Epsicopal Bishop of California "welcomes, affirms and rejoices" in today’s Gay marriage ruling by the California State Supreme Court
Posted on May 18, 2008
Filed Under Gay News Blog
The Episcopal Bishop of California “welcomes, affirms and rejoices” in today’s Gay marriage ruling by the California State Supreme Court. “I welcome the ruling of the California Supreme Court affirming the fundamental right of all people to marry and establish a family,” said The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus late today. He serves as the Episcopal Bishop of California, which covers the San Francisco bay area.
“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,” he said.
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,” Andrus said.
“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 bishop said. “The Diocese of California will issue an appropriate statement in due course.”
During a 2007 convention, clergy and lay leaders of the Diocese approved three rites endorsed by the Commission on Marriage and Blessing for use in blessing same gender couples. Prior to today’s court action, civil marriage was limited to heterosexual couples. Episcopal priests in the Diocese of California could bless same gender couples but that did not confer the responsibilities and rights of civil marriage. Under state law, ministers and priests will soon have the option of conducting both a civil marriage and religious service for either heterosexual or homosexual couples. How Episcopal church will respond to this opportunity will be made clear soon. The California State Supreme Court decision is slated to take effect in 30-days, a date that falls just before San Francisco’s annual Pride Festival..
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