Tag Archives: Marriage / family

Gay Wedding – in Mennonite Church.

Marriage equality is rapidly becoming routine across much of Western Europe,  and also both North and South America. But that’s civil marriage.  Gay weddings in church remain a rare exception, outside of a handful of local congregations and dioceses in the more progressive / liberal denominations. That too is changing though, as demonstrated by this Canadian report, on the country’s first ever gay wedding in a Mennonite church.

Saskatoon gay couple 1st to be married in Mennonite church

Craig Friesen and Matt Wiens were married on New Year’s Eve

Craig Friesen and Matt Wiens were married by the pastors of Nutana Mennonite Church (where they currently attend) in Osler Mennonite Church, the church Friesen grew up attending.

Craig Friesen and Matt Wiens were married by the pastors of Nutana Mennonite Church

New Year’s Eve is a special time for many, and for Craig Friesen and Matt Wiens, it was especially meaningful.

The Saskatoon couple was married on Dec. 31 in Osler, Sask., in the presence of family, friends and the church community.

The men’s wedding marks a point in history for the Mennonite denomination in Canada. Friesen and Wiens are the first same-sex couple publicly married in a Canadian Mennonite church.

“Our relationship doesn’t feel different, but our relationship with our community and with our faith has changed at least a little bit. It was really beautiful and freeing,” Friesen said.

Matt and Craig

Craig Friesen and Matt Wiens were married on New Year’s Eve. (Rachel Bergen/CBC News)

​Friesen and Wiens are hopeful other LGBT Mennonites will learn from their example that they don’t have to choose between their faith and their sexuality.

(Read more at CBC News)

Continue reading Gay Wedding – in Mennonite Church.

Belgian Bishop’s Call to Bless Gay & Lesbian Couples Elicits Positive Feedback

Bondings 2.0

Response to Bishop Johan Bonny’s historic call for the Catholic Church to recognize and bless the committed relationships of lesbian and gay couples has been slow, but very positive.  The Belgian bishop made in his remarks in an interview published on December 27th in De Morgen newspaper, and it was made known to the English-speaking world in a National Catholic Reporter news story.

New Ways Ministry provided a response in its blog post on December 30th.  As evidence of the great interest in this story, that blog post, in under 8 hours, became the fourth-most viewed blog post of Bondings 2.0’s  three-year history, beating out posts which have been public for months and years.  Obviously people are interested in this news.

Perhaps the Christmas holidays have impeded the distribution of this important news, though, and so there has been little commentary about it.  Still, the reaction we have…

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LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View of Holy Family Sunday

Bondings 2.0

Today’s post is written by a guest blogger: Deacon Ray Dever of St. Paul Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida.

On this first Sunday after Christmas, the Church observes the feast of the Holy Family.  And with that observance inevitably comes reflection on the nature and meaning of the Catholic family today.  Many within the Church still seem to hold an idealized and increasingly inaccurate vision of what a Catholic family looks like, in spite of the growing diversity of the families that comprise the people of God.  As one who would count my own family among that diversity, the topic of Catholic family holds considerable personal interest for me.

In the fall of 2013, at the beginning of our son’s sophomore year at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, he came out as transgender.  In doing so, she became one of only three openly trans* students at Georgetown at the time.  This happened…

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Archbishop Nichols reminds Marriage Care to follow Church teaching

The Archbishop of Westminster has warned Marriage Care that it must conform to Catholic teaching after it emerged that the charity is offering marriage preparation services to same-sex couples.

The charity, which receives money from the Catholic Church, states: “Our counselling service is open to and welcomes everybody over the age of 16, married or not, straight or not.” It also offers marriage preparation and “welcome all couples considering a committed relationship such as marriage”.

A spokesman for Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of Marriage Care, said his role was exercised “solely on the basis that the charitable objects… are to provide relationship counselling, marriage preparation and relationship education services to ‘promote and support marriage and family life in accordance with the Church’s vision of marriage as a vocation of life and love’.”

He added: “It is the legal and fiduciary responsibility of the directors of the company to ensure that the charitable objects of Catholic Marriage Care Limited are observed and fulfilled. The provision of services in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church is also a requirement for Catholic Marriage Care Limited to maintain its continued use of the title Catholic within its designation and to retain the patronage of one of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales.”

– CatholicHerald.co.uk.

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Lesbian couple to take vows in nation’s first public Buddhist same-sex union

Two devout Buddhist women are to hold the nation’s first gay Buddhist wedding next month as part of an effort to push for the legalization of same-sex marriages in Taiwan.

“We are not only doing it for ourselves, but also for other gays and lesbians,” Fish Huang said in a telephone interview.

The 30-year-old social worker at a non-governmental organization said that marriage never crossed her mind until she saw a movie last year.

