My church endorses Referendum 74, which affirms marriage equality. We’re not in the habit of endorsing ballot measures. Indeed, it makes us a bit uncomfortable when the line between church and state gets fuzzy. However, this one was too important to sit on the sidelines, especially when there is so much at stake for our gay and lesbian members, friends and family who seek the right to marry.
Marriage equality is about real people – your neighbors and friends who are willing to declare publicly their mutual trust and commitment. As a society we are better off when couples get the support and structure of marriage. This is especially true when children are involved.
Marriage makes for stronger families, and stronger families protect children. Marriage provides protection to spouses and children if the relationship fails. All this applies to same-gender couples, too.
Some faith communities are not open to the marriage of same-gender couples, and we commend the Legislature for protecting their right to limit marriage accordingly. They should be free to add same-gender couples to their own “do not marry” list. However, their views should not be imposed on other faith communities or the civil law of marriage.
It is cause for celebration that there are same-gender couples who are ready to stand before God and society and commit themselves in marriage. We should affirm Referendum 74 because it strengthens marriage and protects real people in real families.
(Blackmon is congregation president of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Olympia.)