And again I say, I'm proud to be a DSW Methodist
A press release from the Desert Southwest Annual Conference last week.
For Immediate Release
Update June 15, 2006
United Methodists Oppose Arizona Marriage Amendment
Churches in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church , which encompasses the entire state of Arizona , took a strong stand in opposition to a constitutional initiative commonly called the "Protect Marriage Amendment" which reads:
"To preserve and protect marriage in this State, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by this state or it political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this state or it's political subdivisions that is similar to that of marriage."
The resolution to oppose the marriage amendment titled "Protection of Human and Civil Rights" was passed with a wide margin by the Desert Southwest conference during their annual meeting in Scottsdale held from June 7 to June 11 at the Doubletree Resort.
PROTECTION OF HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS
(Submitted by Church and Society)
Whereas Christians have always been people of the covenant,
Whereas nowhere in Scripture are people prohibited from making covenants or committed promises to each other.
Whereas people who live in covenant should be able to exercise that commitment in hospital visitations, inheritance matters, child custody and other family matters without interference from the state.
Whereas marriages are threatened by forces within marriage such as infidelity, violence, addictions, lack of communication and commitment, not how marriage is defined.
Whereas it is the responsibility of the Church to be in active ministry with homosexual persons, no less than heterosexual persons in all their respective challenges and dimensions of life, and
Whereas the Constitution of the State of Arizona has been established in an attempt to ensure the rights of all citizens of the State, and
Whereas the formation of families has been supported by many civil guarantees including protecting the rights of couple to health benefits, hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights, child custody rights and many others, and
Whereas same sex couples of the State of Arizona are already denied many of these rights, and
Whereas the proposed Constitutional Amendment reads:
"To preserve and protect marriage in this State, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by this state or it political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this state or it political subdivisions that is similar to that of marriage."
Whereas Arizona voters are being asked to support a Constitutional amendment the result of which will prohibit the State, counties, cities and school districts from offering employee benefits for unmarried partners, straight or gay, and this ballot initiative targets Arizonans who live together for financial and other reasons. It would prevent such couples from obtaining any legal recognition, including policies necessary for medical safety and retirement. Further, it would seize the decision making authority of local communities and force repeal of domestic partner benefits now provided by the cities of Phoenix , Tucson , Scottsdale and Tempe .
Whereas the ballot initiatives currently being proposed to amend the State Constitution will further erode these rights,
Therefore be it resolved that the Desert Southwest Annual Conference oppose this Amendment and we ask the Conference Secretary to communicate this resolution to all elected State officials and major media in Arizona markets.
And be it further resolved that political leaders and faith communities be challenged to focus their energies on the forces such as those named above that are truly undermining marriages and destroying families.
Resolution Passed Saturday June 10, 2006
Contact Steve Hustedt, Director of Communications
Desert Southwest Conference
The United Methodist Church
1550 E. Meadowbrook
Phoenix, Arizona 85014-4040