Religious leaders in support of gay marriage: The list

The Empire State Pride Agenda has released a list of more than 700 clergy and lay leaders who support gay marriage in New York.

They divided the list by region: Buffalo, Albany, Central NY, Hudson Valley and the Catskills, Long Island, NYC and Rochester/Finger Lakes.

Since they went through the trouble, here are the signees from the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, who seem to include a lot of folks from around here (the statement they signed says “We, the undersigned, urge the New York State Legislature to protect families in New York State by extending marriage to same-sex couples”):

Hudson Valley & Catskills

The Rev. Patricia Ackerman, Episcopal, Nyack
The Rev. Paul Alcorn, Bedford Presbyterian Church, Bedford
Seminarian Christina Jean Alexis, West Center Congregational Church, Bronxville
Helen F. Andrew, Memorial United Methodist Church, Sleepy Hollow
Leonard Andrew, Memorial United Methodist Church, Sleepy Hollow
Cantor Dana Anesi, Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, Chappaqua
Jean-Marie Angelo, Grace Episcopal Church, Mount Vernon
The Rev. Janet L. Avery, Metropolitan Community Church of the Hudson Valley
The Rev. Raymond J. Bagnuolo, Palisades Presbyterian Church, White Plains
The Rev. Edwin D. Baker, Retired, Episcopal, Croton Falls
The Rev. John Barrett, United Church of Christ, Bronxville
Rev. Adam G. Bartholomew, Episcopal, Mount Vernon
Sharon A. Bellamy, Presbyterian, Amsterdam
Hirham Benmira, Presbyterian, Andes
John Bevacqua, Fourth Unitarian Society of Westchester, Mohegan Lake
Margaret E. Borgstede, St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
Sandra Borowsky, Orangetown Jewish Center, New City
The Rev. Melissa Boyer Holt, United Methodist Church, Buchanan
Tracy Breneman-Pennas, Unitarian Universalist, Montrose
The Rev. David M. Bryce, First Unitarian Society of Westchester, Hastings-On-Hudson
Rabbi/Cantor Angela Buchdahl, Central Synagogue, Scarsdale
Rev. Karen Burger, United Methodist Church, Carmel
Susan M. Cabrera, King of Kings Lutheran Church, Montgomery
Archbishop Michael Champion, Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Buchanan
Dennis Chorpenning, Bronxville Methodist
Mark Clark, St. Francis Xavier Gay & Lesbian Ministry, Nyack
Frances Colombo, St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
Rev. Gary D. Comstock, United Church of Christ, Woodstock
The Rev. Dale Cranston, Episcopal, Suffern
Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, Chappaqua
Jason M. Davis, UU Northern Westchester, Chappaqua
The Rev. Susan G. De George, South Presbyterian Church of Dobbs Ferry
Rev. Peter Dennebaum, First Congregational Church, Chappaqua
Christopher J. DiGiorgio, St. John’s Episcopal Church of New Rochelle
Brother James Dowd, Episcopal, West Park
The Rev. Roderic Frohman, Third Presbyterian Church, Rochester
The Rev. Joseph H. Gilmore, South Presbyterian Church of Dobbs Ferry
Rabbi Andrew Gordon, Scarsdale Synagogue-Temples Tremont and Emanu-El
Kathy Green, St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
The Rev. Harry C. Green, First Unitarian Society of Rockland County, Pomona
The Rev. Thomas Gregg, Pastor, West Charlton United Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam
The Rev. David Gregory, United Church of Christ, Middletown
George Hermann, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, Larchmont
Rose Ann Hermann, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, Larchmont
Rev. Anne Herscher, Methodist, Montgomery
The Rev. Rayner W. Hesse, Jr., St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
The Rev. Jean A. F. Holmes, Presbytery of Hudson River, New City
The Rev. Margaret E. Howland, Presbyterian, Yonkers
Rev. Thomas Hughart, Presbyterian, Bedford
Rabbi Jennifer Jaech, Temple Israel of Northen Westchester, Croton-On-Hudson
Chip James, Cherokee, Monroe
Debora J. Jordan, Fourth Unitarian Society of Westchester, Mohegan Lake
David J. Juhren, St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
Paul L. Kerlee, Episcopal, Elmsford
Cantor Hayley Kobilinsky, Congregation B’nai Yisrael, Armonk
Leonora A. Kovacs, Church of The Messiah Rhinebeck
Rabbi Douglas Krantz, Congregation B’nai Yisrael, Armonk
Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger, Poughkeepsie
Evelyn Lombardi, Episcopal, West Nyack
Linda Lott, Saint John’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
Rabbi Paula Mack Drill, Orangetown Jewish Center, Orangeburg
The Rev. Richard R. McKeon, Zion Episcopal Church, Dobbs Ferry
Marsha Melnick, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, Warwick
Carol Mencher, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains
Susan E. Meyer, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, Warwick
Rabbi Shira Milgrom, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains
The Rev. Deb Morra, CSW, Community Unitarian Church at White Plains
The Rev. Daniel M. Morse, First Presbyterian, Middletown
Rabbi Benjamin Newman, Congregation M’vakshe Derekh, Scarsdale
Rev. Thomas Nicoll, St. John’s Church, Larchmont
Rev. James O’Hanlon, Lutheran, Mount Vernon
Rev. Katherine Herron Piazza, St. John’s Church, Larchmont
President Barbara Pollard, Reform Jewish Voice, Scarsdale
The Rev. Cheryl Renn, One Spirit Interfaith, Yonkers
The Rev. William Blake Rider, Christ Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie
Guy Robinson, St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
Elizabeth B. Saenger, Jewish (Reform), Mamaroneck
Michael R. Sabatino, Jr., Zion Episcopal Church, Yonkers
Rev. Dawn Sangrey, Fourth Unitarian Society of Westchester
Rabbi David A. Schuck, Pelham Jewish Center
Barbara G. Selbst, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains
The Rev. Angela M. Skinner, Presbyterian, Yorktown Heights
Rabbi Abigail N. Sosland, Solomon Schechter High School of Westchester
Father James F. Stewart, Benedictine Gronge, Harrison
The Rev. Mary Ellen Summerville, Asbury United Methodist Church, Tuckahoe
The Rev. William Taber, Third Presbyterian Church, Rochester
The Rev. Molly Blythe Teichert, The Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco
Petra Thombs, Community Unitarian Universalist Church at White Plains
The Rev. Rachel Thompson, Bedford Presbyterian Church
The Rev. Dr. Michael Tino, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester, Mount Kisco
Denice Tomlinson, Community Unitarian Universalist Church at White Plains
Susan Torres-Bender, Unitarian Universalist, Monroe
Rabbi Gordon Tucker, Temple Israel Center, White Plains
The Rev. Martha E. Vink, New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Delhi
Rev. Terri Vitale, Interfaith, Mt. Vernon
Robert Voorheis, Zion Episcopal Church, Yonkers
The Rev. Kenneth L. Walsh, Reformed Church in America, Kingston
The Rev. Fr. John B. Warfel, Grace Episcopal Church, Middletown
Rabbi Tom Weiner, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains
David Weiser, St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Rochelle
Rev. Norman D. White, Pastor, Lutheran, White Plains

