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Q&A: Homosexuality, Gay Marriage & The Bible

Richfield Patch talks with Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis, a Richfield resident and openly gay member of the clergy.

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.

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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."

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To see the full story on Dr. Robyn Provis and her spouse Kathy Luebbe, see our article.

Kevin Chavis August 06, 2012 at 03:24 AM
God also apparently hates shrimp. Why not ban that as well with this amendment? www.godhatesshrimp.com Either follow all the laws and enact a Christian Sharia or allow people the actual freedoms that they deserve, whether or not they are Christian. Like native Minnesotan Hubert Humphrey, I believe people deserve more freedom and equality - not less. These are Minnesotan values we can affirm - not the hatred emanating from the deep south.
Candace Oathout August 06, 2012 at 04:37 AM
I, too, have studied science. Basic anatomy demonstrates what is wrong with homosexuality. The biological structures that determine sexuality are uniquely formed to create both pleasure and procreation. A society that functions based upon homosexual relationships will inevitably dwindle due to the physical attributes of the human body. two males or two females of the human species can not, in truly committed relationships, reproduce naturally. Referencing the age of the earth and opinions about evolution are simply red herrings. Humans learn primarily through experience and tend to follow behaviors that are modeled for them. Children need a mother and father who provide positive role models. Long term committed opposite sex relationships provide that. The idea that males are only useful as sperm donors contradicts behavioral science.
Thomas Johnson August 07, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Jesus Himself Condemns Divorce. He never said anythign agains Homosexuality. So if some are basing their motivation against Homosexuals on Biblical teachings, why do they also not try to introduce legislation again Divorce. It would only be consistient with thier message. Again 1/2 of established Churches do Not condemn Homosexuality so you cannot say this is a Christian value. Also there are far more people who abuse/neglect their children and dont pay their child support than there are Homosexuals. These actions actually do break down the family system and are against family values. Why arent these issues rising to the top of the Religious Right? It would make more sense.
Donald Lee August 08, 2012 at 05:17 AM
I hope no one mistakes this as a news article, or an interview with an actual authority on scriptural interpretation. The woman being interviewed is hardly unbiased. This is interesting opinion from a highly partisan source, nothing more. As an aside, homosexual unions are not simply about "loving, committed couples". Two sisters, or a mother and daughter are a "loving, committed couple". A homosexual couple seeking "marriage" means something quite specific.
Ian September 28, 2012 at 12:26 AM
What does LEGAL marriage have to do with RELIGIOUS marriage? Please separate State/Country from Church. "In God We Trust" was added during the Cold War.... just reminding those that think of that as their first example.

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