“God works for justice night and day. And when religious people refuse to be a part of that effort, God will find people elsewhere to help achieve that justice. Now the church, synagogue and mosque get to decide whether or not to join God in that work. Love is love, and those who love, know God.”
— Bishop Gene Robinson, first openly gay man elected bishop in the high church, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire; currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
“As a Christian thinker, writer, speaker, former pastor and activist, and as a parent, colleague and friend of an amazing array of LGBT people, I am grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court on marriage equality. I am equally grateful for all the courageous people who have risked and sacrificed so much for so long to turn the tide against discrimination against our LGBT friends, neighbors and family members.
“The Supreme Court’s historic decision leaves an unfair and harmful era of discrimination behind, making it clear that ‘traditional marriage’ is a living tradition. Extending marriage equally to LGBT people is another step toward greater justice, generosity and human dignity in our world.”
— Brian McLaren, author, speaker, activist (brianmclaren.net)
“I was deeply touched by the Supreme Court’s decision supporting same-sex marriage, which will help ensure equality and that more children have the family security they need. As an attorney, I saw firsthand the meaning of family heartache when marriage inequality was the law. I won’t forget a lesbian couple who were splitting up. One of the women, the biological mother of their five-year-old daughter, took their child with her. My client, who had actually stayed home to care for the little girl since infancy, had no legal standing to maintain contact. This shattering separation of mother and child was traumatic.
“This Supreme Court ruling allowing civil marriage was profoundly pro-family, and we should all be grateful.”
— Sr. Simone Campbell, NETWORK and “Nuns on the Bus”, Washington, D.C.
“In the years ahead, when we find hopelessness and despair creeping once again into our consciousness, let us remember the day when dignity prevailed over degradation and love over fear.
“A half century ago, sodomy was a felony in every state in this country, punished by lengthy prison terms — in some cases LIFE in prison. Now, same sex marriage is a constitutionally protected right. What seemed definitionally impossible is now, plain and simple, the law of the land.
“This day of celebration, a victory for freedom and equality, is a testament to the moral progress of history. And it is a tikkun – a day of healing – for all of the children who grew up thinking something was wrong with them, that they were anything other than exactly what God intended them to be, that their yearning was unnatural, immoral, their love unworthy. May this legal ruling serve as a sacred apology. An act of atonement. A commitment to build a culture of love and holy acceptance.
“Even as we recognize how much unfinished work remains on the path toward justice for all, let this ruling serve also as a spiritual awakening – a reminder of what is possible when we stand together to affirm the dignity, worth and equality of all of God’s children.”
— Rabbi Sharon Brous, founding rabbi of IKAR in Los Angeles
“This moment was for me a celebration and a prophecy.
“Our nation celebrates the incredible decades-long collaboration between queer communities and straight allies toward marriage equality. We have fought this fight together. Marched down 5th Avenue every Pride Sunday singing gospel music until hoarse. Performed weddings in our sanctuaries. I am the queerest straight Black woman I know, and to stand before a sea of New Yorkers yesterday, with a nation watching, was one of the defining moments of my ministry. Love is love, we know, and the right to join hearts in marriage is a civil right that we believe God blesses. My feet ache from marching yesterday on Pride Sunday. Oh, happy day!
“But we are not finished with the work of justice. We all know that racism is an evil specter haunting our nation and the shooting deaths of nine souls praying reveals the urgent nature of #prophetic grief: it is time to turn our love-power toward dismantling systemic and personal racism.
“And so it was that when we started our celebration outside the historic Stonewall Inn we named the nine slain by racism. Declaring intersectionality and solidarity. We are in these fights together. Because we know, we believe, that in the end love will win.”
— Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church in New York
“To borrow Charles Dickens’ famous line, ‘the best of times and the worst of times.’
“LGBTQ people have won a precious victory. I am healthy, loved, and fully seen today because activists, people of faith, artists, and those convicted in their conscience to change, brought our country to a point where our relationships can finally be fully recognized. My heart overflows with gratitude for the decades of organizing — often in church basements, and educating — often in Bible studies classes, that brought us to this moment.
“Yet, at the same time, I am painfully aware that as we celebrate #lovewins we are also putting to rest nine precious lives that died at the hands of white supremacy in a racialized act of domestic terrorism. As people of faith committed to justice we are being called to hold the complexity of the deepest joy and the deepest sorrow.
“My prayer for my fellow LGBTQ community is that we will take this victory as our clarion call to work to eradicate injustice wherever we see it. As long as only some lives matter, none of us are truly free.”
— Dr. Sharon Groves works at the intersection of faith, LGBTQ, and racial justice. She is the former director for the Religion and Faith program at the Human Rights Campaign.
“In six days, we are taught, God created the world. And on the seventh day, God rested. For six metaphorical days of creation, so many courageous souls worked for this moment when marriage equality would become the law of the land. When every human being can love whom they love, marry whom they want to marry, and be afforded the dignities and legal rights that come with joining one’s life to another in this holiest of ways.
“For six days, there was pain, and shame, and a legalized “less than” status that had to be overcome. And then, when the work was completed with the SCOTUS decision on June 26, we, in reflection of God who rested on the seventh day, celebrate Shabbat, a taste of the world to come. Our hearts bursting with joy, we sing, dance, breathe and thank God for reaching this moment, which is a repair of so many fractures.
“And also in the midst of this beautiful celebration, we know that the work is not yet complete. The members of Emanuel AME Church who were murdered because of the color of their skin are still being buried. Transgender people of color and homeless LGBTQ youth are still so vulnerable to discrimination and violence, and Americans can still be fired for being gay. Poverty, inequality and racism persist. In six days, the people worked for justice. On the seventh day, we rest and are so very refreshed. And tomorrow, on the 8th day — I would offer, perhaps the most sacred day — we are called back to the work of repairing our world, standing together with those whose pain has not yet been healed, so that all people can be made whole.”
— Rabbi Stephanie Kolin, associate rabbi of Central Synagogue, New York
“The heart of the Sikh faith is love. Love calls us to look upon the faces of others and ‘see no stranger.’ Love calls us to stand for the equality of people of all races, genders, faiths and orientations. As a Sikh American, I have fought for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, because love calls me to see their struggles as my own. Love calls us to fight for the rights of different communities as part of one broader movement for human dignity. This is especially true for many in my generation whose bodies hold multiple identities — Black and lesbian, undocumented and gay, Muslim and queer.
“Gone are the days when we fight only for only ourselves.
“So as a straight person, I wipe away tears and rejoice that marriage equality is now the law of the land. May this victory embolden us to meet even greater injustices including the poverty, chronic disease, profiling and violence disproportionately experienced by transgendered people and people of color who are marginalized within the LGBTQ movement. We have much work ahead. But for now, I hold my son in my arms and whisper in his ear: ‘You will grow up in a world where people can marry who they love. Can you believe we had to fight so hard for this? Remember this: Love Wins.'”
— Valarie Kaur, leading Sikh activist, lawyer, filmmaker and founder of the Groundswell Movement
“Love wins, as it always should. Let’s remember that the #SCOTUS decision on same sex marriage — to allow everyone to love freely — was made possible by the historical and on-going civil rights movement. Let’s remember how precedents were set and that Black communities have long been leading the bold fights for ‘equality & freedom.’
“Many groups have benefitted thus far in many ways: women, immigrants/refugees and yes LGBTQ communities. We are not one-issue humans and with this work for equality comes the need to remember that the Black community has not seen much of the fruits of their labors. It is this same Supreme Court that has issued rulings with terrible impact on predominantly communities of color, like gutting the Voting Rights Act.
“Let us use this day as a reminder of the shoulders on which we stand and re-commit to the rights of those who helped pave the way. Let’s ensure that there truly be equality for all. We have a lot of work left to do and we need ALL hands and all love on deck.
“Let’s make sure love wins, as it always should. #BlackLivesMatter”
— Linda Sarsour, Muslim community activist and executive director of the Arab American Association of New York
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.