Freedom to Marry

This freedom to marry resource list is provided to assist Oregon Synod clergy and congregations broach the discussion about what marriage means in our society.  Please let us know how you use these resources and what events you are holding - give us feedback about what was helpful and what more you need to help with the conversation.


Freedom to Marry becomes Law in Oregon - May 19, 2014

A letter to the Oregon Synod in light of Federal Judge Michael McShane's May 19, 2014 ruling.

The 2014 Oregon Synod Assembly passed three resolutions relative to this issue at its meeting on May 16 - 18:

Letter from Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke

A letter to Oregon Synod clergy (and all of us) encouraging engaging congregations in discussion about the freedom to marry

Freedom to Marry 101: What's It All About?  Adult Study for Oregon Synod Congregations

Faithful Conversation Training

Learning how to gracefully engage members of our congregations, friends, families, neighbors, colleagues, and others in conversation about why marriage matters is one of the most powerful tools there is for changing hearts and minds about the freedom to marry.  We can come to your congregation to provide this 2-hour training - contact Gretchen Brauer-Rieke for more information or to schedule.

Oregon Lutheran Advocacy Resources

Congregational Endorsement of the Freedom to Marry - find suggestions and a sample resolution for your congregation to endorse the freedom to marry in Oregon

What Lutherans Can Do to Support the Freedom to Marry - suggestions for advocacy in your congregation and community

Lutheran volunteer form - help us keep track of what you are willing to do to help us win the freedom to marry in Oregon

Bible Study Resources

Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke's Bible Studies on homosexuality:

Homosexuality and The Bible - by Walter Wink, available for purchase online for personal or congregational study

Lutheran Theology - ELCA Resources

ELCA Social Statement (2009): Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust  - This document is the result of years of study and contains foundational understandings about marriage and relationships, including same-gender relationships.  It's well worth reading.

Talking Together as Christians about Tough Social Issues - a resource developed by the ELCA to assist congregations in developing and exercising their skills in faith-based deliberation about tough social issues. It is intended for leadership teams of pastors and lay people.

2013 Churchwide Assembly Memorial: Ministering to Same-Gender Couples and Families -   Memorial passed by CWA asking for continued conversations in congregations and synods about how to minister to to needs of same-gender couples and their families

Marriage Equality in the 21st Century: What Would Luther Say?  An academic paper written by Sue Best, MSW, LCSW, member of Augustana Lutheran, Portland

Oregon's Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative - Oregon United for Marriage Resources

Full language of the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative, planned for the November 2014 Oregon ballot

Oregon United for Marriage - official campaign website with current information about the campaign, resources for communities of faith and listing of endorsements by faith communities and religious leaders. You can add your name (as clergy, congregation, or both) to the list of those who endorse the freedom to marry in Oregon here.

Coming Out as a Person of Faith - is a "multi-media exhibit revealing the experiences, stories, and perspectives of clergy, parents of gay children, and LGBT couples of faith who support the freedom to marry. Our intention is to share with Oregonians how persons from a wide spectrum of Jewish and Christian faith traditions support the freedom to marry and how their faith informs their support of this issue."

Aubrey Thonvold, Faith Director of Oregon United for Marriage, is happy to assist clergy and congregations - contact her by email or phone: (206) 778-0924.

ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation Resources

How Does Marriage Matter?  -  a booklet for Lutherans to help understand how we approach the question of same-gender marriage

Support for Marriage From Lutheran Leaders - In pastoral letters, policy statements, and other forms of witness, Lutheran bishops and other leaders have spoken out in favor of marriage equality and/or against changing state constitutions to prevent marriage equality.

What Do Lutheran Churches Say?  - a summary of where Lutheran denominations world-wide stand on the freedom to marry

Families Valued - a 45 minute play that weaves together the stories of more than a half a dozen gay and lesbian couples into a dramatic presentation that utilizes the power of theater to educate and transform hearts and minds. The play gives audiences a glimpse into the full range of these couples’ lives, from their falling in love, to their commitment ceremonies, to their ongoing lives together;  requires 4 chairs, 4 actors.

Portland Metro Chapter Task Force for Freedom to Marry - our active group is working to bring resources and assistance to clergy, lay leaders, and congregations in the Oregon Synod in order to facilitate discussion and deliberation about the freedom to marry.  Contact us with questions or feedback.

Recommended movies for group viewing and discussion

Helpful movies that stimulate discussion about the connection between faith and homosexuality:

Anyone and Everyone (2007) - Connected by having a son or daughter who is gay, parents across the country discuss their experiences in this documentary. Individuals from diverse backgrounds as well as from various religious denominations share intimate accounts of how their children revealed their sexual orientation and discuss their responses.

Love Free or Die (2012) -  a documentary about Bishop Gene Robinson, whose two defining passions are in direct conflict: his love for God and for his partner Mark.  He is the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom.

Prayers for Bobby (2009) - Based on the amazing true story of a mother torn between her loyalty to her faith and her love for her gay son,  and moved by a tragedy that would change her life, and the lives of others, forever.

For the Bible Tells Me So (2007) - Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families, we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. This video offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

Other helpful resources of interest:

A Straight Ally's Guide to Talking about Marriage for Same-Gender Couples

Why Marriage Matters: Just the Facts - Frequently Asked Questions

Real People - Real Stories of Love and Commitment

For Richer, For Poorer: The Freedom to Marry as Economic Justice

Marriage Makes a Word of Difference

An Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality

The Not-All-Like-That (NALT) Christian Project

Marriage 101: FAQ

Talking About Marriage