Open letter to the leaders of South Africa
From the Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches
October 06, 2006
SARATOGA, USA — The members and friends of Metropolitan Community Churches, a global Fellowship with churches in 28 countries, was delighted and proud of the government and people of South Africa, when your courts ruled as they did to allow marriage equality for lesbian and gay persons.
As you took that step, you became part of a progressive group of nations who do not discriminate, and who offer lesbian and gay couples and families rights and protections of which they are worthy, as children of God.
We believe that God does not discriminate, and that nations that live up to their values of justice and equality are forging a new era of peace and wholeness for our world.
As Christians, we repudiate the outdated interpretations of scripture that says that homosexuality, per se, is contrary to the will and plan of God. We believe that scripture, rightly understood, says no such thing. More and more scripture scholars, in every denomination, agree with us, and see those interpretations to be just as invalid as interpretations of the Bible that once supported slavery, or discrimination against women.
We call upon the legislators of South Africa not to be intimidated by Christians who would claim, incorrectly, to speak for all Christians on this matter. Many Christians, the world over, understand and accept the full humanity and dignity of gay and lesbian people. They do not believe that Jesus discriminates.
No church or pastor would be forced to perform weddings for gay couples under this ruling. But gay couples would enjoy the same civil rights as all couples, something civil union does not achieve.
Lesbian and gay people deserve to have their relationships respected with the same dignity and honor as all couples, as part of a civil society. The idea that somehow gay marriage will undermine heterosexual marriage is without merit or substance. To allow gay marriage is to support the institution of marriage, and to allow it to serve and strengthen all families.
We are proud of the new South Africa, and pray for you as you confront these important issues of justice and equality.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson
Metropolitan Community Churches
SARASOTA, Florida, USA – Issued by MCC
Background information on Metropolitan Community Churches is available on the denominational website or on the website of the Cape Town congregation.
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