WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the oral arguments began Supreme Court on several same–sex marriage cases on April 28, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, gave the following statement:

“For too long the opponents of marriage equality have used the Jewish and Christian scriptures as a screen to hide behind. They say that same–sex marriage is unscriptural, that marriage equality violates the Bible.”

“On this auspicious morning, I would ask that they take the time actually to read their Bibles. In those pages they will encounter a stirring story of God’s passionate love for human beings. The Bible promises that God will not rest until all of God’s creation and all of God’s people — straight people, gay people, bisexual people, transgendered people — are free to live in lifelong faithful marriages with those they love.”

“We are not the first generation to see the Bible used in defense of inequality. On the eve of the 1860 election, Abraham Lincoln learned that his anti–slavery positions were being opposed by the clergy. He is reported to have said: ‘Here are 23 ministers of different denominations, and all of them are against me but three; and here are a great many prominent members of churches, a very large majority of whom are against me. I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery.’ He concluded with these words, ‘I may not see the end, but it will come, and I shall be vindicated; and these men will find they have not read their Bibles aright.’”

“God’s truth is on the march. We are made in God’s image and called toward a new world in which love, justice, and truth will prevail. Sooner or later, all Americans will enjoy the freedom to marry those they love. And when that happens, everyone will know that those who stand for human dignity and marriage equality have read both the Constitution and our Bibles aright.”

Tuesday morning, Dean Hall delivered a prayer to open the United for Marriage Rally, an interfaith coalition of clergy in support of the LGBT community and their right to legal recognition and benefits. Media interested in arranging an interview should contact Meredith MacKenzie at [email protected] or (202) 427-2007, she will be on site with Dean Hall.

Washington National Cathedral has a rich history of welcome and engagement with the LGBT community. In January 2013, the institution announced it would welcome same–sex weddings within the building. Later that same year, Dean Hall gained national attention when he proclaimed, “Homophobia is a sin” from the Cathedral’s Canterbury pulpit. The Cathedral also continues to invite openly gay, lesbian, and transgender clergy to lead religious services and deliver guest sermons.