Religion News Summary Highlights for July 19, 2012

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The Episcopal Church’s votes to use a blessing rite for gay and lesbian weddings and to officially stand against discrimination based on gender identity garnered a lot of press last week.  Earlier in the month, TransLutherans was announced as a new affinity group in ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation.   Meggan Sommerville writes about being transgender within her church.  A former Mormon bishop explains how the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy crew led him to be an LGBT ally.  Kate Childs Graham offers a Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian perspective on the rights of laity and clergy to change Church policy. 

The first couple to be married on a military base met at a Baptist church, but some chaplains are coming under fire for attending the wedding. And noted civil rights advocate, Gil Caldwell, notes that the military is now ahead of the United Methodist Church in terms of LGBT equality.

Last week in suburban Minnesota, a coalition of Presbyterian women campaigned against a ban on marriage equality in the state.  Father Bob Pierson, a gay Roman Catholic priest in Minnesota, told a group of 200 Catholics last month they can vote against the amendment that would ban marriage equality this November.  A Catholic couple also explains why they support marriage equality in Washington.

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As a Major League Baseball umpire for the past 29 seasons, Dale Scott has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games. He is also the first out active male official in the MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL, and the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active.