Discussion and Diversity Bring Unity, Not Schism – Bondings 2.0

I read a commentary this past weekend about the Anglican Church and marriage equality, and one of the points made has me thinking about why the Roman Catholic hierarchy has been so negative on LGBT issues.

An essay by Alf McCreary in Northern Ireland’s Belfast Telegraph responded to the Church of England General Synod’s recent rejection of a bishops’ report re-affirming marriage is only between a man and a woman.  McCreary’s evaluation of the decision is:

“. . . [T]he Church is in a no-win situation. The latest developments in the Church of England , following a three-year process that had attempted to solve this most divisive issue, merely showed how difficult it is, if not impossible, to satisfy both sides.”

McCreary steps back a bit from the Anglican debate to look, somewhat wistfully it seems, at the Roman Catholic situation in regard to marriage equality:

Source:  – Bondings 2.0

“Indiana Catholic bishops issue statement on gay marriage ban” – Indianapolis Star

Indiana’s Catholic bishops issued a statement Thursday on the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage — but they stopped short of taking a position on the hot-button topic.

Arcbishop Joseph W Tobin

The statement, signed by Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin and Indiana’s five bishops, emphasizes the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, but also the dignity of all people.

“The Church upholds the dignity of every human person, including persons with same-sex attraction, who ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,’” the statement says. “At the same time, the Church upholds the dignity and sanctity of marriage, a natural institution established by God. By its very nature, marriage is a permanent partnership between one man and one woman ordered to the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children.”

Church officials said the statement isn’t intended to stake out a political position, but to inform people about Catholic teachings as they weigh the issue.

“People have the right to make their own decisions on these issues, but it needs to be done with an informed conscience,” said Greg Otolski, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Archdiocese

-continue reading at Indianapolis Star

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Referendum on same-sex marriage to be held in 2015

It’s been a long wait, but we now have confirmation – marriage equality is coming to Catholic Ireland. First, in terms of the constitution there must be a referendum put to voters, which will be in March 2015, but there’s little doubt that the measure will pass. It was proposed earlier this year by the constitutional convention which considered a number of constitutional changes (including a controversial one on abortion), opinion polls already show strong public support (likely to grow still further in the next eighteen months), and the government will  campaign in favour.

Marriage Equality Ireland

Continue reading

Hawaii religious leaders sign gay marriage appeal

More than two dozen Hawaii faith leaders of various religions signed a resolution Monday calling the state to pass a law legalizing gay marriage.Jewish, Unitarian, Methodist and other leaders read and signed the poster-sized declaration at an interfaith brunch at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.”Its all about standing on the right side of history,” said Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong of the First Unitarian Church.Kwong said the groups would continue to press on the issue until more people are in favor of gay marriage.”We will keep doing it until were all prayed out,” Kwong said.The resolution asks Hawaii lawmakers to extend civil marriage benefits to same-sex couples. Hawaii currently has a civil unions law, but some say it doesnt go far enough in fully recognizing couples as married.The church leaders say civil recognition of the relationships is a matter of fairness.The gathering, organized by Hawaii United for Marriage, comes one day after Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser http://bit.ly/16pSCRs that its very likely there will be a special session to take up the issue.Abercrombie told the newspaper that hes more concerned that any bill is legally sound than about timing. The Legislature begins its normal session in January.

 – continue reading at Houston Chronicle.

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Majority Support for Gay Marriage – in Arizona!

After years of beating the drums against same-sex marriage, opponents of the idea in Arizona appear to be losing their grip on public attitudes toward the issue. By a ratio of 55 percent to 35percent, Arizonans say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry.


Majorities in the followinggroups appear to have locked arms in support of such unions: women (60%), Hispanics (75%),liberals (67%), moderates (64%), registered Independents (64%), Democrats (70%), and votersunder 55 years of age (60%).A plurality of voters over 54 years of age also favor allowing such unions (46%); while 40percent remain in opposition.Finally, opposition to same-sex marriage divides Republican voters, with 53 percent opposed but 36 percent now in favor. Similarly, while 51 percent of political conservatives are opposed, 41 percent favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

(The poll also found majority support for allowing marijuana for personal, non – medical use).

It is perhaps ironic that as support for same-sex marriage and defelonization of marijuanahave long been albatrosses which conservative candidates could hang around the necks of some of their moderate or liberal challengers, it now appears that hard opposition to gay marriage andperhaps even to marijuana liberalization could become issues moderates and liberals can use againsttheir conservative opponents

via Rocky Mountain, Arizona poll, May 2013.

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France’s Senate passes entire gay marriage, adoption law

The upper level of French parliament has passed the ‘Marriage for All’ bill, which has seen thousands of people protest for and against in the streets.


It follows the individual votes on the articles of the bill, in which a majority of the Socialist-led Senate agreed gay marriage and adoptions should become legal on 9 and 10 April.

Both houses of parliament will now take up a second reading to consider minor Senate changes to the bill passed in February by the National Assembly. It will then be sent to President François Hollande to sign into law.

On 10 April, around 5,000 people came together to protest against homophobic violence in Paris, which has escalated due to the widespread protests for and against marriage equality and adoptions for gay couples.

The anti-gay group Manif Pour Tous has announced it will stage another massive rally in a last-ditch effort to demand the bill’s withdrawal and call for a national referendum on 26 May.

In Europe, marriage equality is legal in Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

via Gay Star News.

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Pope’s Peace Day Statement Is Countered by Catholic Parents

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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