Washington bishop endorses marriage equality in Maryland

February 7, 2012

[Episcopal Diocese of Washington] The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, today [Feb. 7] endorsed the marriage equality legislation under consideration in the Maryland legislature. Bishop Budde’s diocese includes Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties.

In an essay for the On Faith section of The Washington Post’s website, Bishop Budde reached out to fellow Christians who oppose marriage equality on religious grounds, asking them to reconsider whether The Bible supported their views.

“The Scriptural argument against same-sex marriage is based on seven references in the Old and New Testaments that condemn homosexual activity, she wrote. “Each one of those passages, however, condemns exploitative sexual activity that is the antithesis of loving, committed relationships. The Bible is silent on the subject of same-gender monogamous relationships.”

The disputed passages “pale in comparison to the overarching biblical imperatives to love one another, to work for justice, and to recognize that each of us is created in the image and likeness of God,” Bishop Budde wrote. “St. Paul wrote ‘The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.’ Many of us in the Episcopal Church know same-sex couples whose relationships can only be described as holy, and thus we have come to support the blessing of such unions….

“From the convictions of my Christian faith, and in support of my gay and lesbian friends whose relationships inspire me in my marriage, I urge Marylanders to join me in supporting the marriage equality legislation currently under consideration in their state.”

Clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington are allowed to bless the relationship of same-sex couples, and clergy in the District of Columbia are permitted to preside at same-sex civil marriage ceremonies.