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Churches in Minnesota get ready for same-sex marriages

Timothy Kincaid

July 22nd, 2013

The concept of conducting a same-sex marriage may not seem to be tough; you just do what you would do with an opposite-sex couple. But in practice, there are some differences that require pastors to adjust.

From the Austin (Minnesota) Daily Herald:

At Edina Morningside Community Church, a United Church of Christ congregation, Pastor Rosemary Rocha will be performing her first same-sex marriage at the church next month. When talking to the two men who want to be married by her, Rocha says she asked them, “Do I pronounce you husband and husband? … I think we’re looking at I’m to pronounce them ‘married.’?”

“I’ve been learning along the way,” Rocha added. “Because we don’t have a big population of LGBT people in our church, it’s important for me to educate and familiarize myself with some of the issues. You can’t just go assuming … there are some things that might be the same for same-gender and male-female weddings. But what does it mean for a gay couple … who have been in love, cared about people, and been denied this? “



July 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Kudos to the pastor for her thoughtful response. Different couples will want different things.

My husband and I chose to be pronounced, “Husbands for Life”.

July 22nd, 2013 | LINK

State laws do not specify the language of the wedding ceremony. The ceremony must include a statement of consent, vows or promises, and a pronouncement, but there is lots of flexibility in how the ceremony is written. And there are some considerations unique, shall we say, to gay male weddings. In working with one male-male couple, who have been together over twenty years in an open relationship, they asked to use the word “loyal” instead of “faithful.” To acknowledge that a couple together for many years are technically newly wed but not “newlyweds,” I say, “We who know them have seen evidence of their commitment for many years. Today, we rejoice that times have changed and they can be legally united in marriage.” In the pronouncement, I say, “I pronounce that they are married and husbands / wives to one another.” One couple asked I change that to “spouses to each other,” which is not as poetic, but perfectly fine.

July 22nd, 2013 | LINK

One other note about this post. I laughed out loud to see the link to the Austin Daily Herald. When I was the openly gay pastor of the UCC church in Austin, I received regular death threats and our building was vandalized with anti-gay graffiti. To their credit, that church stood firmly by me and is now Open and Affirming. Edina Morningside church is in the Twin Cities suburbs. Austin is in two hours south of the Twin Cities.

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