Robert Voorheis says he knew the instant he saw his partner of 23 years that it was a match meant to be.

"I saw him across the room and that was it," Voorheis says of his partner, Michael Sabatino. A year later in 1979, the two walked down the aisle of Washington Square Methodist Church in New York City after a commitment ceremony that included Gospel readings, hymns, and the Lord's Prayer.

Voorheis and Sabatino say they are pioneers in a movement that seeks equal recognition and legal rights for same-sex couples who want to wed. Both gay-marriage advocates and traditional marriage activists are stepping up their activity in courtrooms and statehouses across the county.

In July, for example, two lesbians living in Massachusetts became the first American couple to travel to the Netherlands to avail themselves of that nation's new homosexual marriage law. The couple is expected to seek recognition in Massachusetts courts.

Also in July, conservative forces began a new phase of the struggle against gay marriage when the Alliance for Marriage, a nonprofit educational organization, proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The proposed Federal Marriage Amendment is backed by a racially and religiously diverse coalition that includes Catholic Richard Neuhaus, Baptist Rich Cizik, and Muslim Aly Abu Zaakah, among 40 others.

"[Homosexual marriage] is a direct attack on the family as an institution," says Bishop George McKinney of the Church of God in Christ, one of the nation's largest African-American denominations. "The idea that marriage can be redefined because some people choose to live a different lifestyle is, in my opinion, utter foolishness."

The proposed amendment states: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

June
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
From Issue:
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
Fraud: Greater Ministries Leaders Get Lengthy Prison Terms Subscriber Access Only
After taking in 18,000 Christians with gifting program, five leaders convicted.
RecommendedUnderstanding the Transgender Phenomenon
Understanding the Transgender PhenomenonSubscriber Access Only
The leading Christian scholar on gender dysphoria defines the terms—and gives the church a way forward.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickSasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
Ben Sasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
The Nebraska senator wants parents to get serious about shepherding kids into responsible adulthood.
Christianity Today
Marriage: Defining Marriage
hide thisOctober 1 October 1

In the Magazine

October 1, 2001

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.