Local churches gather in support of gay marriage

Editor's note: Only a portion of this story ran in Monday's edition. This is the complete version

dslover/Sun Journal

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Sara Karam, left, and her partner Eileen Badich, both of Lewiston, sing along with an interfaith clergy during a marriage equality service at the First Universalist Church in Auburn on Sunday evening. Clergy from left are: Rita Moran of Earth Center Community, Ethelind Wright, the senior deacon at High Street Congregational Church, Rev. Casey Collins of the Calvary Methodist Church, Rabbi Hillel Katzir of Temple Shalom, the Rev. Rich Cullen of the United Methodist Church, father Steve Crowson of Trinity Episcopal Church, the Rev. Dr. Bill Blaine-Wallace, the multi-faith chaplain at Bates College, Emily Wright-Timko, associate multi-faith chaplain at Bates, and Rev. Dr. Jodi Cohen Hayashida of the First Universalist Church.

dslover/Sun Journal

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Karen Ferguson, of Auburn, ties a colored ribbon to a fabric representing diversity during an interfaith marriage equality service at the First Universalist Church in Auburn on Sunday evening. Rabbi Hillel Katzir of Temple Shalom and Rev. Dr. Jodi Cohen Hayashida of the First Universalist Church hold the display while Rev. Dr. Bill Blaine-Wallace, multi-faith chaplain at Bates College, stands at left.

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dslover/Sun Journal

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Interfaith clergy celebrate a marriage equality service at the First Universalist Church in Auburn on Sunday evening. From left are: Rita Moran of Earth Center Community, Ethelind Wright, the senior deacon at High Street Congregational Church, Rev. Casey Collins of the Calvary Methodist Church, Rabbi Hillel Katzir of Temple Shalom, Rev. Rich Cullen of the United Methodist Church, father Steve Crowson of Trinity Episcopal Church, Rev. Dr. Bill Blaine-Wallace, the multi-faith chaplain at Bates College, Emily Wright-Timko, associate multi-faith chaplain at Bates and Rev. Dr. Jodi Cohen Hayashida of the First Universalist Church.

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dslover/Sun Journal

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal
Bonnie Ross of Auburn helps a couple friends tie colored ribbon to a fabric hanging that represents diversity during an interfaith marriage equality service at the First Universalist Church in Auburn on Sunday evening.

AUBURN — More than 200 people stood in support of gay rights, and against the hot-button ballot question putting Maine voters in the spotlight, during the Interfaith Celebration of Marriage Equality held at the First Universalist Church in Auburn on Sunday.

Some stood as traditional couples, some stood as same-sex couples and some stood alone. But they stood united to protect the rights of gays and lesbians across the state and equality for all under God.

"I'm not a prophet, but I suggest to you that the question before the people of the state of Maine is no great mystery," said Rabbi Hillel Katzir, of Temple Shalom. "We know what God requires of us . . .we know what is expected of us — only justice, kindness and humility."

Katzir was one of 10 representatives from various faiths and places of worship in the Twin Cities who participated in the hour-long service. Like his fellow religious leaders, he encouraged the crowd to vote "no" on Question 1 in order to preserve the right of all Maine couples — regardless of sexual orientation — to marry.

The issue is shining a national spotlight on Maine as people from both sides wage a battle over whether or not to repeal the law granting marriage equality signed by Gov. John Baldacci this past spring.

"As a citizen, I'm here because our country is one in which civil liberties are to be assured. As a person of faith, I'm here because my God is one of mercy and love," said Klara Tammany, a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lewiston, who works with the church's Urban Ministry. "As both a citizen and a person of faith, I must hope and pray that we err on the side of equal rights and compassion."

In addition to religious leaders addressing equal rights for all Mainers and urging the crowd to vote down Question 1, the service also featured several hymns supporting gay rights and calling on the community to stand together in strength as one unified voice.

A call and response reading led by Ethelind Wright, senior deacon of High Street Congregational Church in Auburn, summed up the theme of the evening. Following Wright's prompts about subjects such as peace, justice and equality in race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, the crowd answered "What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God."

