Skip to comments.Pastor, partner tie knot as Prop. 8 vote nears (16-year couple marry before Ballot)
Posted on 10/12/2008 5:55:56 PM PDT by nickcarraway
With quiet vows and an eye toward November's Proposition 8 referendum, Stephanie Sue Spencer and the Rev. Arlene Nehring made their 16-year union a legal California marriage in Hayward's Eden United Church of Christ, where Nehring presides as pastor.
This "much-awaited day" wasn't quite the wedding they'd hoped for, but with voters going to the polls in a month in an election that could make their union unconstitutional, the couple felt it was better now than never.
"People are hedging their bets," said Todd Bove, a member of the church who married his partner of 10 years just a month ago.
Proposition 8 would cement the definition of marriage in California's constitution as a union between one man and one woman, overturning a state Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex unions earlier this year.
There is reason for gay and lesbian couples to be nervous here: Polls have remained close since Proposition 8 earned its spot on the ballot, and a SurveyUSA poll released last week showed the measure supported by 47 percent of respondents, compared with 42 percent opposing. The ceremony and its participants made no effort to duck the political questions that surround the union.
"Stephanie and Arlene have lived a 16-year loving relationship, a relationship tested by fires many could not survive," Ann Feaver, a longtime friend of the couple, said from the pulpit.
"Sixteen years ago, Stephanie and Arlene had only pockets of tolerance where their love could flourish. They could share their growing friendship, their growing affection, their love, their devotion with some, but not with others. And yet they prevailed."
The Rev. Wendy Taylor, who presided over the ceremony, added in her opening homily: "This marriage is being entered into neither as a beginning or an end. It is rather an expression of commitment already begun and will continue into the future."
In her reception toast, Kate Spencer, Stephanie's younger sister, recalled sitting in a bar 16 years ago, hearing about her sister's partner.
"Does this mean I have to become an activist now?" she asked at the time. "Sixteen years later, I am proud to be an activist against Prop. 8."
Spencer and Nehring met two decades ago while studying in Boston, and four years later made a personal commitment to each other.
"Even though I had married many, many couples, we were not part of a church where I could get married to Stephanie," Nehring said. "And I don't know that any of our families would have been there.
"Sixteen years ago there were just the two of us. No family, no church. Just us and Jesus."
Saturday, a packed sanctuary welcomed the couple into legal marriage.
Taylor read the final pronouncement of marriage, "By the power vested in me," pausing, she continued, "and by the state of California," and a cheer went through the sanctuary as she pronounced the women "spouses for life."
Making it “legal” doesn’t make it right in the eyes of the Lord.
Always been puzzled about a Lesbo knot!?!?!?!
why does the media keep harping on about how long some of these weirdo’s have been together.
I don’t care it is wrong and disgusting.
and in a few weeks they’ll be back to what they are
two twisted sick homosexuals who are having sex with each other
Arlene Nehring and wife Stephanie Spencer. . . .
Well, I can see she's PLAYING THE PART of "wife."
er it is not legal at all, it was forced on the people by activist judges
it’s a sham marriage and soon nothing
Just curious...but what kind of knot do Stephanie Sue Spencer and the Rev. Arlene tie?
Nooooooooooooo.....! Don’t even go there!!!!!
And that thing in the background is playing the part of "pastor."
"I now declare you Partner A and Partner B. You may kiss the . . . whatever."
They sure don’t look like the lesbos on “The L Word.”
The United Church of Christ is Barak Obama’s denomination.
It has accepted gay marriage and gay pastors for a long time now.
I'm always curious about what sort of gospel message these homo and lesbo pastors/clergy/priests preach? What Bible do they use? The Revised Homosexual Standard Edition?
It's strange and sad that homosexuals have to have 'church' to make themselves feel like they can somehow justify their actions. It's sinning in God's name. God did not create males to marry males nor females to marry females. Genesis: "For this reason shall a man leave his mother and father and cleave [join] to his wife and the two shall become one flesh". God created Eve for Adam! Not Adam for some other man or Eve for some other woman?
What kind of theology can the homosexuals find out of any version of the Bible that can fit the homosexual perversion? The have to cut most of all of the Apostle Paul's writings to his churches out. There is no homosexual marriage in any Bible, therefore homosexuals can't be married, therefore they are having sex outside of marriage, there fore it's adultery or fornication. No Biblical justification that I can find.
Looks like that thing in the middle will be next. Are there any guys in this... I use the term loosely, church?
It's called the "Theology of Whatever," and it was adopted by the UCC when they decided that Christianity was a drag and kind of boring.
Ugly satanic skanks... every one of them.
The “love whose name can’t be spoken” is now the one that won’t STFU.
Now Pastor, Who do you say is the Wife? :-)
Maybe you should spend more time wondering what gospel message is being preached at churches that think they need, or should invoke, the “power of the state” when performing marriages. I think gays are out of their minds if they want to register their relationships with the government, but I’m all for making it legal if it makes conservative churches finally wake up and realize that the state shouldn’t have anything to do with marriages being performed in a religious context. It makes about as much sense as invoking the “power of the state of ______” when performing a baptism or a confirmation or a bris or consecrating communion wafers.