The Bible does not teach marriage as being between one man and one woman in a covenant of exclusive, spiritual and legal mutuality as well as an expectation of sexual fidelity. This is why Jesus was so clear in challenging the excessive and repressive practices of civil marriage that abused women and which were sanctioned by the all-male priesthood.
Clergy preaching that the Bible, in the name of God, defines marriage as between one woman and one man are wrong. Further, the hostility, self-righteous bigotry and condemnation of gay and lesbian couples that their "priestly"comments enflame are examples of the very same religious bigotry that Jesus challenged 2000 years ago.
What the Bible really teaches is the importance of a loving, committed relationship that liberates the heart and soul from the power of hate, loneliness and despair.
Are we not all entitled to have such a relationship recognized and protected by law? I believe such a relationship is already blessed under heaven.
The Rev. Kenneth Chalker
Senior Pastor of University Circle United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio
(Taken from an article in The Plain Dealer June 9, 2012)