With an amendment that would define marriage between one man and one woman on the ballot this November, the firefight of what is right, wrong or acceptable when it comes to marriage has really amped up.
to learn about their story, their journeys to being openly gay and their views on the amendment.
As part of the clergy, Provis provided many insights into how she views homosexuality and gay marriage in relation to religion.
Richfield Patch: Many of those who oppose gay marriage and also hold the Bible as moral code, would say that homosexuality is condemned in the book. How do you respond to that?
Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis: “You cannot read homosexual bias into the bible unless you are already biased against homosexuals. I regard the bible seriously, not literally. It really is a collection of stories of our ancestors who tried to make sense of their life, their environment, their social surroundings. Today’s Bible and an edition from the 1300s are very different. The word ‘homosexuality’ didn’t exist in the original text. It was coined later in German psychiatric practice.
“There is nothing in the Bible about same-gender, committed, loving couples. The few things that it does say are for specific circumstances and would no more indict homosexuals than heterosexuals.
“There are so many different ways to interpret [scripture]. I applaud anyone whose faith is so strong that they want to take [the Bible] seriously, but you have to really be willing to dig and ask yourself, ‘Who was writing? Who were they writing to? What were they trying to understand?’”
Richfield Patch: What are your thoughts on the marriage amendment being put before voters this fall?
Provis: “This amendment is going to mix religion and politics. By and large, the people who are for [the amendment] have specific views around it. It would privilege one religion over another. … And it’s just so basic to want to marry the person that you love, to make a covenant with that person.
“[If the amendment passed], it would also tell clergy who [they can] and who they cannot bless in a union. That’s an absurdity of injustice—the fact that my words hold some kind of weight, but not if you’re homosexual. … I think that everyone who loves each other should be able to enter a covenant like that."
Richfield Patch: Opponents of gay marriage have said traditional marriage needs to be preserved. However, supporters use the high divorce rate to combat that claim. How do you respond to that?
Provis: “I think it’s a valid reaction. Divorce rates are sky-high. If all people were allowed to marry, I pray that would increase the sanctity of any marriage.”
Richfield Patch: You’re from California where a marriage amendment similar to the one proposed here passed. Do you think the measure will also pass here?
Provis: "Right now, I’m told it’s very close. And I am worried about how ugly it could get. I saw what happened in California. I hope people can vote their conscience and with common sense. I think you can vote your conscience despite what you’ve been told to do."
To see the full story on Dr. Robyn Provis and her spouse Kathy Luebbe, see our article.