Today marriage equality has finally come to Oregon.
As a minister in the United Church of Christ, which first endorsed marriage equality in 2005, I see this as a victory for religious freedom and a decision entirely consistent with Christian ethics. For too long, people have used faith as a tool to discriminate against others. This happened a generation ago when the Bible was invoked to oppose interracial marriage and it occurs today by those who invoke Holy Scripture to discriminate against gays and lesbians. The Christian faith is a faith of inclusion. Jesus broke down walls and welcomed everyone to the table of God.
So today, with other ministers in the United Church of Christ, and with clergy from other traditions, I will soon preform marriage ceremonies for same sex couples that have waited too long for justice. I join with many Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and other people of faith that celebrate this court decision.
As the incoming Director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality and University Chaplain at Pacific University, I believe strongly that people of good faith can come to different conclusions on difficult moral issues. No law should force a house of worship to perform any wedding ceremony but no law should keep a house of worship or clergy from marrying two consenting adults because of their sexual orientation.
I will continue to join the national offices of the United Church of Christ in opposing future attempts that would allow businesses and other non-religious institutions to use faith as justification for discriminating against people in regards to public accommodations and other business transactions. We will not allow a return to Jim Crow-style laws even as we advance further toward a more just nation.
Today we are a step closer to the Beloved Community.