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Archive for the ‘Marriage and family’ Category

Vatican paper criticises gay adoption after Italy ruling

In Marriage and family on January 15, 2013 at 11:17 pm

(Reuters) – The Vatican newspaper on Sunday stressed that children should be raised by a father and a mother after Italy’s top appeals court granted a gay mother custody of her son, prompting a debate over gay adoption.

Italy’s Court of Cassation on Friday rejected an appeal by a father who feared his son would not have a balanced upbringing if he lived with his mother and her female partner. The court ruled it was “mere prejudice” to think that a child could not be brought up normally by homosexual parents.

While gay rights group Arcigay hailed the decision as a “historic ruling” in Italy, where it is illegal for gay couples to adopt, Catholic leaders were quick to defend the traditional family unit.

L’Osservatore Romano, the 151-year-old mouthpiece of the Holy See, on Sunday ran an editorial which sought to play down the ruling of the court, saying that children often grow up in difficult circumstances without a mother or father.

“But no one believes that these situations should be created just because in some cases they don’t cause damage,” wrote Adriano Pessina, director of bioethics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart.

via  Reuters.

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CoE plan to bless gay couples’ civil partnerships?

In Marriage and family on January 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

The Church of England is considering allowing gay couples to have their civil partnerships blessed  in church.

Insiders have told The Mail on Sunday that a top-level panel of bishops set up to review the Church’s policy on homosexuality is actively discussing the issue.

If the reform is approved, vicars would be permitted to conduct a  formal blessing service in church for a same-sex couple who have earlier ‘tied the knot’ at a register office.

Claire Balding Civil Partnership

Union: Television presenter Clare Balding (right) and Alice Arnold at their civil ceremony in 2006

Union: Television presenter Clare Balding (right) and Alice Arnold at their civil ceremony in 2006

But any move to relax the ban on such blessings would provoke the biggest split yet in the Church, which is already reeling from rows over women and gay bishops.

One option the panel is expected  to consider is a compromise under which gay couples seeking a blessing could be asked to declare they intend to remain celibate, in line with official Church teaching.

But this could create a backlash among gay couples, who would regard it as demeaning to be quizzed about their private lives.

A source close to the working party said that a ‘wide-ranging discussion’ was under way covering a ‘whole range of options’ and recommendations will be made to the House of Bishops later this year.

– more at  Mail Online.

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Italy’s Court of Cassation supports gay adoption

In Marriage and family on January 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, has ruled homosexuals should be able to adopt children.

The court Friday rejected a claim by a Muslim man in Brescia that his child was being damaged because his former partner is now living with a woman, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. The court called the belief that being brought up by a gay couple is damaging to children “mere prejudice.”

Flavio Romani, president of the group Arcigay, called it a “historic ruling” and said it will allow future governments to enact laws allowing same-sex marriage.

“The Cassation Court today reaffirmed what we’ve been saying for a long time,” Romani said. “Love is what makes children grow, and not the sexual orientation of their parents.”

Giancarlo Galan, a former Veneto governor and member of Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party, commended the ruling, calling it a “significant step forward for civil rights.” He said Italy is a secular state that should “listen to its citizens and no one else.”

Sen. Ignazio Marini, a member of the Democratic Party, said gays should have the same rights as heterosexuals

-more at  UPI.com.

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Bishop of Chicago Steps Up for Marriage Equality!

In Marriage and family on January 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm

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

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Pope’s Peace Day Statement Is Countered by Catholic Parents

In Marriage and family on January 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

As we reported at the end of last month, Pope Benedict’s statement for the World Day of Prayer for Peace, January 1st, contained a reference that same-gender married couples are a threat to world peace.  But on January 1, 2013,  the pope’s message was countered by a pair of married heterosexual Catholic parents who have a long history of working for LGBT justice and equality.

In his statement the pope said that allowing gay and lesbian people to marry is

“. . . an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.”

Mary Ellen and Casey Lopata

In a Washington Post “On Faith” essay, Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata,  who are the founders of Fortunate Families, a national network of Catholic parents of LGBT people, countered the pope’s rhetoric by describing the lives of  lesbian and gay friends of theirs:

“We are fortunate enough to be able to contrast the pope’s rhetoric with the reality of Bob’s life, and those of many other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people whom we know. They don’t seem like threats to world peace or the future of humanity. They are men and women trying to earn a living, love their spouses, raise their children and contribute a little something to their churches and their communities.”

Additionally, they contrast the pope’s point of view with that of the majority of U.S. Catholics:

“The pope is losing the fight against marriage equality because Catholics weigh his abstract definitions of what it means to be human, what it means to be male and what it means to be female, against the evidence of their own experience. They understand instinctively that human beings are too complex to be captured in such arid taxonomies, that categories devised by celibate philosophers no longer make much sense in a world in which traditional gender roles were abandoned long ago. Rather, what they know, what they believe, is the evidence of their own experience. Like John the Evangelist, they testify to what they have seen and heard.”

more at « Bondings 2.0.

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Calabrian Catholic bishop says gay couples ‘should have rights’

In Marriage and family on December 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Italian bishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini from Locri-Gerace recognizes that gay couples ‘should claim some rights, but they can not ask for marriage’

cattedrale_Gerace

18 DECEMBER 2012 | BY DANIELE GUIDO GESSA

Photo by DaffyDuke

An Italian Catholic bishop said that ‘same-sex couples should have their civil rights recognized.’

Bishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini, who is in charge of the Locri-Gerace area in Calabria, recognized same-sex couples’ rights in a letter sent to the churches of his area.

Such a recognition by the Catholic hierarchy is uncommon, but bishop Morosini added: ‘However, same-sex couples are not families. We can not give them the right to a regular marriage.

‘We believe in God and we have to respect the Christian values and rules. I suggest you defend these ideas strongly.’

The Italian Church is analyzing the possibility of a new Italian government wanting to give same-sex couples some rights. The next general elections will be held in spring.

Morosini added: ‘A marriage is a union between a man and a woman, but every couple should have civil rights.’

His stance has been welcomed by Italian LGBT associations, even though the Italian gay movement has condemned his call for ‘traditional’ marriage.Calabria is one of the less gay-friendly regions in Italy. Only a few LGBT associations operate in this area.

via Gay Star News.

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Minnesota Catholics Still Split by Vote on Gay Marriage

In Marriage and family on December 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm

More than a month after Minnesota became the first state to defeat a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, some Catholics say it’s time to acknowledge how divisive that effort was within the church.

Among them is Kathleen Nuccio, a cantor and choir member for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Grand Rapids.

Nuccio sings during Mass each Sunday, as she has done for half a century. But when it came to her opposition to the marriage amendment, she couldn’t make her voice heard.

“There was no dialogue,” she said. “The only way people had to express themselves … (was) by withdrawing donations, walking out of sermons — which happened — and leaving the church altogether. Many people still have not returned.”

Catholic bishops put significant financial and spiritual resources behind the amendment, which would have defined marriage as being only between a man and a woman, reinforcing a provision against same-sex marriage in state law. The church’s official position alienated some parishioners and may have contributed to the amendment’s defeat in November.

There is no exit-poll data on how Catholics in Minnesota voted on the amendment. Although the Associated Press asked voters if they attended religious services and if they were evangelicals, it did not ask if they were Catholic. National polls find Catholics are among churchgoers most supportive of same-sex marriage.

-more at  Winona Daily News

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Gay Catholics Speak Out for Marriage Equality in Illinois

In Marriage and family on December 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

The Rainbow Sash Movement (Lesbian/Gay Catholics) challenges the policy arm of the Catholic Church in Illinois when that Conference makes the claim that it represents nearly 4 million Catholics in the State of Illinois on the issue of Gay Marriage; such a claim is not based in reality.

 

Rainbow_Sash_Movement_Logo

The Illinois Catholic Conference also states that marriage is unique because it’s a union between two genders and “same-sex marriage goes against nature.” This is another example of hierarchal bias of basic human rights and fairness for LGBT people. It is not reasonable to deny the evolution of marriage over the centuries with divorce and remarriage being the most obvious example of such evolution.

The Rainbow Sash Movement finds it difficult understand why the Illinois Catholic Conference would align itself with an organization which is part of the ex-gay movement to promote their anti-gay agenda. Courage was founded by Fr. John Harveybased on the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and understands sexual orientation of the LGBT Community as a disease to be cured. The attempt to promote such bigotry under their conference is in our opinion not only offensive to the LGBT Community and most reasonable people, but is also lacking in any significant pastoral intent.

