The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies and lead signer of the amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court in March and signed by nearly 2000 religious leaders who support marriage equality, released this statement on today’s Supreme Court ruling:

“As we Christians are known to say from time to time: Alleluia.

“I am elated that the U. S. Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. In March I had the great privilege of signing on to an amicus brief urging the justices to make the decision they announced today, and I am deeply grateful that they have granted a fundamental human right to people whom had been denied it for so long.

“Like many of my fellow Christians, I support marriage equality not in spite of my faith but because of it. In more than 35 years of ordained ministry, I have known many faithful, committed same-sex couples whose love gave me a deeper understanding of God’s love and whose joy in one another testified to the goodness of God’s creation. I have also learned through simple, everyday experience that same-sex couples make vital contributions to our common life, and I rejoice at the security today’s ruling affords them.

“Today is a special day for Episcopalians, and I want to mention just a few—all of whom are former or current deputies—who have worked so hard and so long to get us here. Thank you to Louie Clay, founder of Integrity, the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender caucus in the Episcopal Church. Thank you to the Rev. Stan Baker, who was the plaintiff in the 1999 court case that brought civil unions to Vermont and to Tom Little, who chaired the committee that wrote the civil union legislation. Thank you to Bishop Gene Robinson, who had to wear a bulletproof vest at his consecration. Thank you to the Rev. Michael Hopkins, a pioneering spokesman and to the Rev. Susan Russell, the indispensible leader and strategist. Thank you for making our church and our nation to become fairer, more loving and more just.”