Episcopal bishop praises Obama’s gay-marriage stand

Bishop Larry Benfield, head of the Episcopal Church in Arkansas, said he supports President Barack Obama’s decision to back same-sex marriage — and said gay marriage should be legal in Arkansas, too.

“Contrary to the North Carolina decision, civil marriage of same-gender couples will one day be seen as good for society. I look forward to the day when such marriages occur in this state so that we can live with one another in a spirit of equality and justice,” he wrote in a statement/

The rest of Bishop Benfield’s comments are available below:

Statement from the Rt. Rev. Larry R. Benfield, bishop of Arkansas, concerning the statement by the president Obama regarding the marriage of same-sex couples
May 8, 2012

“President Obama has announced that he thinks that same-sex couples should be able to get married. This announcement came on the heels of the vote in North Carolina to enshrine in that state’s constitution a prohibition on such marriages.
I agree with the president’s position. Contrary to the North Carolina decision, civil marriage of same-gender couples will one day be seen as good for society. I look forward to the day when such marriages occur in this state so that we can live with one another in a spirit of equality and justice.

I was troubled by the apparent demonization of same-gender couples in the very charged debate in North Carolina, especially by some members of the Christian community. The decision in North Carolina was not an endorsement of Christian values, nor the position of all Christians, but a stand, influenced by some religious leaders, that further distances many people from the church and its message of God’s unconditional love. The Episcopal Church in Arkansas and I as its bishop continue to reach out to our residents, gay or straight, single or married, with pastoral generosity. I strive to respect the dignity of every human being, and supporting civil same-gender marriage is one way that I do so.”

Larry R. Benfield
Bishop of Arkansas

Updated: May 10, 2012 — 10:25 am

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