A call for faith leaders to stand with same-sex couples

JUN 4, 2018
Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis ([email protected] or 212-255-2575)

A call for faith leaders to stand with same-sex couples

Statement of Auburn Seminary President Katharine R. Henderson

WASHINGTON — Today, in a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with a Colorado baker who refused service to a same-sex couple seeking to purchase a wedding cake. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated Phillips’ rights under the First Amendment when it ruled that the baker violated the couple’s rights. Auburn Seminary President the Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson issued the following statement in response:

“We at Auburn Seminary are dismayed by today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision siding with a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple based on the baker’s religious beliefs. The ruling shows the complete misinterpretation of religious liberty.  

“Religious arguments have been used to support slavery, discrimination against indigenous peoples and women, and now is being used to support the oppression of LGBTQ people. This ruling is not about free exercise of religion, it is about exclusion and hostility toward one group of people. One person, in this case the baker, whose business is focused on serving the public, cannot use individual belief to discriminate because of the identity of the customer. Religious leaders who support the full dignity and humanity of LGBTQ people, and there are many of us, must redouble our efforts to reclaim religion and religious freedom from those who have hijacked it for regressive and brutal purposes.   

“This ruling will only serve to empower bigotry, both in our culture and legal manifestations.

“LGBTQ people desire to be afforded basic rights and respect to their families. Religious Liberty laws promoted by some Christians seek to give the legal protection to withhold services under the guise of religious liberty, when in fact this has nothing to do with religious liberty and has everything to do with oppression.”


Auburn Seminary is a leadership development and research institute, working to build the field of the multifaith movement for justice. From local to global, Auburn equips leaders of faith and moral courage and brings together unlikely partners to address today’s seemingly intractable challenges, strengthen communities and inspire hope.

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