Local Church Anticipates Historic Moment For Gay Civil Rights

June 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Legalized same-sex weddings will start Monday evening in California."Our church is very open and supporting," said Fresno's Wendy Slack.

Starting late Monday afternoon same sex couples will be able to legally wed under California law. Lay pastor Wendy Slack said you can already feel their excitement during the "celebration" service at Wesley United Methodist church.

"Everybody's just really excited and honored that they would think of us as equals," said Slack.

Slack said she and her partner of four years plan to be among the first to receive their marriage license at the Fresno county clerk's office. "You may not agree with it biblically or whatever. But the point is we're human and we should have the opportunity to be equal as everybody else is," said Slack.

Last month, the California Supreme court decided it was unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry under state law. But during a service Sunday morning at Cornerstone church in downtown Fresno pastor Jim Franklin reminded parishioners come November they can overturn the court's decision by voting for a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

"What happens come November when the people once again speak and this is overturned. So it really shows a lack of concern and lack of care for the individuals of California and the court just saying 'we don't care who we hurt or what it does we want our way,'" said Franklin.

Members of Franklin's congregation said they agreed with him and will vote to define marriage as a union between man and woman. "Our world has gotten away from the biblical truth and I think we need to get back to God," said Martha Grijalva.

"God has ordained the holy institution of marriage to be between a man and a woman," said Sam Bulgara.

More than 25 states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Some same-sex advocacy groups predict thousands of gay people will make their way to California to wed this summer.


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