Tag Archives: Marriage

“Indiana Catholic bishops issue statement on gay marriage ban” – Indianapolis Star

Indiana’s Catholic bishops issued a statement Thursday on the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage — but they stopped short of taking a position on the hot-button topic.

Arcbishop Joseph W Tobin

The statement, signed by Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin and Indiana’s five bishops, emphasizes the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, but also the dignity of all people.

“The Church upholds the dignity of every human person, including persons with same-sex attraction, who ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,’” the statement says. “At the same time, the Church upholds the dignity and sanctity of marriage, a natural institution established by God. By its very nature, marriage is a permanent partnership between one man and one woman ordered to the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children.”

Church officials said the statement isn’t intended to stake out a political position, but to inform people about Catholic teachings as they weigh the issue.

“People have the right to make their own decisions on these issues, but it needs to be done with an informed conscience,” said Greg Otolski, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Archdiocese

-continue reading at Indianapolis Star

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“The Miracle of the Crooked” (Isaiah 40:3-5)

From The Bible In Drag

A voice cries out, “Clear a path through the wilderness for Adonai! Make a straight road through the desert for our God! Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low; let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges become a valley! Then the glory of Adonai will be revealed, and all humankind will see it.” The mouth of Adonai has spoken!

Isaiah 40:3-5

The Long and Crooked Road by Ed Chan

A more traditional rendering of the phrase “and the ridges become a valley” is “and the crooked shall be made straight.” While this phrase speaks to camel roads meandering through the deserts, today’s queer cannot but take notice of this turn of words that the “crooked” is to be made “straight.” One time my spouse was approached by a mutual friend about “straightening” me out. I had no clue if he was addressing my theology or my sexuality, but the implication was clear crooked is “bad” while straight is “good.”

In the world of sexuality much failed effort is put into making the crooked straight. Never tempted to seek gay-aversion therapy myself, a few of my friends have. Their personal experience was one of being twisted into knots. It was a reversal of this biblical invitation as something as straightforward as love was bent into a crooked understanding of the “bad” self.

via The Bible In Drag  December 12, 2013

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How the Bishops Are Insulting (Opposite – Sex) Married Couples

 Isn’t it quite insulting to heterosexual married couples to reduce their affirming commitment through marriage of their relationship to a simple biological act? If marriage is merely for reproductive purposes, why do they insist on trying to defend it as sacred? Is reproduction more sacred than love? Not in the New Testament it’s not! Now I look at it like that, aren’t they a load of silly billies?

Jennifer Hynes, QTC comment thread.

One of the more offensive aspects of the Vatican teaching on homoerotic relationships is the way in which everything is reduced to “genital acts” (which are dismissed as mere gratuitous self-gratification). As anyone who has lived in a committed, long-term relationship can testify, it’s about far more than mere sex. It’s also about mutual caring and support, for each other and for family members, aging parents and growing children (even for animals).

It’s shared pleasures, at the movies, in music or art, or dining with friends. It’s about shared domestic duties, and joint participation in neighbourhood, community (and parish) concerns. Sex itself is far more than  mere genital acts: it’s also about caresses, hugs, and kisses. Especially as we age, “genital acts” are of diminishing interest.

It hadn’t occurred to me, but Jennifer is right. By focussing their opposition to marriage equality so obsessively on the capacity to create (not nurture) children, some Catholic bishops and organisations are similarly reducing heterosexual marriage to a series of mere genital acts. This is not only insulting to the LGBT community, it is also insulting to all loving couples.

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New poll finds support for gay marriage law

“A new statewide poll by the University of Washington Center for Survey Research found most voters would support a state gay marriage law if it’s approved by the Legislature.


Of voters surveyed, 55 percent indicated they would uphold a Legislature-approved same-sex marriage law if it were challenged by referendum. The poll found 38 percent would oppose the law and 7 percent were undecided.
However, additional questions in the poll found that 44 percent of voters surveyed said gays and lesbians should have the same legal right as straight couples to marry; and 22 percent said they should have the same legal rights as married couples, but it should not be called marriage.
State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, and Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, have said they’re considering a push for gay marriage in the next regular session in January. Both men have worked on gay rights issues for years and have been building incrementally toward gay marriage.

‘via Blog this’

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Brazil Supreme Court confirms Gay Marriage

 Technically, Argentina is the only Latin American country with legislation to recognize same-sex marriages, but in Brazil, the courts have in effect provided for full marriage equality without legislative approval. The Supreme Court has previously confirmed that same-couples have the right to legal recognition for civil unions, and some state courts have confirmed that these civil unions may be converted into full marriages. In a new decision, the Supreme Court has confirmed this.

In June, a state court judge ruled that two men could legally change their civil union into a full marriage.
It was in May that Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that gay civil unions could be recognized. But the top court stopped short of recognizing full marriages.
Since then, several couples have petitioned to have their civil unions recognized as full marriages. Some of those have been approved at lower courts, others blocked.
Tuesday’s ruling by the Supreme Appeals Court overturned two lower court’s ruling against the women.

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In the Navy:Official Disapproval,Sensitivity in Bereavement.

In the Catholic Church, many people will know that in spite of official disapproval from on high, and outright hostility by some individuals in the church, very often parishes on the ground can be truly welcoming and accepting, with acceptance and full inclusion from both parishioners and parish priests. That was certainly my experience at Holy Trinity Parish, Braamfontein, Johannesburg -and is the experience of many others at countless parishes around the world.
A story from Chicago Sun Times demonstrates that this disconnect between official disapproval and practical warmth on the ground also applies in other formally homophobic institutions, in this instance the US marines. In spite of the policy of DADT which was still in force last June, and notwithstanding the vicious persecution that some gay servicemen experienced under that policy, the widowed husband of one Marine, John Fliszar,  found exceptional co-operation from the Naval Academy officials when he approached them for help in executing the dead man’s wish to have his ashes  interred in the Naval Academy.

I enjoyed imagining the confused expressions of these officials when they were first approached by the widowed husband, Mark Ketterson:

The memorial coordinator asked about his relationship to the deceased. Ketterson said that John Fliszar was his husband.
“They were always polite, but there was this moment of hesitation,” Ketterson recalled. “They said they’re going to need something in writing from a blood relative. They asked, ‘Are you listed on the death certificate?’ ‘Do you have a marriage license?’ ”

But here’s the point: he was, and they did. Thereafter, Ketterson was treated exactly like any other grieving military widow, with courtesy, consideration and respect.

Ketterson sent a copy of the marriage license. That changed everything.

“I was respected,” he said. “From that moment on, I was next of kin. They were amazing.”

The USNA alumni association sent Ketterson a letter expressing condolence for the loss of his husband.

The USNA says Fliszar’s interment followed standard operating procedure.

“His next of kin was treated with the same dignity and respect afforded to the next of kin of all USNA grads who desire interment at the Columbarium,” said Jennifer Erickson, a spokesperson for the academy. “We didn’t do anything differently.”
Shipmate magazine, the publication of the USNA’s alumni association, ran Fliszar’s obituary. It noted his two Purple Hearts for “having been shot down from the sky twice in military missions.” It noted “for the rest of his life he would joke about his ‘government issued ankle.’ ” It noted “his burly but warmly gentle manner.” It noted he was “survived by his husband, Mark Thomas Ketterson.”

There’s no doubt about it: that little piece of paper, confirming legal marriage, makes a big difference, in so many ways. What of surviving partners of other servicemen and women who are unable to produce those marriage certificates – because local law doesn’t allow it?

