Why Marriage Matters to Religious People and Communities

Millions hold their faith to be paramount to an understanding of the world. Inspired by faith, gay and non-gay people alike make sacrifices daily, putting others before themselves in the name of their beliefs. We have seen a consistent increase in support among people of faith for the freedom tomarry. Many people of faith refer to the Golden Rule in their understanding and movement toward ending the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage. A recent poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 58% of Californians agreed that "we should apply the Golden Rule to gay and lesbian couples who are in long‐term committed relationships and allow them the same opportunity to get married as everyone else." Many religious communities, including the United Church of Christ, Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist Association and Metropolitan Community Churches already recognize the loving commitment of same-sex couples, while many religious leaders continue to play a crucial role in advancing the freedom to marry. Conversations from the pews to the pulpit within religious communities are essential for moving marriage forward nationwide.

"America needs to know that many faith leaders and theologians from diverse religious traditions strongly believe that all people have a God-given right to lead lives which fully express love, mutuality and commitment—including the right to marry,"

    — Reverend Debra W. Haffner, director of the Religious Institute, promoting the Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality


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