The Supreme Court ruled this morning that state bans against marriage equality are unconstitutional. After lower courts move to enforce this ruling, the right to marry–our long-sought dream–will be the law of the land.
I know your hearts are full this moment. For more than a decade, the United Church of Christ has been on the front lines of the struggle. All of us–in congregations, Conferences and Associations, seminaries and colleges, the national setting of the church, the Coalition–have worked hard for this day. There have been moments of disappointment and defeat. It has not been an easy journey. But as I write this, UCC ministers in the states where same-sex marriages will soon begin are preparing to represent our church at courthouses and county offices–offering the marriage rites of our church to thousands of newlywed couples. And at General Synod here in Cleveland, the celebration has already begun.
This is your day, Coalition family! Tomorrow we will turn to other tasks: the struggle for the dignity and freedom of our people, and all people, is far from over. As long as LGBT youth are driven to suicide by homophobia and bullying, as long as 26 states still fail to protect us from discrimination in housing and employment, as long as the wave of violence against LGBT people across the globe drives thousands of asylum-seekers to our shores, as long as economic and racial injustice divides our society, as long as the earth God created as our home is threatened by environmental abuse, our journey towards a new dawn will continue. But today, we celebrate!
After the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill wrote: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
So let us sing together the words of the psalmist:
This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes! This is the day that the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad! (Psalm 118:23-24)
Yours in hope,