The Scottish Episcopal church has responded defiantly to de facto sanctions imposed on it by the global Anglican communion over its decision to allow same-sex marriages, saying “love means love”.
Responding to the move, Mark Strange, the bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and primus of the Scottish Episcopal church, said he recognised that the decision to allow same-sex marriage was “one that has caused some hurt and anger in parts of the Anglican communion”.
Both bishops observe that this is not a survey on Church (sacramental) marriage but on civil marriage, marriage according to the law of the State. The question has no impact on church practices nor on our freedom of religion.
Bishop Vincent Long of Parramatta and Bishop Bill Wright of Maitland-Newcastle have effectively removed any “Catholic” arguments against supporting marriage equality and stress the responsibility of Catholics to discern carefully in determining their “vote”.
Christians must be very confused about how their religious beliefs should influence their views on the current marriage equality survey, officially described in the ABS mail-out as “Your Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey”.
Some so-called Christian positions seem to suggest that there is an inherent Christian exclusion of the possibility of civil same-sex marriage. The most careful and authoritative Christian analyses to date may have come from separate pastoral…
More (behind a paywall) at: La Croix International
THE Catholic Church is ramping up its involvement in the same-sex marriage debate, distributing information for inclusion in bulletins and leaflets urging parishioners to vote No.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher sent hundreds of flyers to city churches and published articles available on many church websites encouraging worshippers to volunteer and donate to the Coalition for Marriage.
“Vote No in the Postal Plebiscite on Marriage,” reads an entry in this weekend’s bulletin at St Anthony of Padua Parish Clovelly. “A change in the marriage law has consequences for freedom of religion, including the ability of individuals to live out their faith in everyday life, for Priests to preach and Catholic schools to teach about marriage, and for faith-based charities to continue to take a pro-marriage stance.”
Why do some people who would recognize gay civil unions oppose gay marriage? Certain religious groups want to deny gays the sacredeness of what they take to be a sacrament. But marriage is no sacrament.
Some of my fellow Catholics even think that “true marriage” was instituted by Christ. It wasn’t. Marriage is prescribed in Eden by YHWH (Yahweh) at Genesis 2.24: man and wife shall “become one flesh.” When Jesus is asked about marriage, he simply quotes that passage from Genesis (Mark 10.8). He nowhere claims to be laying a new foundation for a “Christian marriage” to replace the Yahwist institution.
Some try to make the wedding at Cana (John 1.1-11) somehow sacramental because Jesus worked his first miracle there. But that was clearly a Jewish wedding, like any other Jesus might have attended, and the miracle, by its superabundance of wine, is meant to show the disciples that the Messianic time has come. The great Johannine scholar Father Raymond Brown emphasizes this, and concludes of the passage: “Neither the external nor the internal evidence for a symbolic reference to matrimony is strong. The wedding is only the backdrop and occasion for the story, and the joining of the man and woman does not have any direct role in the narrative.”
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’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.
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
- Gay Catholic Group Lauds Indiana Bishops Marriage Statement (lezgetreal.com)
- IN Bishops Stay Neutral on Marriage Amendment (bilerico.com)
- Unnecessary roughing: Why Catholic bishops should be more accepting of gay marriage (suntimes.com)
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.
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.
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
- Minnesota Senate Passes Gay Marriage (huffingtonpost.com)
- Wisconsin unlikely to follow Minnesota’s lead on gay marriage (lacrossetribune.com)
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.
- Equal Marriage for Catholic Uruguay!
- Gay Marriage: Where Next?
- Catholic Cardinals, Bishops Evolving on Civil Unions, Gay Relationships