Monday, May 22, 2006

My Letter to the Editor about Arlen Specter

I sent the following letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which does not seem inclined to publish it:

Senator Arlen Specter states that he is opposed to the proposed federal constitutional amendment that would ban legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but says that it deserves a debate by the full Senate.

As a member of the clergy of a religious denomination that recognizes the equal sacramental validity of same-sex and opposite-sex marriages, I am outraged by his contempt toward the First Amendment by facilitating a debate about imposing the religious doctrines of some groups on those of us who embrace same-sex marriage, including congregations within the Independent Catholic, United Church of Christ, Metropolitan Community Church, Unitarian Universalist, Ethical Culture, and Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish traditions, among others. Just as no religious group is compelled perform a wedding for someone who is divorced or for an interfaith couple, so no religious group would be compelled to perform a wedding for a same-sex couple were same-sex civil marriage the law of the land. However, anti-gay religious groups should return the favor by no longer insisting that their religious doctrine exclusively define civil marriage.

I hope Senator Specter will apologize for his contempt of the Constitution and our nation’s lesbian and gay citizens and not repeat this deplorable act of political cowardice again.