Standing on The Side of Love
I am writing on behalf of a Loudoun interfaith group – Jewish, Christian and Unitarian Universalists -- who are overjoyed by Thursday’s District Court ruling declaring Virginia’s ban on same gender marriage unconstitutional Our faith traditions are among those that solemnize blessings or marriage services for same gender couples.
The clergy among us are often called upon to perform marriages or ceremonies of blessing. The only difference we find in meeting with couples of the same sex is that they often have stories of rejection and fear. We long for the day when the government will offer them the same protections all other couples have.
Many congregations today are split by opposing beliefs about homosexuality. With regard to our own support for same sex marriages, we can only say that we believe in a God that calls us to love more, not less. When we are called to account for our lives, we hope we can honestly say that we stood on the side of love. If we made mistakes in our lives, we tried to make them on the side of love.
U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen ended her opinion by quoting Abraham Lincoln in discussing slavery: It cannot have failed to strike you that these men ask for justice. . . .the same thing – fairness, and fairness only. This so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.” Judge Wright Allen concludes, “The men and women, and the children too, whose voices join . . . with Plaintiffs today, also ask for fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as it is in this Court’s power, they and all others shall have.”
In the spirit of a wider love, we add our voices in opposing the anti-marriage laws of Virginia that stigmatize and leave vulnerable couples every bit as loving, every bit as worthy as their heterosexual sisters and brothers.
Revs. Phyllis L. Hubbell and John Manwell, Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun
Rabbi Michael Ragozin, Congregation Shaˊare Shalom
Rev. R. Don Prange, St. James, United Church of Christ
Rev. Daniel Vélez-Rivera, St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church
Rabbi, Linda Joseph, Beth Chaverim Reform Temple
Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling
David Weintraub, Equality Loudoun
Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Paul Britner, Unitarian Universalist Church of Shenandoah Valley
Ann Robinson, Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun