At their meeting on 12/19, the Wardens and Vestry voted unanimously to send the following letter:
“We write today to express our gratitude and appreciation for your leadership in the historic movement forward for LGBTQ equity and for a recognition of the blessedness that can be inherent in interracial and LGBTQ relationships represented by the enactment and signing of the Respect for Marriage Act.
“As members of St. Andrew’s Church in Albany celebrating the 125th anniversary of our founding, we have been in the forefront of struggle within the generally conservative Episcopal Diocese of Albany for the civil rights of all and for LGBTQ equality. Advocating for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in our church and our diocese and for their equal protection in our nation has been a core value of our faith in action for many decades. Our call is deeply rooted in the promises made at baptism to love our neighbors as ourselves, to strive for justice and peace, and to respect the dignity of every human being. The Episcopal Church, over the course of more than 40 years, has prayed, studied, and declared the blessing that LGBTQ people are and always have been to the Church.
“As Christians we believe we are called to embody the promises we make and to speak out when we believe the basic tenets of our faith are being misrepresented or used to exclude and discriminate against others. As Americans, we uphold the value of religious liberty. However, equating homophobia with religious freedom does a huge disservice to all of our people.
“We rejoice at the step forward the Respect for Marriage Age represents. We also urge you to further strengthen this essential provision by supporting the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
“Thank you for your leadership and service to our country. We wish you every blessing during this season which is holy for so many and throughout the coming New Year.”