A Santa Rosa minister
describes in today’s New York
Times the conflicts she faces in dealing with same-sex

The Rev. Kimberly A. Willis said about 10 percent of her
congregation at Christ Church United Methodist is gay. But she could be
defrocked by her church if she officiates at a same-sex marriage ceremony.

“I can bless a car, and I have,” she said. “I’ve been asked
to bless animals, children, homes, bread, grape juice, but I can’t bless a gay
and lesbian couple. That’s unreal to me.”

Some other ministers, of course, are adamantly opposed to
same-sex marriage and plan to campaign for an initiative on the November ballot
to write a ban into the state Constitution. And some want to avoid the
conflict altogether. Bishop Marc Handley Andrus of the Episcopal Diocese of
California – which covers the Bay Area but not Sonoma County
– is urging all couples, gay and straight, to get married in secular services
and then come to the church for a blessing.

— Jim Sweeney