My home state of New Hampshire is in deliberation in the state legislature about a bill that would move the state from authorizing civil unions to allowing for marriage. And in Maine, 3,500 people showed up for a public debate on a marriage bill before the Senate's Judiciary Committee.
Religious leaders in Maine spoke both for and against the measure. Interestingly, the report in the Washington Blade newspaper quoted two Baptist preachers. One was against it and one was for it. Even the Baptists in New England are different than in the south!!
Maine's attorney general, Janet Mills, has gone on record saying that instituting a law where marriage is between two PEOPLE without specifing the gender of the people is OK. No church will be forced to marry people they don't want to marry. And she went so far as to say such a law will have no bearing on HER relationship with God.
She is right.
And while there is absolutely no sign of change in Florida on the marriage issue at the legislative end... there are cracks in the wall of opposition coming from the churches. And through those cracks, a new light of understanding... grounded in Scripture... is shining.
Last Sunday, Pastor Tom Borland of Faith Presbyterian Church delivered a deeply personal and reflective sermon called, "Thoughts On A Troublesome Question" which you can listen to here. What I liked best in Pastor Borland's presentation was how he took what were the assigned readings for the day in the church, and put those first and foremost as he laid out his understanding of God and God's directives to the treatment of the LGBT community. I know this was a courageous step for him since the Presbyterian Church USA is struggling with changing its constitution to allow for the ordination of openly-LGBT people. I'll save comment on that for another day. But I applaud Pastor Borland for speaking his truth as he believes the Holy Spirit has guided him. And whether he knows it or not... his words are spreading beyond the four walls of his sanctuary and reaching people, such as me, in other denominations or even the 'unchurched' as they say down here, and signaling, "Faith Presbyterian Church is a safe place for you to come worship God". It's powerful, very powerful, when such statements come from the mouths of those who the gay community often sees as the chief oppressors. Such bravery results in clearing away the stumbling blocks, and paving a way toward a more inclusive and loving world. Kudos to Pastor Borland, and I hope his congregation got the message.