Witness for Love at the County Courthouse

Witness for Love at the County Courthouse

“We are building the world we dream about, where all souls thrive in a diverse and loving community, acting daily on our commitment to justice.”

By John P. Flannery

The Rev. Don Prange, Pastor of Lovettsville’s St. James United Church of Christ, appeared outside the Loudoun County Circuit Courthouse to witness love, the love of same sex couples, committed to a union that the court and the laws of Virginia fail to recognize or allow.

Had these couples gone first to the Clerk’s Office and asked to file a marriage certificate, they would have been rebuffed.

Episcopal Priest Daniel Velez Rivera, said, “God has made us equal in his image” but the law doesn’t recognize persons made in his image as equal.

Rev. Prange regretted that his parishioners, in a same sex union, had to leave Virginia to get married, and to leave the Commonwealth of Virginia entirely so that their family could have health benefits.

Rev. Prange said he hoped by giving witness in the sight of a court of law that Virginia “will stop playing God and let people live in the faith of their love for each other.”

Rabbi Michael Ragozin of Leesburg’s Congregation Sha’are Shalom, and Unitarian Minister Anya Sammler-Michael also participated.

The most moving aspect of the ceremony was when the same sex couples gathered at the center of a circle formed by the clergy.

The clergy invited any to join these couples if they had previously participated in a commitment ceremony.

Then there was the laying of hands, a hand on the shoulder or arm of the person in front of the celebrants and on the couples.

There was a blessing and a message of hope that a change in Virginia law is inevitable.

Rev. Prange explained what he was doing, “We are building the world we dream about, where all souls thrive in a diverse and loving community, acting daily on our commitment to justice.”

More photos published in Loudoun Times-Mirror March 24, 2014.

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