Religion News Summary Highlights for May 2, 2012

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The above ad appeared Thursday in the Carolina Peacekeeper, a black community newspaper in Guilford County, NC.  Pictured is a group of African-American interfaith clergy, all of whom are speaking out against North Carolina's Amendment One, a legal effort to ban marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.  The group is also planning a rally against Amendment One at the 5000-member Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina on May 6 at 4:30 p.m.  The ad is crucial in efforts to amplify the voices of faith leaders of color on the issue of marriage equality.

This November, voters in Maine will see marriage equality on the ballot only three years after the state population voted against marriage equality in 2009. Last Tuesday, The Religious Coalition Against Discrimination gathered in Saco, Maine for a conference with southern Maine faith leaders to discuss marriage equality.  They think most of the voters who swung the election against marriage equality three years ago feel conflicted in their vote and are encouraging dialogue that will see marriage equality as a fairness issue.  "It's important to have conversations with people of faith," said the Rev. Marvin Ellison, RCAD president. "Particularly those of us who support marriage equality, because of our faith and values, not in spite of it."

Meanwhile, the United Methodist Church is meeting in General Conference to vote on the inclusion of lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender people. Advocates for full inclusion have been confronting bullying from other delegates and providing their vision for a United Methodist Church that includes all.

Gaining lots of press attention is Sacred Heart Academy’s, a Catholic high school in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, decision to rescind its invitation to Dominic Sheahan-Stahl simply for being gay.  He was originally invited by his alma mater to be the keynote speaker at this month's commencement exercises.  The event carries added importance for Sheahan-Stahl because his youngest brother is graduating.  Sheahan-Stahl had planned a speech that emphasized the importance of ignoring fear when pursuing post-high-school goals.