Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oregon Church Refusing to Sign Marriage Licenses for Heterosexual Couples

by Julie French at Ashland Daily Tidings

Clergy members of First Congregational United Church of Christ are refusing to sign marriage licenses for any couple until they are able to sign the document for any couple, gay or straight.

Refusing to Sign Marriage Licenses
The Rev. Pam Shepherd came up with the idea after realizing she was inadvertently contributing to discrimination against gay and lesbian couples, she said.

"I've been for civil rights for gay and lesbian people for a long, long time, but I never thought, 'I'm helping the discrimination every time I sign a license,'" she said. "Every time I sign a license, it's like I'm saying, 'OK,' but it's not OK."

[Read more…]


  1. Hey, if a church refuses to offer a service you request, just sue them. It worked for a lesbian couple in New Jersey. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that courts would suddenly be all about ruling in favor of religion again when it's a heterosexual couple approaching the bench to testify of discrimination.

    It is also very funny to me that the church claims they will not sign marriage licenses for "any couple" until same-sex "marriage" is legalized. Well, if homosexual couples cannot currently legally wed, then the only other entities falling under the "any couple seeking a signature" umbrella would be heterosexual couples. It is a shady attempt to appear non-discriminatory when really it is clear discrimination toward one single group of people.

  2. A church has every Constitutional right from government interfering with its beliefs. The people who go to this particular church also have every right to stop going when the church no longer preaches what's in the Bible.

  3. Well said, Euripides. Well said.

  4. I don't think I will be attending this church anytime soon. There is more than one church to get married in.

  5. Nothin' to see here, folks. It's the same-old-same-old. Just another supporter of neutering marriage who is just as happy if there is no marriage at all.

  6. "who is just as happy if there is no marriage at all."

    I don't think that's the sentiment of the article. The priest is pro-marriage; so pro-marriage, in fact, that she wants it to be a right for everyone. She is withdrawing her services to the community as a whole for marriages for as long as there is a group in the community which cannot marry.

  7. I think you're right, Secular Heretic. We just need to quietly make a stand by choosing to attend church and buy products elsewhere...the proper way to boycott.

    "The priest is pro-marriage; so pro-marriage..."

    Correction: "so pro-marriage [redefinition]...." Op-ed has a point about the clergy being "supporter[s] of neutering marriage."


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