The Supreme Court rules...
June 26, 2015, 12:00 AM

And suddenly, marriage equality is the law of the land – everywhere in the United States, in every state or territory, in every county, in every city and town, it is now the law that two adults who love one another can take a vow and change from being solo to being a new thing, a married couple.  Any secular, governmental, civil rules or practices affecting life insurance, parentage, health directives, wills, mortgages … will all have to honor those vows.  That is true fact.

But it is also true that churches and clergy will not be required to perform weddings if they choose not to.  That’s always been the case, even in states where marriage equality is already the law, or has been the law for a long time.

So the first thing I will say as your rector is: I will.  I do choose to do this, and our Bishop is supportive as well, as is our Vestry.

I say this because I have taken a vow to respect the dignity of every human being.  If you’re an Episcopalian, you have, too: at your or someone else’s baptism, or when renewing those baptismal vows at Easter or Pentecost or on All Saints Sunday.  And if marriage equality is about nothing else, it is certainly about human dignity.

I thought long and hard about all the questions and issues that might arise – what the Church will do in General Convention, what the Bible says or does not say – and I may say more about those things (I would surely do so in the context of the class on Theology of Marriage, so go ahead and sign up for that!) – but in the end, I find that our Baptismal Vows are as good a description of what it means to love God and love neighbor as any I have seen. 

We vow:

  • To continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers;
  • To presevere in resisting evil, and, whenever we fall into sin, to repent and return to the Lord;
  • To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ;
  • To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves; and
  • To strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.

God’s infinite blessings be with you always.