The Friends of Jake blog rejoice over the Virginia Episcopal Bishops (Diocese of Virginia and Southern Virginia) joining a multi-faith group in an amici brief in the marriage case in Virginia:
This is what they pulled from the brief:
Amici curiae represent a broad range of religious stakeholders who support equal treatment for same-sex couples with respect to civil marriage. While Amici come from faiths that have approached issues affecting lesbian and gay people and their families in different ways over the years, they are united in the belief that, in our diverse and pluralistic society, particular religious views or definitions of marriage should not be permitted to influence whom the state allows to marry. Such rights must be determined by religiously neutral principles of equal protection under the law….
Any attempt to have the Court embrace specifically religious views or definitions of marriage must be rejected –among other reasons because that result would disfavor and disadvantage other religious believers, like Amici here, who do not embrace the arguments or conclusions of amici seeking reversal. By affirming the judgment below without reference to religiously based arguments, and affirming the constitutional promise of equal treatment for different-and same-sex couples, this Court will ensure that civil law neither favors nor disfavors any particular religious viewpoint, and it will leave individual faith communities free to determine for themselves whether to provide religious sanction to particular unions.
For the foregoing reasons, Amici respectfully submit that the Court should affirm the judgment of the court below that Virginia’s ban on marriages of same-sex couples is unconstitutional.