Election Day is here, and it’s time to get out the vote for equality!
Residents of four states will consider marriage equality on their ballots. A popular vote for marriage equality in any of these states would be historic.
No matter which state we call home, making our voices heard in this election is critical. Public support for gays and lesbians is growing across the country, but we have yet to secure the basic rights granted to our neighbors.
On Nov. 6, 2012, 148 years after becoming “The Free State,” voters in the state of Maryland will have an opportunity to make history by becoming the first state in the Union to pass a marriage equality law at the voting booth.
Over 100 faith leaders – including lay people, divinity students and clergy – met last Saturday in Harlem for an inspiring conference convened by LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent. Founded just 3 years ago, the NYC-based organization seeks “to oppose discrimina-tion, exclusion or intimidation of LGBT persons in our society, [especially] in our faith-based communities,” as their mission statement says.
Pastor Luke Robinson of Quinn Chapel AME Church in Frederick, Maryland (speaking at an anti-Question 6 event yesterday with Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council and state Dels. Neil Parrott and Kathy Szeliga), claimed that Hurricane Sandy's destruction in New York City and the surrounding area was punishment for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's support of marriage equality.
As we get closer to Election Day, and as marriage equality hangs in the balance in Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, and Washington, we turn to voices we trust. More and more pro-LGBT voices of faith are leading the charge to pass marriage referenda, or at least stop the march of discrimination.
This is me, sitting down with you, my conservative Christian brothers and sisters, buying you a cup of coffee, and telling you that I love and respect you, and that I do not think you have hate in your heart or are afraid of gay people. I am afraid for you, and this is an intervention. You are not working in your own interest. In fact, you are on a road toward demolishing the things that mean the most to you.
What is on the ballot this year is a question that has been crafted with the intention of assuring that religious institutions and religious people are not required to participate in same-gender weddings that offend their consciences. In fact, pastors and priests always have the right not to marry couples for any reason...This question seems to me to involve a basic matter of fairness I believe that our ELCA social statement on human sexuality allows for principled voting both for and against this question.
As many Catholic leaders have done, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori required all parish priests to read a letter from him this past Sunday denouncing marriage equality and encouraging parishioners to vote no on Maryland’s Question 6. When Father Richard T. Lawrence read the letter this past weekend at Baltimore’s St. Vincent de Paul church, he then added his own thoughts, breaking from Lori and the Vatican to suggest that voting for marriage equality may be the Catholic thing to do.