Religion News Summary for February 15, 2012

On Tuesday, February 7, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling that California’s initiative repealing marriage equality (Proposition 8) is in violation of the federal Constitution.  Communities of faith generally support the recent legal decision.  According the Public Religion Research Institute, majorities within most religious groups favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.  Religious groups in which a majority support LGBT equality include Jews, religious people who identify as neither Christian nor Jewish, Catholics (both white and Hispanic), and mainline Protestants. Even in religious groups in which a majority does not support LGBT equality, affirming people are increasing in significant numbers. 

Examples of religious faith leaders supporting marriage equality this week range from rabbinical groups challenging a proposed marriage ban in Minnesota, Christian-sponsored support in California, to Unitarian Universalist wedding ceremonies in Texas (although marriage equality is not yet a reality in Texas).  These majority opinions are reflected abroad as well.  A new study conducted in the United Kingdom shows that 61 percent of self-identified Christians support full LGBT equality.  We grouped all of our marriage news in the “Marriage” section, rather than in each religious group, so be sure to browse the “Marriage” section. 

In other news, Christian mom Michelle Rivera stood up for Ellen DeGeneres this week, opposing the “One Million Moms” campaign to have Ellen DeGeneres removed as J.C. Penney’s spokesperson.   Last week, J.C. Penney stood up for LGBT equality by refusing to remove Ellen as a spokesperson.