The Universal Life Church Monastery (TheMonastery.org) has announced a legal defense campaign that will take action in all states that have enacted unconstitutional same-sex sacramental marriage restraints. The Universal Life Church Monastery reports that "States that deny ministers the religious right to perform the sacrament of marriage, regardless of the couple's sexual orientation, do so in violation of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution."
To investigate appropriate legal action supporting same-sex sacramental marriage, the Universal Life Church Monastery has retained two constitutional law firms, which include Arizona-based DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, and Seattle-based Carney Badley Spellman.
As popular support for same-sex sacramental marriage continues to escalate, the Universal Life Church Monastery has observed a marked increase in its ministerial ordination requests. The Universal Life Church receives in excess of 500 ordination requests per day, attributing the increase to nationwide dissatisfaction with the intolerance of traditional religious dogma. Ministers who have joined the Universal Life Church have spoken in favor of its inclusive practices.
Reverend Aiyanna Looney of Oskaloosa, Iowa, a minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery for the past five years, explains her same-sex sacramental marriage beliefs to the Ottumwa Courier: "Starting as early as April 24 [2009, clergy members such as myself will finally be able to officiate legal marriages (religious and secular) for same-sex couples in the State of Iowa. As a Cleric with the Universal Life Church, my right to officiate the marriages of same sex couples, in accordance with my beliefs, is now a protected right by the State of Iowa."
Looney adds, "I am a supporter of same-sex marriage, and I am willing to perform same-sex marriages because I see no difference between the racism I have experienced and the discrimination homosexuals have experienced stemming from Conservative Christian ideology. I am not white, my husband is, and I am in a mixed race marriage. I have been told [that my union [with my husband, Sam Looney, is sacrilegious and not recognized as marriage by several Conservative Christians. These people have used biblical passages such as Genesis 28:1, Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 7:3-4 to support their racist beliefs. However, I have a Certificate of Marriage [and marriage cannot be defined by racists."
The Universal Life Church Monastery recognizes Looney's right to perform the sacrament of marriage, and stands behind the constitutionally protected religious rights for all its ministers to perform ceremonies for any and all United States citizens.
The 20 Million strong Universal Life Church is the only denomination in the world that opens its doors to everyone, and welcomes all who ask to become an ordained minister. As a non-denominational, interfaith ministry, the Universal Life Church Monastery proclaims that God, Mother Nature or intelligent design created all beings intentionally.