I’m shooting for irony here, so bear with me: Thank GOD some people proclaim their bigotry out loud, so you don’t have to find out the hard way.
Okay, so this couple (who are choosing to remain anonymous) kind of did find out the hard way, but they’re still free to make other arrangements after the minister of their church called them into a private meeting to let them know he would no longer perform their ceremony or allow them to marry in his church.
The problem, according to Minister Steven North of Ebenezer St. John’s Presbyterian Church, was the bride’s recent comment on Facebook in support of marriage equality in her native Australia. The country is holding a survey – because some places value the individual input of their citizens – to help the Australian parliament decide whether or not to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Apparently, the clergyman was monitoring the bride-to-be’s social media, where she spoke up in support of the measure:
“I know it’s something not everyone will agree on and that’s fine but this is what I stand for and frankly it doesn’t effect [sic] my relationship with [my partner] one bit.”
That’s when North made the decision to summon the couple into his office. Not only did he tell them that he would not perform the ceremony, but he drove the point home with a letter to the couple as well:
“After the pre-marital counselling that you attended and the sermons delivered at Ebenezer on this subject, you must surely appreciate that your commitment to same-sex marriage opposes the teaching of Christ Jesus and the scriptural position practiced by the Presbyterian Church of Australia and by me. This conflict of views has practical consequences in relation to your upcoming wedding.”
If I remember correctly – and believe me, as someone who was raised in a very religious household, I do – Jesus said as much about same-sex weddings as He did about abortions or whether His Dad wants you to drink that miracle water that creepy Peter Popoff sells at 2 AM on cable. That is to say, nothing. There were no “teachings of Christ Jesus” on gay marriage. So really the operative part of North’s statement is that whole thing at the end where he says “and by me.”
The bride was having none of it. The couple has decided to leave their long-time church, and they did so with a statement of their own:
“We feel this decision is absolutely disgraceful and is a disgrace to you and all the church, especially when we have been loyal and valued members of this congregation for 10 years. You were made aware from the beginning of our proceedings that we had gay friends and also that people in our wedding party were gay. How could you assume that we would abandon them or degrade them with regards to same-sex marriage?”
Rather than acquiesce to the thought police of her bigoted church, this couple has faith that they’re doing the right thing.
Featured image via Scott Barbour/Getty Images