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Resolution of Support of the General Synod of The United Church of Christ v. Cooper
Rev. Geoffrey A. Black
President and General Minister
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
700 Prospect Ave. E
Cleveland, OH 44115-1100
Dear Rev. Black:
Greetings to you in this Easter season of resurrection life and hope.
As the newly elected President of the Alliance of Baptists, I am writing today to share with you a resolution of support that was affirmed by the Annual Meeting of the Alliance of Baptists, gathering at the Williston-Immanuel United Church in Portland, Maine on May 3, 2014.
It is with great joy and thanksgiving that the Alliance of Baptists stands with the United Church of Christ in support of religious liberty and justice for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
On behalf of the Alliance of Baptists, I assure you that we count it a blessing and treasured grace to have the United Church of Christ as our “partners in mission and ministry.”
Thank you for your bold witness and your important leadership in these days of challenge and hope!
In peace and with thanksgiving,
Rev. Dr. Michael D. Castle, President
CC: Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, UCC Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
Rev. Paula Clayton Dempsey, Alliance of Baptists Minister for Partnership Relations
Whereas on April 25, 2003, the Alliance of Baptists entered into a “Partnership in Mission and Ministry” with the United Church of Christ, and covenanted to “make common public witness with leaders of the United Church of Christ…on issues of national and international concerns and collaborate whenever possible on works of public witness and justice making”;
And whereas the Covenant of the Alliance of Baptists is commited to “the principle of a free church in a free state and the opposition to any effort either by church or state to use the other for its own purposes”;
And whereas on April 17, 2004, the Alliance of Baptists, in keeping faith with its covenant to “pursue justice with and for those who are oppressed,” and to “create places of refuge and renewal for those who are wounded or ignored by the church”, clearly affirmed in a “Statement on Same-Sex Marriage” “the rights of all citizens to full marriage equality” and rejected “proposed amendments to the constitution of the United States and state constitutions that would enshrine discrimination against sexual minorities and define marriage in such a way as to deny same-sex couples a legal framework in which to provide for one another and those entrusted to their care:
Therefore, as Alliance of Baptists we rise today to stand in solidarity with the United Church of Christ in its decision to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday, April 28, 2014 arguing the unconstitutionality of the 2012 law, known as Amendment One, which defines and regulates marriage in North Carolina as between a man and woman, and restrict clergy from legally marrying same sex couples. Under North Carolina law, any clergyperson who performs a marriage for a couple who has not obtained a state license is in violation of the law and punishable by the law.
As Alliance of Baptists, we celebrate and give thanks for the courageous witness of two of our Alliance of Baptists members who were named in the landmark case: The Rev. Dr. Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church (Raleigh, NC) and Cathy McGaughey, operations support for the Alliance of Baptists (Old Fort, NC). We give thanks to God for their bold public witness and pray their strength in God as they, along with the United Church of Christ and others, seek justice for all and the freedom of faith on behalf of countless men and women in North Carolina and throughout our nation.