June 26, 2015
Below is a statement from the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, on the Supreme Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriage. Bishop Lane is attending the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church meeting in Salt Lake City from June 25 – July 3.
Since 2012, when Maine was among the first states to approve marriage equality by popular vote, same sex couples and their families have enjoyed knowing their relationships and their families enjoy greater security and protection. With today’s Supreme Court decision, I rejoice that the right to marry, with its attendant benefits and responsibilities, will be afforded to all Americans who choose to exercise it.
In concluding his majority opinion for Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote most elegantly: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.”
Such recognition of the value of marriage and the love shared among members of a family echoes what is core to our Christian belief that we are all created in God’s image and, in baptism, we are all full members of the church. In many of our congregations, both in Maine and around the country, faithful same sex couples and their families are sharing in their local church’s life and ministry and in service to their communities. I give thanks for their faith, witness, and sustained pursuit of justice.
While the question of marriage equality is now settled in the civil sphere, I ask for your prayers as we at the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church seek to engage in generous conversation about the definition of marriage and revisions to our liturgies. Disagreement remains, but with God’s grace the justice attained in today’s decision will be extended across the Episcopal Church.