September 15, 2013
Bishop Mark Webb
324 University Ave., 3rd floor
Syracuse, NY 13210
Dear Bishop Webb,
I am a heterosexual septuagenarian who has been happily married to the same woman for 52 years. I was able to pick my partner, get married in a church of our choice and enjoy the legal benefits and the emotional benefits of marriage. No one had the legal or moral right to challenge that privilege. I think everyone should have the same right and I think the time has come for the UMC to honestly “open minds” and “open hearts”. I, along with millions of others, think it is immoral to deny good, sincere people privileges most of us enjoy just because they have a different sexual orientation.
The vast majority of the young people I know have moved beyond this issue and therefore are reluctant to see the relevance of institutions that still practice these discriminatory actions. Unless the UMC changes, it will become totally irrelevant and I for one, feel the church connection can be a significant force for good in the world and will be sad to see it diminish.
I do not know the restrictions your office puts you under, but I do know that punishing people for acting as their consciences demand has always been ineffective.
I sincerely hope that you can resolve problem of Reverend Steve Heiss’s courageous honesty in a way that will allow the UMC to continue to be a force for social justice in our time.
Peter L. Huston