New Ways Ministry and U.S. Catholics Rejoice at Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision

The following is a statement of Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director, on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to enable marriage equality to be enacted throughout the nation.

New Ways Ministry rejoices with millions of U.S. Catholics that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided in favor of marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples! On this historic day, we pray in thanksgiving that justice and mercy have prevailed and that the prayers and efforts of so many have combined to move our nation one step closer to fairness and equality for all.

With this Supreme Court victory, Catholics recommit themselves to working to make sure that all LGBT people are treated equally in both church and society.  While we are delighted with this victory, there is still much work to be done to ensure those goals.

Catholics have been at the forefront of working for equal marriage rights for lesbian and gay couples. The overwhelming majority of U.S. Catholics have consistently been in favor of marriage equality, and have put their support into action in legislative, judicial, and electoral campaigns.

Their Catholic faith has inspired them to make sure that their lesbian and gay family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers receive equal treatment by society. The Supreme Court’s decision embodies the Catholic values of human dignity, respect for differences, and the strengthening of families.

While the U.S. Catholic bishops have consistently opposed marriage equality measures on all fronts, Catholic people in the pews have had a different perspective from their leaders.   The lived faith of Catholic people has taught them that love, commitment, and sacrifice are the essential building blocks of marriage and family. Their daily experiences interacting with lesbian and gay couples and their families has taught them that these relationships are identical to heterosexual marriages in terms of the essential qualities needed to build a future together, establish a family, and contribute to social stability and growth.

The U.S. bishops now need to reconcile themselves to the new social reality of marriage equality, as it is poised to spread to all 50 states. They can do so by entering into a dialogue with lesbian and gay Catholics to learn more about the reality of their lives and how their faith inspires their relationships. The bishops should declare a moratorium on firing lesbian and gay church employees who have married legally. These firings have been a scandalous trend with effects that are harmful not only to the people involved, but to the life of the Church.

Today begins a time for Catholic supporters and Catholic opponents of marriage equality to reconcile with one another and work to build up their local faith communities so that together they can work for a world Pope Francis envisions: one of justice and mercy.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry




32 replies
  1. Barry Blackburn
    Barry Blackburn says:

    “Rejoice and be Glad…” “This is the Day that the Lord has made…” A beautiful and powerful statement by Francis DeBernardo! THANK YOU for these words of Hope and Faith!

  2. says:

    God bless America and God bless all who have worked so hard, for so long, with such dedication in spite of heart-breaking setbacks. Frank, Sister Jeanning and Father Nugent……….I know he is listening………I am so grateful for all that you have done and continue to do. Joy and gentle blessings…….. Paula

  3. Bishop Carlos Florido, osf
    Bishop Carlos Florido, osf says:

    A great, fair and just decision. We have been blessings gay couples unions for years. Now we can do so legally too! I rejoice together our gay sisters and brothers.

  4. Brian Kneeland
    Brian Kneeland says:

    It is necessary for the Church to now openly welcome us – even those of us civilly married! Let us work, let us volunteer, let us be parishioners!

  5. kerry mansour
    kerry mansour says:

    I am so thrilled with this decision from the Supreme Court! Love Wins! I would love it if you would provide a letter that we could share with our pastors of our parishes, that says the things you wrote about today. I am a parishioner at an extremely conservative Catholic Parish in Wheaton, IL, and I would love to be an ambassador for LGBT Catholics within our church!! We need to flood our parishes with our desire to begin a dialogue of change! And I think it carries a great deal of weight when it comes from straight allies, such as myself.

  6. Mary Collingwood, ARCWP
    Mary Collingwood, ARCWP says:

    As an ordained member of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, I wholeheartedly embrace my lesbian and gay sisters and brothers in rejoicing over this victory for marriage equality! I would be honored to preside at the sacramental marriages of all who have been denied this fundamental right and blessing.

  7. Peter Beacham
    Peter Beacham says:

    Now that equal marriage is the law of the land in the U.S., one wonders if an LGBT couple applies to be married in a Catholic Church and is refused will that church or its diocese be denied permission to marry anyone or will its marriage ceremonies between heterosexuals be considered to be a religious ceremony only with no legal standing. I support either option or some other equally decisive outcome.

    • Friends
      Friends says:

      Excellent and incisive questions, Peter! A huge remaining bafflement, at least to me, is how Kennedy and Scalia — both practicing Catholics, as far as I know — could be so divergent on the nature, value and inherent goodness of legally bonded marriage relationships. The vehemence and blistering sarcasm of Scalia’s dissent from the majority opinion is totally “over the top” — and I can’t imagine that Pope Francis himself would in any way support this sort of hateful rhetoric. I’ve never figured out what makes Scalia so genuinely vicious — while he simultaneously claims to be so deeply religious. (One of his own sons is, in fact, a conservative Catholic priest.) The floor is open for any plausible explanations!

  8. Will
    Will says:

    This is wonderful news. It is interesting to watch many individuals, groups, companies and organisations line up on either side of this. On the anti-gay side are some that are seriously unpleasant, with lengthy records of hate-filled rhetoric and actions. Am I alone in feeling a deep embarrassment that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops sits so comfortably on this side? Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the Conference said: “Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.”

    I wish some of them would look around at the company they keep – and perhaps they might re-consider their location?

    • Friends
      Friends says:

      Archbishop Kurtz is completely missing the point — or else he is just deliberately and maliciously distorting the point. The Supreme Court’s ruling applies only to the right of CIVIL MARRIAGE as a legal contract. The ruling has NO impact whatsoever upon sacramental marriage as a religious ceremony. No member of the clergy will EVER be required to perform a marriage ceremony which violates his or her denominational tenets and beliefs. But neither does any member of the clergy have the authority to try to impose his or her denominational tenets and beliefs upon an entire diverse civil population. The Separation of Church and State exists for a very good reason. And it’s both outrageous and dishonest for religious leaders — like Kurtz — to try to ignore, bury or paper over such a crucial stipulation. You’d think this fact would be obvious to anyone with a functioning brain. But apparently not. Go figure.

  9. Mark
    Mark says:

    ARound my circle of Catholics, I’m not aware of any that consider this ruling tone positive. Just saying. We can love and accept homosexuality, the point marriage is between man and woman. Man with man, woman with woman, civil contract afforde the right of married couple is acceptable. We now have a case where 2 women “married ” and now getting divorce after 3years. But only one parent listed on birth certificate, and because no Dina match to other woman. No visitation according to the law. We should not be passing laws until we think them through fully. Like open bathrooms.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] equality for gay and lesbian couples became the law of the land in June 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared freedom to choose who to marry is a constitutional right.  As […]

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  3. […] U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 26 that same-sex couples can marry in all states and that every state must recognize a […]

  4. […] Maryland Catholic priest said the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling which legalized marriage equality nationwide in June “may, in fact, make things […]

  5. […] The following is an except from a statement of Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director, on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to enable marriage equality. I am a huge fan of this blog and am delighted that our American brothers and sisters are celebrating this positive move towards equality.    The full article can be read here […]

  6. […] vocally opposing marriage equality, fearful of change following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to legalize marriage for lesbian and gay couples. According to The Bangkok Post, Archbishop […]

  7. […] Here is an excerpt of a blog by Francis DeBernardo of the Catholic LGBT group New Ways Ministry: […]

  8. […] concerns about the topic have arisen largely due to the Supreme Court’s June decision to enact equal marriage rights nationwide, celebrated by President Obama by lighting up the White […]

  9. […] June 26: New Ways Ministry and U.S. Catholics Rejoice at Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision […]

  10. […] New Ways Ministries (Catholic Organization) […]

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  12. […] addition to issuing New Ways Ministry’s official statement on June 26, 2015, DeBernardo also penned an essay on Crux and commented to The National Catholic […]

  13. […] For yesterday’s post, which contains more reactions, click here.  For a prayerful response, click here.  For New Ways Ministry’s official response, click here. […]

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  15. […] we continue to rejoice over the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling on marriage equality yesterday, let’s take a few moments today in prayer to reflect on the meaning of this […]

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