John & Robert

Dear General Convention,

My husband Robert and I were raised Roman Catholic, and we had attended Catholic churches and been faithful members of church choirs for over twenty years. As we grew older, it became more apparent to us that the Roman Catholic church did not support us as a couple. We heard stories of gay Catholic spouses not being able to attend their spouse’s funeral or not being able to have a funeral for their spouse. So, when there was an opportunity to attend an independent Catholic church, we did. We became a part of that church, and they became our church family. We were also blessed with the opportunity to be married within this small community. That was an extremely happy day for us. At last, we were recognized as a family.

Unfortunately, our small church closed. We were heartbroken and felt lost as to how we could belong to a church as a family. After attending a NOH8 event there, we decided to visit Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration. Since attending Transfiguration, we have become part of this church family – but this was only because we were accepted and embraced as a couple, which makes all the difference. It is difficult to love when you are scared of “being found out,” as we were when we were in the Roman Catholic Church.

We have seen loving gay couples at Transfiguration unable to be married at their church nor with their church family present. We long for all couples to experience the immense joy we did when our church family surrounded us on our wedding day. Our church is diminished when God’s infinite and abiding love is not recognized in the faithful love of two people in marriage. As Robert and I begin our thirtieth year together, we recognize that there is still more to do until all our brothers and sisters are equally recognized in the church.

John Makowski and Robert Hacker