While the pop-up chapel in Central Park will only be around for a limited time, the Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish will be offering free weddings for LGBT couples for the entire year. After EV Grieve pointed out the just-posted sign advertising the deal this morning, we spoke to Pastor Phil Trzynka to find out more about his plans.
Trzynka explained that he decided to undertake this project over the weekend, after watching the State Senate deliberations over the bill, which included voting on a religious exemption amendment that protected religious organizations from legal action if they did not want to perform same-sex weddings.
Throughout the process he said kept hearing that “the church was trying to carve out its right to be able to discriminate,” but not that certain Christian denominations had no desire to do so. Knowing that many people would not make that distinction, he wanted to show an alternate viewpoint.
“There are people within the church who say we support this, and we want to encourage GLBT, if they wish, to to get married,” he said.
As soon as licenses become available he will start providing the free services, which usually cost $500, and will continue to do so until June 2012. Gay couples, like straight couples paying for their weddings, will have to participate in counseling, which is to let Trzynka know that the decision to wed is one that has been well thought out.
Trzynka posted the sign last night, and has yet to hear from any inquiring lovebirds.
“I can’t do the weddings for the world, but I can do them for the people that are somehow in this area and have a desire to want to be married,” he said.