Faith leaders discuss decisions to marry same-sex couples — or not

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Provided the U.S. Supreme Court does not step in to prevent same-sex marriages in Virginia, couples can marry Thursday, August 21.

A Richmond couple, who legally married in D.C., is anxiously waiting for the court to recognize their civil union in the Commonwealth, for many reasons.

"We are being discriminated against in a state that we love," said Suzi Weaver, who marred Melissa Powell.

And that’s exactly why Minister Joyce Fisher Pierce chose to perform unofficial sacred ceremonies for same sex couples at Unity Christ Church of Bon Air.

"I feel that they're in love with each other,” said Pierce, “and I feel that whoever blocks love is making an error.

Not everyone’s beliefs are cut from the same cloth. Area clergy are divided over performing any same-sex ceremonies.

"I don't hate same sex marriage,” said Pastor Joe Ellison, the Executive Director of the Virginia Christian Alliance. “I just don't agree with it.”

Pastor Ellison named his faith as the reason why he wouldn't perform a marriage for a same-sex couple.

"I believe that any pastor men or women who hold Christian credentials, that perform same sex marriage, should be ousted or they should be suspended," said Pastor Ellison.

Suzi and Melissa countered, and said that faith is what helped them through a tough time.

"We're a couple just like any other couple and we have weathered a huge storm," Powell said.

August marks a year since Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer.

But getting treatment has taken an emotional and financial toll on the couple and their two young daughters.

"We've had to pay extensively out of pocket for care,” said Powell. “If we were allowed the same opportunities that coverage would've been there.”

"It wasn't until this happened that I kind of remembered,” Weaver said. “Oh yeah, we are not treated equally.”

Now, they believe the court will rule in their favor.

"We don't want to get too excited too fast,” though, said Powell.

"But ultimately, I don't think you can turn this back, now that it's out there," said Weaver.

According to researchers, states that allow same-sex marriages have lower divorce rates compared to heterosexual couples. They cited a 20% decrease, in some cases, based on age and education.



  • Shelly

    Go pastor Ellison. How could Joyce proclaim the gospel and be involved with this? Not sure what Bible she’s reading. She is using her own ideals and not God’s Word. The Bible says lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him!

  • Michele

    I cannot believe there is a divide amongst faith leaders about this on something so clear. Wow, the devil is always busy. The fight is fixed; we already have the victory! No weapon formed shall prosper! I can’t believe this Joyce woman. She should know better.

  • Johnnie G

    Huh…once it is legal it should not be an issue.
    But I understand, I was turned down when I was seeking a Clergy to perform at my 2nd marriage.
    First person bowed out as he did not support divorce.

  • Sveet Vred

    at the end of the video the reporter mentions a ‘positive impact’ on divorce rates in va if same gender marriages are allowed. so what? this is the most idiotic news reporting statement i’ve heard in a long time. it has absolutely NO, NONE, relevance to the story at all. i see they edited it out of the text story. this is a blaring example of liberal news media bias. just helping the radical extreme militant left agenda is what the media, including the news reports, do best. just makes me sick to watch.

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