HRC and Faith in America Welcome Prominent Pastor’s Support of Marriage Equality

by Sarah McBride

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and Faith in America, which works to advance LGBTQ equality in faith communities, welcomed prominent pastor and author Rev. Eugene Peterson’s support for marriage equality. Rev. Peterson revealed his support during an interview with the Religion News Service.

“Even after the Supreme Court’s historic decision on marriage equality, our communities and country continue their journey toward embracing and affirming all families,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training. “Reverend Peterson’s personal declaration of support for marriage equality reflects the growing number of both congregants and clergy members who recognize the equal dignity of all love, and LGBTQ people as integral members of our faith communities.”

“Reverend Peterson has long been a source of ministry and guidance for both his own congregants and his readers,” said Mitchell Gold, co-founder and co-chair of Faith in America. “That such a prominent and public religious figure would share his own faith journey on marriage equality helps others in their own evolution on the inclusion and affirmation of their fellow LGBTQ worshipers, neighbors, friends, and familymembers.”

A retired Presbyterian minister, Rev. Peterson is a poet, professor and author of the award-winning The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. For nearly 30 years, he served as the founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Bel Air, Md.  

The HRC Religion and Faith Program is working to create a world where nobody is forced to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe. People look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration – and LGBTQ people and our family and friends are no different. Thanks in part to this work, more and more faith communities aren’t simply engaging in dialogue around LGBTQ equality, they’re leading the conversation.

To learn more about HRC’s religion and faith work, visit

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.

Established in 2006, Faith In America is a non-profit organization whose ultimate goal is to end decades and centuries of using religious teachings to justify marginalizing and discriminating against others.  We are dedicated to influencing media and faith community narratives on religion and sexuality. Our goal is to move the needle forward on LGBTQ equality in the pews and in our legislation. Our Mission is to educate the public about the ongoing harm caused to LGBTQ persons, especially youth, by religious-based prejudice. Our dream is to change the hearts and minds of religious communities on the “sinful” nature of homosexuality. To remove it permanently from “the sin list.”


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