For even my biggest detractors, it will come as no surprise that I am in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage here in California. While most of the Asian American Christian voices out there have been vocally against such a shift in our state law, this Asian American Presbyterian pastor does not stand with those who have discerned that same-sex marriage is not worthy nor holy in the eyes of God and through the lens of Scripture. I simply believe that God has spoken a different word about the matter and feel just as passionately that same-sex marriage should be legalized.
Without going into the complexities of the "issue" and understanding that no one is going to be convinced by a few words from a blog, here are a few of the reasons - not exhaustive or mutually exclusive- why I stand with and for members of my family, church, school community, friends and strangers seeking the legal right to marry:
A matter of FAITH - While Biblical interpretation is always a complex place to live, I will not abdicate the Christian voice to the nitpicking Biblical literalism that pervades the discourse of same-sex marriage. I believe in a nuanced understanding of Scripture that speaks of the gift of marriage, sexual intimacy and just relationships. I also believe that scripture calls for, not a prescriptive familial structure, but family units that best exhibit God's intentions for all of humanity. And in my opinion, these intentions are not confined to male and female only relationships.
A matter of JUSTICE - My White wife and I have the privilege and right to be married in the eyes of the state and the church, not always the case for Filipino men and White women in the state of California, the same should be afforded to same sex couple. While I will never force any church to perform same-sex marriage should they believe it is outside their understandings of the faith, as a civil right, there is no question in my mind that same-sex marriage should be legal.
A matter of COMPASSION - As I look into the eyes of members of the congregation I serve and friends in our communities who yearn to enter into the powerful and public institution of marriage in our state, how can I NOT seek to acknowledge, to its fullest capacity, the commitment that one person wishes to make to another. As I stand before them and speak of nearly 20 years of my own marriage, my hearts breaks that the opportunity that is so desperately wanted, is not given.
There will certainly be movements part of which I may be able to stand more in the middle and strategically wait, but at this crucial time, I believe I and others are standing on the side of a history and transformation in our state and world. With this in mind, I will join with other religious leader tomorrow to lead a march/rally/protest in light of the Prop 8 verdict that will be announced [today].
I hope you will join us for an evening that will either be one of celebration or protest, but in either case, one of solidarity and love.