Saturday, May 24, 2008

Marriage Equality in Pasadena

From the Pasadena Star-News:

All Saints Church in Pasadena, one of the largest and most liberal Episcopalian congregations in the country, announced Thursday it will begin performing wedding ceremonies for gay couples starting June 16.

In what All Saints Rector the Rev. Ed Bacon called a "historic vote," church officials adopted the "Resolution on Marriage Equality" unanimously Thursday, after a special meeting of the 3,500-member congregation's lay leadership.

The church's action came in response to the California Supreme Court's May 15 ruling overturning the ban on gay marriage approved by voters in 2000.

All Saints has performed blessings for same-sex couples for the past 15 years.

But Bacon described the church vestry's vote as showing "stirring courage to move beyond lip service" to the church's commitment to equality by extending marriage rights to gay members.

"Today's decision is consistent with All Saints Church, Pasadena's identity as a peace and justice church," Bacon said in a statement Thursday. "It also aligns us with the Scriptures' mandate to make God's love tangible by `doing justice and loving mercy' (Micah 6:8) and with the canons of our Episcopal Church that forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation"...
Susan Russell provides us with the text of the resolution passed by the Vestry of All Saints:

MARRIAGE EQUALITY RESOLUTION
Adopted by the Vestry of All Saints Church, Pasadena, California
on May 22, 2008

WHEREAS, our baptismal covenant commits us to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being;”

WHEREAS, Holy Scripture reveals that we are all created in God’s image and that God embraces all people as equally precious;

WHEREAS, the Vision Statement of All Saints Church, Pasadena, calls us to “embody the inclusive love of God in Christ” and our Foundational Values urge us to be “dispersed throughout this multicultural region for courageous and risk-filled work of peace and justice;”

WHEREAS, All Saints Church, Pasadena, currently blesses same-sex unions, but does not perform the rite of marriage for same-sex couples;

WHEREAS, on May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court issued its decision holding that marriage is a “basic civil right of personal autonomy and liberty” “to which all persons are entitled without regard to their sexual orientation;” and

WHEREAS, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, on June 16, 2008, the State of California will begin to license and recognize same-sex marriages;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rector, Wardens and Vestry do declare that, as of June 16, 2008, All Saints Church, Pasadena will treat all couples presenting themselves for the rite of marriage equally.
On a related note, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is receiving large numbers of phone calls from the supporters of "Limits on Marriage" (the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in California) about his statement that he will not support a constitutional amendment.

The Governor needs to hear some alternative voices.

Because of the number of calls he is getting on this matter, there is now an automated system set up. To register your support of the California Supreme Court`s decision on LGBT marriage:

Call 1-916-445-2841 (Governor`s office).
Wait until you are instructed to press 1 for English.
Press 1, 5, 1, 1
(1=English / 5=opinion / 1=court / 1=support).

J.

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