While the public generally approved of the official end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’’ in the U.S. military, the details still need to be worked out. The thorny issue isn’t ending the costly and counterproductive practice of forcing gays out of military services — that cost $40 million a year to enforce and deprived the armed services of thousands of qualified personnel. A bigger challenge is the question of entitlements: Who is a survivor? Who gets military benefits?
A marriage certificate was the key that let the USNA know how to treat Ketterson in relation to his husband’s service. Gays in the military and gay marriage are thought of as separate issues, but without legal gay marriage, or at least civil unions, how can the military know who gets the folded flag?
Such practical concerns were far from Ketterson’s mind when he and Fliszar got married after dating for six years — “because I loved him and he asked me,” Ketterson said, adding that the USNA alumni he’s heard from have made grieving more bearable.
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What Irish Catholics Believe

This is getting monotonous, but it must be stated again. What Catholics believe and practice on matters of sexual ethics, as a matter of empirical fact, is simply not what the (nominally) celibate bishops in their ivory towers would like us to believe, or falsely proclaim as “Catholic” belief, when it is in fact no more than Vatican doctrine.
The latest evidence, in a long line of similar research, comes from Ireland. This makes it all the more notable, given that country’s long reputation until recently as a “priest-ridden country”, where the dictates of the clergy meant that even contraception was forbidden by law, and people would journey across the island to Belfast just to buy condoms.
In a marked turnaround, the Irish people do not simply tolerate pre-marital sex, they believe it is desirable for young couples to spend time living together before committing to marriage. The bishops, on the other hand, maintain that all sex outside of marriage and not “ordered to procreation” is sinful, and presumably support their American colleagues’ pronouncement that cohabitation before marriage, like homosexuality, is gravely disordered.
The Irish politicians have come a long way in standing up to moral bullying by the church officials, notably over the investigations into clerical sexual abuse, but have some way yet to go. They have succeeded in passing civil partnership legislation, which will come into effect early;next year, but lag well behind their voters. Fully two thirds would support full marriage equality.
From the Irish Times:

Two-thirds support gay marriage, poll finds

JUST OVER two-thirds of people (67 per cent) believe gay couples should be allowed to marry, according to an Irish Times /Behaviour Attitudes social poll.
It is one of a series of findings in a poll on “sex, sin and society” that indicates Irish people have adopted a more liberal attitude towards personal relationships and sexual behaviour.
In addition showing strong support for gay marriage, a significant majority (60 per cent) also believe civil partnerships for gay couples will not undermine the institution of marriage. A large majority (91 per cent) also say they would not think less of a person if they revealed they were gay or lesbian.
These numbers are consistently high across most age groups, as well as in urban and rural areas.
People are divided, however, on whether gay couples should be allowed to adopt children. Some 46 per cent support such a move, while more than a third (38 per cent) are opposed. Younger people, urban dwellers and women are more likely to be supportive of the idea.
The findings also indicate there is a growing consensus that living together before marriage is likely to result in a more stable marriage. A majority (57 per cent) believe cohabitation is a positive development. This view is reflected consistently across most age groups.
Even higher numbers (79 per cent) do not regard sex before marriage as immoral. When broken down by religion, most Catholics – again, 79 per cent – did not see anything wrong with the practice.
Just 15 per cent, mostly older people or those living in rural areas, see it as immoral.
There are also significant differences across the generations in attitudes towards issues such as celibacy and virginity. In total, just under half (48 per cent) of people admire those who choose to be celibate for moral or religious reasons.
A majority of older people (62 per cent) aged 65 or more are much more likely to admire celibacy, while this falls to well under half among younger and middle-aged people.
Even among Catholics, respondents are just as divided. While 51 per cent of Catholics admire celibacy, the remainder either do not (33 per cent), or say they do not know (16 per cent).
Not all the poll findings point to increasingly liberal attitudes, however. The average age most people feel teenagers should begin to have sex at is 18 years, above the current age of consent which is 17.

Also:
Survey reveals more relaxed attitude to sex
Two-thirds support gay marriage, poll finds

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