Today, the DC City Council will hear public testimony on legislation that would allow same sex couples to be legally married in the District. Reverend Kenneth Samuel, Senior Fellow at People For the American Way and a member of PFAW's African American Ministers In Action program, issued the following statement:
"I'm proud that our nation's capitol is poised to give equal marriage rights to all the citizens of the District, and I want to thank the council members who are standing up for the rights of all people.
"It's disappointing, though, to hear the same tired lies about marriage equality being trotted out yet again in an effort to frighten and divide us. Clergy in particular have a profound duty to speak the truth, yet too often it's clergy who are spreading the most harmful mistruths.
"This legislation guarantees religious liberty for all people. Every church, synagogue and mosque will always have the right to decide which marriages they will perform and which they will not. Ministers will always be free to preach the gospel as they see fit.
"Our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are as worthy of the rest of us of the protections that only marriage can afford. Every day that we continue to prevent loving, committed couples from getting married is a day in which we harm our fellow citizens. I look forward to the day when marriage equality is extended to all people in the District of Columbia and across our nation."