Episcopal Diocese of New York Publicly Supports Marriage Equality

When it comes to marriage equality, the two sides are often described as religious versus non-religious, with all people of faith assumed to be anti-marriage equality. This assumption is simply not true, as Ret. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, the Episcopal Bishop of New York, showed on May 9 when he penned a letter to the New York Times in support of statewide marriage equality. Rev. Sisk’s letter comes in response to a May 6 article highlighting the efforts made by leaders in the Evangelical Christian, Catholic, and Orthodox Jewish communities in order to stop marriage equality legislation from passing in New York State. Rev. Sisk points out that his support of marriage equality is not just personal. In line with the official policy of the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of New York also supports marriage for gay and lesbian couples and voted in 2008 to call on the governor and the State of New York to enact it. In an ironic twist, Rev. Sisk’s letter was published in the Times on May 15, the same day state Senator Ruben Diaz held a rally against marriage equality. The difference in the two men’s positions is striking, but their commitment to their faith is not, which serves only to demonstrate that the religious position on marriage equality is not monolithic. GLAAD commends Rev. Sisk and the Episcopal Diocese of New York not only for supporting marriage equality, but also for being willing to state their support publicly. The media often fails to acknowledge that religious perspectives on marriage equality vary greatly between denominations and religious traditions. When this happens, people of faith who support marriage equality must make the effort for their voices to be heard.