Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Gospel in Connecticut

Yesterday the Gospel was proclaimed in Connecticut. Not in the churches, God knows, but in the Connecticut Supreme Court, which ruled that same-sex marriage was constitutional in that state. The court ruled further that Connecticut’s civil union law violated the constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. The court echoed the Gospel in affirming that justice requires equality. This aspect of the Gospel has been clearly proclaimed in Peter’s speech in Acts 10:34, where he says “I truly understand that God shows no partiality...” While many churches are working hard to restrict the rights of homosexuals to same-sex marriage, as in California, Florida, and Arizona, the majority on the Connecticut court clearly stated that without equality there is no justice. As Justice Palmer wrote: “Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same-sex partner of their choice.” To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others.”
“The New York Times” in its article, on October 11th, about the ruling stated: “Striking at the heart of discriminatory traditions in America, the court — in language that often rose above the legal landscape into realms of social justice for a new century — recalled that laws in the not-so-distant past barred interracial marriages, excluded women from occupations and official duties, and relegated blacks to separate but supposedly equal public facilities.”
As I wrote in my blog post of July 12, 2008, “Same-Sex Marriage: The ELCA and California, Compared”: “Equality and justice are hallmarks of the Gospel. In “Reforming Christianity" (2001), Don Cupitt points out that as the Church loses influence because of its ridigity and fear, signs of the Kingdom often appear 'on earth' in secular society.” As in California, a Connecticut court has proclaimed the Gospel, while the churches either oppose the Gospel or stand by mute, unwilling to take the risk of proclaiming God’s love for all.

1 comment:

Franklyn said...

The courts often reflect (slowly) the way society is moving. They must do so to retain their legitimacy. The Church has a different agenda It wishes to retain its authority in an increasingly secular age. As the gap between the Church and society widens the Church becomes increasingly irrelevant and fearfully becomes increasing rigid. I am amazed they haven't figured out that its the wrong way