poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

International Day of Clergy Support for Gay Marriage on April 29

Civil Disobedience Actions Include Public Same-Sex Weddings

NEW YORK, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A new chapter in the struggle for same-sex marriage rights will open on April 29 as clergy around the world hold civil disobedience actions by publicly solemnizing gay weddings in defiance of state and national laws. Events are scheduled in New York, California, Michigan, and Florida, as well as Great Britain and New Zealand.

Organizer of the events is Rev. Pat Bumgardner, of Metropolitan Community Church of New York City (MCC). The events are a response to criminal charges filed against two ministers in New Paltz, NY for marrying 13 same-sex couples. Twenty US states restrict clergy from performing marriages without a civil license.

The MCC denomination, of which Rev. Bumgardner's church is a member, performed the first same-sex wedding in the US in 1969 and annually conducts 6000 same-sex weddings.

"Such laws criminalize clergy who exercise their freedom of religion to marry same-sex couples," said Bumgardner. "We are calling Attorney Generals, District Attorneys, and state lawmakers to accountability. If you believe it is wrong to marry without a civil marriage license, then arrest all of us, too. Otherwise, stop harassing clergy who conduct same-sex marriages for your own political gain."


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