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Statement from Rev. Louise Green on Same-Gender Benefits

Rev. Louise Green, Minister of Social Justice at Washington, DC's, All Souls Church, Unitarian, issued the following statement on President Obama's decision to extend same-gender benefits to partners of federal employees.

As the pastor of a congregation with a membership that includes federal employees, many of whom are Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian or Transgender (BGLT), I am pleased by President Obama's decision to sign a memorandum extending same-gender benefits to partners of federal employees.

The president has taken an important step towards equality for the BGLT community, but it is only one step. As a religious leader, I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. For the BGLT community that means creating an environment where no one is excluded based on sexual orientation or gender identity. President Obama and Congress have a long way to go to fully address the exclusion, oppression and violence that the BGLT community faces every day.

I call upon our leaders to pass Hate Crimes Legislation and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; repeal the Defense of Marriage Act; eliminate the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy; and allow everyone to marry the person they love, regardless of gender. In order to ensure that today's action is just a first step and not a last, my fellow people of faith must continue raising our collective voice in support of true equality. We must be clear: we stand on the side of love, and everyone, our nation's leaders especially, are welcome to join us.

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