[Catholic pastor does NOT oppose Obama on "gay marriage"]
The insatiable need: Gilroy pastors speak on gay marriage
The following excerpt comes from a May 17 story in the Gilroy Dispatch.
President Barack Obama stirred a heated national debate when he became the first American president to publicly endorse gay marriage May 9, invoking mixed reactions from religious leaders in Gilroy and across the country.
Several Gilroy pastors came out predictably strong in their opposition of Obama’s recent speech, standing firm in what they see as an attack on God’s intention for traditional marriage.
Eric Smith, head pastor of South Valley Community Church in Gilroy, lamented Obama’s new public support for gay marriage. Smith has publicly taken a stand against homosexuality for 30 years, and is frustrated with the direction the country is headed in light of the president’s change in conviction….
“As a pastor, I need to address the moral issues of our country. I try not to get political – I don’t preach on healthcare reform – but this issue of marriage, family, children, sexuality, that’s my domain,” Smith said.
Smith said that homosexuality is a “devastating lifestyle” and while people have the right to their own lifestyle choices, he is strongly opposed to gay marriage.
“There’s some kind of an insatiable need from the homosexual community to find total and complete acceptance and equality from the heterosexual community. Until that is achieved, they won’t stop,” Smith said.
Smith acknowledges that there can be devastating problems associated with heterosexual relationships too, and doesn’t see any difference between homosexual “sin” and other sins he preaches on – including adultery and divorce….
Pastor Malcolm MacPhail, senior pastor of New Hope Community Church in Gilroy, who said he was an active proponent of Proposition 8, which passed in 2008 to define marriage in California as between a man and a woman, also expressed sadness for Obama’s stance.
“He’s claiming to be a Christian, but that’s not the Christian view, so there is some type of contradiction there,” MacPhail said.
MacPhail encourages his congregation to vote with Biblical principles and traditional values in mind.
“As a pastor, I am to be a watch guard of what the Bible says to the people,” MacPhail said.
Not every church leader shared the same feelings of opposition toward gay marriage.
Father Dan Derry of Saint Mary Parish in Gilroy said that even if the president protected homosexual marriage by law, it wouldn’t effect his personal convictions about marriage.
“I have no problem with it at all,” Derry said. “This is a civil matter, and should remain a civil matter, and every citizen has the same set of rights.”
Derry said he suspects some church leaders will decry this new development as a terrible thing, but he still hopes the religious community will treat everyone with respect and dignity.
“Some people get so taken with the religious aspects of the issue, they forget that homosexuals are still citizens entitled to basic human rights,” Derry said.
As for the Catholic Church, Derry said leadership is divided on the issue. He did not say that the Catholic Church should sanction gay marriage, but said they shouldn’t spend their time attacking the union of gay couples.
“The real focus should be on how to be a loving person,” he said….
To read the entire story Click here: www.gilroydispatch.com/news/community/local-pastors-weigh-in-on-gay-marriage/article_9838738e-a081-11e1-be12-0019bb30f31a.html