Marriage Equality USA welcomes the contributions and voices of diverse communities of faith in their support of fair, equal, and inclusive treatment of all people.
- Recommended: The Facts About Freedom of Religion and the Freedom to Marry, from the Center for American Progress, 4 October 2012
Religions Supportive of Marriage Equality
The following religions perform same-sex marriages / bless same-gender relationships as a matter of policy:
- Anglican Church of Canada
- Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
- Church of Sweden
- Conservative Judaism
- Ecumenical Catholic Church
- Episcopal Church of the United States
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
- Reconstructionist Judaism
- Reform Judaism
- Unitarian Universalist Association (UU's)
- United Church of Christ (UCC, formerly First Congregational Church)
- Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC)
There seems to be no cohesive Buddhist policy relating to same-sex marriages, though the Dalai Lama has recently expressed support for same-sex marriages and against homophobia in general. In addition, Taiwan's first Buddhist same-sex wedding took place in August 2012.
The United Methodist Church forbids blessing same-sex unions, which has inspired ecclesiastical disobedience, church trials and much debate. Methodists are split regarding marriage equality. Same-sex partners can’t marry in a United Methodist Church, but if one of the spouses works at one of the denomination’s 13 general agencies, the couple can get benefits if state laws allow it.
After three decades of debate over its stance on homosexuality, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on 17 March 2015 to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage. The final approval by a majority of the church’s 171 regional bodies, known as presbyteries, enshrined a change recommended in 2014 by the church’s General Assembly. The vote amended the church’s constitution to broaden marriage from being between “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
Quaker groups leave the decision to clergy, congregations or local governing bodies.
And finally, from The Tao of Same-Sex Marriage, "Taoism is blessedly amoral about sexuality. Taoist sexuality comes out of the Chinese medical tradition and sees sexuality and spirituality as intimately linked."
Organizations supportive of marriage equality:
The following groups are supportive of marriage equality:
Al Fatiha Foundation
Al Fatiha Foundation, the US gay Muslim group, closed it's website in 2009. According to Wikipedia: In 2001, Al-Muhajiroun, an international organization seeking the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate, issued a fatwa declaring that all members of Al-Fatiha were murtadd, or apostates, and condemning them to death. Because of the threat and coming from conservative societies, many members of the foundation's site still prefer to be anonymous so as to protect their identity while continuing a tradition of secrecy.
The mission of the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists is to create and support a community of churches, organizations and individuals committed to the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in the full life and mission of Baptist churches. We recognize that churches and individuals hold many positions regarding same-sex marriage, but AWAB fully believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. The societal debate going on in the United States is about civil marriage, which is a contract between two people. The civil contract of marriage conveys legal rights related to property ownership, hospital visitation and survivorship; among others. The legal debate about marriage has no legal enforcement on churches, synagogues or mosques. But we believe that bodies of faith should celebrate the commitment of same-couples in marriage, just as they do heterosexual couples.
Using community organizing and social marketing strategies, we support individuals and churches in their efforts toward LGBT inclusion. A partnership of the country's leading LGBT advocacy groups, both religious and secular, Believe Out Loud seeks to accelerate the existing Christian movement toward LGBT inclusion and significantly increase the number of local churches and denominations that are fully-inclusive of LGBT individuals, both in practice and policy. In doing so, we seek to create a widespread Christian movement for LGBT equality in the church and in broader society.
Bend the Arc engages people and communities throughout the United States in creating economic opportunity and promoting social justice. We are building a national movement that pursues justice as a core expression of Jewish tradition. We invest to revitalize neighborhoods, organize in communities across lines of race and faith, and train Jewish and interfaith social justice leaders. Join us.
Jewish tradition is about liberation and love for humankind. We believe in the dignity and inherent right of all people to live in a just, fair and compassionate society. As Jews immigrated to America, this belief was stowed in their luggage. Throughout American history, courageous Jews have worked with others to hold the nation to its promise, whether in the abolitionist movement, the anti-sweatshop movement, the movement against child labor, the modern labor movement, the civil rights movement or the movement for LGBT inclusion (just to name a few). We are proud to continue living this legacy.
