In their General Assembly 2014, the Presbyterian Church of the USA (PCUSA) approved a resolution to amend the church’s description of marriage from “between a man and a woman” to “between two persons” . However, to come into full effect, the resolution required ratification by a majority of the country’s regional presbyteries. That ratification has now been achieved. Alex Patchin McNeill,Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians notes in a press release that this is the first time ever that marriage equality has been approved by a faith tradition in a nationwide, grassroots popular vote.
In a radio interview on March 9th about the pending Irish referendum on gay marriage, Bishop Kevin Doran made some highly insensitive remarks about gay and lesbian Catholics. Just two days later, the president and vice – president of the Irish bishops’ conference have rebutted those remarks, regretting the “inappropriate” language.
The Irish bishops’ conference was gathered for their Spring meeting, during which Archbishops Eamon Martin and Diarmuid Martin hosted a press conference to release a joint statement on their response to the gay marriage referendum. Responding to questions put about Bishop Doran, the archbishops stressed that it was they, not Bishop Doran, who were fronting the Catholic bishops’ opposition to marriage equality, and deplored the use of insensitive language. Continue reading Irish Archbishops Agree: Language Does Matter, Insensitive Language Deplored.
Meet the Catholic priest preparing to defy his church and vote for gay marriage in Ireland
Augustinian priest Iggy O’Donovan said this week that he will ‘unquestioningly be voting yes’ in Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage because he believes in the freedom for all people to choose how they live their lives
An Augustinian Catholic priest has gone public with his intention of voting for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ireland in May, saying his personal religious views on marriage should not be imposed onto other people in society who believed differently.
Fr Iggy O’Donovan told The Irish Independent this week that he was an ‘an absolute believer in Catholic teaching on marriage.’
‘[But I also] accept that there are people with different but deeply held views to me and I respect their views and I don’t think I have the right to impose my views on them.’
As a result he said he would ‘unquestioningly be voting yes’ in the referendum on same-sex marriage in Ireland.
via Gay Star News.
One of the most senior cardinals, a likely contender for the papal office at the next conclave, has acknowledged that the language used by the Church has seriously wounded and damaged gay people (and also the divorced and single people).
As legal confusion continues over gay marriage in both Alabama and Texas, one couple have succeeded in obtaining a licence, and registering their marriage, in Austin, Texas
Two Austin women were legally married Thursday morning after a Travis County judge ordered the county clerk to issue a marriage license.
Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, together almost 31 years, said their vows before Rabbi Kerry Baker while standing in front of the Travis County Clerk’s Office sign on Airport Boulevard.
The rushed ceremony was a mix of personal – with friends and their teenage daughters, Dawn and Ting, standing nearby – and public statement, with photos of their vows sure to include the county sign.
“It’s very exciting,” Bryant said before the wedding. “My little one was worried about missing her history class. I said we’ll be making history.”
ABC News reports:
The Vatican did something it has never done before by giving a group of U.S. gay and lesbian Catholics VIP seats at Pope Francis’ weekly general audience Wednesday.But in a sign that the welcome wasn’t all it could have been, the New Ways Ministry pilgrims were only identified on the Vatican’s list of attendees as a “group of lay people accompanied by a Sister of Loretto.”And not even that got announced: When a Vatican monsignor read out the list of the different groups of pilgrims in attendance in St. Peter’s Square, he skipped over the group altogether. Francis didn’t mention them, either.Even without a papal shout-out, New Ways Ministry officials were nevertheless pleased that they had been invited to sit up front by Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, the prefect of the papal household who dispenses the coveted reserved tickets for Francis’ audiences.
Gaenswein for years has also been the top aide to Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. When Benedict headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he permanently prohibited the New Ways Ministry co-founders, Sister Jeannine Gramick, and the Rev. Robert Nugent, from ministering to gays after determining in 1999 that they didn’t sufficiently adhere to church teaching on the “intrinsic evil” of homosexual acts.
Nugent abided by the directive and died last year. Gramick has continued her ministry, changing religious orders to the Sisters of Loretto, and was on hand for Wednesday’s audience.
“Pope Francis gives me hope,” she told The Associated Press. “To me, this is an example of the kind of willingness he has to welcome those on the fringes of the church back to the center of the church.”
The group’s executive director, Francis DeBernardo, said New Ways Ministry had tried unsuccessfully under the previous two popes to get VIP seats for its Rome pilgrimages.
This time, the Vatican ambassador in Washington and the archbishop of San Francisco forwarded their requests onto Rome, a sign that Francis’ call for the church to be more welcoming to gays has filtered down to local church leaders.
