HRC Blog

Putting Faith Into Action: A Pictorial Travelogue

Post submitted by Sharon Groves, former HRC Director, Religion and Faith Program

Putting Faith into Action is the new essential force in this year's marriage equality campaigns.  In all four states where marriage equality is on the ballot, we are seeing faith organizing grow to a level sophistication never before imagined.  Win or lose, no one will ever again be able to say that people of faith are a monolithic force in opposition to same-sex couples’ right to express their commitment through civil marriage. Faithful people from a myriad of religious traditions that define our nation are recognizing that their faith is grounded in Divine love. They have discerned that marriage equality is at its heart about love. They are boldly asserting that because of their faith, they support civil marriage for same-sex couples.

Work among people of faith has been growing for some time. This year's campaigns demonstrate a new level of sophistication and organization. We have seen faith organizing become a key component in every state campaign.  In places like Minnesota, faith organizing is central with one-on-one faith conversations training over 2,500 faith leaders to do on average 10 faith-to-faith calls each. We are witnessing welcoming congregations, like Reconciling Works: Lutherans for Full Participation, develop sophisticated grassroots strategy to mobilize individual faith members to exercise their power and purpose as messengers of love within Christendom. In every state, Catholics for Marriage Equality has reclaimed Catholic social teaching as a basis for supporting same-sex marriage. Catholics for Marriage Equality groups have inspired Catholics to examine their conscience and contradict the anti-equality messages of their bishops.  There is now a loose federation of supportive Catholics that has never been so well organized. We have seen individual congregations, in areas that are hostile and isolated, reach out to other faith communities for support and solidarity as they minister to the LGBT community. I personally saw this in Pittsfield Maine where a Unitarian Universalist congregation stands up in faith against intimidation by the anti-marriage equality forces. We have been deeply touched by pastors whose  prophetic and influential work separates them from many in their community as they bring their considerable influence equality work. Rev. Dr. Delman Coates pastor of a 9,000 Baptist mega church in Clinton, MD has been our leading spokesperson for marriage equality in Maryland.

Here are just some visual highlights of recent faith work occurring in these states:


Putting Faith into Action; Maine

Yes on 1: GOTV Rally at Monument Square Portland Maine, Thursday, Nov. 1st.

Putting Faith into Action; Maine

Catholics for Marriage Equality Vigil of Hope and Gratitude across the street from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sunday morning, November 4th.

Putting Faith into Action; Maine

Standing on the Side of the Love Gathering  at the First Universalist Church of Pittsfield on Sunday morning, Nov., 4th.


Putting Faith into Action; Washington

People of Faith: Take it to the Streets Faith March, Sunday, Nov. 4th.

Putting Faith into Action; Washington

Catholics for Marriage Equality: A Liturgy for Love outside, St. James Cathedral, Oct. 28th.


Putting Faith into Action, Minnesota

All Saints Day Multi faith service, Minneapolis, Thursday, Nov. 1st.

Lutheran Bishop Herbert Chilstrom and his wife, Minister Corinne Chilstrom, understand the importance of marriage -- for everyone. They support their brothers and sisters in Christ, and that's why they're voting NO.


Putting Faith into Action; Maryland

Catholics demonstrating in Baltimore, Saturday, Nov. 2nd.


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