Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Freedom To Marry

In light of the disappointing results of recent elections, I publish the following press release from September. I am proud to be a member of a Pagan organization that's finally taken a public stand on this issue.

Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:59 pm (PDT)


Covenant of the Goddess
P.O. Box 1226
Berkeley, CA 94701 U.S.A

Contact: Lisa Morgenstern,
National Public Information Officer

BERKELEY, CA-September 2008 ; Covenant of the Goddess, a National Organization of Wiccan Congregations, offered a statement in support of Gay and Lesbian Marriage in California and Massachusetts.

“Covenant of the Goddess has, since its inception in 1975, had clergy willing to celebrate the religious if not the legal joining of two members of the same gender. While we respect the right of the individual clergy within COG who may choose not to perform such a ceremony, we are in support of marriage between two committed adults of any gender, and a majority of our celebrants are willing to perform such ceremonies.”

Covenant of the Goddess is supportive of stable family environments between spouses who are becoming family and views same gender marriages as a civil right. “As Pagans who are Witches or Wiccan, we remember our history and know that marriage is a civil contract, and historically, such was done to determine what property and belongings and livestock would be paid or received by the father of the bride or groom when the two families made an alliance. Same gender marriages date back to Ancient Greek and Roman times, when the majority of citizens were pagan. Marriage today is one way that two people can immediately become next of kin, and in today’s society with national privacy act issues, it is even more important for everyone in a loving committed relationship to have this right.” States Elder Priestess Lisa Morgenstern, National Public Information Officer for Covenant of the Goddess.

Covenant of the Goddess was founded in 1975 to increase cooperation among Witches and to secure for Witches and covens the legal protection enjoyed by members of other religions. The Covenant publishes a newsletter; issues ministerial credentials on request to qualified persons; sponsors a national festival each summer; and encourages networking nationally, as well as regionally through local councils.

The Covenant is incorporated as a nonprofit religious organization in California, though it has grown to be an international organization. It is a confederation of covens and solitary members of various traditions, who share in the worship of the Goddess and the Old Gods and subscribe to a common code of ethics. The Covenant holds a Grand Council annually to decide matters which require deliberation by the full membership. Decisions are usually made by consensus.

In recent years, the Covenant has taken part in spiritual and educational conferences, interfaith outreach, large public rituals, environmental activism, community projects and social action, as well as efforts to correct negative stereotypes and promote accurate media portrayals. Its clergy perform legal marriages (handfastings), preside at funerals and other rituals of life-transition, and provide counseling to Witches includingthose in the military and in prisons. The Covenant also provides youth awards, sponsorship of college and university student groups, and legal assistance in instances of discrimination.



Jer said...

I am glad that your group is doing this. Someone needs to tell America to grow up and stop forcing religious views on everyone. Now if only the media would come in on this side and help too. People follow the media.

Pitch313 said...

Apparently, there's a (Christian?)movement that wants to prohibit divorce on Biblical grounds.

Right now, I'm thinking more that we ought to do away with marriage as an institution. Go back to square one on the sanctioning of relationships thing...You know, if not everybody, then nobody...