It is incredulous that legal, equal and civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and their families were not protected by either the Court or the electorate in a state within a country that is committed to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all of its citizens.
As people of faith and Christians committed to justice, equality and ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in both Church and society, while we lament the failure of the state court to maintain marriage equality in California, we are absolutely committed to continue our work for justice. Through PEP, the Presbyterian Equality Project, we will continue to work for marriage equality in civil society as we work for marriage equality within the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Marriage is an equal right, not a heterosexual privilege. We are grateful that a growing number of Christians and citizens are recognizing that love is not restricted by gender and that God’s gift of love is bestowed upon same gender loving couples in addition to opposite gender couples. Everyone has the right to be part of a family.
with hope and grace,
LOS ANGELES–Integrity joins with those around the nation who express profound disappointment in the California Supreme Court’s abdication of its responsibility to offer equal protection to all California citizens in today’s decision regarding Proposition 8.
“This morning we saw justice both denied and delayed,” said Integrity President Susan Russell. “Today’s ruling by the California Supreme Court does not just affect the lives of same-sex couples hoping to live happily ever after with the love of their life; it sets a terrible precedent that a simple majority of voters can relegate millions of citizens to second class status. Until ‘liberty and justice for all’ really means ‘all’ we are not yet the nation we are called to be and today was a sad step backward on that arc of history that generations of equality leaders have told us bends toward justice.”
Russell continued, “It is a decision that is not only antithetical to the core American values of liberty and justice for all, it flies in the face of the core Christian commitment to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is a decision that grieves the heart of God, violates core values of both our faith and our founding fathers, and puts the State of California on the wrong side of history on the issue of marriage equality. It is a decision that should not and will not stand.”
“As the mother of a son in uniform,” said Russell, “I find it deeply ironic that our Supreme Court would issue an opinion allowing discrimination to be written into our statutes the day after a national holiday dedicated to the memory of the brave men and women who have given their lives to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domesticto preserve for their fellow citizens the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
“Integrity will work, pray, and advocate for the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments within the Episcopal Church and work with our California Faith for Equality allies toward marriage equality in California as we continue our 35-year history of giving voice to the LGBT faithful within the Episcopal Church and from the church to the world.”
“My husband and I were married on Zuma Beach in Malibu on June 17, 2008, with our three children and a dozen close friends by our side. We cried our way through our vows, and sang James Taylor’s ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ with everyone who came to love and support us,” said Jeff Lutes, Soulforce Executive Director. “We are heartbroken for all those couples in California, and around the country, who have been denied the fundamental right to marry the person they love. But today’s ruling does absolutely nothing to weaken our resolve. We are more determined than ever – we will win full civil equality under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people – make no mistake about it. We must continue to expose and resist the direct link between religious dogma and the attack on our human rights.”
Freedom to Marry reacts:
“The California Supreme Court today failed to uphold the core principle of American constitutional government that a simple majority may not selectively vote away a fundamental right from a minority targeted for invidious, suspect reasons,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People’s Right to Marry. “It is now going to be up to the people of California to undo Prop 8’s discriminatory misstep through a ballot-measure in 2012 or sooner. The Prop 8 campaign is over; the campaign to restore the freedom to marry and remove this blemish on the constitution and cruel hardship on California’s gay couples and their families is now underway.”
The California Supreme Court ruling brings bitter news: Proposition 8 will stand.
We will work relentlessly, organizing communities of faith and other allies across the state, until Prop. 8 is repealed. It will take major resources to win — but the momentum of history is on our side.
While we take some solace that the loving couples who did marry in California will stay married, an estimated one million more individuals have been denied that dignity and right.
We are heartbroken. But we won’t back down.
And posts a video: