Tag Archives: same – sex marriage

Gay Marriage, Scotland

The marriage equality juggernaut rolls along:

Scotland’s same-sex marriage bill is passed

A bill which allows same-sex weddings to take place in Scotland has been passed by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

MSPs voted by 105 to 18 in favour of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.

The Scottish government said the move was the right thing to do but Scotland’s two main churches were opposed to it.

The first gay and lesbian weddings could take place this autumn.

Religious and belief bodies can “opt in” to perform same-sex marriages.

Ministers said no part of the religious community would be forced to hold such ceremonies in churches.

Equal Marriage campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament

During a debate at Holyrood, MSPs rejected amendments which were said to provide “protection” for groups and individuals opposed to same-sex marriage.

The SNP’s John Mason tabled an amendment stating that no-one could be “compelled by any means” to solemnise gay marriage, including by a contract or a legal requirement.

Continue reading : BBC Scotland news

Enhanced by Zemanta

Methodist Clergy, Defying Church Restrictions on Gay Marriage

In December 2013, Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer of central Pennsylvania was defrocked after he officiated at his son’s gay wedding. Huffington Post reports on a similar case, and other Methodist pastors who are defying church regulations, by conducting same – sex church weddings, or by living openly with a same – sex partner.

Rev. Thomas Ogletree, Another Methodist Pastor, To Be Tried For Presiding At Same Sex Wedding Of Son

 

The United Methodist Church has formally charged another clergyman for presiding at the same-sex wedding of his son.

The Rev. Thomas Ogletree will be tried March 10 for violating church law against officiating at gay unions, his spokeswoman, Dorothee Benz, announced Friday. It’s the second high-profile United Methodist trial in recent months over same-sex relationships. In December, pastor Frank Schaefer of central Pennsylvania was defrocked after he officiated at his son’s gay wedding. The church considers homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Ogletree is a theologian, a former Yale Divinity School dean and a retired elder in the church’s New York district, or Annual Conference. Some clergy had filed a complaint after his son’s 2012 wedding announcement appeared in The New York Times.

Ogletree, 80, said he could not refuse his son’s request to preside at the wedding, which was held in New York, where gay marriage is legally recognized.

-continue reading at  .Huffington Post 

//
//

Enhanced by Zemanta

LA Times: "Methodist minister won't surrender credentials in gay-marriage dispute"

A United Methodist minister who was suspended for officiating at his son’s gay marriage said on Monday he will not voluntarily surrender his religious credentials even though he cannot uphold his church’s doctrines on issues relating to same-sex marriage.

A man places a hand on the shoulder of The Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist clergyman convicted of breaking church law for officiating at his son's same-sex wedding, as he enters a news conference, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at the Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A man places a hand on the shoulder of The Rev. Frank Schaefer, as he enters a news conference at the Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Continue reading LA Times: "Methodist minister won't surrender credentials in gay-marriage dispute"

Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage

WASHINGTON — Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.

Jon M. Huntsman Jr., who opposed same-sex marriage
 during his 2012 presidential bid, signed the brief.
Meg Whitman supported Proposition 8
when she ran for California governor.

The document will be submitted this week to the Supreme Court in support of a suit seeking to strike downProposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same-sex marriage, and all similar bans. The court will hear back-to-back arguments next month in that case and another pivotal gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.”
The Proposition 8 case already has a powerful conservative supporter: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under Mr. Bush and one of the suit’s two lead lawyers. The amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief is being filed with Mr. Olson’s blessing. It argues, as he does, that same-sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up in two-parent homes, and that it advances conservative values of “limited government and maximizing individual freedom.”
Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments. The list of signers includes a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions.
Among them are Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for California governor; Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York; Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser; Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary to Mr. Bush; James B. Comey, a top Bush Justice Department official; David A. Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s first budget director; and Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio who is retired from Congress.
Experts say that amicus briefs generally do not change Supreme Court justices’ minds. But on Monday some said that the Republican brief, written by Seth P. Waxman, a former solicitor general in the administration of President Bill Clinton, and Reginald Brown, who served in the Bush White House Counsel’s Office, might be an exception..

