Couples

Article excerpt

My MORNING READING the other day included four texts on sex and marriage that I carefully pondered: Dennis O'Brien's thoughtful essay--which is published in this issue--expressing reservations about legalizing gay marriage; a New York Times Magazine analysis of the conflict in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia resulting from Bishop Peter Lee's vote in favor of the consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest; a brave statement of conscience signed by 23 Roman Catholic priests in Chicago protesting the Vatican's condemnation of homosexual behavior; and, finally, a news item announcing that Britney Spears's 48-hour marriage had been annulled.

I suppose I elect to begin my day this way because I love the church, the whole church, belief in which I affirm every Sunday morning in the Apostles' Creed. I am vitally interested in church matters, and distressed when any part of the church is in trouble. In particular, I love the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which continues its own struggles over homosexuality. I am also a pastor whose congregation includes people on all sides of this issue.

O'Brien patiently reasons his way through some of the complicated issues surrounding the legal recognition of gay marriages and civil unions, and he concludes that civil unions are preferable. I don't know whether I agree with him, but the article is strong, and it makes me think. …