Bishop Grant Hagiya Celebrates Washington Marriage Equality

Recently, Bishop Grant Hagiya of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska Annual Conferences publicly expressed his disagreement with UM policy regarding same-sex marriage.

“Difficult letters, like difficult conversations are never easy.  However, God never promised us easy, and there are times when we must take up the cross and walk in faith.  I write today not representing the United Methodist Church, for only General Conference can do that.  So, even though I write this letter as your Bishop, I hope it will also be received as your friend in Christ.

With the signing by Governor Gregoire of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington as of June 7th, the state joins six others in recognizing this union.  Personally, I celebrate the signing into law of the legalization of same-sex marriage for our state.  It is an historic moment for the people of this geographic region, and it marks a secular turning point in the liberation of those who have too long been oppressed in our current times.  I celebrate with those who will be free to enjoy equal health and security benefits through the state institution of marriage.

I also personally grieve over our United Methodist Church polity that will not recognize same-sex marriage.  I believe that it is wrong, and we should work for a more inclusive and humane response.  The reason for this stance is that I believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God’s divine love for the entire creation, and no one should be shut out from God’s embracing Grace.”

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