Tuesday, February 7, 2012
INTEGRITY CALLS ON SIX CALIFORNIA BISHOPS TO EXTEND GENEROUS PASTORAL RESPONSE IN RESPONSE TO PROP 8 DECISION
Today, Integrity USA celebrates a giant step toward justice with the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court that California’s Proposition 8, which denied marriage to same-gender couples, is unconstitutional. "What wonderful news!", said The Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall, President of Integrity. "Since 1888 the Supreme Court has ruled 14 times that marriage is a basic civil right, but again and again it has been denied to loving, faithful gay or lesbian couples. We can rejoice that in California, our right to equal treatment under the law has been upheld and our marriages are once again recognized. This will be an encouragement to all those fighting this battle in their own states." Rev. Harry Knox, Interim Executive Director of Integrity added, "The Ninth Circuit’s decision affirms same-sex couples’ freedom to commit to care for each other for a lifetime. Thank God the court recognized government should never limit our freedom nor deny our love. Today’s ruling is an important one. We wait to see whether this is the last word or whether our opponents will take their case on to Supreme Court." Both Hall and Knox issued a call to action to the Episcopal Church in the state of California: "Integrity calls upon the bishops of the six California dioceses to extend a generous pastoral response to lesbian and gay couples so that our legal rights can be celebrated in our churches and our marriages blessed by the church in the same manner afforded to our straight friends and family. This is an enormously important symbol of the Episcopal Church’s true willingness to welcome all people even those of us who are LGBT and to extend all the sacraments to all the baptized.We hope that California citizens will soon be able to marry the person they love. "While this is a huge victory in the battle for marriage equality, this fight is far from over. Same-sex married couples still face federal discrimination against their marriages because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Integrity vows to continue to fight for marriage equality both within and outside of the church. We will not stop until we can claim the promise that all really means ALL."