Religious leaders urge approval of Referendum 74

As religious leaders serving faith communities in West Seattle, we write to express our support for Referendum 74. A vote to APPROVE 74 affirms the law passed by the state legislature earlier this year, allowing the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples in Washington State.

We believe in love. Love is the highest and most cherished value we proclaim in our congregations Sunday after Sunday. We believe that the law allowing same-sex couples to marry is consistent with the deepest values of our faith traditions, which command us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to seek justice for all people, and to recognize God’s presence wherever love is found.

As local clergy, we know many gay and lesbian couples who have formed loving, lasting, committed relationships; some are raising children, some are growing old together. You know these people too – they are your neighbors, your children, your nephews, your aunts. You do not have to choose between loving them or loving God; our faith traditions teach us that to love one is to love the other.

These couples have the same longing to have their relationship recognized by the state as their heterosexual friends have. While the law allowing these couples to register as Domestic Partners was a significant step in the right direction, it does not carry the cultural significance and meaning that marriage does. Marriage is a relationship that is widely and universally understood for its legal and spiritual depth. We know, because between us we have signed at least a thousand marriage licenses.

A vote to a approve Referendum 74 simply affirms the right for same-sex couples to be get a license and be legally married. At the same time, it clearly protects the long-standing right of clergy and churches to make their own decisions about who they will and will not marry; no congregation or clergy person will be forced to go against their conscience. But we, whose names are signed below, are led by conscience, conviction, and love to urge you to APPROVE Referendum 74.

Rev. Dr. Joanne Carlson Brown, Tibbetts United Methodist Church
Rev. Carol Callahan, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church
Rev Sally Carlson, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church
Rev. Diane Darling, Alki United Church of Christ
Rev. Erik P. Kindem, Peace Lutheran Church
Rev. David Kratz, Fauntleroy United Church of Christ
Rev. Peg Boyle Morgan, Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Rev. Dr. Mark Newton, Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Rev Gregory William Peters, St John the Baptist Episcopal Church
Rev. Dr. Lon A Rycraft, Normandy Park Congregational United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Donald Schmidt, Admiral Congregational, United Church of Christ
Rabbi Zari Weiss, Kol HaNeshamah Synagogue
Rev. Paul Winterstein, Calvary Lutheran Church

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.