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The most successful American Idol in the show's history, country music superstar Carrie Underwood has come out firmly in support of marriage equality. Underwood was raised Southern Baptist and now attends a nondenominational Christian Church with her husband, pro hockey player Mike Fischer. Underwood cites her faith and her current church, which is welcoming of LGBT people, as influences, stating: “Above all, God wanted us to love others. It's not about setting rules, or 'everyone has to be like me.' No. We're all different. That's what makes us special.”
The media often portrays the African American community as being anti-LGBT, but a number of pastors have recently taken a stand in support of marriage equality, especially in light of President Obama’s recent statement that he and the First Lady also support marriage equality for same-sex couples. Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, recently posted videos on Youtube of sermons supporting LGBT people and the President’s statement in support of marriage equality. (NOTE: In this week's LGBT Religion News Summary e-mail, Rev. Moss's congregation was incorrectly identified as Baptist. Trinity is a congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC).)
The Vatican recently condemned Sister Margret Farley’s 2006 book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, in which she states that "same-sex oriented persons as well as their activities can and should be respected" and that marriage equality can reduce rejection and stigmatization of LGBT people. The Vatican has already ordered that Catholic educators be banned from using the book. When the book was published in 2006, a Jesuit publication called it "an important message in a time in which sexual abuse and violence are rampant and the Catholic Church has failed to protect children from sexual exploitation." Incidentally, the new documentary "Taking a Chance on God" tells the story of Father John McNeil, another Catholic theologian who wrote about ministry with gay and lesbian Catholics 40 years ago.