AWAB COMMENDS SUPREME COURT'S MARRIAGE EQUALITY RULING
The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, its member churches and officers, welcome the legal determination that marriage is incontrovertibly a civil right for all Americans.
Chicago, Illinois - Month Day, Year -
Today, the justices of the US Supreme Court found in a 5-to-4 ruling that marriage equality -- the notion that state-blessed unions include same-sex couples -- is the law of the land. This is a significant milestone for the LGBTQ community, and we are joyously celebrating what truly is a landmark decision.
AWAB, as part of our work to gain full equality for LGBTQ Baptists, believes that a thoughtful and informed exegetical reading of Scripture does
not condemn homosexuality and therefore does not proscribe the Church's recognition of committed relationships between any two people. To this end, AWAB member churches have been conducting marriage and commitment ceremonies for many years. Under this ruling, our member congregations, from Maine to California and from Washington to Florida, can join two people not only under God but also by powers vested by and recognized by the State.
Among core Baptist beliefs is the separation of church and state. In the secular arena, the Supreme Court's ruling clearly recognizes the equality of marriage for
all people completely independent of our or other Baptists' religious beliefs. In the face of anti-equality rhetoric among part of the broader Baptist family, AWAB calls specifically on the Southern Baptist Convention to encourage civil compliance with equality law among their membership, regardless of whether individual churches choose to conduct or theologically acknowledge same-sex unions.
While we pause to celebrate this ruling and the rights of people to marry whom they choose, we also recognize that this is NOT the end of the struggle for equality. Many states still allow job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, jeopardizing the very economic livelihood of our brothers and sisters. "Religious Freedom" laws are being twisted from their noble origins to authorize blatant civil discrimination in the public marketplace. Our transgender family continues to struggle with scorn and disfellowship within churches, and with increased violence and anti-trans legislation (e.g. attempting to deny simple, safe access to identified-gender bathrooms) in public spaces.
AWAB has been at the forefront of these issues for more than 22 years, and we celebrate this breakthrough ruling for LGBTQ people. With your support and God's blessing, we will continue working for justice and equality for
every Christian, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
For more information about the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, please visit
. To contribute or to pledge ongoing financial support for our work, please see