TEC support for gay marriage ruling: The Church of England Newspaper, July 14, 2013 p 6. July 15, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: DOMA, gay marriage, Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States has applauded last month’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law withholding national government recognition of same-sex marriages.
On 26 June 2013 the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori stated the decision reflected “the unmistakable movement toward civil marriage equality in the states over the past decade reflects the will of the people in those states to grant equal rights and dignity under the law to all married couples and families, and today’s decision will appropriately allow those families to be recognized under federal law as well.”
By a ruling of 5-4 the court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, declaring that the federal government cannot define marriage for its own laws and policies but must defer to state law definitions. The court’s ruling, however, does not affect Section 2, which provides that no state is required to give effect to another state’s recognition of same-sex marriages. The result will be that same-sex marriages will be valid in some states, but invalid in others.
Bishop Jefferts Schori noted the ruling had been hotly contested. “I am deeply aware that faithful Americans find themselves on all sides of these issues, including those who have not yet clearly discerned an effective or appropriate response.”
However she called upon all Americans to work together. “It is possible to disagree and work together for the good of the larger community. That is the bedrock of our democratic political system. It is also the foundation of life in the Body of Christ. Together we can help to build up the whole community, particularly if we have the courage to listen deeply to those who hold a different view. The Episcopal Church has an ancient tradition of attempting to hold divergent views together for the sake of deeper truth. All are beloved of God, and the flourishing of each is what we believe God intended from the beginning of creation. May we help to build a beloved community in which each and every person is treated with dignity, knowing that each and every one reflects the image of God.”