New York Times, February 25th 2013
Enhanced by Zemanta
Approval expected but full House vote likely to be tough battle 21 FEBRUARY 2013 | BY GREG HERNANDEZ The next step in the path to Illinois becoming the 10th state in the US to make gay marriage legal will come next Tuesday (26 February) when it is to be considered by the House Executive Committee.

The committee is comprised of seven Democrats and four Republicans. At least six of the members must vote in favor of sending the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act to the full House for a vote. 
Since the Illinois State Senate passed the marriage equality bill by a vote of 34-21 last week, a full House vote would be the final step before Illinois Governor Pat Quinn can sign gay marriage into law. 
At least 60 House members must vote ‘yes’ to pass the legislation for it to move on to the governor.

Illinois already allows civil unions. It is believed legalizing marriage equality could generate the state anywhere from $39 to $72 million and up to $8 million in new tax revenues. 

But the marriage bill has seen strong criticism from religious and far right-wing groups.

Enhanced by Zemanta

"Respect for Marriage" Ad Campaign

A pro-gay marriage group is set to launch a $1 million media campaign in support of same-sex nuptials, with full-page ads in several major newspapers and a television spot featuring President Barack Obama, former first lady Laura Bush and former Vice ,President Dick Cheney.

The Respect for Marriage Coalition, co-chaired by the Human Rights Campaign, is behind the ad campaign, which begins with TV spots airing on national cable and the Sunday-morning talk shows, along with ads in POLITICO, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, officials with the group said.


The goal of the spot is to show voices from both sides of the political aisle supporting gay marriage, an issue which saw statewide victories in Washington, Maryland, Maine and Minnesota on Election Day last November.

The spot doesn’t feature fresh sit-down interviews, but uses clips from Bush, Cheney, Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell discussing gay marriage.

In the ad, Bush is quoted as saying, “When couples are committed to each other and love each other, then they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has.”

Obama’s clip is from his inaugural address last month, in which he said, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.”

There are two major cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court that relate to gay marriage — one about the California gay marriage ban, the other about the federal Defense of Marriage Act — and the ad campaign takes place in the context of landmarks in the pro-gay marriage movement.

Pennsylvania Voters support Gay Marriage

A slim majority of Pennsylvania voters supports legalizing gay marriage, an issue that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court next month.

Fifty-two percent support gay marriage, a Franklin & Marshall poll made public Thursday shows, up from 33 percent support measured by the college in a 2006 poll. The increased support mirrors a national trend and the results of a Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll in December 2011.
Muhlenberg pollster Chris Borick has been watching views on gay marriage shift dramatically. Support rose from 35 percent in 2004, to 42 percent in 2009, to 52 percent in 2011. In polling terms, he said, that’s “meteoric.”
It’s also largely generational. Of Pennsylvanians younger than 35, 79 percent support gay marriage, while those over 55 back gay marriage by 42 percent, said G. Terry Madonna, pollster for F&M in Lancaster.
» The latest on traffic, delays and road construction delivered to your mobile phone. Click to sign up to receive text alerts!
“I think in 25 years this is not going to be much of an issue,” Madonna said.
The issue has seen significant turning points in just the last year. President Barack Obama voiced his support for gay marriage ahead of the 2012 election, the national Democrats added it to their party platform and the president’s inaugural address last month was the first to include mention of gay rights.
At the end of March, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the constitutionality of two laws, one federal and one from California, that define marriage as between one man and one woman. Nine states — Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington — have legalized gay marriage.
Adrian Shanker of Bethlehem, president of Equality Pennsylvania, a nonprofit that advocates for gay equality, said Pennsylvanians and most Americans, particularly younger ones, are now viewing the gay marriage issue as a matter of civil rights.
“In six years, which is not that long in terms of public opinion on most issues, we’ve just seen a sea change,” he said. “I think hearts and minds have been changing. … Those who actively oppose it are shrinking every single day.”

– continue reading at  F&M 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bishop of Chicago Steps Up for Marriage Equality!

A more accurate title might be “Bishop of Chicago Continues to Step Up For Marriage Equality” because Bishop Jeffrey Lee has been such a consistent and valiant ally for equality both inside and outside the church. But the particular moment of “stepping up” I’m celebrating today was one that came out of his willingness to step up with a letter of support for marriage equality in Illinois — a letter that made the national news reporting on the legislation as it winds its way through the legislative process.

It was a moment of great delight as I sat on my day off happily having my second cup of day off coffee and watching a second hour of day off morning news to see this quote from Bishop Lee pop up on an MSNBC report. And thanks to the “rewind/pause” feature on my remote control and an iPhone camera hard-by and VOILA: the moment was “screen captured!”

My actual favorite quote from the letter was this one:

As a Christian, I believe that our society needs all of the sources and signs of grace that we can get. As a citizen of the United States, I believe in equal protection under the law. I believe that both ends will be served when marriage equality is the law of the land in Illinois, and I am grateful to be bishop in a church that offers all couples a community of faith, love, support and accountability.

Does it matter if a bishop speaks out on the issue of civil marriage equality? You bet it does. It matters to those in Illinois who will be speaking to their representatives in letters, calls and emails that they can say their faith tradition stands for equality for all.

via Rev. Susan Russell

Enhanced by Zemanta

SS Polyeuct and Nearchos, Roman Soldiers, Lovers and Martyrs

The Roman soldiers, lovers and martyrs Sergius and Bacchus are well known examples of early queer saints. Polyeuct and Nearchos are not as familiar- but should be.  John Boswell (“Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe“) names the two as one of the three primary pairs of same sex lovers in the early church, their martyrdom coming about half a century after Felicity and Perpetua, and about another half century before  Sergius & Bacchus .

Like the later pair, Polyeuct and Nearchos were friends in the Roman army in Armenia. Nearchos was a Christian, Polyeuct was not. Polyeuct was married, to a woman whose father was a Roman official. When the father-in-law undertook as part of his duties to enforce a general persecution of the local Christians, he realized that this would endanger Polyeuct, whose close friendship with Nearchos could tempt him to side with the Christians.  The concern was fully justified: although Polyeuct was not himself a Christian, he refused to prove his loyalty to Rome by sacrificing to pagan gods. In terms of the regulations being enforced, this meant that he would sacrifice his chances of promotion, but (as a non-Christian) not his life. Christians who refused to sacrifice faced beheading. When Nearchos learned of this, he was distraught, not at the prospect of death in itself, but because in dying, he would enter Paradise without the company of his beloved Polyeuct. When Polyeuct learned the reasons for his friends anguish, he decided to become a Christian himself, so that he too could be killed, and enter eternity together with Nearchos.

‘De-baptism’ Is the Latest Dutch Trend

‘De-baptism’ Is the Latest Dutch Trend

The trend of Dutch Catholics ‘de-baptizing’ themselves is gaining traction after Pope Benedict XVI made remarks against marriage equality in his World Day of Prayer for Peace (January 1) address.

Ontdopen.nl, the website that claims to provide automated ‘de-baptism,’ was begun as a response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Netherlands. Now, the Catholic Church’s continued campaign against marriage equality leads to a leap in website views from ten daily to ten thousand.

Bondings 2.0 previously covered the Pope’s address which included a statement that same-gender marriages manipulate nature and destroy the ‘essence of the human creature.’

According to Gay Star News, the ‘de-baptism’ process entails a person entering personal information and receiving a “ resignation letter” that can then be sent to diocesan and parish officials as formal separation from the Catholic Church.

Website founder Tom Roes readily admits that ‘de-baptism’ is not exactly the function of Ontdopen.nl, telling LGBTQ Nation about its true function and limits:

“‘Of course it’s not possible to be ‘de-baptized’ because a baptism is an event, but this way people can unsubscribe or de-register themselves as Catholics,’ Roes said, although he admits he has no way of verifying just how many visitors to his website actually follow through and leave the church.”

The growth of Ontdopen.nl in the Netherlands, the first nation to legalize marriage equality and one where 44% of citizens claim no religious affiliation, should be troubling for Catholic leadership. Until now, most adherents passively separated themselves by not participating in Mass or parish activities, but generally when asked by pollsters still claimed “Catholic” as their religious affiliation. Actively separating oneself from Catholicism is a new and further step.

With the United States emerging more like the Netherlands in providing greater LGBT equality and also declining in people who religiously affiliate, this Dutch trend is perhaps a troubling vision into American Catholicism’s future if the bishops continue their anti-equality efforts.

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

via  « Bondings 2.0.

Enhanced by Zemanta