Christian Leaders Cheer Today’s SCOTUS Rulings On DOMA & Prop 8

Effie Mag 4 Marriage Equality

In Los Angeles, two Christian leaders cheered and praised the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) for it’s rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8, on June 26.

R. Scott Colglazier, Senior Minister of the city’s oldest continuously operating Protestant congregation, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles (FCCLA), praised the court for the decisions.

“The Supreme Court made two right decisions today. It was a strong statement by the supporting Justices to say that all people are made in the image of their Creator, and that all people are of value just the way they are,” Colglazier said. “In many ways, I hope that today’s decisions translate into a brighter and more equal future for all Americans, especially young gays and lesbians who may struggle with their identities and who are looking for the acceptance that all people deserve.”

Colglazier is considered by some to be a champion of social justice, for openly welcoming LGBT people into his congregation and partnering with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA).

Echoing support of same-sex marriage, Catholic priest, Rev. William Messenger reflected on the benefits the court rulings will bring to a society filled with varieties of believers and non-believers.

“Today’s Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 provide excellent opportunities for us as individual’s, as communities of faith, and as a nation. These two decisions are neither harbingers of a godless nation, nor reflections of a religious demise already in progress,” Messenger said. “Rather, they are a reminder that the U.S. Constitution guarantees both freedom of and freedom from religion.”

Messenger elaborated beyond the philosophical aspects of the SCOTUS rulings and into the inevitable practicalities of marrying same-sex couples within religious frameworks.

“As a Catholic priest, I can speak most clearly about the Christian faith. Although, same sex marriage is not traditional in Christianity, there is—contrary to popular opinion—NO solid ground in the Scriptures for opposing it,” Messenger said.

Messenger also addressed concerns that allowing same-sex marriage could invade or alter freedom of religious practice, in the future. “The SCOTUS decisions will have no direct effect on religious practice in the United States. Those churches, synagogues, etc. that do not already perform same sex unions will not be required to begin doing so,” he said. “If churches wish to withhold the sacrament from same-sex couples, they are free to do so, but at what cost?”

That cost or loss is one that neither Messenger nor Colglazier are willing to take, both publish Op-Eds in support of equal treatment in religion and under the law and for LGBT people. And having anticipated the legalization of same-sex marriage, both are committed to offer their services for those seeking to tie the knot, just as soon as possible.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it will wait at least 25 days before making a decision on whether gay marriages can resume in California, according to the Associated Press. The backers of Proposition 8 oppose same-sex marriage and have that time period to ask the SCOTUS to rehear the case. Should that occur, the appeals court may decide to continue to bar same-sex marriages beyond the 25 days.

Colglazier, along with his staff and the church’s wedding department have already taken steps to be ready for same-sex couples including training and certification in ways to be sensitive to and inclusive of same-sex couples in church materials.

Messenger addressed the issue that couples, whether gay or straight, are unique. “I am prepared to deliver marriage ceremonies to same-sex couples in a manner that is as religious or as secular, as they wish.”

Further evidence of Colglazier’s anticipation of the legalized same-sex marriage came in the form of an online auction. He announced, on June 26, that FCCLA joined with GMCLA to create “Ultimate Same-Sex Wedding in Los Angeles” package, which includes members of GMCLA singing a proposal, a wedding ceremony at FCCLA in the Neo-Gothic sanctuary gallery that also houses the world’s largest church pipe organ with members of GMCLA singing at the ceremony for up to 1,000 guests.

In one last reflection on the events surrounding the SCOTUS ruling, Messenger said, “Today’s decisions may, just possibly, open the minds of religious fundamentalists and fanatics who conceive of the world through a single—and too narrow—a lens.”

Couples interested in ceremonies at FCCLA or a chance to win “Ultimate Same-Sex Wedding in Los Angeles” package,can learn more at

Couples interested in ceremonies or writings by Rev. William Messenger can learn more at

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