Alameda pastor plays role in Anti-8 suit
When the suit seeking to overturn Proposition 8 heads into oral arguments before the California Supreme Court on March 5, the judge handling the case will have the words of local pastor the Rev. Laura Rose to consider.
Rose, senior pastor of the First Congregational Church on Central Avenue, is part of a group of clergy and congregations from California and beyond that submitted a “friend of the court” brief to support the case.
The brief argues that Proposition 8, which effectively overturns a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage, establishes an illegal preference for religions that discriminate against same-sex couples and that it interferes with their ability to practice their religion by forcing them to do the same.
“The primary harm that will be induced if Proposition 8 is not nullified is that we will be perpetuating a separate and unequal system of rights and privileges that negatively (a)ffects the economic, not to mention the psychological well(-)being of same-gender couples and families,” Rose is quoted as saying in the brief.
An advocate of same-sex marriage who recently married her own longtime partner (that’s First Congregational in the photo), Rose also notes in the brief that Jesus’s own ministry was an outreach to people who were pushed to the margins by the political and religious establishment.
She said the attorneys who put the brief together contacted the church’s regional conference minister, who in turn reached out to clergy to participate in the brief. Rose responded to a list of questions they sent.
“I think as a pastor, the impact of election day – this was not a social issue or a political issue. This was a life issue for people,” she said this week.
Rose said she was inspired by the recent biopic “Milk” to engage in this fight. And she said that as a pastor, it’s her job to stand against racism, sexism, and all the other “isms” our society has to offer.
“My primary role is to take the stand for justice,” she said.
Incidentally, Rose says her church has introduced a new way to make the case for Jesus’s brand of inclusive Christiantity: A seven-week “sermodrama” based on the Gospel of Mark titled “The Cross Examination of Jesus and His Disciples: The Case for Inclusive Christianity.” That starts this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The church is at 1912 Central Avenue.