The United Church of Christ's Cleveland-based national office has purchased full-page ads in three of California's largest gay community publications after voters there approved a constitutional amendment, known as Proposition 8, that halts same-gender marriages in the state.
"We stood with you in saying no to Proposition 8 and we will continue to stand with you, both in disappointment and resolve, until marriage equality is realized," reads the ad, quoting the Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president.
The print advertisements will appear in upcoming editions of the Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco, Frontiers in Los Angeles, and Gay & Lesbian News in San Diego.
"We felt it important to offer a pastoral word in support of the LGBT community in California and in solidarity with our two UCC Conferences there," said the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, the UCC's director of communications. "So many of our pastors, members and congregations worked tirelessly to defeat Proposition 8, and we know there is much disappointment, sadness and even anger that followed the outcome of that referendum."
In 2005, the UCC's General Synod approved a resolution that affirmed its support for same-gender marriage equality. The UCC's Southern California – Nevada Conference and Northern California – Nevada Conference were among the earliest advocates for the General Synod action. Both Conferences had actively opposed Proposition 8.
"In this moment of profound spiritual pain and struggle, the UCC, more than ever, sets its resolve toward a not-distant future where justice and fairness will prevail in the full embrace of marriage equality," said the Rev. Felix Carrion, coordinator of the Stillspeaking Ministry, the UCC's marketing and identity campaign. "Our pastoral and prophetic conscience leads us to proclaim in these ads our ultimate bonds of friendship with the LGBT family and our conviction in an undefeatable ideal."
Guess said that the UCC is considering the possibility of purchasing additional ads in national publications, if financial support becomes available. Contributions to the UCC's Tell Our Story Fund enable the national UCC to respond in pivotal moments with advertising messages, Guess said.