The promotion of such ideas by the Illinois Catholic Conference that love is an abomination when Lesbian and Gay couples practice it in Gay Marriage has its origins in ancient taboos, not nature. This only highlights how out of touch Catholic leaders are with the views of pew-sitting Catholics when it comes to Gay Marriage.

At issue is how to balance competing rights—to freedom of religious expression and freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We believe it would be unfortunate to replace legal oppression of one community (LGBT couples) with legal oppression of another (Illinois Catholic Conference), and current Gay Marriage legislation to be introduced in January 2013 has built in protections to make sure this does not happen.

We want to remind our leaders the principles of our faith and church are based on: forgiveness, love, mercy and charity. Not the flawed opinions of men – even those in the church hierarchy. We are calling on our Bishops to refocus their attention on caring for the poor and vulnerable

The Rainbow Sash Movement believes that the Catholic Conference of Illinois has a right to create its own definition of the sacrament of marriage, but not to impose those beliefs on the people of Illinois who understand this as a question of basic fairness and social justice.

Perhaps it is time for the Church to remove itself from Civil Marriage if it cannot tolerate marriage equality which is defined by the state, and focus rather on sacramental marriage which is defined by the Church. The Catholic Conference of Illinois is stepping over the line when it tells non Catholic Churches who they can and cannot marry.

It is time to pass Gay Marriage in Illinois.

SOURCE Rainbow Sash Movement

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1wZdx)

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Again and Again, Statistics Tell a Positive Story About Catholics

In Marriage and family on December 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Over the past month, several polls have confirmed what many previous polls have already shown:  the Catholic laity support LGBT equality, including marriage equality.

In the most recent survey, a Quinnipiac poll released last week, Catholics outpace average Americans when it comes to marriage equality.  According to Newsmax.com:

“While same sex unions are approved by 48 percent to 46 percent overall, Catholics give them the thumbs-up by 49 percent to 43 percent, the survey from Quinnipiac University found.

“ ‘It seems pretty clear that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in American society are changing rapidly,’ said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Connecticut university’s polling institute.

“ ‘While the country remains split on the issue, supporters have come pretty far in the last four years.’ . . .

“The biggest opposition among any group is with white Protestants who oppose it 63 percent to 32 percent.”

A Public Religion Research Institute report confirms that Catholics are ahead of the average American population on marriage equality:

“A slim majority (52%) of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and 44% oppose.

“Among religious groups, majorities of Catholics (59%), white mainline Protestants (56%), and the unaffiliated (77%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.”

A recent survey of Catholics in Illinois, conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, showed an overwhelming majority support some form of  legal relationship recognition for lesbian/gay couples.  According to LGBTQNation.com:

“. . . 81 percent of Catholics surveyed support either full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples or the right to a civil union. Specifically, 39.9 percent said they support marriage rights and 40.1 percent said their position is for same-sex couples to have civil unions. Only 15.7 percent said there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

“. . . the same poll found that 43.6 percent of Illinois residents approve of full marriage equality, 31.8 percent preferred civil unions and 20.2 percent said there should be no legal recognition. In 2010, the same poll reported 33.6 percent of people were in favor of marriage rights.”

The Illinois statistics are significant because that state, which already has a civil unions law, may well take up the discussion of a marriage equality law in 2013.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 Bondings 2.0.

Poll: Gay Marriage Gaining Support, Especially Among Catholics

In Marriage and family on December 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Roman Catholic voters are more accepting of gay marriage than other Americans, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

While same sex unions are approved by 48 percent to 46 percent overall, Catholics give them the thumbs-up by 49 percent to 43 percent, the survey from Quinnipiac University found.

“It seems pretty clear that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in American society are changing rapidly,” said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Connecitcut university’s polling institute.

“While the country remains split on the issue, supporters have come pretty far in the last four years.”

The poll found that men in particular have shifted their position. Four years ago they opposed gay marriage by 61 percent to 31 percent. That figure is now down to 50 percent opposition and 43 percent support. Women now back gay marriage by 52 percent to 42 percent.

The biggest opposition among any group is with white Protestants who oppose it 63 percent to 32 percent.

-more at  NewsMax.