Faith-Based Voices for Equality
Many religious institutions have publicly opposed federal and state efforts to deny marriage equality. In 2004, over two dozen denominations and religious groups signed a joint letter to Congress urging the defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have written marriage discrimination into the U.S. Constitution. Among the signatories were the Alliance of Baptists, American Friends Service Committee (Quaker), American Jewish Committee, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Episcopal Church USA, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, National Council of Jewish Women, National Sikh Center, The Interfaith Alliance, Union for Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist Association, and United Church of Christ.
Several religious denominations and institutions have policies that support full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons, including marriage for same-sex couples. These include: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Central Conference of American Rabbis/Union for Reform Judaism, Ecumenical Catholic Church, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association/Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ, Unity Fellowship Churches, and Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
The American Baptist Churches USA, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Episcopal Church USA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church USA, and various Quaker groups allow clergy to perform union ceremonies for same-sex couples.
"I invite you to support and defend everyone's right to love whomever they will and lawfully to marry if that is where their hearts lead. That, I believe, is the meaning of freedom. That is the meaning of compassion. That is the meaning of justice."
—Fred Small, Pastor of First Church Unitarian in Littleton, Massachusetts
"Unitarian Universalists are delighted by the [Massachusetts Supreme] Court's refusal to create "a second-class of citizens by status discrimination." As we learned through our country's bitter history of racial discrimination, separate but equal does not work. As the large banner on the side of our Beacon Hill headquarters building proclaims, Unitarian Universalists believe that civil marriage is a civil right."
—The Rev. William G. Sinkford, Unitarian Universalist Association President
"The way to the future is always paved by extending, not restricting, liberties, especially to those who heretofore have been excluded. The health of a republic may well be determined by its capacity to adapt itself to the extension of its own privileges and responsibilities to those whom it would be easy by custom and conviction to ignore."
—Peter J. Gomes, American Baptist Minister
"The desire that full rights be extended to lesbians and gays reflects the Jewish belief that gays and lesbians are human beings created in the image of God. The time has come for that truth to guide our culture, and religious Jews should not be hesitant in saying so."
—Rabbi David Ellerson, President of the Hebrew Union College
"Dignity USA believes that the institution of marriage will be - and needs to be - strengthened throughout our country by a deeper understanding of the real nature of marriage as the loving, intimate relationship between two consenting adults. This is gender neutral and equally applicable to same- or opposite-gender marriages whether civil marriage or church-blessed marriage."
—Sam Sinnett, President, Dignity USA
"In the spirit of freedom, justice, civil rights, and equal protection under the law for all human beings, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship supports civil marriage for same-gender couples who choose to marry and to share fully and equally in the rights and responsibilities of marriage. We oppose a U.S. constitutional amendment to prohibit the basic civil right of marriage for same-gender couples."
—Buddhist Peace Fellowship