At the beginning of the year, five U.S. bishops, included Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan joined a coterie of evangelical and fundamentalist church leaders in signing the open letter “Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together.” It was latest epistle in the growing canon of hierarchical statements aimed at gaining exemptions from federal and state laws that protect the rights of same-sex couples. But as the church leaders fortify their culture-war defenses, some Catholic universities seem to be taking a decidedly different approach to LGBT issues.
In the wake of revelations about the National Organization for Marriage's racial wedge strategy, the pro-LGBT coalition of Catholics, Equally Blessed, is calling on the Church and the Knights of Columbus to sever ties with the organization.
At first, the devout Muslims who gathered in a Washington, D.C., conference center seemed like they could have come from any mosque. There were women in headscarves and bearded men who quoted the Quran.
But something was different. While mingling over hors d'oeuvres, they discussed how to change Islam's future. A woman spoke about fighting terrorism; she had married outside the Islamic faith, which is forbidden for a Muslim woman. A Pakistani man mentioned his plans to meet friends for drinks, despite the faith's ban on alcohol.
On St. Patrick’s Day I had the pleasure of speaking to about 350 Catholics who gathered together to attend a conference put on by New Ways Ministry, which is an effort to support the LGBT community in the Catholic Church. The women and men I spoke to included nuns and priests, children who had come out and parents who wanted to be supportive. Two female priests gave me special blessing and I left the meeting inspired by the devotion of those who attended.
The fact is, if you don’t want to be near gay people, for the most part you don’t have to under Prop 5. It has a huge allowance for religious organizations. The ordinance would not apply to churches. Religious schools wouldn’t even have to hire a gay janitor, and certainly not a gay teacher. Rental wise, the protection only applies to complexes larger than four units. People with smaller places are free to discriminate.
Initially, gay Christians looked to Bible verses privately. Gradually the verses [in Psalm 139] surfaced in the public rhetoric of activists and those who support the "personhood" of gays and lesbians.
An Atlanta pastor once ousted from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for being in an openly gay relationship will now lead the biggest Lutheran church in St. Paul. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church's congregation of 2,300 members voted overwhelmingly Sunday to appoint the Rev. Bradley Schmeling as its new senior pastor, according to a statement from the church on Tuesday.
The movement toward legalizing same-sex marriage and the acceptance of gay people as clergy and lay members of religious groups is "a done deal" that represents "phenomenal" progress, the top figure in the Episcopal Church told The Huffington Post during a recent visit to its newsroom.