Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Religion and Equality

We received news this week that our friends at the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry (RCFM) will be closing their doors here in Massachusetts – for the best of reasons. “We’ve accomplished our mission!” said RCFM leader Rabbi Devon Lerner. While marriage equality is secure in Massachusetts, Rabbi Lerner also told us that she recognizes that the work of religious leaders is not done: “We know we have more work to do in our denominations and in our faith communities for GLBT equality, but it will be done through new and different coalitions.”

Our partnerships with religious people over the years have subverted the idea that religion = bigotry, and that the religious right speaks for all people of faith when they denounce gay equality. In our work throughout New England, we’ve seen religious coalitions for equality grow in strength and numbers in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine, and of course here in Massachusetts.

One of the most powerful moments on the June day that our Massachusetts legislature was to vote marriage equality up or down came early in the morning. The Religious Coalition held a rally and prayed at St. Paul's Cathedral, then marched en masse across the Boston Common to the State House. Religious opponents to marriage equality, praying across the street, had to part ways to let the supportive clergy through. It was only one of many times and many ways over the years that RCFM has demonstrated its support for equality, and we are extraordinarily grateful.

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