them in the same regard and with the same respect, which would also mean that we expect the same from them. They are not asking for special treatment. They are asking for equal treatment. They are asking to be accountable, as a couple, in community. To me, this is a conservative proposal. I am for it, and I hope we will finally make way for this to happen, not only in our society, but also in our church.”

There you have it – a clear unalloyed statement of support for gay couples as long, of course, that they are faithful and monogamous and don’t misbehave like heterosexuals do from time to time.

It is expected that Washington state legislators will soon deliberate two bills, HB2516 & SB6239, which would make same sex marriage law in that state. “Our Episcopal Church, after a long discussion about this over the years is poised to do roughly the same this summer at our General Convention,” noted the bishop.

VOL believes there are multiple reasons why the bishop and the passage of this proposed legislation is wrong.

Here are a few reasons:

1. It automatically legitimizes a sexual behavior that the church has never recognized in its 2,000-year history.

2. The leader of 1.3 billion Roman Catholics opposes it. Pope Benedict XVI recently told a gathering of diplomats that family is only “based on the marriage of a man and a woman” and then went on to say, [these are] “policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”

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