Statement of Rev. Byron Williams on Proposition 8 Decision

A federal judge in California today overturned Proposition 8, the state's law that prohibits gay people from marrying.

Reverend Byron Williams, pastor, columnist, a member of People For the American Way Foundation's African American Ministers In Action, and editor of the forthcoming book, Inconvenient Love African American Clergy and Theologians Speaking on Behalf of LGBT Equality, stated:

"I am overjoyed by Judge Walker's decision. As a person of faith, an African American who understands discrimination, a Californian and an American, I have found that the values on which this country is founded have continued to be in conflict.  The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states if one is born in this country or a naturalized citizen one is granted two things - due process and equal protection of the law.  Until today, those protections did not apply to citizens such as Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Jeff Zarillo and Paul Katami.

“A climate of compassion, self-determination and freedom to pursue ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ is missing in many parts of today's society. Those who supported this decision to end discrimination, rightly embrace a 21st century paradigm of commitment and responsibility that is demonstrated by Kris and Sandy, Jeff and Paul, and countless others. I look tomorrow to working with my fellow faith leaders in California and those across the country who believe in equality for all, including the freedom to marry who they choose. We must build a legacy in every state that embraces socially, politically and legislatively, love."

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