An openly gay lawmaker was silenced by colleagues on the Pennsylvania House floor Thursday when he attempted to speak about the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. Sims said he had no intention of criticizing gay marriage detractors, and had only planned to highlight the importance of the court's ruling.
"The LGBT community needs to know that there is a familiar place to worship, and that no matter where they are on life's journey, they are welcome at Mt. Zion," said the Rev. Detra Evans, pastor of Cleveland's Mt. Zion Congregational Church UCC and participant in Cleveland Pride. "Our members love to love, and the community needs to be loved."
The debate can no longer be described as one between nonreligious and religious Americans. Support for same-sex marriage has risen by double digits in every major religious group since 2006. Today, solid majorities of Catholics (57 percent)—including equal proportions of white Catholics (58 percent) and Hispanic Catholics (59 percent)—and white mainline Protestants (55 percent) have joined the religiously unaffiliated (76 percent) in supporting same-sex marriage (PRRI, March 2013).
Just as LGBT organizations joined the nation's other advocates for full equality in expressing outrage at the Supreme Court's striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, response to Wednesday's rulings in support of marriage equality was not limited to LGBT advocacy organizations.