Rev. Jeffrey Kuan Speaks About His Tuesday Arrest

May 28, 2009

By Jane Horstman

CA-NV Conference Communications Office

 

The Rev. Jeffrey Kuan, a professor at the Pacific School of Religion (PSR) and member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, was one of approximately 175 people arrested on Tuesday, May 26 for civil disobedience in protesting the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold a constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples marriage equality under the law.

 

The California Marriage Protection Amendment (Proposition 8), approved by voters on November 4, amended the state constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

 

Kuan and the others were taken to San Francisco's Central Jail where they were processed, given a citation, and released after roughly two hours. A hearing is scheduled for June 25.

 

Choosing to participate in the civil disobedience was a testament to his personal faith, Kuan says. "This for me is a justice issue and a civil rights issue. As a person of faith, I believe that discrimination against one group is discrimination against all. The idea that a simple majority can vote to discriminate against a group sets a very bad precedent. At any time, a simple majority can vote to discriminate against any group."

 

Citing the October 14, 2008 statement of Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., in support of marriage equality, Kuan says he feels "it's an important issue." Bishop Brown's statement reads, in part, "United Methodists hold strong and diverse opinions regarding same-gender marriage . . . . but as United Methodists we support that same-gender couples receive the same treatment under the law as other California citizens."

 

Kuan notes that a large number of United Methodists participated in the rally to show their support for marriage equality. 

 

Read Bishop Brown's statement here.