After speaking at a pro-marriage equality rally on the steps of the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, State of Belief Radio host Welton Gaddy shares his thoughts on being present as oral arguments were being heard inside regarding the constitutionality of California’s discriminatory Proposition 8. (March 26, 2013)

Transcript below. To hear the entire March 30, 2013 State of Belief Radio program, click here.




[REV. DR. C. WELTON GADDY, HOST]: I’m standing in the shadow of the Supreme Court, and looking over across the street at the Capitol Building of the United States. The architecture, the positioning – the juxtapositioning – tell a story in itself: that we are a nation of laws; we are a nation with a Constitution; we’re a nation with enough interest in the Constitution to keep struggling to see that its promises are applicable to everybody – and, ultimately, enjoyable by everybody.

This is the first of two historic days, when the Supreme Court listens to arguments about Proposition 8 and about DOMA. The decision the court will make on this could change the nation forever.

There’s no anticipating that decision with any certainty of what it will be. But many of us – many of you who listen to this – have worked for a long time in getting to this moment, when we get the highest legal opinion in the land on same-gender marriage. It’s been a long journey; it’s been a hard journey, at times, but it’s one that’s very fulfilling, to stand here now, looking at people with very different opinions, shouting out their opinions… It’s about a democracy. It’s about a democracy that tries to live by a Constitution. And today all I can say, not knowing what the ultimate decision will be, is: that we got here the right way; we have done the right thing; and whatever the decision is, we will continue trying to do the right thing to bring our nation together, respect individual opinions, but join together to assure that by law, all people have equal rights.

I’m Welton Gaddy for State of Belief.



State of Belief is based on the proposition that religion has a positive and healing role to play in the life of the nation. The show explains and explores that role by illustrating the vast diversity of beliefs in America – the most religiously diverse country in the world – while exposing and critiquing both the political manipulation of religion for partisan purposes and the religious manipulation of government for sectarian purposes.

Each week, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy offers listeners critical analysis of the news of religion and politics, and seeks to provide listeners with an understanding and appreciation of religious liberty. Rev. Gaddy tackles politics with the firm belief that the best way to secure freedom for religion in America is to secure freedom from religion. State of Belief illustrates how the Religious Right is wrong – wrong for America and bad for religion.

Through interviews with celebrities and newsmakers and field reports from around the country, State of Belief explores the intersection of religion with politics, culture, media, and activism, and promotes diverse religious voices in a religiously pluralistic world.


Author of more than 20 books, including First Freedom First: A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy leads the national non-partisan grassroots and educational organization Interfaith Alliance and serves as Pastor for Preaching and Worship at Northminster (Baptist) Church in Monroe, Louisiana.

In addition to being a prolific writer, Dr. Gaddy hosts the weekly State of Belief radio program, where he explores the role of religion in the life of the nation by illustrating the vast diversity of beliefs in America, while exposing and critiquing both the political manipulation of religion for partisan purposes and the religious manipulation of government for sectarian purposes.

Dr. Gaddy provides regular commentary to the national media on issues relating to religion and politics. He has appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and Hardball, NBC’s Nightly News and Dateline, PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, ABC’s World News, and CNN’s American Morning. Former host of Morally Speaking on NBC affiliate KTVE in Monroe, Louisiana, Dr. Gaddy is a regular contributor to mainstream and religious news outlets.

While ministering to churches with a message of inclusion, Dr. Gaddy emerged as a leader among progressive and moderate Baptists. Among his many leadership roles, he is a past president of the Alliance of Baptists and has been a 20-year member of the Commission of Christian Ethics of the Baptist World Alliance. His past leadership roles include serving as a member of the General Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Chair of the Pastoral Leadership Commission of the Baptist World Alliance and member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100. Rev. Gaddy currently serves on the White House task force on the reform of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Prior to the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Dr. Gaddy served in many SBC leadership roles including as a member of the convention’s Executive Committee from 1980-84 and Director of Christian Citizenship Development of the Christian Life Commission from 1973-77.

Dr. Gaddy received his undergraduate degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee and his doctoral degree and divinity training from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.


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