Same sex marriage debate goes on in Mohawk Valley

By PAT BAILEY

(WKTV) - While the New York State Senate continues to stall on voting on a same sex marriage bill, the debate goes on in the Mohawk Valley.

Two local religious figures argue it's the bible that holds the answer as to whether or not gay marriage should be allowed in the state. One side says its all about how you interpret the book.

Reverend Barrett Lee of the First Presbyterian Church, in Boonville, says the bible is not black and white, and the way he interprets it, gay marriage should be allowed. Lee says his church has adapted to the times allowing for women to be ministers. The Presbyterian church still follows biblical writings , but so many are open to interpretation that they have adapted, said Lee.

"Yes in Leviticus Chapter 18 it does say if a man lies with a man, as he does with a woman then it is an abomination." said Lee. "It also says that eating shrimp is an abomination, it also says children who mouth off to their parents should be put to death."

Pastor Paul Bannister II, of the Lighthouse Baptist Church another denomination of Christianity, disagrees. Pastor Bannister II says his church also follows the bible but unlike Lee, he says what the bible has written in it is pretty cut and dry.

"This is a standard of morality, and morals aren't made just by people." said Bannister II. "If everybody decided to do what they wanted to do there is no limit in morality. Now the government is stepping in and telling us this is a religious belief, something god has established, that is wrong."

Bannister says he is upset with the issue being at the state level because there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. However, he is hopeful that if the bill passes his church would be exempt from having to perform such marriages.

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