Bishop Provenzano has lent his support and signature to the following statement regarding the issue of marriage equality in New York State. This statement has been prepared by Empire State Pride Agenda and its Pride in the Pulpit arm. The statement is being released today.
Our faith traditions teach us that all people are children of God, deserving of love, dignity and equal treatment, and we, the undersigned therefore believe that gay and lesbian New Yorkers in committed, loving relationships should be able to protect each other with the critical safety-net provided by civil marriage. The performing of marriage ceremonies is one of the most important facets of our work as ministers and rabbis. We take this work extremely seriously and are grateful to have “the power vested in us” by the State of New York as we bring couples together in marriage through our civil and religious laws.
While we recognize and respect that not all faiths support marriage equality, it is important to note that the legislation in its current form states that no clergy, house of worship or denomination would be forced to perform same-sex marriages. Moreover, current New York State law already provides extremely broad protections for religious organizations that do not wish to make their facilities available to same-sex couples for marriage ceremonies, receptions or other functions. Those protections would be unchanged under the proposed legislation.
It would be a blessing if New York were to allow loving, committed gay and lesbian couples to be married. We call on the Legislature to pass this legislation for the good of these couples and for the good of our great State.