Elon Community Church in process of affirming homosexuality
Many churches are ecstatic about the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in North Carolina – Elon Community Church is one of them.
“I am a lesbian,” said Elizabeth Rogers, Elon Community Church member and Elon Professor. “I’ve lived in this state for 18 years, and I thought North Carolina would be number 48, 49 or 50 before this sort of thing happened here.”
Several couples in the church – including some non-LGBT couples – are also pleased by the court’s decision.
“I’m thrilled with it,” said Elon Community Church member Trinity Martin. “I’m very happy to know that we’re raising our children in a time where love equals love.”
Same-sex marriage was legalized in North Carolina less than two weeks ago on Oct. 10. On that Friday, the 1996 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was reversed, and the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples has now been ruled unconstitutional.
According to Cape Fear Equality, 57 different counties across North Carolina have had at least one same-sex marriage license issued. Mecklenburg County alone has had 144.
Elon Community Church is in the middle of a decision to affirm homosexuality in the church, and it’s talking about the about the possibility.
“One of the things that we’ve been interested in doing is [reaching] a consensus in the church, rather than instigating a heated debate,” said Ray Pollard, who’s on the church’s affirmation committee because of his experience with having a gay son.
“We feel like this process of discernment has been aimed in that direction, and we’ve been very pleased with how it’s gone so far.”
The church’s affirmation process includes having “open talks” led by a committee about whether or not to accept homosexuality within the church.
“Our church here has been very accepting of people of all orientations, races and positions,” said Polland. “Our pastor often likes to say that no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
Pollard said that the topic of same-sex marriage has not come up in church discussions since the court’s ruling. But he does think that the church will become affirming before 2015.
“I would probably favor it because I think most people [are] ready to take a stand,” said Pollard.
The affirmation committee will meet again this week, and according to Gayle Pollard, a decision could be reached before Thanksgiving. Along with the support of the church, North Carolina has seen its own approval rating of same sex-marriage rise to sixty-two percent, according to Freedom to Mary’s latest poll.