Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rev. Dr. Arthur "Art" Cribbs of San Marino Congregational United Church of Christ will no longer marry ANY couples.

Media turns out for CA Faith for Equality press conference at the Pasadena Court House.

CA Faith for Equality Spokesperson, the Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Chruch in Pasadena, introduces the Rev. Dr. Art Cribbs

Flanked by supportive clergy, parishioners and friends, the Rev. Dr. Cribbs announced he will no longer marry any couples until ALL couples can marry. See his statement below.

Weddings No More
By Dr. Art Cribbs

The decision rendered by the California Supreme Court to uphold Proposition 8, banning marriage between same-sex couples, requires a response from the progressive Christian community.

For more than 20 years, I have had the honor of officiating wedding ceremonies across the United States and here in my home state of California. As an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, I have conducted pre-marital counseling sessions with couples who were committing their lives to each other. I enjoy sharing in the sacred and almost always joyous exchange of marriage vows. I really love to do weddings.

Over the years, I have officiated marriages of Muslim and Christian couples; Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, and non-religious persons. This past weekend I served a beautiful couple: her family is from Cambodia; his is from Scotland and Great Britain.

Marriage is an occasion for rejoicing and celebrating. It is a time when two people embody the true meaning of love; giving their lives to each other in faithful commitment to honor and protect one another; to share the ups and downs of life in sickness and in health; in plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow for as long as they both shall live.

Families and friends surround couples and vow to support them with love, compassion, and an encouraging presence.

Marriage is about more than two people. It symbolizes God’s love for humanity. It is the acknowledgement that we all need each other. In our separate, individualized lives we join together in holy matrimony to embrace the fullness of life. We come together as one in unity and fidelity. At its best, marriage is the fulfillment of our quest in the pursuit of happiness.

Love is the binding force that holds two people together. Love is that divine element which the Apostle Paul describes in First Corinthians as “patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.”

So, today, it is love that has been put on trial. It is love that suffers the fate of injustice. It is love that stands in the glare of malicious assault. In sacred covenant, loving couples share their love openly as a reminder of God’s love for us. Those whom God has joined together let no one separate. Not even the California Supreme Court or the vote of the majority who dare to rein tyranny on a minority.

In the aftermath of our state’s highest court ruling to ban same-sex marriage, it is my personal and painful decision to no longer perform weddings in the State of California until discrimination against same-sex couples is ended. This decision does not come without sacrifice, but it is necessary for the ministry to have any integrity, I must stand in solidarity with men, women and families who suffer and are unjustly hurt because of discrimination now protected by Proposition 8.

Our State Constitution is a document that protects the rights of all citizens and increases the civil liberties of the people of California. This week, the stain of shame marred our State Constitution and the California Supreme Court failed to protect a vulnerable minority from the tyranny of the majority. I will not conduct another wedding in California until this wrong has been corrected.

The Reverend Dr. Art Cribbs
San Marino Congregational
United Church of Christ
2560 Huntington Drive
San Marino, CA 91108
(626) 292-2080

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