In the Jewish world, U.S. Orthodox Jewish leaders shook the pillars of tradition this week as American rabbis signed a declaration of gay acceptance. In the same week, Orthodox Jews in Israel protested the gay pride parade in Jerusalem. One year after the shootings in the LGBT youth center, Tel Aviv LGBT leaders tried to strike the right tone in the parade as the city works hard to be a gay destination.
History was made in a celebratory worship service in San Francisco as Lutherans offered a warm welcome to seven LGBT pastors. GLAAD worked closely with leaders to get nationwide media coverage for this dramatic moment when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lived into their vote for equality from last summer. Among other Protestants, the top court of the United Methodist Church will address seven cases related to whether a clergy person can ban a gay person from membership. The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church USA is starting to implement the recent policy change to give benefits to same-sex partners of employees.
Ousted Evangelical leader Richar Cizek, used to head a network of 30 million evangelicals until he voiced his support for civil Unions on NPR in 2008. Recently, he spoke with NPR about his new organization and says it was all for the best. An even more prominent faith leader, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, announced his retirement from public life. He has been an amazing advocate for LGBT people all over the world.
Marriage equality is hot this summer as pressure from GLAAD resulted in The Today Show accepting same-sex couples in marriage competition. Major outlets like the New York Times reflected on marriage equality in South Africa and a USA Today blogpost asked if believing in a “Daddy God” impacted beliefs about marriage. Important California research showed growing support for marriage equality—except for people who believe in a personal God. Finally, the anti-marriage equality group NOM stopped by New Jersey on its summer “tour.”
The vote for marriage equality in predominantly Catholic Argentina set off questions about the fading power of the Catholic Church. A Reuters headline, “Gay law in Argentina signals waning Catholic power,” was published in outlets from South Africa to Europe and from Latin America to the USA. So, it’s not surprising that officials like a Catholic bishop in Scotland reacted by saying the Roman Catholic Church will “not now, not ever” perform same-sex marriages. Meanwhile, Catholic Latinos may be the most liberal religious groups on marriage equality in the United States.
Around the country, faith voices in Memphis are on both sides of the employment protections bill. In North Carolina, a progressive Baptist church welcomed a group of critics to their worship service but a conservative church kept the group outside. A Detroit court issued a summary dismissal of a law suit brought by a student at Eastern Michigan State who had refused to counsel LGBT clients because of her religious beliefs. In Texas, Soulforce Executive, Cindi Love, shone the light on the Texas Republican platform that attacks gays and disabled people. And, in Nebraska , charges were dropped against Fred Phelps for “flag mutilation” since the court was persuaded that the Nebraska law was unconstitutional.
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