Two California pastors have found a perfect way to rally against the state supreme court’s decision to uphold Prop. 8 -- they won’t be officiating any heterosexual marriages at their churches.
The Reverend Art Cribbs of San Marino Congregational Church and the Reverend Anne Cohen of the First Congregational Church in Glendale have both said they will not be performing wedding ceremonies of any kind until the ban on same-sex marriage is lifted.
The two are expected to hold a press conference Friday afternoon to discuss their decision.
And here are some photos from that press conference -- held at the Pasadena Court House (just about a block from my desk here at All Saints Church) just a few minutes ago:
A good media turnout ... everything from The Pasadena Weekly to CNN.
The Reverend Art Cribbs ...
And me ... doing the "standing in solidarity" with thing. (Note former ASC Senior Warden Bob Long in the background there ... what a trooper!)
Declining to officiate at opposite sex weddings is NOT the position All Saints Church has taken in response to Proposition 8. We are continuing to offer sacramental equality to all our couples while working to achieve civil equality with our justice allies through our work with California Faith for Equality.
And it was a tremendous privilege to stand today in solidarity with courageous clergy who have made another choice, modeling exactly what I think we're talking about when we talk out valuing both freedom of religion and freedom from religion.
We reject the right of anyone to write their theology in our constitution because we are a nation that values freedom from religion in our foundational value of separating church and state. We are also -- thankfully -- free as citizens of this great nation to make the decisions our conscience dictate about who we choose to marry (or not!) within our respective faith traditions BECAUSE of the freedom of religion that is also a foundational American value. And so I applaud the choice that Art and Anne made so publicly today.
From the statement read today by the Reverend Art Cribbs:
In the aftermath of our state’s highest court ruling to ban same-sex marriage, it is my personal and painful decision to no longer perform weddings in the State of California until discrimination against same-sex couples is ended. This decision does not come without sacrifice, but it is necessary for the ministry to have any integrity, I must stand in solidarity with men, women and families who suffer and are unjustly hurt because of discrimination now protected by Proposition 8.
Our State Constitution is a document that protects the rights of all citizens and increases the civil liberties of the people of California. This week, the stain of shame marred our State Constitution and the California Supreme Court failed to protect a vulnerable minority from the tyranny of the majority. I will not conduct another wedding in California until this wrong has been corrected.
It is love that has been put on trial. It is love that suffers the fate of injustice. It is love that stands in the glare of malicious assault. In sacred covenant, loving couples share their love openly as a reminder of God’s love for us. Those whom God has joined together let no one separate. Not even the California Supreme Court or the vote of the majority who dare to rein tyranny on a minority.
And let the people say, AMEN!
UPDATE: News report from the Pasadena Star News.