Go Gay New Mexico Blog

Religious leaders back marriage equality push in New Mexico

Written by WiG
May 14, 2013
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Plaintiffs Kim Kiel, Rose Griego, Miriam Rand and Ona Porter. – PHOTO: ACLU

Dozens of religious leaders have signed a statement supporting marriage equality in New Mexico, the only state in the U.S. that has not specifically addressed same-sex marriage in its statutes or its Constitution.

In March, a lawsuit was filed in Albuquerque’s district court on behalf of two same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry. The lawsuit claims that the New Mexico marriage statutes and New Mexico Constitution do not bar same-sex couples from marrying. Therefore the state should issue civil marriage licenses to any same-sex couple who applies for one.

The couples are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Albuquerque law firm Sutin, Thayer & Browne, APC, and local cooperating attorneys Maureen Sanders, Lynn Perls, and Kate Girard.

Recently, the ACLU circulated the statement of support in the faith-based community.

“By standing in support of the freedom to marry for all committed couples in New Mexico, I believe that I am in no way taking a bold or unusual stance,” said Robert Woodruff, a Presbyterian minister from Albuquerque. “I am simply standing in the light of my faith perspective of inclusion, and the fundamental call to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Though I do not speak for all of the faithful in the denomination or congregation I serve, I do speak with a great multitude. I speak in one voice with the nearly one-hundred other religious leaders in New Mexico, from varying faith traditions and denominations, who have joined together to affirm the moral and faith tenets of respecting and honoring all marriages formed by loving, committed couples.”

The statement reads:

“We, the undersigned clergy and religious leaders from across New Mexico, draw upon our moral convictions and our personal faith to support the freedom to marry in our state.

“We are leaders of various faith communities, who have lived and ministered closely with thousands of families through all of life’s glory, tragedy, and tedium. Some of these families are headed by same-sex couples. They, like many of us, enjoy the holidays with aunts and cousins, struggle to meet the mortgage, and fret over children who aren’t doing well in school.

“These families are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and our peers. As people of faith and as New Mexicans, we believe in loving our neighbors, and treating one another as we would like to be treated—with dignity and respect. This means recognizing the love and commitment of lesbian and gay couples through marriage.

“Entering into a committed, loving relationship is one of life’s most sacred and holy gifts. Marriage means responsibility and hard work, but it also brings life-changing protections for a family. Those of us who are married often take for granted the fact that we will not be questioned when we go to the hospital to visit our spouse; that no one can step between a mother and her children; that if death comes suddenly and we are unprepared, our spouse or children will not be denied inheritance in those mournful hours. Most heterosexual couples wouldn’t want to be denied these joys and protections that come with marriage, and when they think about it, they wouldn’t want to deny that to anyone else, either.

“We recognize that there are a diversity of views in the faith community, and respect the right of religious groups to refuse to officiate or bless marriages for lesbian or gay couples. Indeed, not everyone in our congregations or denominations agrees with this viewpoint. By the same token, we support civil marriage fairness as an issue of religious freedom, for a denial of civil recognition dishonors the religious convictions of those communities and clergy who do officiate, and bless, marriages for same-sex couples.

“Our religious principles are grounded in a love and acceptance of all people, and we believe deeply that means embracing marriage between same-sex couples.

“New Mexico has a long history of valuing and protecting the humanity and dignity of every person. It is time to extend this tradition to families that include same-sex couples.”

Signers include:

The Rev. Brian C. Taylor, Rector, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Albuquerque

Philip L. Wangberg, Pastor, All Saints Lutheran Church, Albuquerque

The Rev. Geri Cunningham, St. Peter Lutheran Church, Carlsbad

Rev. Joe Morris, New Covenant United Methodist, Farmington

Rev. David Cameron, Pastor, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque

Rev. Bert Scott, D. Min, United Methodist Church, Retired

Fr. James J. Lehman, Pastor, Holy Family Ecumenical Catholic Church, Las Cruces

Rev. Pedro Ramos-Goycolea, Iglesia Congregacional Unida, United Church of Christ, Albuquerque

Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., Founding Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

The Rev. Patricia L. Holman, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Evangelical Luther Chuch in America, Albuquerque

Rt. Rev. Rusty Smith, CSB, Bishop of the Evangelical Anglican Church

Rev. Canon Dr. Thomas Arrowsmith-Lowe, Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Alamagordo

Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld, Albuquerque

Rev. Dr. Ute S. Molitor, Interim Minister, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Albuquerque

The Rev. Rhonda Smith McIntire, Rector, San Gabriel the Archangel Episcopal Church, Corrales

Rabbi Arthur Flicker, Congregation B’nai Israel, Albuquerque

Rev. Linda Mervine, First Christian Church, Las Cruces

Rev. Sue Joiner, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Albuquerque

Rev. Vangie Chavez, Rising Sun Ministries

Rev. Kenneth Cuthbertson, PhD, Presbytery of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Rev. Seth Finch, Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque

Sr. Michele Gothro n/OFR.

Rabbi Deborah J. Brin, Congregation Nahalat Shalom, Albuquerque

Anne Morawski, Campus Pastor, Lutheran Campus Ministry at UNM and CNM, Albuquerque

Marcia Rose, Founding-Guiding Teacher and minister, The Mountain Hermitage Buddhist Retreat Center, Taos

Rev. Mark Denton, Pastor, Albuquerque

Rabbi Malka Drucker, HaMakom, Santa Fe

Rev. Dr. Frank Yates, Pastor, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque

Rev. Wayne Mell, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Taos

Rev. Judith L. Maynard, Senior Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church of Albuquerque

Rev. Dr. Bobbie G McGarey, New Life Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque

Grove Burnett, Dharma Teacher, Santa Fe

Rev. Trey Hammond, Pastor, La Mesa Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque

Fr. Mark Sutton, Pastor, Ecumenical Catholic Communion, St. Mary Magdalene

Rev. Dr. Robert B. Woodruff, Second Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque

Rev. Lynette Curley-Roam, MSW, LISW, Visitation House Healing Center; EACA retired

Rev. Judith Wellington, Albuquerque

Rev. James M Collie, Presbytery of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Dr. Don Childers, Pastor, First Christian Church, Santa Fe

Valerie Roth, Community Dharma Leader, Albuquerque

Rev. Harry Eberts III, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Santa Fe

Rabbi Marvin Schwab, Temple Beth Shalom, Union for Reform Judaism

Rev. Sharon S. Littrell, Ph.D., Pastor, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Rio Rancho

The Rev. Canon Carole McGowan, Rector, St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church and Canterbury Campus Ministry Chaplain

Rev. Kylie Renner, Spiritual Leader, Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living

Rev. Paul Debenport, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque, Retired

Rev. Stephen Phinney, Parish Minister, Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation, Rio Rancho

Rev. Andrew Groves, Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living

Rabbi Lawrence P. Karol, Las Cruces

Rev. Dr. Michael R. Lohmann, Interim Senior Pastor, Peace Lutheran Church, Las Cruces

Rev. Gail Lindsay Marriner, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe

Rev. Jan Gough, Presbytery of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Medanales

Rev. Drew Henry, Pastor, Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, Placitas

Rev. Daléne Fuller Rogers, Interim Associate Pastor, Peace Lutheran Church, Las Cruces

Rev. Paul R. Miller, Sierra Blanca Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Honorably Retired

Nancy J. Anderson, Minister Emerita, Unitarian Universalist Church, Las Cruces

Carol Tuck, United Methodist Church, Retired

Rev. Carole Czujko, Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces

Rev. Joe Whitley, Las Cruces

Rev. Dr. Barbara Dua, Presbytery of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Rev. Dean H. Lewis, Presbytery of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Honorably Retired

Rev. Bonnie L. Smith, Organ Mountain Institute for Spiritual Growth, Las Cruces

Rev. Brandon Johnson, United Church of Santa Fe

Kathryn Turnipseed, Community Dharma Leader, Albuquerque

Rev. Talitha Arnold, United Church of Santa Fe

Rev. Theodore Cooley, Retired, Disciples of Christ

Rev. Brian H. O. A. McHugh, Assisting Priest, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Retired, Silver City

Rev. Lee Albertson, Albuquerque

Rev. Craig C. Cockrell, Senior Pastor, St. John’s United Methodist Church, Albuquerque

Bethany K. Carpenter, Zia United Methodist Church, Santa Fe

The Rev. Benjamin Larzelere III, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Retired

The Rev. Dr. James Leehan, Episcopal Church, Retired, Santa Fe

The Rev. William E. Hershey, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Retired, Albuquerque

Rev. William D. Ingraham, Senior Pastor, Church of the Good Shepherd, United Church of Christ, Albuquerque

Terry Lund, Las Cruces

Rev. Sam Ritchey, Wellspring, Las Cruces

Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, Southwest Conference Minister, United Church of Christ

The Rev. Howard D. Corry, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Retired, Taos

The Rev. Dr. Richard W. Murphy, Episcopal Church, Retired, Santa Fe

Rev. Anne Marsh, Unitarian Universalist, Retired, Los Alamos

The Rev. W. D. Lackey, ThD. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Honorably Retired

Rev. Betsy Bueschel, United Church of Christ, Retired, Santa Fe

Rev. Ryan Arnold, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ruidoso

Steve Wiard, Pastor, El Pueblito United Methodist Church, Taos

Rev. David Wilson Rogers, Pastor, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Carlsbad

The Rev. Kathryn A. Schlechter, MFT, Intentional Interim Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, Santa Fe

Rev. Tony Chambless, First Presbyterian Church, Ruidoso

The Rev. Elizabeth McMaster, Unitarian Universalist, Retired

Brian Joshin Byrnes, Upaya Zen Center

The Rev. Patricia Halverson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Retired, Las Vegas

Rev. Mary Harris, Minister, Los Altos Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. John A. Cullinan, Unitarian Universalist, Los Alamos

Rev. Kim Fields-Haley, West Mesa Christian Church, Albuquerque

The Rev, Dr. Wallace Ford, Retired

The Rev. Suzanne Redfern-Campbell, Intentional Interim Minister, Unitarian Universalist, Albuquerque

Rev. Anita Amstutz, Pastor, Albuquerque Mennonite Church

Rev Mary Tyler Browne, Retired, Albuquerque

The Rev. Rick Green, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Alamogordo

Rev. Gayle Dillon, Spiritual Leader, Everyday Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Fe

The Rev. Dr. Martha Blacklock, Episcopal Church, Retired, Silver City

Rev. Dr. James E. Raghair, Presbytery of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Honorably Retired

Rev. Bishop David Doyle, Christ the King Old Catholic Church, Albuquerque

The Rev. Dr. Peter Frazier-Koontz, Presbytery of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Honorably Retired

Rev. Wade Wheelock, Unitarian Universalist, Retired, Los Alamos

Dr. Michael J. Adee, First Presbyterian Church, Santa Fe

Rev. Tyler Connoley, Pastor, United Church of Christ, Silver City

Rev. Lorelei Kay, Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Gallup.

 

 

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