Washington bishop endorses marriage equality in Maryland

Budde cites 'biblical imperative to love one another, work for justice'

[Episcopal Diocese of Washington] The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, today [Feb. 7] endorsed the marriage equality legislation under consideration in the Maryland legislature. Bishop Budde’s diocese includes Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties.

In an essay for the On Faith section of The Washington Post’s website, Bishop Budde reached out to fellow Christians who oppose marriage equality on religious grounds, asking them to reconsider whether The Bible supported their views.

“The Scriptural argument against same-sex marriage is based on seven references in the Old and New Testaments that condemn homosexual activity, she wrote. “Each one of those passages, however, condemns exploitative sexual activity that is the antithesis of loving, committed relationships. The Bible is silent on the subject of same-gender monogamous relationships.”

The disputed passages “pale in comparison to the overarching biblical imperatives to love one another, to work for justice, and to recognize that each of us is created in the image and likeness of God,” Bishop Budde wrote. “St. Paul wrote ‘The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.’ Many of us in the Episcopal Church know same-sex couples whose relationships can only be described as holy, and thus we have come to support the blessing of such unions….

“From the convictions of my Christian faith, and in support of my gay and lesbian friends whose relationships inspire me in my marriage, I urge Marylanders to join me in supporting the marriage equality legislation currently under consideration in their state.”

Clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington are allowed to bless the relationship of same-sex couples, and clergy in the District of Columbia are permitted to preside at same-sex civil marriage ceremonies.


  1. Laura Campbell says:

    The State empowers a religion to perform marriage ceremonies. A couple must FIRST obtain permission from the State via a marriage license PRIOR to ANY marriage ceremony is to be performed, whether it is by a representative of the State, ie: Justice of the Peace, or a clergy person of a religion.
    Clearly then marriage is FIRST and FOREMOST a CIVIL matter, and being a civil matter should not be subject to ANY religious dogma.

  2. Pegram Johnson III says:

    I think Ms Campbell misses the point. I am one of a number of priests who would like to get out of the marrying business altogether. If a couple wants a blessing from the church, they should by all means arrange for it. Pre-marital counselling seems largely ineffective in my estimation and the lack of it would for the most part be no great loss. More and more couples choose to be married in a non-church environment. For many couples whom I married I felt like Marrying Sam from the old Lil’ Abner comic strip.

  3. John Neitzel says:

    Well kudos for Bishop Budde! I only wish the archbishops of Canterbury and York were half as enlightened about the fact that “in Christ there is no east and west.”

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