Press Room

Washington, DC, June 26, 2013

Washington National Cathedral Bells Peal Today in Celebration of Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Rulings

Cathedral dean invites LGBT community and supporters to celebrate in a special service tonight at 7 p.m.

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Washington, D.C.—The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, issued a statement hailing the Supreme Court rulings announced today that rule as unconstitutional the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and allow same-sex marriage to resume in California:

“Today’s rulings announce a new era for our country, one in which married lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans can finally enjoy the same federal recognition and protection that our laws have for so long extended to their fellow citizens. I rejoice in the knowledge that the justices have reached a decision that makes our union—indeed all our unions—more perfect and certainly more equal,” said Dean Hall.

“We are ringing our bells at the Cathedral to celebrate the extension of federal marriage equality to all the same-sex couples modeling God’s love in lifelong covenants. Our prayers for continued happiness are with them and with all couples who will be joined in matrimony in the years to come, whether at Washington National Cathedral or elsewhere.

“Today’s rulings advance civil marriage equality, but they should also serve as a call for Christians to embrace religious marriage equality. Countless faithful Christians have lived out their lives in committed same-sex relationships, and we have seen the fruits of their fidelity in our families, our congregations and our communities. If we use this historic moment to see more clearly how their faithfulness contributes to the common good, we will better be able to walk with our LGBT sisters and brothers as an act of Christian faith.”

In celebration of the ruling, and as a sign of unity with the LGBT community, beginning at noon the Washington Ringing Society will attempt a quarter peal of the Cathedral’s bells in the ‘Gloria in Excelsis’ central tower at the District of Columbia’s highest point. Dean Hall has also issued an invitation to all LGBT couples and families to attend a special service tonight, Wednesday, June 26, at 7 p.m. A diverse group of faith leaders will speak out in support of marriage equality at a press conference preceding the prayer service at 5 p.m.

Dean Hall will be joined by:

  • The Rev. Dr. Dennis Wiley, pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ
  • Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry
  • The Rev. Dwayne Johnson, senior pastor of Metropolitan Community Church D.C.
  • Rabbi Jessica Oleon, Temple Sinai
  • The Rev. Linda Kaufman, Episcopal Diocese of Washington

What: Cathedral Peal Bells Ring in celebration of gay marriage ruling
Where: Washington National Cathedral grounds
When: Today, June 26, noon EDT

Media Availability: B-roll of the bells ringing may be obtained from the Cathedral grounds. There will be press conference with faith leaders will begin at 5 p.m. on the grounds outside of the Cathedral’s main entrance (Wisconsin Ave. side) The special service is open to media, and Dean Hall is available for interviews to offer a faith-based view on marriage. Please RSVP to Meredith MacKenzie, or (202) 427-2007 in advance to attend the press conference and cover the service.

What: Press conference and special prayer service for LGBT community
Where: Washington National Cathedral
When: Wednesday, June 26

  • 5 p.m. press conference
  • 7 p.m. prayer service

To learn more about the Cathedral’s advocacy for LGBT people, visit

About Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral is called to be the spiritual home for the nation. It seeks to be a catalyst for spiritual harmony in our nation, renewal in the churches, reconciliation among faiths, and compassion in our world.

SOURCE: Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral