Methodist churches show level of acceptance to gay community

Jelina Cortero, Staff Writer

For years, members of the gay and lesbian community have been fighting for their right to marry their significant others, but because of the religious views of the church, the right to a same-sex marriage has been a constant battle. But not anymore.

Thirty Methodist churches have taken their stand against the rights that have prevented gays from marrying and declared that they support same-sex church weddings – a unified stance that defies international church rules.

Wait, does that mean churches are actually going to allow gay marriages to be performed inside the house of the Lord?

According to The Sacramento Bee, “The congregations each have adopted a joint ‘declaration of inclusion,’ putting the denomination on notice that they intend to allow same-sex weddings in their facilities and performed by their clergy.”

Now, let’s rewind: first, churches forbid same-sex marriage but after a period of time are now willingly going to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies?

Well I think it’s safe to say, “Finally.”

It’s not that the churches beliefs are wrong, but their values are too traditional. We live in a modern society where the gay and lesbian community have grown to a point where they are now open to be who they are and accepted. It’s time for the church to do the same.

With their brave declaration, which also supports the ordination of gay pastors, the group of Methodist churches hope to ignite more than just a stand but a national movement to change not only the views of other churches but also hope to get the United Methodist Book of Discipline to change as well.

This just shows how far our world has come and how much power people have when they speak up. We’ve learned to progress with the world, not regress.

However, with all great accomplishments, comes great controversy.

Rev. Glen Raley of the First United Methodist Church in Marysville said to The Sacramento Bee the declaration is “just another step in the attempt to disobey the ‘Book of Discipline.’ ”

In the article, Raley said he believes that the majority of his 300-member congregation strongly opposes gay marriage.

“I believe homosexual individuals can be fully welcomed into our church, but there is a point at which me and many of my colleagues feel it’s a sinful lifestyle,” Raley told the Sacramento Bee.

It seems like someone is still stuck on old traditions. If in this world we continue to one step forward and two steps back, we’re never going to move forward. We have to let go of stubborn traditions in order to grab a hold of a better future, or we’ll just be stuck.

Well what does the group of Methodists churches who support same-sex marriage say about those who aren’t willing to change?

According to The Sacramento Bee, “The document [when talking about the declaration of inclusion] asserts that Methodists ‘must unshackle ourselves from rules reflecting a culture where same-sex marriages are forbidden,’ and goes on to say that ‘no one will be denied the services of our church because of sexual orientation.’ ”

They’ve sure got that right. No one should ever be denied of any freedoms or rights because of their sexual orientation.

Let’s not be held back by what was said or written years and years ago because that’s the past. The only thing to do now would be to change as much as society has, adapt and learn to live in a nation where freedom is no longer just a word but its true definition.