The Craig Fahle Show

Presbyterians Take Up Gay Marriage Issue

Friday, June 20, 2014

Photo courtesy of Out of Order

Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians Alex McNeill and former Co-Moderator of More Light Presbyterians Dr. Janet Edwards join Craig to discuss a significant vote yesterday changing the denomination's policy on same-sex marriages. The vote happened at the COBO Center In Detroit among commissioners for the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Both McNeill and Edwards were at the meeting yesterday, where there was hand holding, prayer and celebration. The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was at COBO to vote on changing the denomination’s definition of marriage, along with making a change to allow ministers to preside over same-sex marriages.

Edwards, who was tried in 2007 for marrying a lesbian couple, says “God has opened our eyes to LGBT love,” and the vote yesterday took Presbyterians one step closer toward a more broad embrace of love between all people.

However, there are many challenges in taking any sort of stance on an issue submerged in such enormous public contention. Edwards says she has been challenged many times during her ministerial career, but stands by her beliefs. “I receive something different from scripture, I see the way Christians come to apply our faith over time in different ways,” she says.

McNeill, who married his partner two years ago, says at first, he was scared to get married in his home state because he didn’t want to be punished by ministers in his denomination. McNeill says he’s since witnessed the evolution of the Presbyterian church, and is proud and overwhelmed to see such progress and growth.

While some congregations have left the church over the years, for the most part, members and ministers have been supportive. “God loves all people,” McNeill says, and events like the one that happened yesterday “allow us to have a more nuanced conversation.”

--Annamarie Sysling