Jun 03 2009
New Hampshire's decision to legalize same-gender marriage continues a growing momentum in support of this issue. More and more people are coming to recognize that government support for same-gender marriage is "a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law." Expanding civil rights and respecting individual freedom for all persons pulsate at the heart of American democracy.
Given our nation's constitutional commitment to religious freedom, nothing in today's action will deprive anyone of the right to practice the teachings of their respective religious institutions. But the state of New Hampshire will treat all citizens fairly. Members of the GLBT community in New Hampshire no longer will be denied access to the right to marry based on a civil prohibition shaped by some people's religious convictions.
Jun 04 2009
President Obama is to be commended for reaching out to the Muslim world with a message that makes clear they are not the enemy. I was particularly pleased to hear the president speak about the centrality of the need for religious freedom both in the Muslim world and here at home.
It is also clear the president understands that powerful words need to be backed up by meaningful action if we are to achieve real change. Working towards finding common ground seems to be a reasonable goal for all of us involved in the search for improved relationships with the Muslim world.
May 31 2009
Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance Board Chair, Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich, issued the following statement today in response to the shooting of Dr. George Tiller at a Wichita, KA church:
Today's despicable shooting at a Kansas church is profoundly disturbing. The abortion issue evokes deep passion from people on all sides, but resorting to murder should never be an option. The fact that it happened at a church is all the more distressing. Our houses of worship should be places where people find comfort and solace, not where they fear for their lives.
The solution to reducing the number of abortions in this country is not murder; it is for all sides to work together towards a common ground.
May 26 2009
The California Supreme Court's decision to uphold Proposition 8 is a disappointing setback for marriage equality. Allowing 18,000 same-gender marriages to stand, while denying that same to right to those who come after, does not even rise to the standard of separate but equal - it is separate and unequal.
Strengthening assured equality and supporting expanded civil rights among all people are essential actions in the cause of justice. Despite today's decision, I believe that our nation, committed to liberty and justice for all, will continue moving towards equal rights for the LGBT community.
There are no easy answers as we move forward in addressing this issue, but the foundation of any solution is to find common ground on which the people in our nation can meet and, through honest, civil debate, chart a legal path. A violation of the basic nature of democracy is of no help to anyone. I am confident that our nation is compassionate enough and smart enough to find a way for people with contradictory values and opinions as well as beliefs and religions to live together without denying civil rights for all.