The United Methodist Church in the Northwest, at odds with its parent denomination, has endorsed Referendum 74 and called on voters to make Washington the nation’s seventh state to enact same-sex marriage.
Same-Sex Marriage Rally (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood)
The church’s Pacific Northwest Annual Conference passed a resolution worded to “encourage all people to approve Referendum 74 so that the Marriage Equality Act can be put into law.”
Same-sex marriage was approved by the Legislature in February and signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire, but opponents gathered the requisite 120,577 valid voter signatures to force a vote in November.
The issue of marriage equality has brought a division in Washington’s faith community.
Episcopalians, Methodists and the ecumenical Faith Action Network have come out for same-sex marriage. The state’s Catholic bishops and many fundamentalist churches opposed it. Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain asked parishes to serve as collection centers for signatures on the referendum petition.
But several large Seattle and Tacoma area parishes refused to participate in the signature drive. Large contingents from Catholics for Marriage Equality and Mormons for Marriage Equality marched in the June 24 Pride Day parade in Seattle.
There’s an even sharper division among the Methodists. “We’re basically in rebellion against our denomination,” said Rev. Rich Lang of the University Temple United Methodist Church.
The parent church, at its convention, recently rejected (Read the complete story here: NW Methodists endorse same-sex marriage | Strange Bedfellows — Politics News – seattlepi.com.