Tuesday, July 22, 2008

URGENT: Help Us Demonstrate that Clergy Support Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples

2008 is sure to go down as a historic year for marriage equality for same-sex couples. The only question is whether we remember 2008 as the year equality advanced or took a step backward.

Certainly the biggest news from 2008 so far has been the decision by the California Supreme Court to permit same-sex couples to legally marry beginning on June 17. New York Gov. David Paterson also announced that legal marriages of same-sex couples from other states would be recognized by the state of New York. These actions by two of the largest states in the country have generated momentum unlike anything we've seen since marriage equality was first achieved in Massachusetts in 2004.

That year, the Religious Institute convened a group of clergy and theologians from diverse religious traditions to create an Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality. Hundreds of religious leaders signed on to the Open Letter at that time. We need thousands more to do so NOW.

The timing is critical. In the coming months, ballot initiatives, pending legislation and imminent court decisions in at least a dozen states will tip the scales of justice toward greater equality -- or continued discrimination. Voters in Arizona, Florida and California will either pass bans against same-sex marriage or increase full inclusion.

Religious leadership can make the difference. That's why the Religious Institute is launching a renewed effort to invite clergy from across the country to sign the Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality TODAY.

Here's what you can do to participate. Click here to read the Open Letter. If you are ordained clergy, sign your name to our list of endorsers. If you are not, please copy this message into an email and pass it on to any supportive clergy you know. Or please just forward this link to every clergy person you know, asking them to sign on.

We hope to gain at least 1,000 new signatures by August 15th. We'd like 5,000. We can't do it alone. We need you.

As you add your name, or get your clergy friends to add theirs, know that you are writing history. Together, we will ensure that 2008 is a year to remember -- and celebrate.

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