Monday, July 7, 2014

Baptist Walls Tumble to Gay Marriage in Kentucky

It's the Highlands in Louisville, which is the most liberal neighborhood in the most liberal county in Kentucky, but still:  Baptists!

Matthew Gowicki at the Courier:

David Bannister Jr., 29, and Steven Carr, 25, are to be married next May at Highland Baptist Church, which will break with most churches in its denomination by performing its first gay marriage ceremony.

"It takes courage to step out into the unknown," said Pastor Joe Phelps, who was approached by Bannister and Carr about the ceremony 2 1/2 years ago. "It's taking us courage to be one of the first churches to do this."

As state law stands, the marriage will not be recognized by the state of Kentucky, which is appealing a court ruling requiring it to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

And while a district court ruled Tuesday that same-sex marriages performed in Kentucky are legal, the judge stayed the decision, halting any legal gay marriages for now.

The church's decision "may influence the debate," said Sam Marcosson, a law professor at the University of Louisville.

"What Highland is really doing is what churches do on important issues," he said. "They're taking a stand in order to influence their community and move their community in a certain direction."
Religion remains by far the greatest obstacle to human equality, peace and fulfillment everywhere, but if you can't breech the walls from the outside, undermining them from the inside is the next best thing.

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