Pacific School of Religion and its Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) celebrated today’s landmark Supreme Court ruling as a victory for loving, same-gender couples. The decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, affirms the right of same-gender couples to marry throughout the United States.

“Literally thousands of people from all faith traditions have worked for many years to realize this victory in our country today and we celebrate the court’s decision,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean, and Associate Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies at Pacific School of Religion and the Executive Director of CLGS Dr. Bernard Schlager. “Marriage equality is both a civil rights issue and, for many Christians, an important faith issue because the Gospel calls us to treat everyone with equality and justice. Indeed, it is our faith that requires us to secure equal protection under the law for same-gender couples wanting to seal their commitments of love in the bonds of marriage. PSR’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) is an organization that has been joined in the marriage equality struggle for many years and we are honored to have played a role in this important and wonderful victory.”

In 1971, Pacific School of Religion alumnus Bill Johnson became the first openly gay minister ordained in a major American denomination, the United Church of Christ. PSR’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion was the first seminary-based academic center dedicate to the study of LGBTQ issues.

“This is a tremendous victory for human rights,” added CLGS’s Director of Ministerial Outreach and African American Roundtable Coordinator Rev. Roland Stringfellow. “Historically, there have been classes of people who have been denied their right as Americans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This decision by the Supreme Court has helped our nation take another step towards making those rights a reality for so many individuals and families. As religious communities, we now have the responsibility to not allow this decision to divide, but find ways to have real conversations with those who may feel their religion is under attack. It is our common belief in a God of love and fairness that can help facilitate healing dialogues.”

The Pacific School of Religion and CLGS espouse a radically inclusive spirituality, supporting of the full rights of LGBTQ individuals, both in faith communities and society at large.

Additional news coverage:

East Bay Express: Bay Area Celebrates Historic Marriage Equality Ruling

Detroit News: Churches Take Different Stance on Same-Sex Marriage