Today the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land when it ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are not legal. The 4500 Unitarian Universalists attending General Assembly in Portland celebrated with cheers, tweets, worship, and song. Unitarian Universalist Association president Rev. Peter Morales offered this:
“Today the U.S. Supreme Court stood on the side of love with its 5 to 4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishing federal recognition of same-sex marriage. I applaud the court’s ruling as a major step in recognizing full civil rights for LGBTQ people. The ruling is cause for celebration.
Unitarian Universalists have been vocal supporters of equal rights for LGBTQ individuals for decades. In 1996, the UUA passed a resolution in support of the right to marry for same-sex couples, the first religious denomination to do so. We have been party to amicus briefs in all the major freedom to marry court cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges. I am grateful for the unwavering dedication and commitment by Unitarian Universalists in support of marriage equality.
In celebration of this historic victory for equal rights, selected Unitarian Universalist ministers and congregations will offer free weddings for same-sex couples nationwide.
Marriage equality illustrates that love has no boundaries. And while today we celebrate this victory in the name of love, tomorrow we rededicate ourselves to achieving full legal protection for LGBTQ people in all spheres of our society.” – Rev. Peter Morales. Full statement.
“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. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. 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.” – Obergefell v. Hodges. Read the full brief.
Unitarian Universalists have made LGBTQ issues including marriage equality central to our justice work for many years. Thirty-one years ago the 1984 General Assembly passed a resolution supporting union ceremonies. Nineteen years ago the 1996 General Assembly approved this Resolution of Immediate Witness: Support of the Right to Marry for Same-Sex Couples. In Pennsylvania, we had a May 2014 preview of the SCOTUS decision when the PA Supreme Court ruled that the state’s 1996 statutory ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Allegheny believes in the inherent worth and dignity of every person and has long supported the right of anyone to marry. We look forward to continuing to advocate for equal rights for all people!