Yesterday, clergy from across the state gathered in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff to show that the freedom to marry has strong support amongst Arizona’s religious community.
With a diverse range of denominations including leaders of Episcopalian, Unitarian Universalist, Lutheran and Jewish faith, this interfaith group of clergy affirmed that support for the freedom to marry can be found in churches and synagogues around the state.
“As people of faith, we can often come across as monolithic. We hope that we can begin to help people understand that within all of the traditions represented here there is clear and strong support for marriage for same sex couples,” explains Rev. John C. Dorhauer, Conference Minister for the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ.
In total, more than 50 faith leaders signed on to publicly declare their support for the freedom to marry in the Grand Canyon State—and we expect that list to only grow as momentum continues to build.
As leaders of a diverse group of denominations, this group represents the wide-array of faith traditions that support marriage equality—many drawing upon what their scriptures say about the dignity, self-worth and fair treatment of all people.
“At the core of our beliefs as Christians is the assertion that we are called to not only love God, but we are also told to love our neighbor as ourselves—to wish our neighbor the greatest good, opportunity and the greatest ability to fully experience everything life has to offer,” says Rev. Troy Mendez, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix, speaking on behalf of Bishop Kirk Stevan Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona.
Rabbi Thomas A. Louchheim of the Congregation Or Chadash in Tucson agrees explaining, “Gay and lesbians who wish to solemnize their relationship by kiddushim desire to be recognized by all in being able to embody the divine principles of Scripture. When they desire to mark their partnership through ceremony as one of love, as one of faithfulness, as one of kindness and support for another, this is already recognized by God and should be recognized by us.”
By exemplifying the diversity within Arizona’s faith community, we commend this amazing coalition of religious voices who have found a place for the freedom to marry in their heart, and who have chosen to bravely speak out publicly in support of marriage equality for all.