Union Theological president calls for Christian witness on ‘marriage equality’

Since I posted earlier today the new NYS Catholic Conference statement opposing same-sex marriage, here is another point of view…

The Rev. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary in NYC — one of the country’s primary mainline Protestant think tanks — has sent a letter to the Union community, not only supporting same-sex marriage but urging others to speak out for “marriage equality.”

Here’s what she has to say:


Dear Union Community,

Union has long devoted itself to seeking justice, equality, and freedom for all people, especially those marginalized by structures of injustice and misused power. Watching the marriage equality movement spread throughout our country, the patient work of justice is advancing. Many different interpretations of marriage exist within our traditions, and Union remains committed to engaging in faithful, respectful dialogue across our traditions even as we insist on full civil rights for all. It is thrilling to imagine that we might see an end to discrimination and injustice for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters. But there is much more work to be done!

As faith leaders, we understand the significance of strengthening families through marriage. Most of us have blessed hundreds of marriages with the sanctity of our religious traditions. We have also performed hundreds of civil marriages by the power invested in us by our government. Some of the religious marriages we have performed may have been between two men or two women, and we have had to bear witness to the injustice of knowing that these marriages will not allow these spouses the same rights and responsibilities that straight couples share, access to each other’s health care or rights to their own children.

Religious leaders have the power to act in simple ways to enormous effect to end this injustice and support marriage equality. Many of our elected officials oppose marriage equality bills because they fear religious backlash – they have not heard faithful Christian witness on this issue. We can be those voices. If we fail to speak, we run the risk that the only religious messages heard will be those fueled by fear, hate, and opposition.

I know that many of you are already active in the movement for marriage equality and I invite you to join me in raising our faithful voices to call for justice in New York. You can find resources to aid your own witness to this issue through the Empire State Pride Agenda.

In particular, I encourage you to join the Three Issues Sign-Up, which is a way to raise clergy and lay voices in support of marriage equality in the state of New York. It is easy to do in three simple steps:

  1. Download and print the form (PDF)
  2. Fill out and sign the form
  3. Fax the form to 212-627-4136
    or mail it to the following address:
    Kate McDonough
    Empire State Pride Agenda
    16 West 22nd Street
    New York, NY 10010

I am proud to stand with Union alumni/ae and students in this essential movement for justice and I look forward to sharing the jubilation as we watch the banner of equality unfurl over all of God’s children.

Yours in anticipation of great things,