Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Celebrating in the L.A. City Hall Rotunda

I had the honor of representing California Faith for Equality at the AFER hosted Prop 8 celebration in the rotunda of Loa Angeles City Hall. And yes, I was stoked to be in the speaker line-up with Mayor Villaraigosa, Rob Reiner, Dustin Lance Black, Gil Garcetti, Wendy Greuel, Bill Rosendahl and other luminary leaders.

[photo credit: Kristin Bedford]

Today's 9th Circuit Court decision is not just a victory for gay and lesbian couples in California – it is a victory for all Americans who believe that the liberty and justice for all in the pledge we teach our children really means ALL.

It is also a victory over those who erroneously believe that the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment gives them freedom to dictate those beliefs into the Constitution.

And make no mistake about it: There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the days to come from those in the marriage discrimination business about how their freedom of religion is being trampled on by today’s decision for equality. I don't have an app for that -- but I do have a Bible verse for that -- John 8:32 "the truth will set you free."

Because the truth is they are just as free today to decide for themselves whether God equally our marriages – what the 9th Circuit Court said today is that they are NOT free to decide whether the Constitution equally protects them.

The truth is a Roman Catholic priest is just as free to NOT marry a gay and lesbian couple as he is to NOT marry a divorced couple – and in my congregation – All Saints Pasadena – we can now get back to the business of offering equal pastoral care for ALL couple who come to us for the sacrament of marriage.

And the truth is for all the joy in today’s decision, let us not forget however that when I sign a marriage license for an opposite sex couple they immediately receive 1138 federally protected rights that the same sex couple next door don’t have – and won’t have until we Dump DOMA.

So tonight is a night for celebration -- and tomorrow is a day for mobilization as we continue to work to make justice roll down like waters -- until marriage equality is not just a goal but a reality in this city, this state and this nation. California Faith for Equality is committed to that goal as we work with our partners to support a Protect Marriage Movement that protects ALL marriages and Family Values that value ALL families.

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