Throughout New York State, faith leaders are voicing their support for marriage equality. Now that the measure has passed the state assembly and is headed toward a closer vote in the senate, it is more important than ever to acknowledge and amplify the voices of people of faith who support marriage equality. The loudest voices often come from the opposition, like State Senator Ruben Diaz who is an ordained minister himself, but many people of faith have spoken out in support of marriage equality.
Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, pastor at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan, says, "as a Christian pastor, and as an African-American woman whose marriage would have been seen as illegal and immoral in this country 45 years ago, I'm absolutely on the side of marriage equality, I believe it's not only a political and expedient thing to do, but it's a moral thing to do."
Rev. Winnie Varghese of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery echoes Lewis’ words, stating, “In light of our newly formed understanding and respect for the experience of gay and lesbian persons, same sex marriage is a matter of[s1] …an increase in a fundamental freedom for a group oppressed by outdated, biased legislation.”
Jay Michaelson, a leader in the American Jewish community, writes to Senator Greg Ball, who represents Michaelson’s district, “religion is not on one side of the issue. Indeed, there are thousands of religious people in your district who support the values of equality, justice, and love. And we will hold you accountable if you do not do the right thing and vote for the time-honored religious values of justice and fairness to all -- especially those who have been marginalized and discriminated against in the past.”
Over 700 other clergy and lay leaders from New York State have voiced their support for marriage equality. These include leaders of Catholic, Jewish, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist, Wiccan and Pagan, Reformed, Eastern Orthodox and many other religious communities. GLAAD commends these leaders for their willingness to stand up for justice and equality and thanks them for their support of this important legislation.