Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional this week in California, forever changing the debate around marriage equality. Media reaction to the ruling was intense, and faith groups responded both positively and negatively. All this comes while further evidence suggests that Prop 8 wouldn’t pass if it was on the ballot today.
In other marriage equality news, the National Organization for Marriage continued its anti-equality crusade in Minnesota and in Des Moines, Iowa, where marriage equality supporters staged a counter-protest. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to take a marriage equality case.
Leaders in The Episcopal Church are stepping up as the Bishop of Maryland issued guidelines for clergy who wish to conduct same-gender blessings. But, a priest in Cincinnati resigned over his bishop’s decision to allow blessing of same-sex unions. And, despite dire warnings of schism, Anglican leaders rejected a proposal to remove the Episcopal Church from the worldwide Anglican Communion, calling it “premature and unhelpful.” They called an effort by conservatives to create an “Anglican Covenant” (a type of loyalty oath) “un-Anglican.”
Lutherans were busy as gay rights advocate and grandmother, Randi Reitan, took on Target for donating thousands of dollars to an anti-LGBT politician in Minnesota. In the same state, anti-gay Lutheran pastor Tim Brock returned to his church calling himself a “virgin,” after being outed for attending a support group for Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction. A Montana news station highlighted Lutheran churches that split over the ELCA’s decision last year to advance equality for gay people.
In the mix, a Methodist church teamed up with a marketing firm to advertise its inclusive values. A religion writer compared the Biblical debate over slavery in the 19th century to the debate over LGBT rights today. In Florida, a small group of Catholic women-priests continued to say Mass in defiance of the Vatican. The Catholic patriarch of Jerusalem criticized Israel for allowing a gay pride parade in the Holy City.
In Argentina, couples began to marry under last month’s new law introducing marriage equality to the country. A judge in Spain was suspended for ten years over his delay in allowing a lesbian to adopt her partner’s child. In the United Kingdom, Lord Waheed Alli, a Labour peer, called for full marriage equality. Authorities in Mexico City want to attract gay tourism, even though the gay community in the city still suffers from discrimination. And, in Tel Aviv, thousands marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting at a gay youth center.
In entertainment news, Kristin Chenoweth spoke about her Christian faith and the media buzz that resulted from her letter to Newsweek following an article attacking gay actors. And Anne Rice publicly declared that she could no longer call herself a Christian, partially due to the Catholic Church’s stance on gay rights. She still considers herself a follower of Christ.
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