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Religion News Updates for June 29, 2011

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By GLAAD |
June 29, 2011

Ecumenical clergy offered public support for LGBT people in the Heartland Proclamation and joined national Pride celebrations. An alliance of Texas LGBT and faith groups plan to protest Gov. Rick Perry’s affiliation with the American Family Association in hosting a controversial Christian prayer and fasting event. In North Carolina, people of faith rallied to defeat an anti-LGBT amendment.

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A coalition comprised of national groups Faith in America, Truth Wins Out, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, and the Phoenix-based group HERO held a historic meeting with the Southern Baptist Convention. Bryan Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, resisted apologizing for the mistreatment of LGBT people by the SBC, but Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary called on Southern Baptists to repent of “a form of homophobia” that is unwelcoming to LGBT members of their churches.

Michele Somerville of the Huffington Post describes a growing divide between conservative “Upper Room” Catholicism and the opinion of most Catholics in her essay Pentecost: the Flaming Dove of Upper Room Roman Catholicism. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in West Long Branch, New Jersey, has decided to separate from the Diocese of Trenton, citing issues such as “the church’s handling of sexual abuse cases, refusal to remarry parishioners who have already been divorced, refusal to allow priests to marry and stance against gay marriage.” Edward Peters, a senior Vatican advisor and professor of Theology, calls for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to be refused communion for spearheading the New York marriage equality campaign.

Openly gay Orthodox Rabbi Steven Greenberg spoke out for marriage in New York in an open letter to Senator Steve Saland (R), who afterwards voted in favor of legalizing marriage for all couples. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency published an article about transgender people in leadership positions in the Jewish community.

Rev. Amy DeLong

A growing group of Methodist Clergy, including the recently suspended Rev. Amy DeLong, are challenging the Church’s laws on marriage equality and openly gay clergy. Hundreds of clergy in New England and Illinois have pledged to bless marriages for all couples.

Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast wrote an article about Michelle Bachman, the vocally anti-LGBT Republican Congresswoman and presidential hopeful from Minnesota, who has claimed to have almost been abducted by an ex-nun.

Melody Moezzi, writing in the Huffington Post, says that Muslim states must support LGBT equality. Also in the Huffington Post, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin writes about the evolution of his opinions on marriage equality, calling the recent success in New York “a victory for all of us.

Internationally, some Muslim leaders in Kenya have called for the death penalty to be introduced for LGBT people, but The Church of England has approved the appointment of openly gay bishops, and a group of LGBT Orthodox Jewish people entered a float in Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride parade.