Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chaplain forced to resign for non religious officating at relatives gay marriage

Spectrum has an interesting article here:

"On November 26, the Chesapeake Conference issued a press release stating that Highland View Academy had placed Hadley on administrative leave for an unspecified length of time “because Chaplain Hadley participated in a same-sex ceremony, signed the marriage license as the officiant, and misrepresented his role when asked about it—calling into question his ability to serve as the spiritual leader of our school.”

In an email of clarification, a spokesperson for the conference stated that while Hadley admitted participating in a dinner, he denied attending a wedding ceremony or officiating one.
I think that second line was put in to make people think that the Chaplain lied to the conference. Though  it would seem to me if you did not do a religious ceremony, you are not really officiating. Signing the marriage license as  a government authorized signatory does not strike me as officiating. Certainly not when discussing with church officials. I would think if he was officiating as an SDA Pastor he would be expected to have counseled and put in some form of religion into the ceremony.

That is really the only thing that possibly bothers me and might give the conference some credibility for their action. But it seems too much of a gray area to support the conference actions. I can't imagine what kind of negative publicity this kind of action against a man's actions at his gay step-daughters wedding will be. Obviously I think it will be negative and I am helping to publicize the inappropriate actions of the conference.

There seems to be an extreme authoritarianism going on in the SDA church and it is not a very pretty picture for the church.

According to Washington State law here are the following requirements to solemize the marriage, notice officiating is not necessary per the law.

RCW 26.04.050

Who may solemnize.

The following named officers and persons, active or retired, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriages, to wit: Justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of appeals, judges of the superior courts, supreme court commissioners, court of appeals commissioners, superior court commissioners, any regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization, and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction as defined in RCW 3.02.010.

[2012 c 3 § 4 (Referendum Measure No. 74, approved November 6, 2012); 2007 c 29 § 1; 1987 c 291 § 1; 1984 c 258 § 95; 1983 c 186 § 1; 1971 c 81 § 69; 1913 c 35 § 1; 1890 p 98 § 1; 1883 p 43 § 1; Code 1881 § 2382; 1866 p 82 § 4; 1854 p 404 § 4; RRS § 8441.]


     Notice -- 2012 c 3: See note following RCW 26.04.010.     Court Improvement Act of 1984 -- Effective dates -- Severability -- Short title -- 1984 c 258: See notes following RCW 3.30.010.