Tell the Truth, Suspend Church Weddings

If you’re one of a growing number of clergy troubled by the policies of your church, here are two steps you can take to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people.

First, tell the truth on your church website. Make sure it clearly spells out any policies affecting LGBTQ people. If you were a sexual minority wouldn’t you want to know up front? It’s just common decency. This recommendation is based on hearing from many who have gotten involved in churches under false pretenses—thinking the “warm welcome” expressed on the church website or from personal interactions with pastors, only to later discover that even sympathetic clergy are forced by their church polity to discriminate against them (in matters of marriage and ordination, for example.)

Second, have you considered simply not performing any weddings until your tradition changes its policies? Yes, it would be an inconvenience, maybe a heartache, for those straight congregants who want you to perform their weddings. But it’s time for more of us to carry the pain that LGBTQ people have been carrying alone, lo these many years. (For that matter, if you are engaged and you support the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church, consider giving up your privilege to be married in/by the church so long as this privilege is denied to your sisters and brothers.)

Believe me, I’m aware of the trouble this might cause. But standing with the disinherited always causes trouble for us. Always. You could take a small share of the trouble on yourself so that those who carry the full weight of it don’t have to do so alone.