Bishop of Long Island responds to DOMA ruling

July 1, 2013

[Diocese of Long Island press release] On June 26, as the Supreme Court of our Nation has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act as being unconstitutional, the clergy and people of the diocese embraced and celebrated the reality of full marriage equality for all God’s people while at the same time recognizing the struggle of those for whom this decision will be painful.

As the whole people of God, our prayerful, dedicated journey forward into full inclusion and equal access must include all. None of us on either side of this or any issue facing our society, and therefore the church, can ever fully rejoice in a victory that then appears to alienate and pain others. We pray and work for the day when all men and women can and will rejoice in the equality and inclusion of everyone.

As a church community, the faithful people of this diocese will rejoice and celebrate the ruling of the Supreme Court with all those LGBTQ individuals whose lives will be changed forever. And as that same community, we will also pray with, care for, and minister to all those who see this day as defeat. Without embracing the full reality of our present situation, we cannot be a church who claims “there are no outcasts in the Episcopal Church.”

In close proximity to today’s rulings, the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday on a portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 challenges us all to redouble our ongoing efforts as citizens and as disciples of Jesus Christ to insure that everyone of voting age in this nation has their right to the ballot safeguarded. This is a test of the reality of our democracy.

All are welcome in this place…Let these words ring ever truer in the church and in our whole society.

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano,
Bishop of Long Island
The Diocese of Long Island
The Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk

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