The times, they are a changin’

Feb 28, 2013

Editor:

I was delighted a week or so ago to read a forward of a pastoral letter from Pastor Kathlyn of the Edmonds United Methodist Church announcing that, “The Leadership Council of EUMC, consistent with our past decisions to be a welcoming, inclusive congregation, hereby authorizes the use of our sanctuary and facilities for marriage ceremonies to same-sex couples.

“We join with other Western United Methodist congregations to affirm the basic right of all loving couples to enter into marriage.

“We will honor and support such unions. We take this action believing that it is consistent with the teachings of Jesus."

I’m not a Methodist, and in fact the church I go to, Trinity Episcopal (8th & James, Seattle), came to the same decision some months ago, and has already performed at least two same-sex marriages.

It is heart-warming to see the same inclusive decision reached in Edmonds, my hometown since 1961, a place where growing up gay felt like being a spy in enemy territory, and where I left the church I had grown up in because of growing homophobia.

On Monday I was in downtown Edmonds for lunch, and noticed two young men handing out Human Rights Campaign materials.

HRC is a nation-wide organization that “works to ensure LGBT people of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.”

I stopped to talk to one of them for a moment, and came away feeling again that while total equality is still not achieved (as an example, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EXugUPkDVg&feature=player_embedded), we have reached a far safer and more accepting time than any I’ve known before.

I know that not all of us in Edmonds will feel the same joy at the United Methodist Church announcement, nor the same sense of peace that I felt seeing the young men from HRC.

And that’s okay, because minds are changing.

What fills me with happiness is that even in my “own” Edmonds, signs of change and acceptance are clear.

 

Thank you, Edmonds United Methodists – and HRC.

 

Nathaniel Brown

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