LGBT Catholics from Westminster diocese received a parting greeting and blessing from their cardinal Archbishop, Vincent Nichols – and across the Atlantic, a similar but larger group of Americans have found their path this year substantially easier then in previous occasions, thanks to help from some senior prelates. (Help received from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is particularly notable in this respect: he’s positioned himself as a leading opponent of marriage equality, and his record on gay inclusion in Church has previously been less than salutary). Continue reading Gay Catholics find a new tone under Pope Francis, and from their own bishops – Religion News Service
Yet more evidence that in all Christian denominations, LGBT people are making their presence felt, working for inclusion. With her background, Jayne Ozanne will be a formidable campaigner for equality.
She once denied her sexuality, believing that being gay and Christian were incompatible. Like others in the ex – gay movement, she tried to change her sexuality, even resorting to exorcism, but found that denial led to a mental breakdown, and that so – called “conversion therapy” is a charade. She has since come to terms with her sexuality, found that it is indeed possible to be openly both Christian and gay, and will now lead “Accepting Evangelicals”
The Independent has the story:
Jayne Ozanne: Evangelical campaigner comes out
One of the Church of England’s most influential evangelical campaigners, who for years believed it was impossible to be both gay and a Christian, has declared that “God is a God of surprises” as she came out as a lesbian.
As a member of the Archbishops’ Council between 1999 and 2004, Jayne Ozanne held what she called “extremely black and white” views on sexuality and “did not believe it was compatible to be gay and a Christian”.
But yesterday she came out as gay, and was announced as the new director of Accepting Evangelicals, a Christian group aiming to promote “acceptance of faithful, loving same-sex partnerships”.
- Evangelical and inclusive – a welcome shift on homosexuality (morfadulas.com)
Influential Church of England evangelical comes out as gay (Christian Today)
The Church of England is gradually adapting to the reality of gay marriage – and one more bishop has publicly apologised for the hurt it has caused (in particular, for the hurt caused by the bishops’ January statement on same – sex marriage.
Bishop of Gloucester speaks out on Church of England’s attitude to homosexual people
THE Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Michael Perham, addressed the Church of England’s attitude towards homosexuality at Thursday night’s Gloucester Diocesan Synod.
He apologised for the hurt caused by the ‘harsh’ House of Bishops’ statement on same-sex marriage.
Here is his full address.
“We are where we are. Same-sex marriage is here, here to stay.
“It will fast become part of the fabric of our society.
“The weekend of the first such marriages I wanted to rejoice with those who were rejoicing, recognising what a wonderful moment it was for them, and to weep with those who wept, recognising how for them a deeply held belief about marriage was being undermined.
“The House of Bishops’ January statement, when the first same-sex marriages were taking place did recognise that there needed to be room for conscience, that some gay or lesbian Christians would enter such a marriage and that the Church would continue to honour and accept them as members of the body of Christ.
“What it also said was that it could not extend that freedom to its authorised ministers or allow those who had contracted such a marriage to become one of its authorised ministers.
“There were those who, taking a more conservative position, felt that the statement went too far in its accommodation to same-sex marriage.
“But there were rather more who felt the statement struck an unnecessarily harsh and negative tone.
“The House of Bishops, producing a statement under some pressure, underestimated how uncompromising and hurtful the statement felt to some.
“The tone was harsh – there was not much sense of welcome to all as children of God.
“I am sorry for that and for the hurt I know it has engendered.
– more at Gloucestershire Echo.
More thoughtful commentary on how the disputes around gay marriage are no longer between defenders of human rights and of religious belief, but about what it means to be truly Christian:
Antigay religion: How Catholics and evangelicals are coming to accept same-sex marriage.
Throughout history, religion has sanctioned and fueled the persecution of homosexuality. That dynamic may be drawing to an end. Polls, clerics, and denominations are shifting. Theology is adapting. Resistance to same-sex marriage is dwindling, and there’s no end in sight.
Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right. Follow him on Twitter.
For 15 years, the Ethics and Public Policy Center has hosted the Faith Angle Forum, a regular conference on religion and public life. Several weeks ago, the group met again to discuss current issues. Transcripts of the conference have just been posted on EPPC’s website. They underscore the extent of the anti-gay collapse.
The first session, led by papal biographer Paul Vallely and Boston Globe editor John Allen, focused on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church. Vallely, the author of Pope Francis: Untying the Knots, noted that before Francis became pope, he supported civil unions in Argentina. “I think he sees that as a human rights issue,” said Vallely. Allen pointed to the pope’s comment in a March 5 interview with Corriere della Sera:
Q: Many nations have regulated civil unions. Is it a path that the Church can understand? But up to what point?
A: Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. It is about pacts of cohabitating of various natures … One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.
– full report at Slate.