Our mission is to educate, support and mobilize California's faith communities to promote equality for LGBT people and to safeguard religious freedom. Our network of congregations, organizations and faith leaders work together to strengthen the critical role of faith communities in the broader LGBT equality and justice movements; increase the visibility of LGBT supportive faith leaders in the media and their capacity to advocate in the public arena; provide cutting-edge research and tools at the intersection of religion and LGBT equality; train congregational leaders to make LGBT equality a concrete and ongoing part of their messages and programs; and equip secular organizations and activists to engage people of faith, and heal the rift between faith communities and LGBT people.
The CLGS Marriage and Family Project is a resource for the general public, clergy, members of congregations, and the press, providing scholarly and religious resources on marriage in the United States with the aim of promoting views of marriage that are more open, more just, and more inclusive of all citizens regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
The CLGS Coalition of Welcoming Congregations (CWC) brings together religious leaders, LGBT people of faith and their allies from a wide range of religious traditions in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area to form a progressive, effective and media-savvy voice on matters relating to sexuality and religion, homophobia, and the enfranchisement of LGBT people within society as a whole. By creating a strong network of congregations and local faith communities of various religious traditions and denominations throughout the Bay Area, the CWC connects local religious leaders, religious congregations/communities, and individuals of faith who are highly motivated to act as agents of positive social change. In addition, the CWC provides a powerful tool for like-minded individuals to ally themselves with other LGBT people of faith and their allies and to make known their views in the current public debates concerning religion, sexuality, and LGBT people.
The mission of Faith In America is three-fold: a) to educate the public about the harm caused to gay Americans when religion-based bigotry and prejudice is used to justify condemnation, discrimination and violence; b) to aggressively challenge such oppression by anyone who promotes it or attempts to justify it; and c) to aggressively confront the social respectability and acceptability afforded to Americans who cite religion-based bigotry to oppress gay Americans.
GALVA-108 is an international organization dedicated to the teachings of Lord Caitanya, the importance of all-inclusiveness within His mission, and the Vedic concept of a natural third gender. Its purpose is to educate Vaishnavas, Hindus and the public in general about the “third sex” as described in Vedic literatures. This knowledge will help to correct many of the common misconceptions that people hold today concerning third-gender people (gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, the intersexed, etc.). In addition to this, GALVA wishes to provide a friendly and positive-oriented place where third-gender devotees and guests can associate together and utilize their time to learn more about Krsna consciousness and advance in spiritual life.
Although the Sanskrit word "sangha" usually refers to communities of Buddhist monks and nuns, we are a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, who, like the historical Buddha's Sangha, connect so that we can support each other in our practice as we explore the Buddha Way.
We strive to provide a refuge and safe place where LGBTQI people can feel supported and valued as we cultivate the practice of these teachings and learn how to use them in practical ways in our everyday lives.
We come together to learn from teachers from the many Buddhist traditions, and to be teachers for one another as LGBTQI people with common experiences. We seek to understand the path of Buddha and apply it in the circumstances of our lives as we really live them.
We are a nonsectarian group. Some of us practice in the various traditions of Buddhism that have developed through the centuries. Some of us look toward what will eventually become a Western Buddhist tradition.
Imaan is an organization in the United Kingdom. Imaan supports LGBT Muslim people, their families and friends, to address issues of sexual orientation within Islam. It provides a safe space and support network to address issues of common concern through sharing individual experiences and institutional resources.
Imaan promotes the Islamic values of peace, social justice and tolerance through its work, and aspires to bring about a world that is free from prejudice and discrimination against all Muslims and LGBT people.
The Interfaith Alliance is equally committed to protecting the integrity of both religion and democracy in America. We champion religious freedom by respecting individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism and build common ground.
Interfaith Impact is a statewide coalition of congregations and individuals from mainline Protestant, Reform Jewish, Unitarian Universalist and other faith traditions. Our mission is to work for the common good through progressive religious advocacy. Our issues include concern about the civil rights of all persons, including those with gender variant identity and expression, and the civil right of civil marriage, regardless of gender.
Keshet's mission is to ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews are fully included in all parts of the Jewish community. In the Greater Boston area, Keshet offers social and cultural events for GLBT Jews ranging from Jewish text study to an annual GLBT Jewish speed-dating gala, Keshet Quick Dates. Nationally, Keshet offers support, training, and resources to create a Jewish community that welcomes and affirms GLBT Jews. KESHET will be posting an Equality Guide in mid-June 2012 -- a user-friendly online database for LGBT Jews and their loved ones to locate and connect with inclusive clergy and institutions.
