President Obama Makes the Case for Same-Sex Marriage and for Evolution

Leaders lead. Today our president showed us what leadership looks like by affirming that the equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution should actually protect all Americans -- including those Americans married to spouses of the same sex.

Coming on the heels of yesterday's shameful exercise of ballot-box bigotry in North Carolina, President Obama's strong, supportive stand for equality today gives both hope and challenge to all those who yearn for our nation to grow into its pledge of "liberty and justice for all."

We cannot fulfill that pledge so long as a minority of American families are denied the fundamental rights guaranteed the majority of American families. We cannot be the nation we were conceived in liberty to be, cannot live out our dedication to the proposition that all people are created equal, when a majority can mobilize their power to take away fundamental rights from a minority.

As a priest and pastor my commitment to marriage equality is grounded in my belief that the values that make up a marriage transcend the gender of the partners married to each other, that what God cares about is not our sexual orientation but our theological orientation, and that the question the church should be asking is not whom you love but whether you love. And so I was particularly gratified to read that President Obama addressed the faith-based component of his own "evolved" support for marriage equality with these words:

When [Michelle and I] think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it's also the Golden Rule and treating others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that's what we try to impart to our kids, and that's what motivates me as President, and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I'll be as a as a dad and a husband, and hopefully the better I'll be as president.

There are miles to go before we rest in the journey to marriage equality, but today's statement by President Obama is a great step forward and one to rejoice and be glad in. And it is also a great answer to the question I get all the time: "Do you believe in evolution?"

Believe in it? I don't just believe in it -- I've seen it!