At the same time a Kentucky county clerk was being jailed for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples, Paul Kempf and Robb Gwaltney said their vows in the Presbyterian Center chapel yesterday.
An intimate group of friends, family and co-workers gathered to witness the ceremony presided by the Rev. David Maxwell, an editor at the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kempf has been an employee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 2012 and Gwaltney is a former employee who helped plan and oversee the PCUSA move to Louisville in 1988.
Maxwell addressed the differing opinions of marriage within society and the church saying, “The concept of biblical marriage is very different than our modern views.”
“No biblical writer would have envisioned what we think of as a good marriage today—with concepts of equality and mutuality,” he said, noting that the Bible includes, even endorses, marriage patterns rejected by modern society such as multiple wives for men, ownership of wives by husbands and the forceful taking of wives from defeated peoples.
Recognizing the PCUSA is “grieving” individuals and congregations that have departed the denomination over its decision to allow same-gender marriage, he said, “We mourn that some have left, while we celebrate a new day.”