Clergy taking the "Marriage Pledge" to get out of the government's business

By Mark Oppenheimer
Holly Taylor Coolman, a theologian, called marriage a “communally
discerned” phenomenon. Credit Joel Hawksley for The New York Times
If you read wedding announcements, you may have noticed that members of the clergy do not matter as much as they used to. But as same-sex marriage becomes the law in more states — at last count, 35 states, plus the District of Columbia — some clergy members who are opposed to same-sex marriage are discovering that being officers of the state puts them in an awkward position. In its December issue, the conservative Christian magazine First Things published “The Marriage Pledge,” by Christopher Seitz and Ephraim Radner, both Episcopal priests and theologians who teach at Wycliffe College in Toronto. The pledge commits clergy members not to sign “government-provided marriage certificates.” Its online version has attracted 370 signers. [link]

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