Meet Misty Sayoko Irons: straight, mother of three, devout Christian, homeschooler, married to a former pastor, and resident of California. Mrs. Irons received a B.A. from UCLA in 1990 and a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Westminster Seminary California, in 1996, has all the credentials of a highly intelligent, highly respected member of her Calvinist church community.
And then Misty met Gregg and Joel. I strongly encourage you to read the short piece she wrote about meeting the gay couple who moved into the apartment across from hers in the fall of 1997. I almost wept when I read it last night. Misty describes being deeply convicted of her bigotry and misunderstandings through her interactions with the gay couple across the hall.
She began to read a lot of literature on homosexuality, both from the gay perspective and the Christian establishment perspective. Although her conviction on the morality of homosexuality never changed, her understanding of the issues involved deepened considerably.
In February 2002, Misty wrote an essay called "A Conservative Christian Case for Civil Same-Sex Marriage" and posted it to her blog. The document was discovered by someone in her denomination, touching off a controversy that spread not only throughout her home denomination, but several other Reformed (Calvinist) denominations as well. As a result, from March 2002 to April 2003 she was repeatedly threatened with church discipline if she did not comply with shutting down her blog.
In the end, she never did shut down her blog and charges never were brought against her. Her husband however, an ordained minister, was brought to trial in church courts on two charges. In January 2003 one of the charges against him was upheld in court (his subsequent appeal in June 2003 was denied), resulting in him being indefinitely suspended from the ministry. The couple left the denomination in October 2003 and ended up dissolving their congregation in December 2003. Her husband is presently pursuing an academic career in New Testament studies.
Folks, as much as anyone I know, I think Misty "gets it." I'm so impressed with this woman.
I encourage you to check out her blog, especially her stirring piece about Gregg and Joel.
Hat tip: Eugene at Paradoxy