My Remarks at the Same Sex Marriage Press Conference

I stand here today as a Christian minister in full support of same sex marriage. The vast majority of members in our congregation are also strong supporters of same sex marriage. It is time for the courts to do the right thing. It is time for no further delay. 

Same sex partners deserve the right of civil marriage because they are already a part of our communities, they are already raising beautiful families and children, and they are already committing to each other in tong term partnerships. It’s time for all of our society to recognize these relationships for the loving marriages that they are. It’s time of the second-class status of their partnerships to end.

My support for same sex marriage comes FROM my Christian faith. I support same sex marriage BECAUSE of my faith, not inspite of it.

I personally believe that this is not simply a movement of civil law, but is also a movement of God’s Holy Spirit. People of faith are ready for the Supreme Court to do the right thing.

Recent polls show that I am not alone. Recent credible opinion polls show growing majorities of religious people support same-sex marriage. They show growing majorities of Christians support same-sex marriage. This is the new and moral majority for our time.

In our congregation, we have many couples who have been together for decades. George and Jack, who are here with us today, have been together more than 50-years. Their love and commitment has taught my wife and I a lot about what it takes to be partners for the long haul. But we have couples in our church who have been together 40 years. Some for 30. We have dozens of couples who have been together for a decade.

They are raising beautiful, smart, and creative children…and together all our Northaven families worship together as one community of faith.

Our message to society is simple: There is everything to gain and nothing to fear by supporting same sex marriage. What is gained is the societal support and legal rights for same sex couples…the very things that all traditionally married couples need to stay together. It’s time to end the confusing patchwork of state laws that currently govern same sex marriage. For the sake of children, for the sake of supporting loving families, and for the sake of removing the second-class nature of the current law, it’s time for the Supreme Court to rule for marriage equality.

We pray for the Supreme Court in their deliberations…and we trust and hope that they will do the right thing. 


  

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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