A recent letter to The Marietta Times compared Obama's support of (same-sex marriage) to "a slap in the face to all people of all walks of life and faiths."
I must respectfully disagree.
Numerous faith communities have voiced support for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed, and queer. Support can be found among the Society of Friends (Quakers), Reform Judaism, United Church of Christ, and Episcopal traditions, to name a few.
In 2004 in the sanctuary of Arlington Street Church (Boston, Mass.), the Rev. Kim K. Crawford Harvie performed the marriage ceremony of the first church- and state-sanctioned same-sex wedding.
The U.S. Episcopal Church has openly gay clergy, namely bishops Gene Robinson and Mary Glasspool.
"In 1996, the Unitarian Universalist Association passed a resolution in support of marriage equality. The same year, the Central Conference of American Rabbis passed a resolution supporting the 'right of gay and lesbian couples to share fully and equally in the rights of civil marriage.' In 2005, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ voted overwhelmingly to endorse full civil and religious marriage equality for same-sex couples" ("An Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality", August 2008, by Rabbi Dr. Rebecca Alpert, Temple University; the Rev. Steve Clapp, Christian Community; and seven others).
Same-sex marriage may be a "slap in the face" to some people of faith, but marriage discrimination is equally painful to others. As with other religious questions, we must make our laws respect everyone and allow our churches and faith communities to set the standard for living in right-relationship with God for their own members.
Thomas A. Simers
East Boston, Mass.