The film portrayed two lesbians whose ill-fated relationship concluded after one died and the other was left heartbroken over the denial of spousal benefits.

“It’s so sad,” Huang said, who plans to wed her partner of seven years on Aug. 11 at a Buddhist altar in Taoyuan County.

Both brides are planning to wear white wedding gowns and listen to lectures given by Buddhist masters about marriage, accompanied by a series of chantings and blessings from monks and nuns.

Although homosexual marriages are not legally recognized in Taiwan, Huang insisted on tying the knot because she wants to make her relationship complete and raise awareness about the difficulties faced by sexual minorities.

Alternative sexual orientation and marriage have yet to be widely accepted by the general public, despite years of effort by activists to secure equality in Taiwan.

The first public gay marriage in Taiwan took place in 1996 between a local writer and his foreign partner. The event drew widespread media attention and inspired many gays to follow their footsteps.

Huang’s wedding, however, will be the first with a Buddhist theme.

 – more at  Taipei Times.

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Gay Marriage and Religion: What Marriage Means to Me

Recently married in the state of Connecticut, my partner and I spent hours with family, friends, clergy, and liturgical experts crafting a service that would express out commitment to one another and also be a holyspace of joy and celebration. We combined our cultures — Black and White — in a service of welcome to those gathered to the world we are committed to cherishing and growing as a space of Spirit and justice wrapped in love and passion. Our service, without our thinking about it consciously, did not look like a traditional wedding service. Yes, we had some of the traditional elements, but we wanted to invite those gathered into our understanding of the sacred, our values, our hopes, our sense of how justice can and must have loving and celebratory leaning. And although both of us were surprised, to varying extents, to find that the relationship we seek to acknowledge we are building is that of marriage, we could find no other name for it so we have set out to live into our vows and vision for ourselves. We are both clear that we do not to conform to the standard text of marriage, but we want to find ways to breath new air and life into what it means to be married not only by the state, but even more so in the eyes of the Holy Spirit; to be committed for a life time; and to grow old and be those kind of old ladies that we so admired when we were children — truth tellers, wise, independent, but fiercely engaged in the communities they were a part of.

Folks approach gay marriage from a variety of perspectives — moral, theological, social, political. As a Christian social ethicist with womanist leanings, I am clear that the Bible says precious little about same sex relationships, though it appears to have a bit more to say about acts but even that is muddled. I am also clear that although God judges our acts, God does so out of love and mercy and would much rather spend holy time applauding our attempts at humanity than smiting our behavior. The acceptance of gay marriage (even gays who do not believe in marriage) was evident at our ceremony — both of our families, a variety of racial ethnic groups and nationalities, differing sexualities, same sex couples who are married — some with children, others not, children, traditional nuclear families, the list went on and on. The sanctuary and the dinner and dancing that followed was one of joy and celebration — not so much for us as a same-sex couple, but because of our love for one another and trying to share that with others. Politically, it is disheartening to see out love, care, compassion and commitment to one another be made into a political football by the right and the left. The bottom line for me is not “gay marriage” but “marriage.” When folks, whoever they may be, find that the only word that expresses the commitment they make to one another is marriage — we should celebrate this and give them all the support we can for it is no small thing to live out vows that are marked by “forever.”

-full reflection by Emilie Townes at Huffington Post: What Marriage Means to Me.

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Religion and Gay Marriage: The Holiness of Loving Against the Odds

I have long believed in the importance of equal marriage. I’ve preached about it, worked for it, and shown up at rallies. Last summer I spent time in the halls of the New York statehouse joining the call for the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in that state. It’s always been a matter of justice for me.

But until recently, it’s been a relatively academic one. I’d never met anyone I’d seriously considered marrying. Even as I officiated at my friends’ weddings I joked with them about being a happy, perennial bachelor. Equal marriage was great. For other people.

God has a sense of humor. I say that because five months from today, my fiancée and I will be joined in marriage. Which means that in the past few months I’ve learned a new language, spoken only by those who have been through the minor trauma of wedding planning, which comes complete with phrases like “save the date cards,” “cake tastings,” and “wedding website”.

But I’ve learned another language too. One that only same-sex couples living in the era of DOMA learn. Things like “filing married in Vermont and single on our federal taxes,” “counting my partner’s inclusion on my health insurance as earned income,” “medical power of attorney for when we travel out of state,” and “saving extra in case I die because my partner can’t receive my social security”.

Still, my partner and I are the fortunate ones. We are getting married in Massachusetts and then residing in Vermont, both of which recognize equal marriage. We are both members of the United Church of Christ, which means our denomination recognizes and blesses our marriage. And we both have our families’ full support.

-full reflection by  Rev. Emily C. Heath at Huffington Post 

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