[Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta press release] The leader of Episcopalians in Middle and North Georgia today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in two cases impacting the ability of same-sex couples to receive the same federal benefits as married heterosexual couples.
After the court ruled key parts of California’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, issued the following statement.
“Every human being is made in God’s image. And, God has made us different. Today the Supreme Court moves the country forward in respecting the dignity of every human being. Jesus told us we were to love God and to love neighbor as we love ourselves. With this decided my prayer is that we as a nation might now focus on care for our veterans, support for our aged and education and hope for our poor.”
Wright said the high court’s decision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act which denied legally married gay Americans a range of tax, health and pension benefits otherwise available to married couples will immediately impact the right of same-sex couples to form stable unions.
After last November’s Annual Diocesan Council meeting Bishop Wright appointed a task force to conduct a series of listening sessions on the church’s mission to and with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the Diocese of Atlanta.
Bishop Wright said the task force will report back to Council this fall with recommendations for “the scope and scale of our mission to and with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.”
The Episcopal Church’s national governing body last July approved a service for the blessings of same-sex unions beginning on December. Bishop Wright gave the required permission for congregations and clergy to use the liturgy.