United Church of Christ Press Release
CLEVELAND - Church leaders of the 1.3-million-member United Church of Christ today (July 14) applauded the defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the U.S. Senate.
"Historically, amendments to the U.S. Constitution have expanded the rights of citizens, not limited them," said the Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, executive of the UCC's health and wholeness advocacy office. "The Senate has done the right thing by choosing not to write discrimination into the world's most enduring democratic document."
The procedural vote was 48-50, 12 short of the 60 needed to keep the measure alive and bring it to the Senate floor.
"As the vote reflects, a constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage is not the way to address this issue," said the Rev. Ron Stief, head of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries Washington, D.C., office. "Now, with so many pressing national concerns before us, and little time left on the legislative calendar, it is time for the Senate to get back to helping people who are hurting."
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ has repeatedly called people of faith to work for civil rights and equality under the law for all children of God, including persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Among these General Synod actions is a declaration that all persons, as children of God, are endowed with worth and dignity that human judgment cannot set aside.
In April 2004, the UCC's Executive Council adopted a "Call to Action and Invitation to Dialogue." It not only called for the defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment, but also for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, and the defeat or repeal of any similar state legislation. The action also affirmed equal rights for all couples who seek to have their relationships recognized by the state.
"The UCC's Executive Council's invitation to dialogue recognizes that 'the sacred joining of individuals is deserving of serious, faithful discussion by people of faith,'" said Schuenemeyer. "We have an excellent opportunity to engage in study and dialogue about marriage, and I encourage all people of faith to do so."
The 1.3-million-member United Church of Christ, with national offices in Cleveland, has some 6,000 local congregations in the United States and Puerto Rico. It was formed by the 1957 union of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
Additional resources on marriage can be found on the UCC website at https://www.ucc.org/justice/marriage.htm.