The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and Tennessee residents and state government officials are waiting to see how the Court’s decision will affect the state’s policy. In the midst of the wait, Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church has begun making plans, a press release said.
“In keeping with our beliefs and to offer a sense of love and support to same-sex couples, ORUUC will offer free wedding services and a reception for same-sex couples as soon as the County Clerks’ offices are able to issue licenses,” ORUUC minister Reverend Jake Morrill said in the release. “Those who plan to marry should call the church office to request a time to speak with one of our ministers prior to the wedding day.”
“In the Book of Ruth, when Ruth tells Naomi, ‘Where you go, I will go; your people will be my people,’ people don’t get caught up with the gender,” said ORUUC Minister of Faith Formation Reverend Tandy Scheffler. “What they hear is love. What counts in this life is love. And at ORUUC, we are ready to bless public commitments of love between couples who’ve waited too long for the rights and honor denied to their families.”
The release said the Supreme Court is expected to announce a ruling sometime in late June that might answer the question of whether the 14th Amendment requires state governments to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages that occur outside the state.
“ORUUC will issue a news release and place a banner on the Turnpike when ORUUC’s weddings can begin,” said Executive Team member Christine Purcell. “It will be a joyous celebration with weddings performed by our two ministers, and receptions and photographs for the wedding parties, all without charge.”
The press release said to call the church office at (865) 483-6761 to request a time to speak to either Morrill or Scheffler.
ORUUC is located at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge.