Today, the Iowa Supreme Court declared that a ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional!
I am really impressed by the fact that the decision was unanimous and took seriously the fact that marriage - as far as the state is concerned - has nothing to do with religion.
And as far as "tradition" goes - traditions need to be living, and need to be able to be flexible and change as we learn and grow, otherwise they are dead. That is true in the church and that is true in society also. If we had stuck with the traditions of marriage from the very beginning, women would be property, we would have polygamous relationships, and interracial couples wouldn't have a chance. Traditions are LIVING!
I now pray that as a church, we too might find ways to value committed mutually-self-giving relationships between our gay and lesbian parishoners.
To be honest, I never even considered the possibility that it might be legal for gays and lesbians to marry in my state before my church would allow it. I have been thinking so much about the United Methodist perspective and have been working for reform there and if this decision holds, then I have a very difficult choice ahead of me. Do I continue to follow church discipline? Do I refuse to marry any couples until I can marry all? It may not even be an issue in my community, but I pray for God's grace and God's guidance so that when the question comes, when someone approaches me, I may have the heart to respond.