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
In Sexual Orientation on December 29, 2012 at 10:09 am
Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information.
Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the church, said traffic on ontdopen.nl (i.e. “de-baptise.nl”) had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict’s latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.
“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 told Reuters.
He said he did not know how many visitors to the site actually go ahead and leave the church.
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’
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.
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
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.
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)
In Uncategorized on December 13, 2012 at 12:00 am
All religious institutions – including the Church of Scotland – will be free to decide for themselves if they would like to provide marriages for gay couples, under plans announced today.
The move comes after the UK Government yesterday unveiled its formal plans to allow gay couples to marry in England and Wales from 2013.
However, the Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages – a decision that has already been criticised by equality campaigners along with the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan.
The Scottish Government has ruled out introducing similar conditions for the nation’s Presbyterian church, although SNP ministers insist that no churches would be forced to hold same-sex weddings.
Ministers have already decided they want to make the change, and now need to consult on proposed legislation to be put to the Scottish Parliament.
The consultation on its draft legislation – opposed by the Church of Scotland and the nation’s Catholic Church – will last until March.
– Pink News
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.
In Marriage and family on November 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm
. . . [T]he Catholic Church hierarchy, as evidenced by [a recent editorial by Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Television Centre], continues to deny the distinction between religious rites and public rights. No one is telling the Church what to do within its magisterium (misleading rhetoric about “religious freedom” notwithstanding). I would appreciate it if it would stop telling New York what to do with ours. We’re not changing religious definitions; we’re expanding secular domains of equality. Of course, I understand that such distinctions may fly in the face of a thousand years of Church teaching. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t real.
Ironically, if we followed the Church’s theocratic logic, we’d validate polygamy first, same-sex marriage second. After all, polygamy was a biblical value, practiced by Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon… the list goes on. If religious values (which, according to dogma, are absolutely and objectively true) are to dictate civil laws, presumably we should re-institute polygamy, strip married women of all rights against their husbands, and regard women as chattel to be purchased: all of which are part of the Biblical definition of marriage.
Really, though, what’s most amusing about such reductio ad absurdum arguments is how weirdly dated they already feel. Come on, really? You’re still telling me that same-sex marriage is going to destroy traditional marriage and lead to wild sexual anarchy? As if. The only thing thousands of boring, ordinary gay marriages have changed is the demand for matching suits. The sky just hasn’t fallen, and it’s not going to . . .
– Jay Michaelson “No Father, The Gay Sky Isn’t Falling“
November 19, 2012
(Quoted at the Wild Reed, as “Quote of the Day“)