The Rev. Dr. Jodi Cohen Hayashida of First Universalist Church said that the church opened its doors to host the interfaith service because of its founding principals support the inherent worth and dignity of every person and call for justice, equality and compassion for all.

"Support for equality of all the people of the state of Maine is clearly in line with our teachings — and to not support marriage equality flies in the face of that," Hayashida said.

Everyone attending the service was given a strip of ribbon in varying colors that they were asked to tie to a banner during a ritual of celebration and support. According to Emily Wright-Timko, associate multi-faith chaplain at Bates College, the ribbons symbolize the ties of marriage, the binding of laws and the knots of commitment to equality.

"It's a lot like what I saw back in the '60s," said Dave Dawn, 69, a member of First Universalist Church, talking about how interracial marriage was once against the law. "It just makes me mad when I see people treated that way, you know? I prefer a society based on love, not fear."

 

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Comments

Mark Wrenn's picture

Everything she posts is a

Everything she posts is a flat out lie drawn from some whacked out faux researcher in Colorado. The lead researcher was thrown out of his professional society for just making things up and calling it research.
______________________

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Mark Wrenn's picture

The American Psychological

The American Psychological Association (APA) launched an investigation into (Dr Paul) Cameron after receiving complaints about his work from members .An APA spokesperson told The Boston Globe in 2005, "We are concerned about Dr. Cameron because we do believe that his methodology is weak."
______________________

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Mark Wrenn's picture

"Honest and intelligent"

"Honest and intelligent" leaves you out.
______________________

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

Brooktrout, I don't think

Brooktrout, I don't think anyone has said that gay marriage CAN'T be taught in the schools. What they've said is that it isn't now. Nothing in LD 1020 allows it or denies it. Therefore it is irrelevent to the issue at hand.
Could someone put together a different law, or add it to learning results and then go to each of the 218 school districts promoting the teaching of gay marriage. Of course. Is anyone? No. Will LD 1020 help them in their efforts if they ever do take it into mind to make this change? No.
Jon Albrecht Dixfield

Michael Hobbs's picture

This isn't California. Just

This isn't California. Just saying.

Michael Hobbs's picture

I am for gay marriage but a

I am for gay marriage but a teacher can't make your child do anything. If I was you I would either excuse them from school that day and/or talk to the principle of that school. Also is this in high school or a lower grade level?

Michael Hobbs's picture

So, he wants to do it? If it

So, he wants to do it? If it is not during school hours it's not considered a school activity. Unless a school Admins give their okay. By the sounds of everything it sounds like your child may have misunderstood the teacher.

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

The Bangor Daily News this

The Bangor Daily News this morning endorsed NO on 1. The reasons are obvious and have been written in this blog endlessly.
1. Yes on 1 has provided not a single reason to vote yes. Their campaign is completely false. Not surprising since its lead by Rev. Bob Emrich who couldn't find honesty with a stick. I could go to my local school board and ask that gay marriage, gay sex, anything be included in the curriculum. The decision is entirely theirs. LD 1020 doesn't matter one way or the other.
2. Religious institutions are entirely protected by LD 1020. No religion must preform or acknowledge gay marriages. So religious comments are immaterial.

Gil, taxpoor, and Sammie add nothing to the conversation. They are just wrong.

Jon Albrecht Dixfield

Mark Wrenn's picture

And

And nuts.
______________________

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Vote NO on #1!!! These

Vote NO on #1!!! These people should have rights too. They are God's children too. No one has the right to tell someone else who they can love and want to spend the rest of their lives with. They aren't perverts either. They are good people who just want to protect themselves.

Ray St. Onge's picture

Tax-exempt groups like the

Tax-exempt groups like the Church can take a position on an issue. They are not allowed to support a candidate.

Tony Morin's picture

Sammie, I'm voting for you

Sammie, I'm voting for you for worst post of the week and it's only Monday morning. Congratulations!

Michael Hobbs's picture

And you think your rant

And you think your rant isn't full of ignorance?

Mike Peters's picture

Queers rule!!!

Queers rule!!!

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