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Santa Clarita to discuss gay marriage

An open forum for open minded people

Posted: October 3, 2008 9:37 p.m.
Updated: December 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Local religious leaders will discuss the issue of same-sex marriage at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday.

The Santa Clarita Interfaith Council will host a community forum titled "Same-Sex Marriage, Proposition 8: Where Religion and Politics Intersect."

This is an important issue for the religious community, said the Rev. Canon Lynn Jay of St. Stephen's Church on Orchard Village Road. Issues of religion like this need to have open discussion, she said.

Many lines used to undermine same-sex marriage come from our bible, the Torah, but it depends on how people understand the biblical text, said Temple Bath Ami's Rabbi Mark Blazer said.

Proposition 8 is a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot that seeks to overturn a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year allowing same-sex marriage.

The discussion will feature two main speakers who will present opposing views of same-sex marriage and the proposition.

The presenters
Mark Saucy, professor of systematic theology at Biola University will speak in favor of Prop. 8. Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena will speak against the proposition. Following the main speakers, four local religious leaders, two from each side of the issue, will respond to the main speakers and then open up a question-and-answer session to the audience.

"I'll be touching on what the Jewish perspective is and what we can learn from a biblical take," said Temple Bath Ami's Rabbi Mark Blazer who will speak in favor of marriage equality.

Rabbi Blazer, who performed his first same-sex ceremony in August, says he will discuss how same-sex marriage falls in line with socially expected norms.

"I believe a monogamous relationship allows same-sex couples to enjoy the same rights we encourage in the religious community built on fidelity, loyalty and now protected by a legal bond guaranteed by civil law," he said.

A vast majority of the Jewish community support same-sex marriage, said Rabbi Blazer.

"My task is to give a faith-based argument against same-sex marriage," said Saucy, who will present a Christian perspective to the forum. Starting with the Bible's Genesis origin of marriage, Saucy will lay out his church's view of God's complimentary as opposed to unitary pattern for marriage.

God loves
God does everything for man's well-being because His nature is love, therefore God has created us to have complimentary partners because it is what's best for the individual and society, Saucy said.

Saucy will challenge the audience to ask whether sociological evidence confirms the heterosexual or homosexual design for marriage.

The Rev. Ricky Hoyt of Temple Beth Ami, an unnamed local Catholic priest, and an unknown representative from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will also give responses.

"The Interfaith Council understands that different faiths have different beliefs about the issue of same-sex marriage and arranged this forum with the hope of pointing out the faith dimensions of the current political debate, exploring our differences and modeling that people who disagree on some social issues can work productively together on other issues," according to a council press release.

"I hope people come with an open mind," Rabbi Blazer said.

The program is free and open to the public. Call (661) 259-7307 for more information.


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