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Pennsylvania

Baptist church leads parade to celebrate ‘traditional’ matrimony

By J. Miles Layton| HeraldStandard.com, Uniontown, Pa.
Monday, November 5, 2012

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — More than a 100 people marched in a parade downtown to celebrate marriage Sunday in Uniontown.

“We are here to encourage people to stand up and support traditional marriage,” said Rev. Ewing Marrietta, pastor of the Liberty Baptist Church in North Union Township.

Joe Joseph, one of the parade’s organizers, said the parade is like any other honoring the public on special occasions.

“We are not here to protest against any certain groups or situations,” Joseph said.

Parade participants exit Main Street in Uniontown into a parking lot following a procession bringing attention to traditional marriage Sunday afternoon. The event was held by the Liberty Baptist Church in North Union Township.
Photo: Roberto M. Esquivel, HeraldStandard.com

Ewing quoted the Bible as saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman. He said God created the qualities that make a marriage so precious.

“We have couples here who have made it work,” Ewing said in praise of the three couples who have been married at least 50 years.

Lloyd and Anna Hamilton will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 15. Their baptism as culture warriors was inspired by an assault they see is aimed at traditional values. Moments after the parade started, the Hamiltons were inside their car as part of the procession heading down Main Street toward George Marshall Memorial Plaza. Sunday was the first time they had ever marched for a cause like this.

“We want to support traditional marriage,” Lloyd Hamilton said. “Our system of values is under attack.”

Anna Hamilton added, “Where does it stop? If we allow same sex marriage, then why not allow a person to marry an animal?”

Like many people who have been married a long time, Lloyd Hamilton finished his wife’s sentence by saying, “Once you open up Pandora’s box, where does it end?”

Lloyd Hamilton, who was raised in Dunbar, returned to Uniontown from Georgia to celebrate his brother Mark’s wedding to Dee on Saturday. The bride and groom chose to take a little time away from their honeymoon and march in the parade.

“We support the values of traditional marriage between a man and a woman,” said Mark Hamilton, 53, of Little Summit. “That’s what God intended.”

For the Hamilton family, this cause is about morals and Scripture.

Lloyd Hamilton said unlike now, times were different when he married his wife in 1962.

“When Anna and I were married, there was no question about what the definition of marriage was. It was pretty cut and dry,” he said.

Mark and Dee Hamilton will celebrate their official honeymoon in December in Branson, Mo.

“We got married because we love each other,” said Dee Hamilton, 54, after the parade.

Lloyd and Anna Hamilton said they are not against same sex people being happy and experiencing the same joy as other couples. However, they drew a line where personal freedom ends — that point where it affects society as a whole.

Lloyd Hamilton went one step further by saying he is not against men living with men or women living with women because that has been the way these couples have lived throughout history, but he does not think these couples should get married — as defined by Scripture and law.

Neither Lloyd nor Anna Hamilton said they “want society to accept as normal what is not normal.”

Some proponents of same-sex marriage contend that prohibiting this union of souls is comparable to Jim Crow laws of an earlier era that did not allow interracial marriage.

Anna Hamilton countered, “There is nothing in the Bible against interracial marriage, but there is Scripture against homosexuals.”

Her husband added, “This is not a civil rights issue, but a moral issue.”

Lloyd Hamilton went onto say that those who live this “lifestyle” are a minority who are forcing their beliefs onto the majority. Anna Hamilton condemned schools who promote an agenda where children are exposed to books that make homosexuality appear as “normal.” She said she remembers seeing a television commercial selling insurance where two men kissed or hugged each other.

“What does that have to do with selling insurance,” she asked.

Opinions on either side of this issue stir passions that sometimes threaten civil discourse.

Marrietta said prior to the parade, he received two threatening phone calls condemning in no uncertain words about what he and others like him represent.

The Hamiltons said they expected more people to be counter protesting the parade.

Lloyd Hamilton smiled as he said, “I thought we might get egged.”

Instead, the Hamiltons said they saw only one person holding up a poster in support of same sex marriage.

Temperatures were in the low 40s, but an icy wind blasted through downtown to make things much colder.

“Perhaps the weather had something to do with turnout,” Anna Hamilton said.

Marrietta said parade participants were asked not to carry banners or signs saying negative things.

Lloyd Hamilton remembered a boy whose last name was “Queer” during his days teaching at a school in Latrobe.

