June 24th, 2010
09:27 AM ET

Woman sues church over gay marriage

Years before the nation's capital legalized same-sex marriage in March, one church in Washington, D.C., opened its doors to gay couples as part of its mission to establish an "inclusive body of Biblical believers."

Pastors Christine and Dennis Wiley performed a 2007 commitment ceremony at their altar.  That action split the historically black church, prompting half of the congregation to leave.

Yvonne Moore not only left Covenant Baptist, where she had worshipped for nearly 40 years: she filed a lawsuit for her weekly tithes because, as she said, "They didn't respect the members enough to listen to us."

Moore said she attended the 2007 commitment ceremony and found it "totally disgusting."

"I don't believe in that, I'm southern Baptist," Moore told CNN's Soledad O'Brien.  "The bible speaks against that. You cannot take that in the church."

So she sued the church for a portion of the estimated $250,000 that she estimates she had paid in weekly donations over the past 37 years.

Read how race and ethnicity can be a challenge to gay acceptance

Moore's now former pastors believe that gay rights are a natural extension of the black Civil Rights movement.

"I don't think we as a people have a lock on civil rights," Pastor Dennis Wiley said.

The struggle for civil rights is something that Moore can relate to:  Growing up in Florida, she said she was one of the first blacks to eat at a lunch counter in her hometown.

But she is still on the fence about comparing her situation, as an African-American, to that of the gay community.  She said Dennis Wiley asked her to consider the situation of her friend, who is gay.

"Dennis asked me ... 'How do you feel the way you were treated and just think about the way he was treated.'  And I was like, 'Oh, OK,'" Moore said.

She later dropped her lawsuit, but has not returned to the church.

Editor's note:  CNN's Soledad O'Brien follows a same-sex couple in their struggle against the legal and personal obstacles to become parents. Can these men achieve a life as mainstream as their parents? Watch "Gary and Tony Have a Baby," 8 p.m. ET Thursday.

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Gay marriage

soundoff (342 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Once again, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Psychologists have reviewed the topic. I have the referencea but for some reason the moderators will not allow it. Very strange!! Google or Bing both groups adding the topic words since even s– words are blog-forbidden

    June 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  2. JohnQuest

    I don't recall reading any account of ZEUS's death. People over the years have decided that they no longer needed ZEUS to get along. What is the difference between the GOD you believe in and ZEUS. They were both actively involved in the lives of those that believed in them, the need for people to worship them, angry, and love, and not surprisingly every other emotion man has. I don't want to sound like I think you are wrong for your beliefs, I am just trying to understand why you believe them.

    June 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      ZEUS was just a mortal man born as a human being like you and I. God, in the other hand, is not mortal and is not a human being.

      June 26, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  3. JohnQuest

    I am still confused, do Christians believe in Zeus or in any of the other GOD's that came and went over the century's? If there is and has always been only one GOD then anyone who has ever worshiped a deity were by default worshiping the same GOD. If you say the you do not believe in any other GOD's (ZEUS, SATAN, for instance) by default you can't really believe in any GOD since they are all the same GOD.

    June 26, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Thousands of years ago many people believed in a god named Zeus. He was considered to be the god of the sky and weather and his image appeared on most Greek coins. The people of Greece worshipped this idol as their god. Zeus became one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
      Zeus, the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea, he was the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and of the Pantheon of gods who resided there. Being the supreme ruler he upheld law, justice and morals, and this made him the spiritual leader of both gods and men. Zeus was a celestial god, and originally worshiped as a weather god by the Greek tribes.

      Who is Jesus Christ? Is Yeshua (Hebrew for “Jesus”) really the promised Messiah of Israel (Hebrew for “Christ”) of the Old Testament?” Is Jesus Christ truly the Son of God … literally God Himself, the Divine living within human flesh? Were Jesus Christ’s claims that of a Liar or Lunatic … or is He really Lord of the universe?

      You may want to take a tour of some of the major highlights of Jesus’ life. Or you may want to preview what people were saying before Christ was born. Of course, you may want to check out Jesus’ claims about himself. Some may be interested in learning about the muscle Jesus exercised and the miracles he performed.

      Knowledgeable people will agree that Jesus Christ has made quite an impact on the world. You may even come to learn that Yeshua is indeed the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. If you prefer, you can take time to further investigate Jesus Christ’s claims in the New Testament.

      But after all is said and done, the key question for you is, “What does all this information about Jesus Christ have to do with my life?” Or, you may have other questions. The following describes how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ today, experience forgiveness of your sins, receive eternal life, and gain a whole new purpose for living.

      June 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      I forgot to add, Christians believe in the Living Son of God who is also God, the Great I AM, read John, chapter 1 from the Holy Bible.

      June 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      BTW, Zeus was just a selfish man that loved for others to adore him, but he is not dead, gone, burning in hell. Jesus Christ, in the other hand, died for the whole world's sin that we may not be lost, but have everlasting life in heaven with Him. He rosed on the 3rd day of His death and in the book of Acts, you will read that Jesus was ascended to heaven, as 2 Angels escorted Him back to His Father and now is at the right hand of God.

      June 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      HelsGod, the way Christians interpret the death of Jesus leaves me absolutely dumbfounded. I ask earlier and still have not received an answer. The core of Christian belief is that, GOD sacrificed himself to himself to save us from himself. I don't see how on any level this makes sense, the Bible does not explain it, it is just stated as an acceptable fact. Also, I find it hard to get past the concept of what you might call evil.

      June 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Okay, let’s see if I can explain it to you the best that I can. From the beginning of creation, it was the purpose of God for everything to be perfect, but sadly, through one man, Adam who was responsible as the head man, sin entered in the world that brought death to us all. Through out the history of the Old Testament, mankind became evil and no matter how much God spoke to them and disaster came against them, God's voice fell on deaf ears, as we see today. Well, God saw that many were dying in sin and the gates of Heaven were closed because of sin. Souls were being held in captivity by Satan, even souls that obeyed the voice of God, why? As I said, the gates of heaven were closed. Now, these people in hell were not burning, yet, they where held in cells. Seeing that God wanted to have us returned to Him, He found no man worthy to be a sacrifice for our sins, therefore, God the Father, sent His Son to be an ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Through Christ, LIFE entered into the world for the salvation of our souls and the Gates of Heaven were reopened. God wishes that no men be lost, but that they come into repentance and it is only through Christ that we can return back to God when we die. Now, the souls that were in captivity in hell back at the time, during the 3 days of Jesus death before He rose again, He set the captives free, but only the souls that were faithful to God, the rest, till this day are there, now burning. It is very sad that many people refuse to believe in God and mock Him, makes fun of Him. You know, as a person, when others do the same to us in our faces, our feelings can get hurt, and this saddens God because many are missing out in His True Love. Many unbelievers hate God and want to blame Him for everything bad thing that is going the world without realizing that SIN brings one disaster. There is no excuse for any of us for not knowing God. No one can prove to you or anyone that there is a God, only the Holy Spirit can do that, if you desire to know Him.

      June 26, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      I forgot to add the concept of what you might call evil"
      • Having qualities tending to injury and mischief; having a nature or properties which tend to badness; mischievous; not good; worthless or deleterious; poor; as, an evil beast; and evil plant; an evil crop.
      • Having or exhibiting bad moral qualities; morally corrupt; wicked; wrong; vicious; as, evil conduct, thoughts, heart, words, and the like.
      • Producing or threatening sorrow, distress, injury, or calamity; unpropitious; calamitous; as, evil tidings; evil arrows; evil days.
      • Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury; mischief; harm; - opposed to good.
      • Moral badness, or the deviation of a moral being from the principles of virtue imposed by conscience, or by the will of the Supreme Being, or by the principles of a lawful human authority; disposition to do wrong; moral offence; wickedness; depravity.

      June 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • steve88

      Things are immoral, because people agree on its value. Why break the golden rule for a man-made religion? (judaism, islam, christianity, hinduism, paganism,..) or its dogma (torah, koran, bible, hindu manuscripts, ...)

      June 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ steve88 – That’s the problem, man-made religion. Mankind are weak human beings, spiritually, who want to dominate others and was we have seen, religion has been such a discouragement to many people. This happens when mankind prefer to put their eyes and trust in men that are corrupted, evil, and deceiving. Christianity is not a religion, as you can see, Christ –ian, has the name of Christ. We are called Christians because we are followers of Christ. Men don’t have a golden rule. But Jesus Christ is the Golden Gate to heaven that many will not enter because they have chosen the road of destruction that leads to the path of eternal hell. All these religion you mention, are man-made. Those religions are the road of destruction. Christ is the ONLY WAY. There is no other name upon the face of this earth or in heaven that a man shall be saved except through the name of Jesus Christ. My personal experience with Christ, it has been to most beautiful relationship I have ever experience with Him, but for those that reject Him, not only will their souls be lost, they will never be able to experience the beauty of His presence on their lives.

      June 26, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ steve88 – I apologize, I meant to say, " Mankind are weak human beings, spiritually, who want to dominate others and we have seen that religion has been such a discouragement to many people."

      June 26, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
  4. ED

    read romans chapter 1 verses 27 thru 32
    this says it all

    June 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Eric G.

      The book is fiction. Your statement says you have no original thoughts on the topic.

      June 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      The Bible wasn't written for unbelievers, it was written to believers. All revelation is given from God. Period.

      Matthews 7:6 – "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

      June 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Christian stated:
      The Bible wasn't written for unbelievers, it was written to believers. All revelation is given from God. Period.

      I forgot to add Christian to my comment....THANKS CHRISTIAN!!!

      June 26, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  5. greg

    SODOMY is an abomination,i.e.,,, gross sin-you can try to talk your way around it,,, but God condemns it-Romans 1:18-32--–BUT, there is forgiveness if we agree w/ God about our sin and repent from it,,,1 John 1:8,9

    June 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • Eric G

      Your god said eating shellfish is a sin too. Stay away from Red Lobster.

      June 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ Eric G. – If you don't believe in God, why don't you just give up all of you $$ since it says, IN GOD WE TRUST?

      June 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  6. Jeremiah

    Wow. I live in Atlanta were there is a church on every street and i don't hate gay people. I wouldn't care if they legalized it here because it's not bothering me. SMH this woman is ugly anyway.lol

    June 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  7. JohnQuest

    Christian and Judy, Thank you both for your responses, the basic questions has not been answered (maybe there are no answers to them). I believe in religion, I just have no reason to believe that a GOD exists. Nothing in the entire human experience (at least as far as I know) has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that there ever was a GOD. A man named Jesus may have lived but that does not prove that he is GOD, I think he separated himself from GOD several times in the Bible. Judy, if my last post came out flippant please forgive me that was not my intention, I was attempting to point out how non-believers view the concepts in the Bible. And no when I am in pain or troubled by something I don’t blame my predicaments good or bad on anyone else, especially GOD.

    June 26, 2010 at 2:08 am |
  8. Judy

    If that is what a kook is, I am in on it. Try it, it will probably save you!

    June 26, 2010 at 1:15 am |
  9. Judy

    John Quest, I hear your question? I hear your sarcasm..... I say to you..... when you are in an accident, like a late night, no one around to help you, what name will you shout out? Do not say... " Oh God, please help me" He will not know your voice. But knowing the God I know, HE probably would be rite there for you! One never knows what will happen tomorrow. Maybe you should try talking to people that have had "a today miracle" God is in control, get to know him!

    June 25, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
  10. Christian

    JohnQuest the Bible wasn't written for unbelievers, it was written to believers.

    All revelation is given from God. Period.

    To try to answer your question (and I am no theologian), God is the beginning was Elohim the self existing one, the Creator, an object of worship (so did the angel Satin). Within Himself he had all attributes to express Himself. He wanted to be a Father, He wanted to be a Son, He wanted to be a Savior, Redeemer, etc. But he had to Create in order to express those attributes. Now Angels where a expression, and a part did descend, but the original ones had no sin. Thus God wanted to create man in his own image, and knew that man would fall, but had a way of escape (His Son) Thus the greatest love story was told, through this plan. I sincerely pray the Lord open your eyes, then you would be my brother from the foundations of the world, In His thoughts.

    June 25, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • Judy

      Christian, so well said! Thank you!

      June 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  11. Judy

    Why all the arguments? Do not bring into this issue rapists, or child molestors. That is a crime, a horrible act one never would ask for. Gay is against what the bible says, if you do believe the bible and what it holds for you, then that's your belief. I believe it, but I also believe in the part where the bible says, do no judge others. Non of this is our call. It does say in the bible to treat others well. I think God put no one here for no purpose. HE expects us to love like he does, and yes, He also expects us to share his Word! So we do, in a way pleasing to HIM. The only other thing is to pray for people if you think they are lost, talking about and bashing them is soi not Christian. I think God wanted a man to be with a woman, yes indeed, I also know HE wanted a man and wife to be faithful only to one another, so y is there divorce.? Cheating? The most unfaitful people I ever met ...... in a church, yet judged everyone else. I choose to not make God mad at me, by judging others when I am to be judged myself. I will be, so will we all. If you don't believe that, then that's your fate. I think all people deserve respect, no one said you have to like them, but God said to love them in a humanly, brotherly way. Do not violate others, respect them, no matter if you agree with them or not. If you do not, share your thoughts in a Godly way, not hurtful. God has this, we will all come to know................. I hope you will be on your knees with me! When the time comes, I only hope HE will allow me to be in front of HIM. I am the sinner no one discusses, because it is not political,

    June 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Judy

      oh, and though I am,, not gay, doesn't mean I don't like gay people, I am not black, hispanic, or asian, but I like all people. My grandchild is mixed, people that are good and kind deserve respect, people that are mean and can't accept differences, need help and prayer. As we all do! Thank God my parents never taught me differences in us all, only how to respect all people.

      June 25, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  12. God"s Child

    He is calling all SINNERS (that's every HUMAN born into this world). Each of US must give an account of ourself, no Man-Made Rights and Laws or being a Church member will SAVE YOU. GOD is the GIVER of ALL LIFE and the CREATOR of ALL CREATION, that's EVERYTHING. We, (Creation in his Divine Image-Man and Woman by God, but Re-named by Man-GAY or STRAIGHT), must OBEY the Will of GOD. Beleive in His Word, Repent, and be Saved. We are commission to believe in the Death, Ressurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, a Living Savior, God's Begotten Son and live a Life of Love and Holiness. What will YOUR account disclose on the Day of Judgement, where you will spend Eternity? Heaven or Hell

    June 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      God's Child, perhaps you can explain something to me, why GOD would sacrifice himself (Jesus) to himself (GOD) to save mankind from himself (GOD's wraith)? The idea of the Jesus (GOD) dying to save mankind from sin is a strange idea for us non believers, I'm sure you will agree.

      June 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  13. Nique

    Also I find a lot of non believers know alot about the BIble. My question is are you reading it to prove Christians wrong and searching for any little thing that doesn't make since or are you really searching for answers yourself b/c you desperately want something to believe in. My thing is you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Christians love to spread the word of God, but if you don't believr or not willing to listen with a open heart I could care less. I feel everyone should live their life how they see fit. They can get married no problem but as a Christian, if I am called to vote I can only vote based on what I believe so gays can't get mad at me. They believe it's ok, I don't agree. Church's can hold the ceremony I just would choose not to belong to that particular church. Again, all may not agree with me and you don't have to. I just find it quite childish that we resort to name calling just b/c someone doesn't see things the way you do. We can all give our opinions just don't expect everyone to agree with you and have respect for that. I have plenty gay friends, what they do is their business however, I will not celebrate their lifestyle and I will not judge it either. I happen to like them for who they are and could care less about who they choose to sleep with Do you.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  14. Nique

    What I fail to understand with non believers is that you all are always telling Christians to think. I'm college educated, I like to think I'm an analytical thinker so with that being said, belief in a higher power only makes since. Everything, everyone has a creator, a devine design. Nothing is placed on this earth or beyond it without someone who made it. If you look at your computer it didn't just appear out of thin air. Someone made it created it, just as someone made you. Your parents made you and their parents made them, so forth and so on. It all had to start somewhere. Some say we came from monkeys, fine if you believe that but the monkeys were created from another monkey so forth and so on. So the question is who or what said let their be monkeys?? If you look at the ocean, the stars the sky, the moon ect. man is not able to make those objects on his own. Then they say well it's science, you know.....matter, molecules and atoms. Ok, that's fine I can accept that. But then who or what is responsible for the molicules and the atoms. Again, objects don't just appear. Any logical thinker should know that. Everything and everyone has a creator and it's crazy to believe that you are the end all be all and that their is nothing greater than you out there. Man isn't responsible for the creation of the ocean and the sky. Someone said, "God never showed himself to them" I laugh at that because just walk outside. God it showing himself to you everyday, you just have to open your eyes and see. Again, man can't make any of that. Some just don't like to think that there is anything out there greater than them. They don't want rules to follow. Ask yourself, could you create the stars and the sky on your own?? My thought process is it's not hurting me at all to believe in a greater authority, infact it brings me great happiness b/c I never feel alone. So let's just say that I die and their is no God....cool b/c I can't be punished for believing in something that was never there, but on the flip side, let's say I die and I didn't believe.....Then I'm in a whole crap load of trouble. The way I see it I'm in a win win situation. I can't loose. Those that don't believe are rolling the dice. I will say this, I have heard many a story about non believers who have come to Christ. So the question is, if you didn't believe what had to happen to you to make you call on Jesus?? I find it funny that everyone, without being taught calls on Jesus or says of Christ or OH Lord weather they mean it or not, when they are in a shockingly bad situation. Why is that?? Some people say "oh well that's just something you say" I disagree. You don't have to be taught to say this, the name comes out in many different languages and the same thing Jesus in times of trouble. I find that very interesting. Belief is something people have to come into on their own. I don't care one way or the other, If you choose not to believe it is no skin off my back. Live your life as you see fit and I will do the same, it wont change my belief system..

    June 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • Steve

      Fine. The problem with many Christians (and other theistic religions) is that they try to force their beliefs on everyone else, no matter what they believe or don't believe. Believe what you want and follow your holy book, but don't force your beliefs on other people. What's so hard about that? Yet, that's all Christians ever did! From the very beginning on when they violently fought against older pagan religions in the Roman Empire. And that history of oppression and bloodshed continues until today.

      It's sickening and deeply disturbing how much political influence various sects and churches have over American politics. All under the cover of tax exemption, which they shouldn't have. Religion has no place in politics. Period. The US are a democratic republic. Not a theocracy.

      June 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Nique, that is a very well thought out statement. I do not disagree with your basic premise, the world (universe) is grand and special (to us at least). The problem I have is what makes you think a GOD made everything, if you are basing your beliefs on what you are observing and inferring from there that there must be a GOD because nothing could create itself that is a circular statement (who or what created GOD, who or what created whatever it was that created GOD) see where this leads. To say that nothing created GOD says that something can come from nothing if that is the case then the universes could have come nothing (at least nothing we know yet). We in the west are exposed to the concept of GOD and Jesus if we were living in Iraq we would be saying (Oh Allah). I do not want to infer that you are wrong for what you believe I am just trying to understand why and how reasonable people can believe something of this magnitude they can not prove, especially when they require proof for everything else in their lives big or small.

      June 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  15. Michelle

    ...Im pretty sure God would be down for people in love.....no matter who they are in love with... God made us all....and he doesnt make mistakes

    June 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  16. Lou

    Tax the church! Crazy should not be exempt.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  17. JohnQuest

    Thank you, the OT calls for a lot of actions why (or how to) pick and chose what to follow, for instance Christians do not follow the day of rest (Saturday), dietary restrictions, or the killing of disrespectful children. If all these thing (and a lot more) or considered antiquated (if not antiquated then why are they not being followed) then why not the concept of homosexuality being punishable?

    June 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  18. Cyberspice

    @CSH How do you cope with the contradictions in the bible. Which bits do you believe? Also do you follow Kosher doctrine?

    June 25, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • Sand

      What contradictions?

      June 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  19. Chuck

    The definition of a 'family' should be left up to a family. Not the courts, not the churches, not the media. I am pro-civil-union across the board. That includes so-called 'straight' couples. "Marriage" is a religious institution. A civil-union is a legal status. When I got married, I signed a document before the ceremony, which automatically made me legally locked to my wife. The ceremony was just that...a ceremony. If we took the legal value from the word 'marriage', this would settle a lot of issues. One could still have their little ceremony if they liked, but that would be no more binding than a 1st Communion. And when you think about it...that's a VERY pro-American way of looking at things. Oh, I also support polygamy. I don't think it should be up to anyone other than the individual as to how someone lives their life.

    June 25, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  20. CSH


    Christians believe in the WHOLE bible. However, the OT is apart of the old covenant. The New Testament embodies Jesus Christ coming back- most "recent. Sound doctrine.

    June 25, 2010 at 11:13 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.