Soulforce Looks to Future as Fundamentalism Falters with Demise of DOMA
Soulforce celebrates with thousands of Americans who were granted Federal recognition of their marriages by today’s ruling in the Supreme Court overturning section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Since 1998, Soulforce has confronted the root cause of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) citizens in America—religious fundamentalism at work in the public square.
Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Soulforce’s Executive Director said, “The driving force behind the denial of marriage equality for same-sex relationships has always been misused religious belief. Today the Supreme Court said that individuals and their religious beliefs cannot prevail over the state in its responsibility to protect and defend the rights of its citizens.”
Love continued, “At the same time, it has been faith—faith in family, faith in love, faith in our inherent value in the eyes of our Creator–that has motivated many of us to work on issues of LGBTQ equality. People of many faith traditions and secular advocates have joined together to work on issues of LGBTQ equality. Today we share deep gratitude for the Spirit that has moved so many hearts and minds to understand and bless our relationships. We are mindful of the great costs of these lawsuits on the families involved. We thank them and continue to pray for them.”
Love called on people of faith and ethical concern to be relentless in confronting oppression caused by fundamentalism and the stigma that is born from it. “This same Supreme Court that upheld our constitutional rights today for marriage equality stumbled yesterday when Justices struck down a key provision of the voting rights act that has been crucial to achieving racial equality at the ballot box. Political forces aligned with the Religious Right have been highly effective in trying to make it harder for minorities and young people to vote because these voters often align with LGBTQ people. We won on marriage and lost on voting rights. We need to understand the relationship between these concerns and form powerful and effective coalitions across issues of injustice. These coalitions must intrude upon local and state based groups and systems that sanction prejudice and discrimination.”
Love said, “Today is not the end of the struggle. It is really just the beginning of a new wave of advocacy that brings to light discrimination that uses history, tradition, or religion to justify bigotry and stigma. Our resistance to these forms of discrimination must be relentless if we are to create and sustain a world where all can flourish and live out their full potential.”