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Letter to the editor: City clergy stands agains HJR-6

Friday, November 29, 2013 - 12:01 am

Our religious traditions teach us to engage in the slow and demanding work of transformation. Day by day, we are called to make ourselves and the world around us a little bit better: a more loving, more hopeful and more authentic place where all of God’s children have a chance to flourish. Of course, we routinely fail to realize this vision, and progress is often bleak, but grace tells us tomorrow is a new day.

As Fort Wayne area clergy, we believe HJR-6 — the proposed amendment regarding marriage — is a fearful stumble backward instead of a faithful step forward in the work of transformation. While we and our religious traditions hardly agree on everything when it comes to marriage, we are united in our opposition to this unhelpful amendment for two reasons. First, HJR-6 is redundant. It duplicates state law, as our Indiana state code already defines marriage as between a male and female. Second, it undermines the rights of same-sex couples and their families, both long-time Hoosiers and newly arrived transplants, by jeopardizing employer-provided family benefits, legal contracts and human rights ordinances.

We urge Indiana lawmakers to ensure that loving, committed couples are given the freedom to protect their families. Please oppose HJR-6 during the 2014 legislative session. We believe it is the right decision for all Hoosiers.

Meanwhile, please know we are praying for you, for courage and wisdom and imagination to carry you on this important issue.

Rev. Dr. Terry Anderson; Rabbi Javier Cattapan, Congregation Achduth Vesholom; Rev. Brian Flory, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren; Rev. John P. Gardner, Plymouth Congregational Church; Rev. Kimberly Koczan-Flory, Spiritual Director; Rabbi Mitchell Kornspan, Congregation Bnai Jacob; Rev. Arianne Lehn and Rev. Jeff Lehn, First Presbyterian Church; Rev. Christen Pettit Miller, Peace United Church of Christ; Rev. Ruth Phillips, Plymouth Congregational Church; Rev. Misty-Dawn Shelly, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne