Tag Archives: gay marriage

Gene Robinson: Gay Marriage is God’s Work

The Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop on Saturday told several hundred Presbyterians committed to advancing gay equality issues that their work soon could pay off.

“This is hard work, but we can do it because it is worthy work and it is Godly work,” Bishop Gene Robinson, 65, of New Hampshire told those attending a dinner hosted by More Light Presbyterians, a pro-gay rights group of the Presbyterian Church (USA), in the Westin Convention Center Hotel, Downtown. “We will live to see the day that the church of Jesus Christ, in whatever form it is, will repent from what it has done to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people the way it has repented for slavery.”

The Presbyterian Church (USA), the country’s largest Presbyterian group with 1.95 million members, is holding its 220th General Assembly in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, through Saturday.

Various proposals concerning gay marriage could lead to contentious debate within the Louisville-based Protestant denomination.

Robinson, who plans to retire next year, said he finds inspiration from the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He called what is happening now in the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches “holy chaos.” Gay equality work in both denominations has caused a sense of confusion, which he called a step forward from the certainty that most Christians felt when it came to what God and churches thought of homosexuals.

Christian history teaches that standing for the right thing often comes with a price, Robinson said.

“So the real question for your church and mine is this,” he said, “If you’re not in trouble for the gospel you preach, is it really the gospel?”

TribLIV£

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Archbishop John Nienstedt crusades against gay marriage

But increasingly, his flock of Minnesota Catholics isn’t following

“The greatest threats to marriage are the economy, joblessness, alcoholism, drug abuse — there are a lot of threats to marriage, but it has very little to do with homosexuals having a committed relationship,” says (Father Mike) Tegeder, who’s also a pastor at the Church of Gichitwaa Kateri. “I know committed same-sex people who are doing God’s work.”

Tegeder knows what the Bible dictates on homosexuality — along with what it dictates about shellfish, and mixed-cloth clothing, and all those other Bronze Age concerns. And he knows there’s no single person responsible for the shame his church lifts from these passages.

But there is one person who could single-handedly end it all in the Twin Cities: His Excellency, the Most Reverend Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis John C. Nienstedt.

“Nienstedt is just so rigid about these things,” Tegeder continues, growing animated. “But, you know — just let go of it. What are we trying to defend? Marriage? Has the Catholic Church protected marriage? I mean, [Nienstedt] has a priest who impregnated one of his staff members, broke up their marriage, and the guy’s still functioning! … Why don’t we take care of our own issues before we start imposing views onto other people who don’t have the same religious beliefs?”

(Excerpted from a 5 – page analysis at City Pages.  For a more extensive selection of excerpts, with some annotation by Michael Bayly, who is one of the prominent Catholic opponents of the amendment featured in the report, see Bayly’s post at The Wild Reed )

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Let’s Hear It For Catholic Leaders Who Defend Marriage Equality!

Last month — just a week before the president announced his support for marriage equality — I had the privilege of hearing Governors Chris Gregoire of Washington and Martin O’Malley of Maryland speak (at the Human Rights Campaign [HRC] offices in Washington DC) about their hard-fought battles to secure marriage equality in their respective states.

Perhaps the most eloquent explanations of how her Catholic faith played an important role in her decision to defend marriage equality comes from Governor Gregoire who had initially opposed, on religious grounds, civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples. Speaking in a television interview on Seattle’s KING Channel 5 on 4 Jan. 2012, the governor related how she had been hesitant to support marriage equality, in large part, because of her Catholic faith. It was in talking with her own daughters, however, that she began to understand that marriage equality was a civil rights issue similar in some ways to the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s which she had supported passionately as a child. After talking with a priest friend who supported her change of heart on the matter and after entering into respectful dialogue with her local bishop (who did not support marriage equality), Gregoire made the bold and faith-filled decision that she could not in good conscience deny the right of civil marriage to lesbian and gay couples in her state. Moreover, it was as a person of faith, as a Catholic, that she realized that she had a moral obligation to support marriage equality.

While the march to full marriage equality in the United States seems to advance at an agonizingly slow pace, it is important for us to recognize that most American Catholics (who now represent the largest single religious denomination in the country and, with just over 68 million members, make up approximately 22 percent of the American population) support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. Although it is the increasingly conservative bishops of the US church who get the lion’s share of press coverage on the issue, more newsworthy stories are actually those that report that five Catholic governors have worked, often at considerable risk to their political careers, to advance marriage equality. Even better news is that they are working in concert with the beliefs of millions of other American Catholics who understand that the Gospel AND important church teachings support marriage for all.

So, Let’s Hear It For The Millions of American Catholics Who Support Marriage Equality!

Executive Director,
Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry,
Pacific School of Religion

-full   report at Huffington Post

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Local Churches Front And Center In Gay Marriage Movie

It’s one of the most shopworn cliches of the gay rights movement—the angry religious leader, usually Christian, denoucing LGBT people as “perverts” or a danger to the stability of society.

Even in Minnesota, that trope has continued to play itself out with the state’s Catholic bishops helping lead the charge to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The state already has a similar law on the books, but the amendment would make it hard for a future legislature to reverse it or for a court to find the law unconstitutional.

One local filmmaker, though, wants to change that.

“The religious right owns faith when it comes to issues like this,” Matt Peiken  told Patch. “There’s an imbalance here that I wanted to correct.”

SW Minneapolis Patch

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Ministers signal gay marriage could take place in church

Same-sex marriages should take place in Churches, senior aides to David Cameron said yesterday, despite repeated Government pledges that religious groups would be exempt.

Desmond Swayne, Mr Cameron’s parliamentary aide, said that those churches which want to marry gay couples should be free to do so.

Meanwhile Crispin Blunt, the prisons minister, said that the current plans for a blanket ban on religious groups from carrying out gay marriages could prove “problematic legally”.

He added the promised exemption for religious groups may not survive even the initial Parliamentary process.

And the Home Office confirmed that it was “listening to” some religious groups who have said that they would like to carry out same-sex weddings.

The admissions appear to represent a step back from the previous Government assurance that any bill to introduce gay marriage would specifically exclude religious groups to protect those who object on grounds of conscience

Telegraph

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Gay marriage gets ministerial approval

Same-sex couples set to receive equal rights to marry, despite opposition from within the Conservative party

Ministers have pledged to push through legislation to give same-sex couples equal rights to get married despite mounting opposition from within the Conservative party and the threat of a split with the Church of England.

Following a day in which it emerged that the Home Office has had more than 100,000 responses to its consultation, a petition against gaymarriage has been signed by more than half a million people, and a poll by leading gay rights group Stonewall showed that four out of five people under 50 support the move to legalise gay marriage, one of the government’s few openly gay minsters appealed for more “calm” in the debate and for supporters of the move to show respect for opponents.

Greg Barker, the Conservative climate minister, said: “What’s important is, given how much the world has moved on in a good way in mainstreaming relationships [between gay couples] and how much acceptance there has been, we must now make sure this debate doesn’t polarise opinion again and it’s conducted in a civil and calm way, and we don’t project the worst views of our opponents onto everyone who disagrees with us.”

– full report at Guardian

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Catholic Nun Challenges Church’s Stance on Gay Marriage

On the heels of the Vatican’s dispute with American nuns, one sister is taking a defiant stand against the Catholic hierarchy’s opposition to gay marriage.

Jeannine Gramick is the main speaker for a Saturday program where Catholics supporting Maryland’s marriage equality law discuss ways to prevent the legislation from being repealed on referendum during the November elections. The gathering will run from 1 to 4 p.m. at Goucher College’s Alumni Hall.

“It’s a great shame that the leaders of my church—the bishops—are all out there campaigning against marriage equality,” she said. “I want to be proud of my church and that makes me very ashamed.”

-full report at  Reisterstown, MD Patch.

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Lay Catholics Leading Fight For LGBT Equality.

June is designated as pride month, a time when LGBT people across the world celebrate the gains made in society and continue fighting for equality. Lots of groups and companies get in on the action, some to show solidarity and some to make a buck or two. One group that has been at the helm of the fight for gay equality in the US is the Roman Catholic community.

Come again?