Since its founding in 1968, MCC has been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements by addressing important issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, and other forms of oppression. MCC has been on the forefront in the struggle towards marriage equality in the US and other countries worldwide and continues to be a powerful voice in the LGBT equality movement.
Mormons for Equality (MFE) is composed of individuals associated with the Mormon faith and tradition who work to further the cause of legal equality for LGBTQ individuals. MFE is not affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) is an inclusive community rooted in the traditional Qur’anic ideals of human dignity and social justice. We welcome all who are interested in discussing, promoting and working for the implementation of progressive values — human rights, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state — as well as inclusive and tolerant understandings of Islam.
The Task Force organizes, convenes and staffs the National Religious Leadership Roundtable (NRLR), a network of leaders from pro-LGBT faith, spiritual and religious organizations, and runs the Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR), which works with the welcoming church movement in eight mainline Protestant denominations. Through the NRLR and the IWR, the Task Force significantly amplifies the voices of faith leaders to counter religiously-based bigotry. We do this in part though press releases, public statements and our Articles of Faith series.
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of California.
The Pew Forum examines a wide range of issues concerning religion and American society, from the shifting religious composition of the U.S. to the influence of religion on politics. The Pew Forum also covers a range of policy issues that often have a religious component. In recent years, the debate over same-sex marriage has grown into a nationwide controversy, reverberating in the halls of Congress, at the White House, in dozens of state legislatures and courtrooms, and in the rhetoric of election campaigns at both the national and state levels. As the debate rages on, the American religious community remains deeply divided over the issue and over the morality of homosexuality generally.
The Reform Jewish movement is committed to working to secure civil rights for gay men and lesbians, including the right to civil marriage. Both the URJ and the CCAR have adopted resolutions in support of gay and lesbian partnerships. The CCAR, in its 1996 resolution on gay and lesbian partnerships, resolved to "oppose governmental efforts to ban gay and lesbian marriage."
Sarbat.net is the website for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Sikhs. Established in 2007, it takes its name from the final line of the Ardas (the congregational Prayer of Supplication), and it refers to the Sikh concept of happiness and well-being for all mankind. Sarbat provides a paper on Sikh Views on Same-Sex Relationships.
Soulforce is committed to freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from religious and political oppression through relentless nonviolent resistance.
Standing on the Side of Love is an interfaith public advocacy campaign promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The Standing on the Side of Love Campaign was inspired by the 2008 shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, which was targeted because they are welcoming to LGBT people. The message, "standing on the side of love," emerged as a rallying point for people of faith in Massachusetts during their early efforts for fully inclusive marriage, and later during the fight against Proposition 8 in California.
Interview of Rev. John Vaughn, executive vice president of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City from the 3 October 2012 issue of Real Change.
Unitarian Universalists (UUs) believe that the First Principle of our faith, respecting "the inherent worth and dignity of every person," applies equally to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. UU congregations and clergy have long recognized and celebrated same-sex marriages within our faith tradition. Since 1973, when we established the Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has made an institutional commitment to full equality for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people. We recognize that full equality can only be achieved when it is recognized legally in society. Working for full equality for bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender persons is one of our highest legislative priorities.
UULM California is a statewide justice ministry that serves to empower the moral voice of Unitarian Universalist values in the public arena. UULM-CA organized the interfaith amicus brief on the consolidated marriage cases now before the CA Supreme Court, is actively organizing Freedom to Marry Task Forces in our local congregations, and is part of the Let California Ring public education campaign. UULM-CA offers a comprehensive curriculum, Re-Engage, specifically for helping UU congregations embrace marriage equality.
On July 4, 2005, at the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, delegates voted to adopt the resolution, "Equal Marriage Rights for All." The resources provided are to help facilitate conversations and study throughout the church and society on this complex and challenging matter which has important implications for individuals, families and the wider community. They are intended to get people of faith talking about the purposes of marriage, looking more closely at how marriage has evolved and changed through time biblically and socially, exploring the theology of marriage, and critically discerning the appropriate roles for the church and the state in marriage.
The Coalition provides support and sanctuary to all our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers, their families and friends; advocates for their full inclusion in church and society; and brings Christ's affirming message of love and justice for all people.