Watch Pastor Gray share his story about why it's so important to bring marriage equality to Maine by clicking the video to the right.
I'm Pastor Michael Gray from the Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church, a member of the New England Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Whose marriage have I learned from the most? I'd have to say my in-laws of all people, and I know when my wife sees this she will probably choke a little bit maybe. I don't know. They've been married for a very long time and they are not perfect people. As a matter of fact, they have come together in a very imperfect package, but they love and support each other more than anybody I know. And they come at it from 2 equal people and that is a really strong thing to say.
I listen to Rush Limbaugh every day and have read all of his books. I used to be a person that had a very conservative set of beliefs. God tackled me. I went to the ministry. Over time I learned that people that are gay are the same as me. There is no difference between them and us. It’s we. All I can tell you is that Jesus has never stopped loving me or God hasn't stopped loving me through this entire process.
When I put the collar on and I get up in front of a couple, I'm talking about religious ceremony. For some religions, Catholicism for instance, it’s a sacrament. In the Methodist Church, the United Methodist Church that’s my home, it’s not a sacrament. Changes to marriage law is not going to affect how different religions choose to define it within their religious rites. The state is never going to go into a church and tell a church who can be members of that church. Whether they agree with them or not, whether they are ultra liberal or ultra conservative the state just simply isn't going to do that and tell people who they can and can't let into their religious services.
There are 7 Scriptures. We call them Clobber texts, that talk about--supposedly talk about homosexuality. Now I'm not going to get into religious tit for tat. I could, but it doesn't really matter because no matter if I through out 6 of them, they are going to throw out the 7th one and say that's more important than mine or whatever. People have asked me where is God on that line -- if it is the religious right or the religious left or it is this way of looking at the bible or that way of looking at the bible. Where does God stand? My answer is always God doesn't stand on either side. God encompasses both sides; God is the line. God is above the line. He is around the line. He loves everybody. It is all about inclusion for God not exclusion.
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