"The marriage of two people is a holy union. It begins with your desire to
form a lasting, life-long partnership with another in God’s love, and
continues throughout your lives as a process of intentional living and
growing together. In a marriage, each of you as an individual, and together
as a couple, gradually transform and mature in God’s presence and image.
A wedding, then, is a rite of passage, a sacred ritual that celebrates your
desire to enter into a life-long relationship. It symbolizes the ending of
former ways of life and other future possibilities, and establishes a particular
pathway into the future – one that you promise to travel together.
By uniting within the context of a faith community, you recognize that God
is active in the love you feel for one another, and you place your relationship
in God’s care. Your individual stories – and your story as a couple – are
celebrated in the context of the story of God and God’s ways with the
human community, as understood within a particular community of faith.
In a Christian marriage, your personal stories are seen in the light of God’s
action in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s unfolding
pattern in our lives is one of dying to self and rising to Christ, of
transformation, and of self-offering. A Christian relationship is the living
out of a self-giving way of being in community with one another, in the
larger context of the Christian community.
Through a wedding, you as a couple enter into a life-long commitment. You
make your vows before God and the gathered community of family, friends
and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help you
fulfill your vows. Your marriage is a sacrament – an outward and visible
expression of God’s grace in bringing you together and nurturing your love."
The above text comes from St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle Washington. Now I will grant you that this is deliberately written so that it can be applied to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. But it does put forth what marriage is quite clearly. When one takes out the language of "male and female" we can see what marriage is at the heart of the sacrament (and I do believe it is a sacrament). Could someone please tell me why a same sex couple does not fit within the definition above?
Or failing that, can anyone tell me what is specific (other than procreation) to marriage being exclusive to male and female couples. I know the arguements from a scripture stand point. I have read them ad nauseum. They are at best inconclusive in the light current research and understandings available to us. Procreation is not an argument as we allow for marriage of male/female couples who are not or cannot have children.
If we believe, as Paul writes, that it is by the fruit we shall know God's blessings upon something, what stands in the way of a marriage that reflects the above?
Love and Prayers,