Wednesday, June 3, 2009

All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena Church Opts Out of the Civil Marriage Business

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 3, 2009

All Saints Church Opts Out of the Civil Marriage Business

Last night the vestry of All Saints Church, Pasadena, unanimously passed the following resolution:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rector, Wardens and Vestry do declare that the sacramental right of marriage is available to all couples, but that the clergy of All Saints Church will not sign civil marriage certificates so long as the right to marry is denied to same-sex couples.

Brought forward in response to the May 26th Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8, the vestry framed its decision theologically, stating that “our active participation in the discriminatory system of civil marriage is inconsistent with Jesus’s call to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”

The Rev. Ed Bacon, Rector of All Saints Church, said, “At the heart of Jesus’s moral vision and All Saints’ historic mission is respecting the dignity of every human being. The California Supreme Court in its recent opinion has ruled that those of same-gender affections are second class citizens. Denying fundamental rights to a certain classification of humanity is blatant discrimination with which our governing board, the other clergy of All Saints, and I will not participate. We invite other clergy and congregations to join us in this stand for marriage equality.”

The resolution states “civil marriage in the State of California is, as a result of Proposition 8 and the Court’s decision, a constitutionally-mandated instrument of discrimination, which furthers injustice and denies same-sex couples the fundamental dignities to which each human being is entitled.” Pastoral allowances will be made for those couples already in the preparation process for upcoming weddings as clergy meet with them individually and discuss the new policy and reasons behind it.

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