INSIDE A GAY CHURCH
Pastor says many gay weddings done in Jamaica
BY INGRID BROWN Jamaica Sunday Observer
Sunday, May 06, 2007
The leader of an American-based gay church last week officiated at the 'renewal of vows' of two middle-aged Jamaican lesbians in Kingston and used the weekly 'church' service to encourage homosexuals here to get out of the closet and stand up for what they believe.
"Staying in the closet never makes us safe," Rev Elder Nancy Wilson, moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), told the congregation of more than 150 gay men and women.
"We are safer in numbers, and the important thing to remember is that MCC will always be behind you," she said to much applause.
During the service, which used the theme 'My Sheep Hear My Voice', Wilson told her flock that Jesus never got angry at people others call sinners, but was the kind of Shepherd who didn't want to lose one sheep.
"No church, no mob, no person can snatch us out of the hands of the beloved," she said, to shouts of 'amen' and 'hallelujah'.
The two women who renewed their vows have been 'married' for two of the five years they have been together, the Sunday Observer was told.
The congregation, which also included children, some as young as seven years old, all cheered as the couple read their vows, promising to love, cherish and be faithful to each other for the rest of their lives.
And even as a few males milled around the premises, obviously on the look-out for possible attackers, Wilson reaffirmed the couple's union as she prayed, asking God to bless the relationship.
The couple, all smiles, held hands throughout the brief ceremony before sealing the moment with a kiss on the lips, again to cheers and smiles from the congregation.
In an interview with the Sunday Observer after the 'service', Wilson said there have been many such gay marriage ceremonies done in Jamaica.
She could not give any numbers, but claimed that these kinds of ceremonies have been ongoing for a very long time. And although in the past there was no church-like setting to facilitate the nuptials, persons have been having private ceremonies in their homes and elsewhere. These ceremonies, she said, have always been officiated by ordained ministers who, she claimed, are also members of the gay community.
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