October 8, 2013
Bishop Mark Webb
324 University Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
Dear Bishop Webb:
“What does the Lord require of thee but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). How can we say we are just or kind when we discriminate against gay and lesbians and deny them the same rights and privileges that others enjoy, especially the right to marry. How can we as United Methodists say we are just and kind when we will not grant gay and lesbians the same rights and privileges that many states, including New York State, grant?
All people regardless of sexual orientation are children of God and should be accorded the same rights and privileges. In my opinion, sexual orientation is not a choice, but is a given. Why should anyone be penalized for something beyond his or her control?
The United Methodist Church has a reputation for being a champion for social justice, but in this instance, the Church has turned its back on God’s children by exercising their option to penalize and to punish clergy who are trying to follow God’s word.
I urge you to recognize that we are all children of God and should not be discriminated against because of sexual orientation. Unjust and unfair laws can and should be changed. I urge you to do all in your power to guarantee that same sex couples have the right to be married in the Methodist Church by ordained clergy. Help the United Methodist Church achieve the goal of exercising justice and kindness to all.
Very truly yours,
Ruth S. Farrell