A church near Buenos Aires, Argentina, in early October became what is likely the first Mennonite congregation in that country to bless a same-sex wedding.
Jorgelina Ganim and Romina Ocanto, members of Comunidad Anabautista Menonita de Olavarría, were married Oct. 6 in the church building the congregation shares with a Lutheran congregation.
Pastor Pedro Cazola said the congregation grew to embrace diversity and inclusion as it became aware of the struggles of excluded minorities.
“Today we work in many neighborhoods of the city, accompanying women who suffer gender violence and people living on the streets and facing various addictions,” he said.
Local media reported on the wedding because it was the city’s first same-sex ceremony.
Cazola could not say for certain whether the ceremony was a first for all Mennonites across Argentina, but it is the first such union among a cluster of progressive Anabaptist congregations around Buenos Aires.
Comunidad Anabautista Menonita is independent after previously being part of Iglesia Evangelica Menonita Argentina, a conference that counted about 2,345 members in 79 congregations in 2020.
The congregation joined IEMA in 2001 but was disaffiliated, along with other Mennonite congregations, by IEMA leaders four years ago for taking progressive positions.
“We have formed a space of fraternal support and solidarity among six Mennonite churches,” Cazola said. “We plan to strengthen the group and move forward in that direction.”