Unitarian Leader Takes Equal Marriage Stand in Romania
Rev. Dávid Gyero, the Deputy Bishop of the Hungarian Unitarian Church (Churches in Transylvania, Romania and Hungary), has shared his recently issued courageous statement on Equal Marriage. By way of context, Romania is currently in the midst of a Constitutional struggle that would further exclude LGBT people from Equal Marriage. We Stand on the Side of Love in faithful solidarity with Rev. Gyero.
For the Dignity of Human Creation: Statement regarding an Amendment to Paragraph 48 of the Romanian Constitution
As it is widely known, there is currently a nationwide effort to collect signatures in support of amending Paragraph 48 of the Romanian Constitution, containing the definition of marriage for the purposes of constitutional law. This initiative, created by the citizens’ organization Coalition for Families, has been an important issue for wide swathes of our society. Several Romanian church leaders have also taken to expressing their views in support of the amendment.
The governing bodies of the Hungarian Unitarian Church have not issued an official statement in this matter. I will therefore express my opinion as an individual, respecting the freedom of opinion of all church members and citizens, but using my opportunity for freedom of speech in this important matter of conscience.
The subject of the constitutional amendment is a proposal to change the definition of marriage contained in the paragraph titled “The Family”, from being the union of two persons to the union of a man and a woman, but the initiative inevitably emphasizes the issues of gender identity and sexual orientation. While the institutions of marriage and family are doubtlessly imbued with moral value as well as significance for our society and community, there are gaping chasms among the various understandings of gender identity and sexual orientation. What some consider sinful, immoral and godless, others consider natural aspects of the divinely created order of the world.
To me, unconditional respect for and protection of the dignity of God’s human creation is a basic theological value. I consider gender identity and sexual orientation to be scientific realities. Living in accordance with one’s gender identity and choosing one’s spouse are basic human rights. In my opinion, if the Church that serves both God and humankind is to be faithful to the Gospel’s teachings of unconditional love and acceptance, it cannot stand behind societal prejudices or discriminate among believers in matters of their human rights. Prejudices create impersonal categories in order to make us forget that behind each label, there are sensitive and honorable human beings, longing for happiness and fulfillment, who are also God’s children.
Like my responsible fellow citizens, I worry about societal phenomena that endanger our ideals of marriage and the lives of families. However, I do not consider minority gender identities or sexual orientations a source of these dangers. The foundation of marriage is mutual love and commitment, and the right to it belongs to every human being.
Dávid Gyerő, Deputy Bishop
Hungarian Unitarian Church
Kolozsvár, February 5, 2016