The Catholic Church’s official stance on same-sex marriage is widely known. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has elevated the defeat of same-sex marriage to high status; the Knights of Columbus ranked among the largest donors in overturning marriage equality in California; and Catholic bishops in Minnesota spent considerable resources producing and distributing anti-gay marriage DVDs throughout the state. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as Archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB, does not shy away in denouncing Catholics who stray from the party line. Despite all this, lay Catholics have been leaders in the fight for equal rights for gay Americans.

Michael O’Loughlin, Huffington Post 

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Catholics Plan Ads to Oppose Bishop’s Anti-Gay Political Campaign

Seattle Catholics have raised thousands of dollars for an election-season campaign and plan to run ads showing that patrons of the nation’s largest church do, in fact, support marriage equality for gay couples. It’s a direct affront to their superior, Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who has been trying to force local Catholics to comply with his anti-gay-rights agenda since January.

Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington State, a group run by parishioners in Sartain’s own archdiocese, issued a statement today lamenting that signatures were submitted to put Washington State’s same-sex-marriage law on the ballot for a possible repeal. The group says it intends to publish the names of over 1,000 Catholics who support marriage equality and run newspaper ads during election season.

“We are saddened that the Seattle bishops and the Washington State Catholic Conference have publicly opposed civil marriage for citizens who wish to join together in civil marriage,” says spokeswoman Barbara Guzzo in a statement today. “This is contrary to Catholic values of human dignity and inclusion of all God’s children in the life of our communities.”

– more at Slog

Among his tactics, Sartain has forced priests in Western Washington to print anti-gay-marriage statements in their bulletins, invited anti-gay activists to petition for Referendum 74 inside local churches, and he’s used the platform of the state’s Catholic Conference (featuring the logo for Catholic Community Services, a nonprofit charity) to oppose the same-sex marriage law.

Archbishop Sartain has vowed to commit resources of the Archdiocese of Seattle into the fall effort to overturn the state’s marriage-equality law. Meanwhile, he’s at the center of another national controversy: Sartain is the leading a campaign designed to force thousands of US nuns to rewrite their bylaws—which allegedly contain “radical feminist themes”—and make them stop focusing on poverty andstart working to ban contraception and gay rights.

In response to Sartain, the new political action committee has raised $3,672, according records held by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. Further, vigils have protested near Sartain’s office once a week for the past month.

Put simply: Archbishop Sartain is the biggest right-wing threat in Seattle.And thank God, his own church is trying to put him in check. They’re trying to raise $100,000. You can donate right here.

 

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Minnesota moving against marriage ban

Minnesota moving ainst marriage ban

Minnesota’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage now appears to be in serious danger of failing, a reversal from a PPP poll four months ago when it led for passage by a 48/44 margin.

Now only 43% of voters support the proposed amendment, with 49% of voters opposed to it. The shift since then has come with independent voters. After previously supporting the amendment by a 50/40 spread, they’re now opposing it 54/37. Republicans continue to strongly favor the amendment (74/21) while Democrats are almost equally strong in their opposition (71/22).

Independents coming a lot closer to Democrats than Republicans on gay rights is becoming something of a constant in our polling. The GOP seriously risks antagonizing voters in the middle if it continues to pursue a far right social agenda.

 – Public Policy Polling.

Minnesota sees the same massive generational gap on this issue that we’ve found in other states. Voters over 45 support the proposed amendment by a 50/42 spread. But those under 45 oppose it by an even greater 60/34 margin.

Voters in the state think gay marriage should be legal by a 47/42 margin, closely matching the numbers on the amendment. And when you expand the discussion to civil unions 75% of voters support some form of legal recognition for gay couples to only 21% who think there should be none. That includes even 55% of Republicans.

Republicans are headed for better news with their proposed amendment to require voters to show a photo identification when they go to cast their ballots. 58% of voters support that with 34% opposed. Republicans (84/10) are almost unanimously supportive of it and independents (58/35) strongly favor it as well. Democrats are opposed (36/54) but not to a large enough extent to come anywhere close to defeating the amendment.

Mark Dayton’s still winning the battle of public opinion when it comes to state politics. He has a solid 49/36 approval rating. Meanwhile the Republicans in the legislature have just a 21% approval rating, with 61% of voters disapproving of them. That includes a 12/66 spread with independents. Democrats are strongly positioned to make major gains in legislative seats this fall, as they lead the generic ballot 48-36 thanks in large part to a 13 point advantage with independents.
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