Faith leaders speak out in favor of the freedom to marry in Rhode Island
January 08, 2013
This week, over 100 religious leaders in Rhode Island from 13 different faith denominations came together to speak out in favor of the freedom to marry in the state. The faith leaders said they would continue working to increase public support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and speak with state legislators to help them understand the diversity of people who support marriage in Rhode Island.
Rev. Gene Dyszlewski, an ordained minsiter in the United Church of Christ, serves as chair of Rhode Island Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality, which stands at the forefront of the push from religious leaders in the state. He explained:
The Bible teaches us that we are all God's children - created in His image - with an obligation to love and serve one another in this world. It is in that spirit of faith and tolerance that I'm proud to announce that a coalition of more than 100 clergy, representing 13 different denominations, is being engaged to help lead the fight to win marriage equality.
No one church or leader represents all persons of faith, and it's important to recognize that the legislation currently before the General Assembly speaks specifically to civil marriage. Faith organizations that do not affirm same-sex relationships will in no way be required to do so when this bill becomes law. However, for those of us who do lead welcoming and affirming faiths, it will finally remove a long-standing obstacle to our pastoral care - and allow us to minister equally to all families in our community.
Freedom to Marry applauds people of faith in Rhode Island for their vocal support of the freedom to marry and against discrimination. These people understand that the question of why marriage matters comes down to the Golden Rule - to treat others as you would like to be treated. We thank them for searching in their religion to understand why their faith should compel them to support - not oppose - extending the freedom to marry to all loving and committed couples in these four key states this fall. We appreciate their leadership in the movement to advance the freedom to marry across the country.
Read more about the freedom to marry in Rhode Island.