Thursday, May 15, 2008

Courage in California

In case you haven’t heard this secular version of “The Good News”….the Supreme Court in California has overturned the ban on gay marriage! With the Episcopal Church planning its General Convention in southern California next summer, I will be interested to see what the leaders of our faith will do about sanctioning priests to marry same-sex couples. I’ll also be interested to see how this news plays out over the next several weeks here in Florida, where the Roman Catholic Church and others are in hot pursuit of a constitutional amendment banning not only “gay marriage”, but any “substantial equivalent thereof”.

Meanwhile, California Episcopalians, both straight and gay, have cause to celebrate. Blessings to all in the Golden Gate State!

Statement from the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus
Episcopal Bishop of California:

I welcome the ruling of the California Supreme Court affirming the fundamental right of all people to marry and establish a family.

All children of God should be afforded the same rights under the law, and this decision recognizes that all Californians, regardless of sexual orientation, have equal access to one of our fundamental human institutions.

This decision gives our church another opportunity to partner with our state to ensure that all families have the support they need to build relationships that strengthen our communities, state and country.

Jesus tried to free his disciples from a narrow definition of what it means to be his follower. In Matthew 10:42, Jesus says “whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward. God affirms the good in the world outside the boundaries of religious creeds and dogmas. In this spirit, we also affirm and rejoice in this decision by the California Supreme Court precisely because we are Christians.

Clearly, this momentous decision will have ecclesial implications for the Episcopal Diocese of California. I intend to be in prayerful consultation with the people of our diocese to see how we can use this decision to strengthen our support of our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers, and our witness to God’s inclusive love. The Diocese of California will issue an appropriate statement in due course.

From Integrity President, Rev. Susan Russell:

Integrity applauds the California Supreme Court for ruling today that it is unconstitutional to bar same-gender couples from marriage.

"The California Supreme Court today ruled in favor of marriage and against bigotry," said the Reverend Susan Russell, President of Integrity. "Integrity is proud to have signed the interfaith amicus brief that helped influence this decision, which we celebrate as a giant step closer to "liberty and justice for all."

Russell continued, "In 1976 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed a resolution expressing its conviction that 'homosexual persons' are entitled to equal protection of the laws with all other citizens. We applaud those who are working hard at the state and national levels to make that equal protection not just a resolution but a reality and we salute today's decision as a huge step forward toward that goal."

"As we rejoice in this movement forward on civil marriage equality, Integrity is working hard as to move the Episcopal Church forward on sacramental marriage equality," concluded Russell. "Although same-gender blessings are permitted by the Episcopal Church and are performed in a many dioceses and parishes, we believe the time has come for an official rite for blessing same-gender couples. Committed to the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments, we will be asking General Convention to authorize such a rite a year from now in Anaheim."

Go forth in peace to love!

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
his the scepter, his the throne
Alleluia! His the triumph,
his the victory alone;
Hark! The songs of peaceful
Zion thunder like a mighty flood;
Jesus out of every nation
hath redeemed us by his blood.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's pretty wonderful and it is what Sam Thoron and Jody were waiting for. However, the crazies are trying to put through a change in the CA constitution but I bet it doesn't pass.