Support faith traditions

January 11, 2014

As leaders of Christian faith communities in Indiana, we share a common concern surrounding the proposed amendment to the Constitution of Indiana, House Joint Resolution 6. The members and ministers of our congregations and our particular denominations have differing interpretations of marriage, yet we affirm the right and responsibility of each faith tradition to maintain its teaching and to bless and sanctify the union of persons in ways that are consistent with their belief.

The proposed amendment does not strengthen that practice which will endure irrespective of and without the reinforcement of a state-defined concept of marriage.

The proposed amendment can be read, most particularly in its second clause, as an unwelcoming attitude toward a particular population. Our common tradition expressly advocates that we must show hospitality and welcome to all and most specifically to those who are unlike us.

As pastoral leaders we fear that this proposed amendment and the process of its consideration by our legislators and, potentially, by the population as a whole, will be costly and divisive. With a statute already clearly in place that governs who is eligible to be licensed to marry we believe an amendment is unnecessary.

Richard L. Spleth, regional minister
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana

Michael J. Coyner, bishop
Indiana Conference, United Methodist Church

John Vertigan, conference minister
Indiana-Kentucky Conference, United Church of Christ

William O. Gafkjen, bishop
Indiana-Kentucky Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Catherine M. Waynick, bishop
Episcopal Diocese, Indianapolis

Taylor Alan Thames, executive presbyter
Presbytery of Whitewater Valley, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Carol M. McDonald, executive
Synod of Lincoln Trails, Presbyterian Church (USA)


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