A great Colorado wedding officiant gives us his take!
After almost 3 decades of ministry in a Conservative Evangelical setting I made a radical change in my views on LGBTQ issues and Same-Sex Marriage. In 2011 I had my own coming out of sorts when I began to question the hurt and pain that the church continued to inflict on LGBTQ Christians by allowing hate and homophobia to define how a whole group of people is treated.
First, my change of heart came when I performed a funeral of a father who chose to leave a church he attended for years to protect his son who came out. After his son came out, he and his wife dedicated their lives to reaching out to gay youth whose families rejected them.
Second, a very dear friend who was transitioning emailed me and gave me, along with many of his friends the opportunity to end their friendships with him. It broke my heart and I committed to remain friends and now stand proudly and supportively with her ... my friend!
That year, 2011, I took a stand calling for LGBTQ acceptance and supporting same-sex marriage. I answered "yes" that I would not only support same-sex marriage but I would also, officiate same-sex weddings.
Recently, I was challenged by reading the book "A Bigger Table" by John Pavlovitz and he describes this observation so clearly, " I could see how irresponsibly the Church has used scripture to justify a sustained contempt for the LGBTQ community, how they've fueled the politicized religion we've adopted as gospel and perpetrated the horrible witness we're making on behalf of Jesus."
So all this led me to leave the Evangelical comfort zone I had become accustomed to, I resigned my pastorate and committed myself to preaching and living out a message of Love and Acceptance. I will stand with my LGBTQ brothers and sisters who have been so hurt and injured by the church, I believe that Christians and Churches should welcome and support those of all sexual orientations. I will commit myself to embracing and facilitating all people and their need for Love, Companionship, and Marriage.
Finally, I am a Minister and a Wedding Officiant and I believe with all of my heart that each of us has a God-given desire to fall in love and experience a lifetime of happiness with a partner.
Rev. Samuel J. Lopez, Pastor, Minister, Wedding Officiant