Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bless Gay Unions, Not in Our Church!

The mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic bigshots seem intent on driving Connecticut gay couples to UU and UCC churches, at least for their civil union blessings. Who knows, these couples may find they prefer friendly congregations and clerics.

The Hartford Courant investigated who would and would not bless the unions, which become legal on Saturday. Not seems to be the operative word here. Among the not-in-my-church folk are Roman Catholic, Orthodox Jewish and evangelical Christian churches. In addition, the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut Bishop Andrew Smith sent a letter to all his clergy that they are forbidden to perform civil unions.

The new law permits discrimination by a church, denomination or entire religion. Not even justices of the peace who object to same-sex civil unions must perform the ceremony or bless the couple.

Couples seeking blessings for their civil unions will have to shop. In addition to Unitarian and United Church of Christ ministers, they can look to American Baptists (definitely not Southern Baptist).

Irony Injection: Bishop Smith and his officials are the subject of a lawsuit by six parishes and their priests. It seems that his voting for openly gay V. Eugene Robinson in 2003 as New Hampshire bishop irked them so much that they demand another Bishop oversee them. Andy can't seem to win on the gay front.

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