UCC leader applauds Obama stance on marriage equality
Written by Barb Powell
May 9, 2012

The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, general minister and president of the 1.1-million-member United Church of Christ, today (May 9) released a statement applauding U.S. President Barack Obama for affirming same-gender marriage.

"I am pleased to hear that President Obama, a member of the United Church of Christ for more than 20 years, has affirmed his support for marriage equality," said Black in the statement. "I applaud his important and courageous stance."

"The President’s statement today will serve to encourage peaceful, civil dialogue, and inspire all who cherish the principle of equal justice under the law," Black said. "I ask you to join me in thanking the President for his leadership on this issue."

Black released his statement on the heels not only of the comment by Obama, but of the May 8 vote in North Carolina that bans same-gender marriage.

"Same-sex couples are able to live the vocation of marriage as well as anyone else and there are countless testimonies of this fact in the United Church of Christ," Black said. "It is time for this nation as whole to address the injustice of inequality and discrimination inherent in denying marriage to same-sex couples, and to live the values we pledge of liberty and justice for all."

Black's statement also lifted up the many U.S. citizens who bravely serve our country who "should have the freedom to marry the persons they love and receive all the rights and benefits society offers."

Here is the complete text of the statement released May 9 by the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black:

"I am pleased to hear that President Obama, a member of the United Church of Christ for more than 20 years, has affirmed his support for marriage equality. I applaud his important and courageous stance. I cannot help but believe that his own evolving understandings on marriage equality have been shaped, at least in part, by a church like ours that extravagantly welcomes the gifts of LGBT people and affirms marriage equality for all.

"The President’s statement today will serve to encourage peaceful, civil dialogue, and inspire all who cherish the principle of equal justice under the law. I ask you to join me in thanking the President for his leadership on this issue. 

"Same-gender loving citizens who put their lives on the line to serve our country, who live in our communities across this land, should have the freedom to marry the persons they love and receive all the rights and benefits society offers.  

"Same-sex couples are able to live the vocation of marriage as well as anyone else and there are countless testimonies of this fact in the United Church of Christ. 

"It is time for this nation as a whole to address the injustice of inequality and discrimination inherent in denying marriage to same sex-couples, and to live the values we pledge of liberty and justice for all."

The United Church of Christ has a long history of affirming and working for equal rights for LGBTQ persons. At its 2005 biennial General Synod –– the main deliberative body of the UCC –– the denomination passed a resolution affirming equal marriage rights for all couples, regardless of gender.

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Ms. Barbara A. Powell
Associate Director of Publishing, Identity, and Communication
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-2175
powellb@ucc.org

Ms. Ann Poston
Director of Communications
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-2173
postona@ucc.org