When my wife and I were married in a Baptist church in 2006 we offered the following statement at the bottom of our program: “Samara and Ned recognize that their ability to marry is a privilege and they pray for a day when their friends who are in committed same-sex relationships are afforded the same rights and privileges that they enter into today.”
At the time, it felt right, but also inconsequential. We love all of our friends dearly and equally, and feel compelled to stand up for them when society forces them to sit down.
Now, as a Baptist minister, my heart breaks open for my pastor friends who can legally perform marriages because they are members of the clergy community, but cannot get married themselves because they are members of the LGBT community.
And so today, I speak. Today, I offer the only part of Leviticus that Jesus himself highlights in scripture when I say, let us love our neighbors as ourselves, because God first loved us.
Rev. Ned Allyn Parker
Seattle First Baptist Church