Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Bishop Mary Glasspool

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2012 at 11:11 am

b, February 23, 1954

A suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. She is the first open lesbian to be consecrated a bishop in the Anglican Communion.

Glasspool was born on February 23, 1954, in Staten Island Hospital, New York, to Douglas Murray Glasspool and Anne Dickinson. Later that year the Glasspool family moved to Goshen, New York, where her father served as Rector of St. James’ Church until his death in 1989. She entered the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1976 and was ordained a deacon in June 1981 and a priest in March 1982. In 1981, Glasspool became assistant to the rector at St. Paul’s Church in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, where she served until 1984. She was the rector of St. Luke’s and St. Margaret’s Church in Boston from 1984 to 1992, then the rector of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Annapolis, from 1992 to 2001, and was called to serve as canon to the bishops for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland in 2001.
Glasspool was elected a bishop suffragan on December 4, 2009, on the seventh ballot at the 115th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in Riverside, California. On March 17, 2010, the Presiding Bishop’s Office certified that her election had received the necessary consents and she was subsequently consecrated on May 15, 2010, in Long Beach, California. Glasspool is the 17th woman and the first openly gay woman elected to the episcopate in the Episcopal Church. Her election has gained worldwide attention in the context of the ongoing debate about gay bishops in Anglicanism.
Enhanced by Zemanta

61% of UK Christians back equal rights for gay couples – Survey

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm

<p style=”text-align: justify;”>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.</p>

<p style=”text-align: center;”><a style=”text-align: -webkit-auto;” href=”http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/02/14/uk-study-61-of-christians-back-equal-gay-rights/”>61% of Christians back equal rights for gay couples</a></p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/02/14/uk-study-61-of-christians-back-equal-gay-rights/”><img src=”http://queeringthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/bible3.jpg&#8221; alt=”” /></a></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>Results of a poll released today say 61% of people in the UK who identify as Christian back fully equal rights for gay couples.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>The 2011 Ipsos MORI study explored the “beliefs, knowledge and attitudes” of people who identified as Christian after the nationwide census last year.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>74% of respondents said as Christians they thought religion should not have a special influence on public life.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>The survey was conducted on behalf of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>Six in ten respondents, 61%, agreed that gays should have the same rights in all aspects of their lives as straight people.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>Only 29% said they disapproved of sexual relationships between gays. Nearly half said they did not actively disapprove.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: right;”><a href=”http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/02/14/uk-study-61-of-christians-back-equal-gay-rights/”&gt; – full report at  PinkNews.co.uk</a>.</p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”>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.</p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”>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.</p>

<div class=”zemanta-pixie” style=”margin-top: 10px; height: 15px;”><a class=”zemanta-pixie-a” title=”Enhanced by Zemanta” href=”http://www.zemanta.com/”><img class=”zemanta-pixie-img” style=”border: none; float: right;” src=”http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=7681a347-0316-4a01-bb9e-62d2fccaf92f&#8221; alt=”Enhanced by Zemanta” /></a></div>

Religion and Gay Marriage: Reactions to Prop 8 Ruling.

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm

<a href=”http://queeringthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Proposition-8-election-map.png”><img class=”size-medium wp-image-21905″ title=”Proposition 8 election map” src=”http://queeringthechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Proposition-8-election-map-254×300.png&#8221; alt=”” width=”254″ height=”300″ /></a>

Proposition 8 election map

<p style=”text-align: justify;”>Catholic bishops have been quick to react to yesterday’s court ruling that California’s Proposition 8 ballot was unconstitutional, speaking of their disappointment at what they see as the “injustice” of the ruling (an ironic choice of words, as it is the business of the courts above all, to deliberate and rule on matters of justice.  The learned judges in this case, confirming earlier decisions by lower courts, have found that the “injustice” lay in creating two classes of persons, one with lesser rights than the other). Frances De Bernardo at New Ways / Bondings 2.0, recalling the active role that the bishops played in perpetrating the original injustice, reflects on the harm that has done to the Catholic Church in California, and draws an important lesson from it: the urgent need, going forward, to move from a political stance on the matter to a pastoral one:</p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>Though this case temporarily provides a victory for the marriage equality movement in California, there is still work of reconciliation work to be done in the Catholic Church there.  In a <a title=”‘Catholic Church Doesn’t Need to Take Another Battering’” href=”http://newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/catholic-church-doesnt-need-to-take-another-battering/&#8221; target=”_blank”><span style=”color: #000080;”>post two weeks ago</span></a>, I mentioned that a California friend told me that the hierarchy’s heavily funded campaign to pass Proposition 8 has had a harmful effect on the pastoral life of LGBT Catholics and their allies in California.  Many have become alienated from the church and left it because of the vociferous anti-gay nature of the campaign and its rhetoric.  While the hierarchy has been focused on the political nature of the marriage debate, it’s time that they started to look at the pastoral component of it, too, and begin the much needed work of reconciliation–for the good of the entire church.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: right;”><a href=”http://newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/the-catholic-factor-of-proposition-8/”>Francis DeBernardo, Bondings 2.0</a></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”>Other denominations that were active in the Prop 8 campaign against marriage, have expressed similar and predictable disappointment. I am more interested though, in the mounting evidence of an opposite, supportive view from faith leaders.<!–more–></p>
<h4 style=”text-align: justify;”>Religious support <em>in favour</em> of justice and equality in marriage.</h4>

Last week, an English bishop declared his support for gay marriage in the UK. In Washington DC, an Episcopal bishop has declared similar support for marriage equality in Maryland.

