Diocese of California celebrates nationwide marriage equality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2015

DIOCESE OF CALIFORNIA CELEBRATES NATIONWIDE MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Bishop and members of diocese long advocates for marriage equality

SAN FRANCISCO — The Diocese of California celebrates with many people around the country and the San Francisco Bay Area that the Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right including for people of the same sex who wish to be married. The diocese rejoiced in 2013 when Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act were overturned. It had filed amicus curiae briefs with 29 other dioceses in both of those cases, thanks to much work of the Diocesan Chancellor Mr. Christopher Hayes, Esq. 

Since the solidified legalization of same-sex marriage in California, the Diocese of California has authorized its clergy to not only bless same-sex unions but to solemnize their marriages, currently using trial rites approved by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. The General Convention is in session until July 3. Additional marriage equality considerations are on its agenda. 

About the decision the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, eighth bishop of California, said, “God bless America, an America that today became a more perfect, more just, and a freer union. We, all together will press on for the embodiment of the law, and for the expansion of justice in all spheres of life. Our support of marriage equality stems from other brother Jesus’ professing that through him captives have been set free. We join our brother Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in working for justice and celebrating when we see God’s reign of love and equality break into our present.”

Since 2013 the Diocese of California has hung a rainbow flag from its Nob Hill office to celebrate Pride and to indicate support for full LGBT* inclusion in the life of the church and in civil society. Marriage equality is an excellent step toward that full inclusion. The diocese is committed to even broader protections for trans* people and conscious of the ways that race and class impact the overall health and life of LGBT* people. National marriage equality is but one step in the abundant life for LGBT people the Diocese of California work, hopes, and prays for. Further steps include employment and housing nondiscrimination laws.

The Bishop of California began marching in the San Francisco Gay Pride March nine years ago soon after his installation as bishop. This was public solidarity with LBGTQ people and their allies. While he is now at the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City with the California deputation and many faithful Californians, they all send their prayers and congratulations to those who will be marching in San Francisco this Sunday.

The Episcopal Diocese of California serves a diverse community of faith encompassing the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately 27,000 people form 80 congregations in six counties. More information about the Diocese of California can be found at www.diocal.org.

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If you’d like more information about this topic or to schedule and interview with Joseph Peters-Mathews, please call him at 415.869.7820 or email him at josephm@diocal.org.