Supreme Court Decision A Triumph, Local Pastor Says
NEW ORLEANS – One local pastor says the Supreme Court's decision to affirm same-sex marriage for all 50 states is a tremendous triumph for gay and lesbian citizens.
Rev. Alisan Rowland, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of New Orleans, 6200 St. Charles Ave., who leads a congregation of mostly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members, said the Supreme Court's ruling was not only landmark, but a cause for celebration among Christians and all who believe in grace and equality.
MCC began performing same-sex unions in 1968 and has long advocated for the legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
"With 37 states already recognizing same-sex marriage, it's thrilling that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of nationwide legalization of such unions," Rowland said. "More and more Americans – and in some polls, a majority – believe LGBT citizens deserve the same rights as heterosexuals, in marriage, employment, housing, and other societal benefits. While the Supreme Court isn't and shouldn't be governed by popular opinion, most of us expected them to agree with dozens of lower-court judges who have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage recognition.”
"In our congregation, we have several same-sex couples who have married in states where it is legal but choose to make Louisiana their home," the pastor said. "Our church family includes other couples who would like to be legally married but have been waiting until they could celebrate their unions, lawfully, in the place they call home. Now, they can do that. We will continue to welcome everyone – straight, LGBT, questioning or unsure – to MCC-New Orleans, and I look forward to performing legally recognized weddings in the near future.”
"I think the fundamental question has been whether LGBT people were created with those orientations, and the growing belief is that we were," she said. "With that acceptance has now come the legal recognition that we are equal, and should not be defined based on our orientations. God created us and loves us, and in a nation that prides itself on being the freest country on Earth, this fight should be over. Now, LGBT citizens are on firmer footing to achieve workplace protections along with legal recognition of our relationships."