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The issue of same-sex marriage has been a hot-button topic across the globe, as France recently  became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage. Twelve U.S. states have legalized same-sex marriage as well. During a recent episode of OWN’s “Super Soul Sunday”, Winfrey sat down for a discussion with Rev. Ed Bacon, author Elizabeth Lesser and author Mark Nepo to discuss the influence of same-sex marriage on the institution of marriage. During the discussion, the group pondered the question of whether same-sex marriage was damaging to the very institution of marriage. But according to Rev. Bacon, who has officiated several same-sex marriages, that notion is simply ridiculous. “It’s going to be enriched,” he states. “I’ve never had a straight couple come to me and say, ‘My marriage is in trouble because of a gay couple living next door.’ Rev. Bacon spoke about his congregation at All Saints Episcopal Church and explained that his followers, who are a mix of gay, straight and bisexual people, can teach parishioners about the power of solidarity among different communities. “One of my leaders said, ‘Where you stand on this [gay marriage] issue depends on where you sit on Sunday morning,’” Rev. Bacon said. “What he was saying was, he and his wife were sitting next to a gay couple. They’re worshiping together and their marriage is being enriched by this gay couple. So, exposure is one of the answers.” Lesser chimed in and added that “the institution of marriage is already in trouble, long before gays were getting married,” to which Winfrey responded, “Maybe the gay people can help it.” “I think they can!” Elizabeth responded. We’re glad that Winfrey, whose influence almost knows no bounds, is using her power to raise conversations about same-sex marriage and promote the idea of equality in both marriage and society as a whole. Because, as the panel explained, freedom shared among everyone could never damage any pillar of society, it can only enrich the lives of everyone in our culture.

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