That means that no other church has made the explicit statement that we have made, even though the United Church of Canada declared that Sexuality was no barrier to being Ordained over 25 years ago… even though we have had same sex marriage in Ontario for a decade. It is still politically beneficially for a Mayor of Toronto to be reluctant in supporting Pride Week. Bullying and violence against LGBT teens is on the rise in 2013, not a thing of the past. When the Defense of Marriage Act was defeated in the U.S. last week (this act would have stopped individual States from recognizing same sex marriages), “Christian” commentators were invited on most networks to give the "Christian" perspective and it was almost unanimously AGAINST equal marriage rights for all people. As I look around, I realize that our society is not BEYOND Affirming at all. Children are being beat up… people in love are being refused their rights, even when it costs the rest of society nothing. We need a few more rainbows around (rainbows being the symbol for Affirming and including, celebrating and welcoming the LGBT community).
However, I also recognize that it is challenging for many people in the majority community. And we bear some responsibility for that… and to them. For centuries (even millennia) we have spoken with authority and told people that homosexuality is offensive to God. We have endorsed a heterosexual culture as the only one acceptable to God, without any regard for those who are homosexual, bisexual, asexual or transsexual. We have endorsed a literal prescriptive reading of the Bible that has not encouraged engagement with the text, challenging of ideas or faithful struggling with context and interpretation. We have often provided, or left unchallenged, a very lazy faith that sees the Bible as a dictionary that provides simple definitions of right, wrong; in and out.
That, and that fact that I misread a couple of the requirements set forth by Affirm United, but we can talk about that another day.
In closing allow me to share with you this picture of a great many of our congregation - dressed as a rainbow - on the day that we become officially Affirming.
llow me to recommend the wonderful people, and resources at