More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Faith Leaders Speak Out on Prop. 8 Decision
Church attendance turned out to be the single most important factor on how people voted on Prop. 8 in 2008. So when Federal Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional, GLAAD's collaborator, California Faith for Equality (CFE), was ready with statewide faith spokespeople.
In San Francisco, CFE executive director, Samuel Chu, applauded Maria Ydil and her partner Vanessa Judicpa as they kissed despite being turned down for a marriage license because of the court stay. The Rev. Roland Stringfellow, program staff at California Faith for Equality blessed their union and vowed to help officiate at their legal marriage when Prop 8 is permanently repealed. Chu said, "Faith leaders and secular partners [must] continue to bring our communities together to support all marriages and to value all families."
In Los Angeles, Rabbi Denise Eger, head of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, reminded conservative faith leaders that they are not required to perform same-sex weddings—but progressive faith groups can now express their religious freedom to perform them. As quoted in the LA Times, Rabbi Eger said, "In our country, marriage is very much a civil right, and yet we also ensure freedom of religion -- and freedom from religion."
In San Diego, Canon Albert Ogle of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral spoke on the platform with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Canon Ogle looks to a future when churches will apologize to LGBT people.
Mormon officials, the US Council of Catholic Bishops and other conservative groups are far from apologizing. They would prefer to supersede the U.S. Constitution with a majority vote in a single state that stripped a minority group of the right to marry.
USA Today summarized the range of religious responses, but Judge Vaughn Walker's opinion is the one that counts. He said, "Gay marriage does no harm to traditional beliefs."