As one ordained to spread the good news of the unending power of love in this world, this week I celebrate the Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality and that the Defense of Marriage Act has been declared unconstitutional.
The faith I affirm challenges me to speak and act for justice for all who express their love in the commitment of marriage. Support for marriage equality is in scriptures and traditions that proclaim overriding messages of love, justice, and inclusion of those on the margins of society.
Many religious traditions already perform marriages for same-sex couples; at least a dozen Christian denominations and Jewish movements allow their clergy to perform marriage or union ceremonies for same-sex couples.
As a religious leader, I affirm that people of all sexual orientations should have the right to civil marriage and its benefits. As all religious traditions affirm, where there is love, the sacred is in our midst.
The United States is one of the most diverse religious countries in the world. I affirm that religious denominations must have the right to discern who is eligible for marriage in their own tradition. In addition, all clergy should be free to solemnize marriages without state interference based on their own traditions and conscience. Same-sex couples in every state must have the right to legal marriage.
I join with millions of people of faith in celebrating. With my congregation and all people who thirst for justice, I pledge to continue our work for marriage equality and relational justice for all in the State of Tennessee.