Statements by the Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, Bishop of Utah, the first issued Jan. 6th, 2014 after the Supreme Court stay
The Supreme Court has placed a hold on the marriage of same sex couples in Utah.
According to the report, the hold will stay in place until the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether to uphold U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby’s ruling.
Just as Shelby’s action striking down Amendment 3 in Utah was the cause of great joy and anguish in Utah, so also will this decision do the same. In the case, however, those who are happy and those who are sad/mad/frustrated will be reversed.
I am not celebrating this decision. My prayers are being said for the LGBT people in the state of Utah, for the parents of the LGBT people who were so delighted that their children could be married, and for the children of the same sex couples who could lift their heads higher because their parents could be married legally like the parents of their classmates.
At the same time, I pray that in the midst of many different feelings that we would reach out in compassion to each other. I believe that it is possible to not agree with one another and to still be genuinely loving and caring to and with each other. I will do that.
I will also hope and pray that we will come to the place where all people are treated respectfully and equally in our state. I pray that we will reach that place quickly in all the many areas where it does not exist today.
Bishop Hayashi’s statement issued Jan. 8th after Utah announced that the state would not recognize previous same-sex marriages.
Today I pray for those children of God experiencing a troubling upheaval in emotion and spirit as they discover the State of Utah no longer recognizes their marriages that were performed by legal agents of Utah. In less than one month, over two thousand of our neighbors went from the profound joy of marrying their beloved partners to today’s discouragement of being told that that those marriages are “on hold”. Three weeks ago, the state ordered its county clerks to offer licenses, then fought to stop those marriages, and upon the United States Supreme Court stay, have taken the step to not recognize the marriages.
While the state may not recognize you, I know that you recognize one another as married couples, as do I. I pray for those who now live in disappointment, hurt, frustration, anger, and confusion.
I pray for those in the Governor’s office, who issued the letter placing the marriages “on hold.” Like several previous rulings and developments, the action escalates this passionate issue. I hold all in my heart to indeed be children of God, made in the image of God, and welcomed in our Episcopal Churches.
May we always remember there are people in this legal roller coaster and as Christians, we will be there and we will persevere. God bless and keep all the people of Utah.