From The Des Moines Register:
More than 150 clergy from across Iowa have signed a letter of support for equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. The letter was announced by Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund, a statewide organization that frequently advocates for civil rights. The group delivered the letter yestoday to lawmakers during a press conference at the Capitol.
February 16, 2010
Dear Senators and Representatives,
As clergy representing a broad spectrum of theological beliefs, we join together to state our public support of civil marriage equality for same-gender couples and our opposition to any current or future legislation diminishing the marriage rights rightfully given by Iowa’s Supreme Court. We are compelled by our deepest beliefs to stand for fairness in our common civic life. We oppose the use of sacred texts and religious traditions to deny equal protection and responsibility under the law for gay and lesbian couples.
From a religious perspective, marriage is about a couple entering into a holy covenant with their God and making a long-term commitment to share life’s joys and sorrows. Moreover, as many faith traditions affirm, where there is love, the sacred is in our midst. This belief is the same for couples comprised of a man and a woman, two women, or two men. As such, a marriage based in love and commitment must be honored and supported.
Civilly, marriage is commonly valued in society because it creates stable, committed relationships; provides a means to protect and be responsible for each other; and nurtures the individual, the couple, and children. All families must be supported in building stable, empowering, and respectful relationships. Marriage equality is a means to strengthen families and is especially beneficial to children who are raised by gay and lesbian couples.
We affirm freedom of conscience in this matter. Marriage equality honors the religious convictions of those communities and clergy who officiate at, and bless, same-gender marriages. We recognize the state does not and should not require clergy or religious traditions who disagree with same-gender marriage to officiate at, or bless, the ceremonies of gay and lesbian couples. The state must respect the convictions of all religious groups and individuals, while also allowing the fundamental right of marriage to be granted fairly to all people.
As clergy, we stand together in support of civil marriage equality for ALL families. We ask for your support of civil marriage equality and ask that you oppose any resolution or attempt to diminish the marriage rights of Iowa’s families.
Bishop Alan Scarfe; Bishop; Episcopal Diocese of Iowa et al.
Click HERE for full list of signatories.