"A Modest Proposal"

(with apologies to Jonathan Swift)

by Patrick M. Magee, Elder

Stone Church of Willow Glen

San Jose, California

I believe I have found a solution to our struggle over Amendment B, a solution which would allow everyone in the church to support Amendment B.

The proposal is a simple one: The Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., should recognize, encourage, and conduct marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Such unions might not be valid in the courts of the fifty states, but they would have standing within the Presbyterian Church and, specifically, would be defined as meeting the requirements of Amendment B.

Just think of what would be accomplished by this simple action. The proponents of Amendment B would be strengthened in their call for prospective leaders "to live in fidelity within the covenant of marriage" (either heterosexual or homosexual). Adultery and promiscuity would clearly be identified as "sexual sins." Opposition to Amendment B would melt away as gays and lesbians would no longer be "second class members" but would be measured to the same standard as straights. Unity would return within the church, and energies could be directed to issues and concerns of much greater importance to the people of God.

Therefore, I say to our denomination's leadership: Do not weaken or destroy Amendment B; rather, strengthen it and make it workable by broadening the concept of marriage to include committed gay and lesbian couples.

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