As a devout Christian, I have spent the majority of my 62 years in close relationship with a God of love, compassion and acceptance. Once who created me in His own image, to live in His ways on this earth, and to care for the other creatures who He created, whether human or not.
He commanded me in Baptism to lead a good life and to worship Him. In Confirmation, I accepted His challenge. Later in life, I took on more responsibilities to make known His holy word to others in all that I do each day, whether personally, or in business situations. I am active in my church and maintain a special relationship with my God. I have studied the Bible as a student, digging and learning more than from just hearing it from the pulpit or cursory glances. The Bible is an inspiration from God through saintly men and women to guide us in our lives on earth and to help us reach the kingdom of God in heaven.
I am also gay. It's part of who I am. I have a husband whom I love deeply. God is the third person of our marriage. Together, we worship him and pray to him. We serve Him each day and serve those who He asked sent before us who need our assistance also. We are His faithful servants who were married in His presence. We took our sacred vows before Him, our families, and our friends. The thunder did not scream, the church did not fall down, the sun shone brightly on an August Sunday afternoon, and God's blessings were given to us and our families and our friends that day.
On Nov. 6, Marylanders have the opportunity to fulfill their consciences of fairness and equality with civil marriage for same-sex couples. Our church will allow its priest to perform same-sex marriages. Others won't. No civil official will force any church minister to marry someone that does not meet their church's standards for marriage. God commands us to love each other and to be fair to each other. Let's search our souls deeply and turn off the rhetoric and imagine what Jesus really would have said were he walking the streets today, if it came to civil laws.
Frank Riggio-Preston, Baltimore