The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

89° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Campus religious groups split on same-sex marriage

Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildcat Mayor Jonathan Rothschild declares, “we have fights ahead of us, but today, the ice is broken,” during a celebratory Decision Day rally at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Friday, Oct. 17.

Arizona was part of a historical tide on Friday, becoming the 31st state to officially recognize same-sex marriage, and religious groups on campus are reacting.

The law went into effect on Friday after Attorney General Tom Horne announced he would not appeal a judge’s ruling striking down Arizona’s marriage restriction.

Joseph Moya, a biology freshman who practices Catholicism at the St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center at the University of Arizona, said he does not support the legalization of same-sex marriage.

“Marriage belongs only in churches and not in the public sector,” Moya said. “Marriage originated in churches; we should have a nice separation between church and state.”

The government should be completely left out of anything that has to do with marriage, Moya said.

Moya said he would be in support of a civil union system, such as what England uses for same-sex couples, in which a couple gets married through the court system.

“Marriage is a church thing,” Moya said. “It’s defined by the church, and it was originally made as an institution of the church, not of the government, so it should stay that way.”

Victoria Pereira, a freshman studying film and television production who also practices Catholicism, said she is happy Arizona now recognizes same-sex couples and their right to marry. Pereira, originally from New Jersey, said it is great that her home state and the state of her college both support it.

“Everyone should be able to be in love and get married,” Pereira said. “I have friends who are gay and bisexual. Them being able to one day get married to someone that they love is great.”

Joshua Mageau, a physiology sophomore, practices the Mormon religion under The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.For Mormons, marriage is defined by the document “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” 

The document states that “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

Mageau is not in support of same-sex marriage and said he believes it is a medical disorder.

“My personal views will always be that it is sinful and it is against God,” Mageau said. “We are a democracy, and I realize that what people want is what is going to pass in terms of the government and popular opinion.”

Rev. Beth Rambikur from First United Methodist Church of Tucson said their church is open, embracing and welcomes everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.

“This is a fantastic victory for justice, for the state of Arizona.” Rambikur said. “I am so excited for the couples in my church that will be impacted by this law, and excited for the state of Arizona, [which] has said that it’s willing to embrace all people as equals in this way.”

The United Methodist Church’s stance on the legalization of marriage is that all couples should be treated equally under the law, Rambikur said, but the United Methodist denomination holds the belief homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teachings.The First United Methodist Church has agreed to disagree with the denominational stance from the Book of Discipline under the Methodist church.

“First United Methodist Church is an open and embracing church that says all couples are welcome here,” Rambikur said. “We want everyone to come regardless of orientation. This church has declared itself as one of the many United Methodist Churches struggling with the discipline of the denomination.”

Rambikur said the legalization of same-sex marriage in Arizona will directly affect three couples that currently visit her church, as well as a number of other individuals in their community who will now be able to celebrate their partnerships with their significant others.

“It’s an exciting place for Arizona to be in, in general,” Rambikur said, “because it is the law saying these couples have the right to get married, to be seen as each other’s spouses, they can adopt children. … Those things are so essential, and I’m excited to see the state taking that stand.”


Follow Adriana Espinosa on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search