Some San Francisco Clergy Honor Gay Marriages

February 20, 2004

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On February 20, 2004 The San Francisco Chronicle reported, "City Hall workers are not the only officiants keeping busy these days with same-sex marriages. The Rev. Karen Oliveto, pastor of Bethany United Methodist Church in San Francisco, has provided God's blessing to eight couples who were issued civil marriage licenses since the great wedding march to City Hall began last Thursday... National church law in Oliveto's 8-million-member Protestant denomination specifically forbids holy union ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples... Clergy from six religious traditions -- Episcopalian, Jewish, Lutheran, Baptist, Unitarian and Methodist -- stood by Oliveto on Wednesday at a news conference at Bethany church to support the week of same-sex weddings. 'The time is long overdue for gay and lesbian people to have the support and protection of the law for their faithful relationships and their families, ' said the Rev. Alan Jones, the dean of Grace (Episcopal) Cathedral. 'Gays and lesbians are our friends and colleagues. They are us. It's time to honor and celebrate all those who seek to strengthen the human family.'' Leaders of St. Francis Lutheran Church, which was expelled from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1990 for hiring two openly lesbian pastors, have invited all couples recently married at City Hall to go for a blessing at their church in the Castro at 11 a.m. Sunday."