Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Evangelical pastor: Straight couples should refuse to sign Calif. licenses | 365 Gay News

Evangelical pastor: Straight couples should refuse to sign Calif. licenses | 365 Gay News

Sacramento, California) An evangelical pastor is advising couples not to sign California’s gender-neutral marriage licenses as a protest.

Send / ShareAdd CommentAfter the California Supreme Court struck down the ban on gay marriage in May, the state amended its marriage licenses, replacing “Bride” and ‘Groom” with “Party A” and “Party B.”

Following a wedding, the license must be signed and sent to the state for registration.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the first couple to follow the advice of Pastor Doug Bird of the Abundant Life Fellowship is Bird’s own daughter.

Rachel Bird married Gideon Codding last month, but they have not signed the license nor sent it in to be registered.

Rev. Bird has called on other churches to follow hid daughter’s lead.

“I would encourage you to refuse to sign marriage licenses with ‘Party A’ and ‘Party B,’” Bird said in a letter to area churches. “If ever there was a time for the people of the United States to stand up and let their voices be heard – this is that time.”

Bird tells The Bee that he has received positive reactions from other clergy. A state spokesperson told the paper that as far as he knows, no other married couple has refused to sign their license.

Unless a marriage is registered, partners are unable to take advantage of rights accorded to married couples - including a bride taking her husband’s name.

In the case of Bird and Codding, Rachel Bird is unable to be added to Codding’s medical benefits.

Bird told The Bee that the decision not to register their marriage was “personal – not religious.”

“We just feel that our rights have been violated,” she said.

She also said she and Codding are exploring their legal options.

A proposed amendment to the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriage will appear on the ballot in November. Recent polls suggest it will not win approval.

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