Alliance of Baptists Joins UCC in Historic Religious Liberty Case in North Carolina
Glendale is a Partner Congregation to the Alliance
WASHINGTON — The Board of Directors of the Alliance of Baptists has decided to become a party to the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed against the state of North Carolina by the United Church of Christ. The case challenges the constitutionality of marriage laws in North Carolina – including Amendment One – that ban marriage between same-sex couples and make it illegal for clergy to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples within their congregations. Glendale Pastor, April Baker, currently serves as vice president of the Alliance Board.
The Alliance of Baptists’ covenant commits to “the principle of a free church in a free state and the opposition to any effort either by church or state to use the other for its own purposes.”
“By joining the lawsuit in North Carolina, we are living deeply into our Christian values and offering a clear, Baptist voice for justice and religious liberty,” Alliance President Mike Castle said.
In 2004, the Alliance adopted a statement supporting “the rights of all citizens to full marriage equality” and rejecting any “proposed amendments to the constitution of the United States and state constitutions that would enshrine discrimination against sexual minorities and define marriage in such a way as to deny same-sex couples a legal framework in which to provide for one another and those entrusted to their care."
Castle added, “It is also important that we stand with the United Church of Christ, our ecumenical partner in mission and ministry, in this bold action.”
A press conference was held Thursday, June 5 at 2 p.m. at Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, N.C.
Speakers for the press conference were::
Castle and April Baker, Alliance vice president;
Gary West, pastor at Grace Baptist Church, Statesville, N.C.;
Richard Groves, Baptist minister, Winston-Salem, N.C.;
Amy Jacks Dean, co-pastor at Park Road Baptist, Charlotte, N.C.;
Maria Palmer, Council woman for Town of Chapel Hill and Baptist minister, Chapel Hill, N.C.;
Stephen T. Smith, legal counsel, Raleigh, N.C.;
J. Bennett Guess, National Officer and Executive Minister for the United Church of Christ, Cleveland, Ohio
About the Alliance of Baptists
The Alliance of Baptists began in 1987 as a prophetic voice in Baptist life. Today, we are a faith community comprised of male and female laity and clergy, people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, theological beliefs, and ministry practices. We are Christians knit together by love for one another and God, combining progressive inquiry, contemplative prayer and prophetic action to bring about justice and healing in a changing world.
Leah Grundset Davis, communications specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
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