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June 29, 2015

DJAN Responds to Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

DJAN Leadership Member, The Reverend Steven Baines: 

"This is a wonderful day for all our LGBT sisters, brothers and allies. Couples of all orientations now have the sanction of our government to their constitutional legal rights. We applaud the US Supreme Court for writing into law equality for all. May we give thanks and celebration for the unconditional love of God for all people."

Rev. Sandhya Jha, Member, DJAN Leadership Team

"Today, love won. It is now the law of the land that same gender marriages will be treated with the same laws and protections as other gender marriages.

As Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority decision today, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Disciples Justice Action Network has worked for decades on the issue of many forms of LGBTQ rights and inclusion in public policy and in the church, and we know intimately how long this day has been in coming.

We celebrate today with the millions of people who made this moment possible: people involved in the LGBTQ rights movement dating back to the Stonewall riots and before, people who risked arrest and violence to stand for justice, faith communities that preached a gospel of love and inclusion and equal rights for all of God’s children, and every person who had the courage to say “I do,” even when the law told them they could not. And we particularly thank our brothers and sisters in Gay, Lesbian and Allied Disciples (and particularly the Open and Affirming Ministries team) for their work to help our particular denomination live into an identity of love for all of God’s children.

Today we celebrate with women across the United States who can proclaim their love as Ruth spoke to Naomi, knowing that they finally have the law of the land on their side, “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your God will be my God, and your people will be my people.” (Ruth 1:16)

Today we celebrate with men across the United States who are finally granted the same rights as straight couples so that like David and Jonathan they may seal a covenant with one another, in that their love for one another is like that of their own soul (1 Samuel 18:3).

As an organization that has worked for __ years to create justice and equality for all of God’s children, we know the struggle for full equality is still a long struggle. A day after a transgender woman was removed from a White House Pride event for interrupting the President to demand an end to deportations for LGBTQ immigrants, many of whom face life-threatening situations in their countries of origin, we know that the fight is not over. Two weeks after nationwide marches that reminded us of how many Black trans women are victims of police brutality as well as other hate crimes, we know that the fight is not over. At a time when homelessness and suicide among LGBTQ youth remain markedly higher than that of straight youth because of bullying and scriptural abuse and intolerance, we know that the fight is not over.

We are committed to continue the fight.

And we thank God and our brothers and sisters who helped us get to this day of absolute joy and celebration.

Thanks be to God that today, the arc of the universe bent a little more towards justice."

Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., Co-President, Disciples Justice Action Network:

"Today’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states is a much-welcomed signal to scores of US citizens who have committed themselves to the principle that two consenting adults should have the legal right to enter into marriage if it is their choice, even if they are of the same sex.

For too long persons of the same sex who were in loving, committed relationships were denied access to the same kind of legally recognized marriage afforded to heterosexual couples. Although some states began to allow and recognize same sex marriages, others refused to do so. This refusal created and sustained a matrix of discrimination that denied legitimacy and all of the legal benefits pertaining to marriage to same sex couples who were legally married in other states, while continuing to issue marriage licenses and privileges to heterosexual couples on demand.

Through all of this, our nation has tolerated governmental statues that clearly indicated that regarding marriage, not all people are equal. DJAN believes that any call for equality that becomes invalidated on the basis of one’s interest in legally marrying the person she or he chooses, even if that person is of the same sex, is itself invalid. With unshakable faith in God’s vision of love and justice made known through Jesus Christ, and with enthusiastic commitment to the principle that all people have dignity and worth and are created equal in the sight of God, DJAN applauds today’s Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage the law of the land, and encourages people on both sides of this weighty issue to find ways to live peacefully, justly, and respectfully with all of their neighbors, even those with whom they disagree."

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