Green Country church leaders react to DOMA ruling

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Updated: 6/26/2013 5:34 pm Published: 6/26/2013 1:47 pm

The Supreme Court struck down a provision of a federal law that denied federal benefits to gay married couples.

The provision of the Defense of Marriage Act kept legally-married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits that go to married couples of the opposite sex.

FOX23 talked to Tulsans about their thoughts on this ruling and several people said they see it as a religious debate.

A leader of the Southern Baptist Convention in Oklahoma sent FOX23 a statement:

"While it is disappointing that the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the defense of marriage act fails to protect the institution nationwide, we take heart knowing that no government body can redefine what g-d himself created in marriage as one man and one woman."

FOX23 crews called and stopped by more than a dozen area churches to get their views, but officials did not want to talk about the ruling on camera.

Several told FOX23 off camera that they adamantly oppose the court's decision and view homosexuality and gay marriage as sin.

We did find one pastor willing to talk.

“It is not considered to me to be a sin,” said Heather Bartlow, pastor at John Calvin Presbyterian Church.

Bartlow spoke to FOX23 not on behalf of her whole congregation, but as someone who has thoroughly studied scripture.

"15 years or so ago I would have agreed with those that believe homosexuality, that same-sex marriage would be displeasing to God. I've changed my mind," she said.

She said it's hard to describe Biblical customs because the customs because the customs of the Bible would be very hard to recognize today.

"For instance, I am considered today an equal partner with my husband. I am not a transaction from a father to a husband," she said.

Toby Jenkins with Oklahomans for Equality said Tulsa's religious community overall is shifting to be more like Bartlow.

“Ten years ago we had eight churches that welcomed us. We have over 40 today. Gratified to hear that they had made that decision for justice, for gay and lesbian couples who are committed to one another, who love one another, who pay taxes, go to church," he said.

The Diocese of Tulsa released this statement about that decision:

“We are grieved that the cultural understanding of marriage has shifted so drastically. Throughout history, even in cultures that accepted homosexual behavior, the understanding of marriage has remained largely the same- a union for the preservation of family and society. Recently we have seen an assault on marriage and the family occurring across the globe.

The response of the Catholic Church is universal and unchanged. Marriage is not a societal construct, but is rather an institution given by God and written in the laws of nature, established at the creation of the world. With this in mind, no government power has the authority to redefine the essence of marriage. Their redefinition only causes them to speak incorrectly about marriage.

Marriage is the intimate, exclusive, indissoluble communion of life and love entered by man and woman at the design of the Creator for the purpose of their own good and the procreation and education of children. God created us male and female, and the beauty of marriage is in the complementarity of the genders from which the human race continues in a loving way.”

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

watergirl - 6/27/2013 8:13 AM
1 Vote
It is sad that these ppl have to force all of us to accept that kind of lifestyle. It is not normal and makes me want to hurl. I will never accept it. I forgive them for what they do but keep that sick “leprosy” lifestyle away from me and don’t force it down my throat. God will not bless a nation that turns its back on His Law and openly practices this abomination. Look what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. It just shows how our justice system has come to love their powerful positions so much they will do anything to keep getting elected. Forget what’s right or wrong. They don’t care what happens to us or the consequences of their actions. God help us and please forgive us.

Mayor Maynot - 6/27/2013 2:34 AM
1 Vote
In their painful quest for equality they mention gays lesbians bi-sexual and transgendered they mention one another as if they were the only ones. Never any mention of normal heterosexual individuals. That's ok by me. They never will be equal to a heterosexual person #8 ^]] In the eyes of politicians it factors out to votes and taxes. To preachers and God It's new souls. GLBT is the biggest joke on the planet with their false truths.
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