“I felt sorry for that boy because he was always picked on,” he said.

Lloyd Hamilton said though the boy was not one of his students, the memory of that boy’s abuse from his peers because of his last name made him remark how important it is for people to treat each other with dignity and respect.

Lloyd Hamilton does not have his head buried in the sand when it comes to homosexuality. Hamilton said he realizes that the country — no matter where a person stands of gay marriage — has to come to grips with these issues because they affect everyone sooner or later.

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19 more reader comments:

  1. only over 100? ~looks at LGBT parades~ we win!

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:01pm
  2. They seem to have a lot of free time

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:04pm
  3. So did they bring all their concubines and brother’s wives?

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:05pm
  4. ITS CIVIL MARRIAGE!!!!!!! IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR BIGOTED CHURCH AND RELIGION!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:06pm
  5. They can celebrate traditional marriage all they want as long as they don’t take away other people’s right to marry who they want.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:13pm
  6. Same tired old arguments!

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:13pm
  7. Nobody is saying that the bond between a man and a woman isn’t one of God’s wonderful creations. Everyone, even LGBT folks have a mother and a father. Nothing can change that. We don’t want to turn the world upside down, G-d damn it! We don’t want to turn heterosexual people gay! We don’t want to turn men into women, and visa versa! We just want to marry the ones we love. What is so bad about that?!!

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:26pm
  8. funny how only a lil over a hundred showed for theirs yet thousands show for a pride march

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:27pm
  9. How in the hell does marriage equality have anything to do with anyone else life? Were talking about civil marriage, not religious marriage. Yes at one time I didn’t see a difference at all, but there is a difference. One has to do with being recognized by the government. The other has to do with being recognized by the church. I fully agree that the church shouldn’t have to do anything there strongly against. Good lord this is going to get even uglier before it’s ever over.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:33pm
  10. “We got married because we love each other,” said Dee Hamilton, 54, after the parade. Ok, then why not let everyone have that luxury? Regardless of orientation.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:36pm
  11. If you know a friend or family member in Maine, remind them to vote. Since Maine hasn’t been a “swing state,” it hasn’t received as much push as elsewhere. Some voters may stay at home. Here’s my “Memo” to Maine voters: The Portsmouth Herald
    Sunday, November 4, 2012
    Toward Higher Ideals
    By Jim Splaine
    Maine Can Join N.H. In Equality

    In recent months, I and many others have visited residents of Maine at their homes and places of business, urging that they join the people of New Hampshire in adopting marriage equality for their gay and lesbian citizens.

    I always knew it was a beautiful state, but having hundreds of personal conversations with many of its citizens has shown me how beautiful the people are too.

    As a lifelong resident of New Hampshire, a place I have called “home” for 65 years, there are many reasons for me to be proud. We have a wonderful and diverse environment, from our ocean to our lakes to our mountains. And while sometimes we differ, we always come down on the side of fairness and equality for each other.

    Both Maine and my home state are alike in many ways. We have clean air, and roads not too heavily traveled compared with those elsewhere. Our small towns and even our larger cities are not too congested, and in most places people know their neighbors and we feel safe in our homes and on our streets.

    In our corner of this great nation, it seems fitting that given the diversity of our history and our people, we would extend to our gay and lesbian citizens the right to marry the special person in their lives, and to share their love and caring together as a marriage that has the same rights, responsibilities and obligations legally given to differently gendered couples.

    I have always believed that there is nothing on this planet more important than the way we treat one another. Treating each other fairly and equally, with respect and appreciation, can go a long way toward eliminating so many problems in our world.

    In the New Hampshire fight for marriage equality, I was in the middle of the battle as much as anyone, since I sponsored that bill in 2009, and the civil unions law two years before that. I saw first hand and too up-close-and-personal the hateful comments and myths presented by our opponents. In recent weeks and months, there have been disgusting television commercials and mailings in Maine against equality. Fear sells.

    But why fear? In New Hampshire, we won marriage equality by showing our faces and telling our stories; stories that showed that we’re just like everyone else. Just like anyone else. And that we’re all in this adventure of life together.
    As of this week, there have been 2,175 same-gender marriages in New Hampshire. More and more weddings have been celebrated every week since gay marriage became effective in January 2010. People coming together to share their love and caring. That’s a wonderful thing.

