Skip to comments.Ontario Christian minister forced to conduct same-sex ‘marriages’ or get sacked
Posted on 09/12/2012 11:47:56 AM PDT by NYer
CAMBRIDGE, Ontario, September 11, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Church of Christ minister who has been responsible for civic marriage ceremonies at Cambridge city hall for the past 15 years is facing the axe if she doesn’t agree to perform same-sex “marriages.”
Rev. Jay Brown told LifeSiteNews that city council voted 8 to 1 Monday night on a motion, brought forward by Councillor Donna Reid, that Brown be forced to officiate at homosexual “marriages” or they would issue a “request for proposal” to find a replacement.
Rev. Brown explained that as a minister of the Church of Christ she must follow the precepts of her church, which does not allow homosexual “marriage,” but that she was always ready to accommodate same-sex couples by recommending a designated minister who would be happy to perform the ceremony.
“I have nothing against gay people, in fact a member of my family is gay,” Brown said in an interview with LifeSiteNews, “but I represent my church, which does not allow same-sex marriage.”
“My church won’t allow me to. I haven’t had to make that decision,” she said, adding that in the years since homosexual “marriage” was legalized in Canada she has been asked only a few times to perform same-sex “marriages.”
“When this law came into being, I made sure that same-sex people could get married in Cambridge,” Brown said. “So same-sex ‘marriage’ has been available in Cambridge since 2005.”
She explained that 15 years ago she saw a need in Cambridge for civil marriage ceremonies because the service was not available in the area, so she approached city council with a proposal that she would offer the service. She has performed the civic ceremonies at city hall ever since, often bringing flowers and music at her own expense because she believes a wedding “shouldn’t be anything less then a special day.”
Brown was very clear that she is contracted by Cambridge to perform marriages at city hall and is not an employee of the city.
In defense of the use of a designated minister to perform same-sex weddings, Brown pointed out that, “just as someone may be contracted to build a bridge for the city, the contractor is free to subcontract aspects of the work that are better accomplished by someone else.”
Rev. Brown said it became apparent at Monday’s council meeting that although most councilors were satisfied with her work and couldn’t understand the outrage expressed by homosexuality advocates in attendance, only one, councilor, Nicholas Ermeta, voted against the motion to issue a “request for proposal”.
“Her record speaks for itself,” Ermeta is reported to have said. “I don’t feel right taking this away from her.”
In an earlier report by the Cambridge Times Councilor. Ermeta said he saw no need to put out a “request for proposal,” given the glowing testimonials the city has received from couples using Brown’s services.
Coun. Rick Cowsill asked, “We have two officiants on the payroll. One does one type of wedding. One does the other. Where’s the problem there?” but in the end voted for issuing the “request for proposal” as long as Rev. Brown was allowed to respond to it.
The Cambridge Record reports that Dana Christiaen of the region’s AIDS committee said that forcing ministers to perform same-sex weddings was a core issue for the gay and lesbian community, while homosexual activist Allison Rogers said allowing a different official to perform Cambridge’s same-sex weddings was “deplorable.”
Christiaen’s comment reveals that the heart of the issue of “gay marriage” may be more than forcing a Christian minister to perform a function that is expressly forbidden by her church.
Eric Metaxas of Breakpoint.org noted in an editorial that the push by homosexual activists for total acceptance of same-sex “marriage” is not about normalizing homosexuality but an attempt to destroy religious freedom and free speech rights.
“Christians are often asked by gay activists why they oppose same-sex “marriage.” “How does our marriage hurt you?” they ask,” Metaxas wrote.
“Well, I can think of one significant way it will hurt us: It will destroy religious freedom and free speech rights.”
Metaxas referred to the statement by Michael Coren of the National Review Online who said, “there have been between 200 and 300 [legal] proceedings against critics and opponents of same-sex marriage. It’s becoming obvious that Christian people, leaders, and organizations are being targeted, almost certainly to create legal precedents.”
“This is what we need to tell our neighbors when they ask us, “How does gay ‘marriage’ hurt us?” It means that those hostile to our beliefs will attempt to bend us to their will to force us to not only accept gay “marriage,” but to condone it as well,” Metaxas said.
“You and I must demonstrate love to our gay neighbors, of course, remembering that we are ultimately engaged in spiritual warfare. But we should boldly stand up when our rights as citizens and the demands of our conscience are threatened,” Metaxas concluded.
Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig
City Hall, 50 Dickson Street,
Cambridge, ON N1R 8S1
I don’t get the conflict, she is either a minister of God or the state, she can’t be both.
Well, there goes freedom of religious expression.
“she is either a minister of God or the state, she cant be both.”
Sounds like she is NEITHER.
Coming to the US by the end of Obama’s second term.
Military chaplains will be the first on the line.
A related issue: Sadly, the pro-homo ‘marriage’ referendum here in Washington State is leading 58-thirtysomething. The pollsters claim, probably exaggerating a little, that they rarely find a young person who is opposed to homo marriage. But even older people favor it at least west of the mountains. It’s just a matter of a few months or years until coercive marriage ceremony requirements begin here and in New York State.
I’m thinking the Mayan’s date was correct say within two years or so and it is actually the date of the Great Chastisement. If I could move to Idaho next door for at least a few more months of sanity I would, though most of the people here in my own eastern Washington town are quite conservative and we submitted lots of anti-referendum petition signatures.
If all these people are in favor of homosexual so called marriages, why when the issue comes to the vote of the people, the initiatives fail big time?
“....but that she was always ready to accommodate same-sex couples by recommending a designated minister who would be happy to perform the ceremony.”
Even that action would be against the precepts of any religion that opposes same-sex “marriage”.
It is like saying, “I am not allowed to support your sinful lifestyle but I know of someone who will.”
I’m saying that this appears to be the first one where “the people” will endorse the perversion big time. Pray I’m wrong.
Awareness is not high at the moment.
EASY CHOICE... A no brainier.
I was not aware of the Maryland one myself.
Unfortunately, the flood of money here in WA originates with Starbucks, Microsoft, and especially Amazon.
Jeff Bezos could write a new check nullifying the pro-family contributions every day.
Steve ... in every state where same sex marriage was approved, it was not done with the popular vote. These folks know how to work the system to accomplish their goals, bypassing the man in the street. Keep fighting!
If he ramps it up more against hordes of donations from pro-family types across the nation, Amazon is going to suffer.
He may already be getting an earful from shareholders.
I know I'm going to donate to the WA effort in the next month. I hope millions more hear about the referendums between now and November.
Just to clear any confusion, what apparently passes for the Church of Christ in Canada is nothing like the Church of Christ you’ll find in the Bible Belt. Those in the South don’t tolerate women or homosexuals in the pulpit, or call evangelists “Reverend”.