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program where Catholics supporting Maryland’s marriage equality law discuss ways to prevent the legislation from being repealed on referendum during the November elections.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.
Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.
Time to break out your Bible, Mr. Perkins! Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)
But that’s not all. In biblical society, when you conquered another city, tribe, or nation, the victorious men would “win” their defeated foes’ wives as part of the spoils. It also commanded levirate marriage, the system wherein, if a man died, his younger brother would have to marry his widow and produce heirs with her who would be considered the older brother’s descendants. Now that’s traditional marriage!
– full post at Jay Michaelson, Religion Dispatches.
There is extensive evidence that the US is moving to embrace full equality for lesbian and gay couples, and that Catholics are more supportive than the population at large. American Evangelicals though, remain (mostly) hostile. There has not been nearly as much polling for the UK, but a new survey shows even more support than in the US – including from 61% of all Christians.
61% of Christians back equal rights for gay couples
Results of a poll released today say 61% of people in the UK who identify as Christian back fully equal rights for gay couples.
The 2011 Ipsos MORI study explored the “beliefs, knowledge and attitudes” of people who identified as Christian after the nationwide census last year.
74% of respondents said as Christians they thought religion should not have a special influence on public life.
The survey was conducted on behalf of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
Six in ten respondents, 61%, agreed that gays should have the same rights in all aspects of their lives as straight people.
Only 29% said they disapproved of sexual relationships between gays. Nearly half said they did not actively disapprove.
– full report at PinkNews.co.uk.
A word of caution here, is that the survey was sponsored by the explicitly secularist Richard Dawkins Foundation, which is using the results to demonstrate that the UK is a secular society, and not a “Christian country”. It does not appear to have released the full questionnaire or tables. The only results currently available are those selected for inclusion in the press release by the Foundation. In particular, the description “Christian” appears to be used for those who describe themselves as such – many of whom do not actively practice their religion.
There is no reason to disregard the main thrust of the finding though, which is in agreement with what previous research is available. British opinion is firmly on the side of LGBT inclusion – and that includes those who think of themselves Christian.