10/14/18 -The 10th Anniversary of Marriage Equality

Posted on : Oct 11th, 2018 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court struck down the State’s ban on same-sex marriage.  The Court also annulled the same sex marriage licenses granted in San Francisco in February, 2004.  The Court then ruled that effective 5:01 pm, Monday, June 16, 2008 the State of California can no longer discriminate in issuing marriage licenses based on the sex of the applicants, nor can the State in other ways discriminate against gay and lesbian people as a class of people.  This made California the second State in the US to permit same sex marriages, Massachusetts being the first.

 From June 16- Nov 4, 2008, I officiated at the marriages of:

Tom Carpenter & Art Andrade

Kevin Scott & Phillip Jason

Neal Williams and John Berger

Lisa Bove & Renna Killen

George Lynch and Louie Tamantini

Those are the notes from my pastoral journal.  It was one of the most exciting times in California History.  But it was a joy that was short lived.

Nov. 4, 2008, California voters passed Proposition 8 – an amendment to the CA Constitution stating that the state will only recognize a marriage between a man and a woman.  The vote was 52% yes – 48% against the Proposition.  It was no longer legal for agents of the State to issue same sex marriage licenses.  The issue returned to the CA Supreme Court. 

The road to marriage equality was not smooth.  In California we “had equal marriage, then lost equal marriage; then had equal marriage, then lost equal marriage rights.  On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court officially overturned Proposition 8 when the Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 5–4 ruling requires all fifty states to perform and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples on the same terms and conditions as the marriages of opposite-sex couples, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities.

This Sunday we are going to celebrate one of the great victories of the LGBT religious and human rights movement, marriage equality.  At the time, I don’t think many knew that marriage equality would be the impetus that it has become for the rapid advance in civil and human rights for LGBT persons both in the United States and worldwide.  This one act of justice has profoundly changed our world.  All of the songs, scriptures and prayers in this week’s service will be the same ones we used 10 years ago as we celebrated our first marriage equality victory.

And if that were not enough, this Sunday we celebrate Lisa Bove’s 30th Anniversary at WeHo UCC.  Thirty years ago, Lisa was called as our Associate Pastor for HIV/AIDS Ministry.   What a journey!  What a celebration!!!

I hope you’ll join me in the celebrations this Sunday!



John 2: 1-11

At a wedding in Cana, Jesus turns water into wine and “saves the best for last!”  [from The Inclusive Bible]


Three days later, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there. Jesus and his disciples had likewise been invited to the celebration.

At a certain point, the wine ran out, and Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Mother, what does that have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

She instructed those waiting on tables, “Do whatever he tells you.”

As prescribed for Jewish ceremonial washings, there were six stone water jars on hand, each one holding between fifteen and twenty-five gallons. “Fill those jars with water,” Jesus said, and the servers filled them to the brim.

“Now,” said Jesus, “draw some out and take it to the caterer.” They did as they were instructed.

The caterer tasted the water – which had been turned to wine – without knowing where it had come from; the only ones who knew were those who were waiting on tables, since they had drawn the water. The caterer called the bride and groom over and remarked, “People usually serve the best wine first; then, when the guests have been drinking a while, a lesser vintage is served. What you’ve done is to keep the best wine until now!”

Jesus performed this first of his signs at Cana in Galilee; in this way he revealed his glory, and the disciples believed in him.


1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 (contemporary language)

Paul teaches the Corinthians that love is the greatest gift.


If I speak in ecstatic religious language or the language of angels, but have not love, I sound like a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal. And I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for ecstatic speech, it will cease; as for knowledge, it too will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but one day we shall see God face to face. Now I know in part; one day I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So, faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love.








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