    Maine residents have an opportunity to make those inspiring words that are part of our Pledge of Allegiance, “…with liberty and justice for all…;” even more of an American reality. Maine and New Hampshire can join together to say that in this part of our great nation, we want to leave to our children a society based on acceptance of one another so that we can celebrate what unites us as humans, rather than that which divides us.

    Being cheerleaders for one another’s success and happiness is probably the greatest contribution for the future any of us can make. There’s room for all of us on this planet. And love and acceptance beats hate and intolerance. Always.

    Jim Splaine is a former longtime Democratic state representative, state senator and assistant mayor from Portsmouth. His political column appears every other week in Seacoast Sunday and on Seacoastonline.com.

    Portsmouth, NH Patch’s “Across The River, Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Op/Ed: Memo To Maine: Equality Is Always Okay
    By Jim Splaine

    In the continuing march for equality, Americans have always done the right thing. Whether it be the fight of workers and unions in the late 1800s, the cause of women earning the right to vote in the early 1900s, or the struggle for civil rights in the middle of the 20th Century, Americans have always eventually come down on the side of equality and fairness.

    It’s not exclusive to Americans, of course, but it seems to be imbedded in our spirit. It’s never easy, but in the end those fighting for equality win. And history will record their successes well.

    I’ve had the opportunity along with many others during the past several months to meet Maine residents door-to-door and at their work, having personal conversations with many of its citizens to encourage that they join the people of New Hampshire in adopting marriage equality for their gay and lesbian friends and neighbors, co-workers and family members.
    Only a few states have granted marriage equality for all of their residents. In the successful New Hampshire fight, I was in the center of the battle as much as anyone, since I sponsored that bill in 2009, and the civil unions law two years before that. I saw what now Maine residents are seeing on their television sets and at their mailboxes — the hateful comments and deceitful myths presented by opponents of equality.

    As we know, fear sells. But fear never wins out. Not for long, anyway. In New Hampshire, we won marriage equality by showing our faces and telling our stories; stories that showed that we’re just like everyone else. Just like anyone else.

    And that we’re all in this adventure of life together. In our state, as of this week there have been 2,175 same-gender marriages — with more and more weddings every week since gay marriage became effective in January, 2010. That’s a wonderful thing: people coming together to share their love and caring. Why should anyone ever fear that? The final words of our Pledge of Allegiance, “…with liberty and justice for all…” are bold expectations. Those words challenge us to be better than sometimes we are.

    The citizens of Maine this Tuesday have the chance to make those inspiring words even more of an American reality for all of their residents. And by doing so, Maine will join New Hampshire in making this corner of the United States very special for all of us. We will be leaving to our children a society more based on acceptance of one another so that we can celebrate what unites us as humans, rather than that which divides us. We should be cheerleaders for each other’s success and happiness.

    That is probably the greatest contribution for our tomorrows that any of us can make. Love and acceptance defeats hate and intolerance every time. There’s room for all of us on this planet.

    Jim Splaine of Portsmouth is a former NH State Senator and Representative, and sponsored the state’s gay marriage law in 2009, and the civil unions law in 2007.
    About this column: A weekly feature devoted to news and events happening in Kittery, Maine.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:45pm
  12. A Hundred Bigot March!

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 4:05pm
  13. Shouldnt they be celebrating traditional divorce????

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 4:34pm
  14. They make me sick What they do behind orthers backs is sick They are BIGOTS

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 4:41pm
  15. this is why I’m not a Christian.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 4:57pm
  16. We shouldve all showed up in tuxes, tiaras and some rare tolerance for them to partake.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 5:09pm
  17. reading about closed minded jerks like that just puts me in a bad mood. Just a bad mood.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 5:26pm
  18. Good point bill

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 5:28pm
  19. I can’t stand that they use the word “Traditional”… “Traditional”, for most of human history, has been a contract between a Father and a potential husband… An exchange of the woman and possibly a dowry in exchange for a political alliance or other type of debt to be paid to the woman’s family at a later time… For all of that husband’s multiple wives since most of human history was spent watching wives die in childbirth and something as simple as doing the laundry and cooking the meals took a staff of people all day…

    “Tradition” in the Judea-Christian Sense doesn’t exist for most people until the 1800′s… And even then, mistresses and prostitution was the norm for the good, Christian Husband.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:07pm