I love weddings. I love that people still want to get married. Marriage is a stabilizing force in modern life, and we should support it.
When you are married, you provide emotional support and financial support to your spouse. In a world where so many people want others to stand on their own, a family is where the buck stops. Without a supportive family, social services and welfare must step in. I much prefer people have families to support their needs.
And what if there are children? A family is the best place to raise them, with all the benefits we can muster.Janice Pinchot WoychikChapel HillQuakers on marriage
In light of the action by the North Carolina House and Senate to put on the ballot in May a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, we feel it is important to voice our deep concerns not only about this new initiative, but about those statutes already enacted that limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman.
As members of the Durham Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), we believe such legal attempts to define marriage violate the sanctity of the individual and diminish the sacred covenant of marriage.
Durham Friends Meeting holds that there is that of God in everyone and that every true expression of love between two people is an incarnation of divine love. We also believe that marriage is a spiritual union made directly between two individuals in the presence of God. Marriage is a living testimony to the love two people share with each other. While in the deepest sense, marriage is a commitment that is beyond the regulation and control of the state, we believe that it is important that the state, in so much as it chooses to sanction certain marriages, should recognize all unions that are grounded in a true and committed love.
On Nov. 14, 1993, after careful deliberation, Durham Friends Meeting passed a minute that we would take same-sex marriages under our care. In that minute, we agreed to "confirm the Light in all spiritual, emotional and physical relationships between individuals which are characterized by love, support, growth and sincerity and in which faith, hope, and truth abide." By opening our hearts to love in this way, we have enriched and deepened our spiritual community and nurtured all the individuals and families that worship with us.Marguerite DingmanThe writer is the clerk of the Durham Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)Celebrate all families
I was so pleased to read Flo Johnston's article on the marriage of Jenny Shultz and Shannon Thomas (CHN, Jan. 11). Their story shows that love and commitment and making a family are important to all of us and that same-sex couples worry about and celebrate the same things opposite-sex couples do.
I found the sidebar to the article, which described how different faiths view same-sex marriage, interesting as well. It is important for North Carolinians to know that many faiths support same-sex marriage when they are considering how to vote on the same-sex marriage amendment this May.
My own congregation, Durham Friends Meeting (Quakers), agreed years ago to recognize and celebrate same-sex unions. Our understanding of the Truth directs us to confirm the Light in all spiritual, emotional and physical relationships between individuals which are characterized by love, support, growth and sincerity and in which faith, hope, and truth abide. I am pleased to be a part of a community which recognizes and celebrates all families and hope that I will not have to live in a state which actively condemns and forbids same-sex couples from forming families.Laura SellDurhamBe very afraid
When I read in that two women got married in Chapel Hill, I thought my own marriage was over. Isn't that what Republican politicians are telling us will happen if we vote AGAINST the proposed constitutional amendment in May?
The brides look pretty harmless to me, gowns and all, and I believe I've heard that "for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse" line somewhere before. But appearances can be deceiving, and all of us old married couples need to board up our doors and windows and DEFEND OUR MARRIAGES!
Be afraid, be very afraid - two people who love each other got married in Chapel Hill.Steve BocckinoDurhamA wonderful wedding
I want to thank you for running the story on the marriage of Jenny Shultz and Shannon Thomas at United Church of Chapel Hill (CHN, Jan. 11).
As North Carolina approaches the vote on the anti-marriage equality amendment, we need to be reminded that the government should not and cannot ban love. As a guest at this wonderful wedding, I can attest that the room was filled with all types of love: Jenny and Shannon's committed, romantic love; the community's supportive, embracing love; and God's endless, inclusive love.
I did want to comment on one part of the story that seemed to imply that United Church of Chapel Hill makes a distinction between weddings and commitment ceremonies ("not a full blown wedding"). I attended both the wedding and the commitment ceremony, and I can assure you that both are fully committed relationships and recognized equally by our church and by God. Unfortunately, both are equally discriminated against by the state.
This legal discrimination is at the center of the naming difference. What do you call it when the church proclaims that it is a marriage and the state denies it? Whatever they called their ceremony, I can assure you that both couples have strong marriages that serve to inspire, not threaten, my own marriage.Janet NewcityUnited Church of Chapel Hill
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