Pastor Hopes To Officiate Gay Son’s Wedding In OR As He Did For His Other Gay Son In WA

rossingRetired Lutheran pastor Gilbert Rossing of Olympia, Washington, penned a moving op-ed for The Oregonian about same-sex marriage. Rossing has been married to his wife for 53 years and together they have four grown children, two of whom happen to be gay.

Any parent should be so lucky to have not one, but two queens in the family, but Rossing’s faith initially blinded him to the embarrassment of riches with which God, or what have you, blessed him:

On a March night in 1987, our oldest son — now a Portland business owner — told his mother and me that he was gay.

My first, determined response was to counsel him both as father and pastor, and both academically and biblically, to turn back from this identity. When he tearfully pleaded, “I don’t want to lose you!” I realized that my pontificating was driving him away. I needed to listen and learn.

When I first wrestled with Scripture passages, I was struck by the disconnectedness between the idolatrous and sexually abusive behaviors the Bible condemned in contrast to the high character and integrity of my son. I began to see that my quickness to judge contradicted the Biblical mandate not to judge, and violated the basic command to love our neighbor — my son — as we love ourselves.

Through ensuing years I developed an understanding not only of my older son, but also my younger son, who is gay as well. I was fortunate to become friends with dozens of devout, godly people who are gay, lesbian and transgender. I saw that we may seem different, but we all have a lot more in common.

Rossing, who led Portland’s Gethsemane Lutheran Church before hanging up his vestments, wrote the column in support of a petition currently circulating to put the freedom to marry on the Oregon ballot for November 2014.

“That freedom,” Rossing writes, “would also give me the religious freedom to officiate at the wedding of my Portland son and his partner of 15 years, much as I did this year at the Washington marriage of his brother.”

Last year, Washington was one of three states to legalize same-sex marriage through landmark popular votes. The Oregon Says I Do campaign is working towards brining marriage equality to that state — you can learn more about it and get involved here.

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  • andy_d

    This Pastor is what I call a true Christian. One who actively promotes love rather than divisiveness and hate.

  • marc sfe

    @andy_d: Exactly!

  • grero

    @andy_d: “Divisiveness and hate” have been the bread and butter of Christianity for 2000 years. This pastor’s a heretic!

  • DarkZephyr

    @grero: Christianity was pretty unified for the most part for over a thousand years with the exception of the occasional heresy. The divisiveness really came with the Eastern/Western Schism and then with the Reformation.

  • Merv

    It never ceases to amaze me the ability of Christians to ignore their scriptures. The Bible clearly condemns divorce, but they divorce as much as anyone. The Bible condones slavery, but they like to pretend they were the pioneers of abolitionism, rather than johnny-come-latelies. Now some are embarrassed into trying to pretend the Bible isn’t rabidly anti-gay. I guess it’s good they finally come to their senses, but why don’t they chuck out the entire thing if it’s so clearly wrong on so many issues?

  • Katbox

    Please STOP referring to homosexual men as QUEENS.
    You’re just perpetuating the stereotypes you claim to hate.

  • Kieran

    @ Katbox: The author doesn’t seem to understand that not all gay men are effeminate and consider themselves “queens”. If Rush Limbaugh was talking about this story and casually referred to Pastor Rossing’s sons as “queens” we’d all be outraged…..and rightly so.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Katbox: @Kieran: I agree. I am no “Queen”.

  • aerogens

    @DarkZephyr: @Kieran: @Katbox: It’s almost hilarious how Queerty doesn’t seem to read their own comments. I’ve been a reader for three years and they continually hire naive writers who don’t listen to feedback. It’s embarrassing.

  • Steve Rider

    This retired pastor understands Family Values.

    I have a problem, though, with the notion of a ballot measure being used to achieve equal rights in Oregon. Obviously the goal is justice, but the implication is that we need to be able to win a popularity contest in order to have society recognize the equal rights to which we are already entitled.

    I prefer to win in the courts, especially when the truth is so blatantly obvious.

  • mcflyer54

    @MargaretJordan: doesn’t anyone moderate this site to delete worthless spam like the first post by “MargaretJordan”.

  • aequalitasTN

    @Steve Rider: While I have to agree that a victory in SCOTUS would be a much quicker, decisive and, let’s face it, sweeter way to tell the states that the country simply does not allow ochlocracy in any form. Do you not think it would be better to win by popular vote if we can? I mean, a legislative victory like those in MD and WA would go a long way in deterring the ultimate national backlash of a federal constitutional amendment if a good number of states have already proven that they will not politically accept such a ludacris proposal.

  • purple2

    @andy_d: andy-d, “a true pastor” because he performs gay marriages?? so what makes false ones then?? Apparently ‘your definition’ and God’s are vastly different, but I guess that doesn’t matter in the scheme of things huh?

Comments are closed.