<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>The new Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, D.C., on Tuesday endorsed the legislative campaign now underway to legalize same sex marriage in Maryland.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, wrote on the Washington Post website that gay marriage opponents should not be so certain the Bible is on their side. In her reading the Bible</em></span></p>

<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>… condemns exploitative sexual activity that is the antithesis of loving, committed relationships. The Bible is silent on the subject of same-gender monogamous relationships.</em></span></p>

In Pasadena, Rev Susan Boyle called the ruling a “victory”, reversing the Catholic bishops’ argument from religious freedom:
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>The Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Pasadena, where they have refused to sign marriage licenses for any couple until gay couples could be legally wed, went straight to rejoicing.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>Russell, an Episcopal priest, called it a victory for</em></span></p>

<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>…all Americans who believe that the “liberty and justice for all” in the pledge we teach our children really means ALL. It is also a victory over those who erroneously believe that the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment gives them freedom to write their theology on marriage — or anything else — into our Constitution.</em></span></p>
<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>Russell dismisses the notion this tramples on freedom of religion, saying in a statement that everyone is</em></span></p>

<p style=”text-align: justify;”><span style=”color: #000080;”><em>… just as free today to decide for themselves whether God equally blesses our marriages. What the 9th Circuit Court said today is that they are NOT free to decide whether the Constitution equally protects them.</em></span></p>
<h6 class=”zemanta-related-title” style=”font-size: 1em;”>Related articles</h6>
<ul class=”zemanta-article-ul”>
<li class=”zemanta-article-ul-li”><a href=”http://enlightenedcatholicism-colkoch.blogspot.com/2012/02/prop-8-to-supremes-plus-some.html”>Prop 8 To The Supremes Plus Some Interesting Poll Data</a><em> (Enlightened Catholicism)</em></li>
<li class=”zemanta-article-ul-li”><a href=”http://www.mlp.org/article.php/Proposition8RuledUnconstitutional”>Marriage Equality Victory: Proposition 8 Unconstitutional</a> <em>(More Light Presbyterians)</em></li>
<li class=”zemanta-article-ul-li”><a href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/prop-8-gay-marriage-san-diego-mayor.html”>Prop. 8: San Diego mayor, once a gay-marriage foe, cheers ruling</a> (latimesblogs.latimes.com)</li>
<div class=”zemanta-pixie” style=”margin-top: 10px; height: 15px;”><a class=”zemanta-pixie-a” title=”Enhanced by Zemanta” href=”http://www.zemanta.com/”><img class=”zemanta-pixie-img” style=”border: none; float: right;” src=”http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_c.png?x-id=9e0f77c5-1fe3-4c94-a4f7-57863d188843&#8243; alt=”Enhanced by Zemanta” /></a></div>

Religious Divides in Support for Same-Sex Marriage

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm

It is often assumed, quite incorrectly, that the disputes over marriage equality are between those standing up for religious belief (especially Christian belief), and secularists on the side of human rights. The fallacy of this assumption is neatly illustrated by this graphic, in a post at the Public Religion Research Institute, drawing on a comprehensive analysis of data from the Pew Research Institute. This clearly shows that the disagreement is not between religion and human rights, but between the different shades of religious affiliation. Two of the three groups with the strongest support for equality are from religious groups – but not Christian religion (Jews, and other non-Christian faith groups).

Even within the Christian faith, there is clear division between denominations. White and Hispanic Catholics, and White Mainline Protestants, all show clear majority support for equality. (The research does not break out Black Catholics):

    • White Catholics: 56% in favour, 39% opposed
    • Hispanic Catholics: 53% in favour, 37% opposed
    • White Mainline Protestants: 52% in favour, 40% opposed

The arguments from “religious freedom” against legal recognition for all marriages must surely also take into account the freedom of those people of faith that support same – sex marriage, both in other faith groups, and within their own denominations. (In

Of the groups broken out for analysis, only Black Protestants, Mormons and Evangelicals are opposed  – but, it must be said, very strongly.

Beyond Secular vs. Religious: Religious Divides in Support for Same-Sex Marriage

In 2011, majorities of most religious groups favored allowing gay and lesbian couple to marry legally, illustrating that the old narrative of battle lines between secular supporters and religious opponents no longer serves as an accurate characterization of the landscape of the same-sex marriage debate. In the general population, 2011 was also the first year on record in which supporting same-sex marriage was not a minority position. In May, several surveys (all asking slightly different versions of the same question) found that a majority of the public supported allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. PRRI’s May survey found that 51% of Americans were in favor, and 43% were opposed.

-full analysis at   Public Religion Research Institute.

This strength of feeling from the opponents, and the rather milder feelings of supporters, must be assessed together with the evidence from several sources that opposition is dropping in degree, as well as in extent, while supporters are growing in both numbers and intensity of feeling.

The striking contrast between the views of younger people, including younger Evangelicals, and their older co-religionists shows clearly that this shift within the churches towards more widespread, and more intense, support for marriage equality will surely continue to grow:

There are large generational differences between Millennials (age 18-29) and older Americans on the issue of same-sex marriage. Sixty-four percent of Millennials favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, a rate that is more than 20 points higher than among those ages 30 and above (42%). This generational gap persists within every religious group, including more conservative religious groups. For example, 66% of Catholic Millennials favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, 15 points higher than Catholics ages 30 and above (51%). Even among white evangelical Protestants—the group most opposed to same-sex marriage—nearly 4-in-10 (39%) white evangelical Protestant Millennials favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, a rate that is more than 20 points higher than that of white evangelicals ages 30 and older (18%).

–   Public Religion Research Institute.

Enhanced by Zemanta