Last week, in Louisville, Kentucky, the congregation of Douglass Boulevard Christian Church unanimously--you read that right, unanimously--voted to end the practice of signing marriage licenses because they give legal benefits to heterosexual couples that are not available to homosexual couples.
And until marriage equality is the law of the land, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church ministers will only perform religious wedding ceremonies, which we all know are not legal without a signed marriage certificate.
Associate Minister Ryan Kamp-Pappan: "As an Open and Affirming Community of Faith, our membership is committed to treating homosexuals and heterosexuals equally. Our congregation believes it is unfair to provide different services and benefits to heterosexual couples than we can provide to gay and lesbian couples."
Senior minister, the Reverend Derek Penwell added, "Heterosexual couples enjoy a number of benefits that result from having state-sanctioned union. They may inherit property, adopt children together, visit one another in the hospital, and save thousands each year in taxes by filing as a couple. Ministers, as agents of the state, have the power to confer these benefits-and the imprimatur of normalcy-on heterosexual couples, but we do not have the honor to bestow these benefits on gay and lesbian couples."
The Reverend Chuck Lewis, Chair of Elders with the church, said, "In our attempt to live out God's call to pursue justice for all, the Elders of the congregation joined the Pastors in witnessing to the right for gay and lesbian persons to God's blessing on their union and witnessing to the Commonwealth toward ending the refusal to recognize these unions."
Douglass Boulevard Christian Church has been committed to seeking justice for all people since it was founded in 1846. In 2008, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church voted to become an Open and Affirming Community of Faith.
In 2011, God--if you believe in that sort of thing--was doing cartwheels and heaping praise ion the ministers and congregation at Douglas Boulevard Christian Church.