|Marriage equality, civil and religious
If you live in the New York portion of our annual conference, there are two critical phone calls you should make first thing today to help make the possibility of civil marriage equality a reality in the state. Today is the very last day of the legislative session and a bill legalizing gay weddings is before the state Senate (it passed the Assembly last week). Majority Leader Dean Skelos has not yet agreed to bring the bill to the floor for a vote; please call him at 518-455-3171 to urge him to do so. The bill has the support of 31 senators; 32 are needed for passage. Please call your own state senator and make sure she or he is voting for it: 518-455-2800. Your call is especially urgent if your representative is Kemp Hannon, Stephen Sal or Andrew J. Lanza, the three Republicans who have not declared which way they are voting. We need one.
Meanwhile, the Spirit continues to move in the United Methodist Church to make religious marriage equality a lived reality regardless of the Book of Discipline’s prohibition against it. The California-Nevada Annual Conference has become the latest to take up the marriage initiative and has 102 clergy members pledged to perform same-sex weddings. They join Minnesota, Northern Illinois, New England and Upper New York (see last week’s report). Work on the MIND marriage initiative continues; we will continue to build our network of clergy, lay people and congregations until our launch in the fall. If you haven’t signed yet, sign today! If you have, ask others in your congregation to sign; MIND can help. Resources, information and links to add your name are all on the MIND website >>
Church trial for Amy DeLong begins tomorrow
Rev. Amy DeLong of the Wisconsin Annual Conference goes on trial tomorrow for violating the Book of Discipline’s ban on same-sex weddings as well as its prohibition against “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” serving in ministry. The trial comes as hundreds and hundreds of clergy nationally are vowing to also marry gay couples, and after a year in which retired bishops and other church leaders have called for an end of the ban on ordaining gays and lesbians. A recent email from Amy’s supporters noted the injustice of “a church that puts Law above Grace.” All of us pray that Amy’s witness at this trial hastens the day that such persecutions are relegated to the dustbin of history. More information and ways to support Amy are on the Love on Trial website >>
March with MIND at Pride!
This Sunday, June 26, is the annual Gay Pride March in New York City. Once again, we will join thousands of other people of faith in the half-million-strong annual march. As United Methodists, we have a special obligation to show the world on Pride Sunday that our denomination’s bigoted doctrine and policy do not speak for us. Details on when and where we line up have not yet been announced. Please check the MIND calendar
towards the end of the week and watch for a Facebook
update from us.
Don’t miss the MIND picnic July 16
No agenda, no meeting, just fun, fellowship, frisbee and of course food! This year’s picnic is being upgraded to a picnic and pool party, so bring the kids! At the home of Robin Burkhardt and Shirley Gerrow in Central Valley, NY; driving directions and RSVP information are here
. It’s a chance to relax and rejuvenate with others who are on the same journey towards justice.