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Gay marriage: the reception

June 30, 2008

Re "Pastor rallies clergy against gay marriage," June 26

A pastor is a shepherd. A good pastor tends to his flock. I suggest that Pastor Jim Garlow tend to the business of his own congregation and his own faith. He is free to marry or not marry whomever he pleases. It is time for him and others like him (including Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony) to respect the right of the rest of us to enjoy equally the rights and obligations promised by the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

How would the good pastor feel if I organized a campaign to rescue the children in his church and countless others across this state who are blessed by his God to find love with a member of their own sex? Consider the lifetime of damage Garlow wreaks from his pulpit every Sunday with messages of ignorance and intolerance.

Joel Safranek

West Hollywood


I find the juxtaposition of the two stories on marriage values on The Times' June 26 front page a bit ironic. In one, Pastor Jim Garlow issues a call to arms to conservative Christian clergy to oppose same-sex marriage. In the other, Column One writer Swati Pandey describes her reactions to her cousin's arranged marriage in India.

Pandey confirms a truth about marriage that eludes Garlow: Values and customs regarding marriage are primarily cultural, not religious, and change over time. Even Garlow would have to admit that the Bible affirms diverse marital practices, including polygamy, and what the Judeo-Christian tradition regards as appropriate when it comes to marriage has changed since the Bible was written. We are in the midst of such a change. Just as prejudices against interracial marriage are disappearing, so will biases against same-sex marriage. Fifty years from now, our grandchildren will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Rev. Libby Tigner

Long Beach

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