Wednesday, June 15, 2011

As a New Yorker and a former evangelical Baptist pastor, I urge you, Senator, to vote for marriage equality

From: Stephen Parelli
Sent: Wed, June 15, 2011 6:54:39 PM
Subject: As a New Yorker and a former evangelical Baptist pastor, I urge you to vote for marriage equality


John Flanagan

(518) 455-2071

Roy McDonald
(518) 455-2381
James Alesi
(518) 455-2015
Stephen Saland
(518) 455-2411
Mark Grisanti
(518) 455-3240


Rev. Stephen R. Parelli, MDiv
Executive Director
Other Sheep
2962 Decatur Ave., 5D
Bronx, NY 10458
718-360-0884 (office/home)
347-497-0861 (cell)


Please vote for Marriage Equality


I grew up in the Syracuse, NY, area. I now live in NYC with my partner of 13 years. We were married in 2008 in California. He is a native of Brooklyn. I was an evangelical Baptist pastor until age 44. I am now 58 years old.

My partner, Jose Ortiz - a guidance counselor in the NYC public schools - and I both grew up evangelical Christians and were both taught that our sexual orientation is an abomination before God. It will be decades before the evangelical church welcomes us, I fear. We trust we don't have to wait that long for our civil rights.

My conscience before God is clear. I am a gay man. By nature? By nurture? Or both? I don't know; but this I know: I am constitutionally gay. May New York State give me marriage equality irrespective of what religion may or may not teach about same-sex marriage; and may I choose to attend the church that best represents my views and my convictions about my sexual orientation.

Vote for equality; let the church be the church and let the state be the state. Please vote for equality. Vote for sexual minorities.

(My parents have cast their "vote" - they have chosen to not speak to me ever; they live in the Cortland, NY, area. If you listen to constituents like my parents -- like the James Dobson crowd -- you will vote no. My own parents have disowned me -- I pray my state will not disown me. My right as a gay man to marriage equality in no way hinders the James Dobson crowd's right to marriage; why do they choose to keep from me the rights they enjoy?)

------End of email to the Senators-----------------------------

Note:  The above Senator names were provided by Citizen Link, A Focus on the Family Affiliate.  Of course, I used Citizen Link's action alert to tell the senators just the opposite of what Focus on the Family was asking for.


Anonymous said...

The Rights of the LGBT community need to be taken out of the religious arena and placed squarely under "human rights." How can we, or any country, justify denying equal rights for any group of people in this day and age? It is well past time!

Captain said...

Thank you so much for this writing very moving and inspirational letter.