Washington, D.C.’s All Souls Church hosted Mayor Fenty and the marriage bill signing ceremony earlier today, sending a strong message that religious freedom means not being being precluded from solumnizing same-gender marriages. The unwavering support for the marriage bill of most DC Councilmembers of color and of Mayor Fenty, along with the advent and pro-activism of the self-motivated, multi-denominational DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality put truth to the lie that the Maryland cleric Harry Jackson or the Salt Lake City-based NOM necessarily represent mainstream thought among people of faith or people of color in the District.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 18, 2009

CONTACT:

Michael Onyiego

202.879.5593 (office)

202.631.3299 (cell)

monyiego@deweysquare.com

REV. ROBERT HARDIES RELEASES STATEMENT CELEBRATING SIGNING OF DC SAME-GENDER MARRIAGE BILL AT ALL SOULS CHURCH, UNITARIAN

PASTOR HOSTS MAYOR ADRIAN FENTY, DC LEADERS, FOR BILL SIGNING AT CHURCH

CO-CHAIR OF DC CLERGY UNITED FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY AND STANDING ON THE SIDE OF LOVE SPOKESMAN STANDS WITH 200 DC CLERGY IN APPLAUDING PASSAGE

WASHINGTON, DC – TODAY, the Reverend Robert Hardies, co-chair of DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality, Senior Pastor of All Souls Church, Unitarian in Columbia Heights, and Standing on the Side of Love spokesman issued the following statement celebrating DC Mayor Adrian Fenty’s signing of legislation legalizing same-gender marriage in the District of Columbia into law.

The bill signing, which was hosted by Rev. Hardies and his congregation at All Souls Church, Unitarian, featured Fenty, along with DC religious, spiritual, political, and civil and gay rights leaders.  Rev. Hardies also spoke at the event.

“The signing of this bill marks a watershed moment for human rights in the District of Columbia,” said Rev. Hardies. “No longer will gay and lesbian couples be denied the fundamental right to marriage in our nation’s capital.”

“I and the nearly 200 DC clergy who supported this bill look forward to celebrating the marriages of loving lesbian and gay couples in sanctuaries like this one all over our city.”

“I applaud Mayor Fenty and the DC Council for standing on the side of love and ending discrimination against gay and lesbian Washingtonians.”

Continued below.

The press release, continued:

Rev. Hardies, as well as fellow co-chairs of DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality, Rev. Christine and Dennis Wiley of Covenant Baptist Church in Southeast DC, is available for further comment on this critically important legislation:

Rev. Rob Hardies: (202) 294-9032 (cell)

Rev. Christine Wiley: (301) 404-1842 (cell)

Rev. Dennis Wiley: (301) 404-1843 (cell)

Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, also issued the following statement:

“I applaud the new law that extends marriage rights to same-sex couples in Washington, D.C.  This legislation will make a profound difference to many Washington families, and it will shine as a beacon of hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens across the country.

I extend my admiration and gratitude to Mayor Fenty and the DC City Council members.  When lawmakers step up to end discrimination and protect families, all Americans benefit.  The overwhelming support for marriage equality by District leaders is heartening, especially following recent set-backs at state ballot boxes.  I believe that justice ultimately will prevail as more civic leaders and private citizens come forward to stand proudly on the side of love.”

Standing on the Side of Love is a campaign sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and promotes respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We believe that no person of any immigrant status, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, ability level, or political view should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence.

DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality is a coalition of nearly 200 religious leaders of many races, cultures, faiths, and from every Ward in the District of Columbia, who unite to affirm marriage equality for same-gender couples.

Related: Pro-equality clergy greatly outnumber the anti-gay variety in Washington, D.C.