Protestant and Jewish leaders have praised Gavin Newsom, the Mayor of San Francisco for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Many of the synagogues and churches in the city had already been blessing gay couples with commitment ceremonies.
The Rev. Karen Oliveto, pastor of the Bethany United Methodist Church said, “This is a good and holy thing. It`s traditional family values at their best. God is doing a new thing in San Francisco, and we joyously enter into this journey for justice.”
Karen Oliveto presided over the nation`s first same-sex church marriage on Sunday 15 February and now faces an investigation from the headquarters of the United Methodist Church in Sacramento.
Other churches endorsing the right of lesbian and gay couples to wed included Temple Emanu-El, Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, Grace Cathedral, Dolores Street Baptist Church, First Unitarian Universalist and St. Francis Lutheran Church.
The Rev. Margot Campbell Gross of the First Unitarian Universalist Church said, “As Jesus says, `love your neighbour as yourself. Treat others with the same respect and dignity that you would like to be treated with.” Rabbi Sydney Mintz from the Temple Emanu-El, part of the liberal Jewish Reformist movement, which has long condoned same-sex civil unions, will marry her lesbian partner.
The religious leaders hailed the issuing of the licenses as a great achievement in civil rights and said they wanted to remind the public that the conservative lobbies who are suing the city don’t have a monopoly on morality.