LGBT Religion News Updates for July 27, 2011

July 27, 2011
Lots of good news from New York following the commencement of marriage equality this weekend! Thanks for your suggestions, and please continue to forward and subscribe to As the Village Voice points out, religious people are excited for marriage equality, too. Many of the couples married since this past Sunday, July 24, are people of faith, and clergy from across New York are not only supporting marriages for all couples – they are officiating at them.
With self proclaimed religious values groups like the National Organization for Marriage and Westboro Baptist Church protesting this Sunday, as well as Focus on the Family going before the Senate to hail the Defense of Marriage Act [Wednesday], it may seem like religious people are universally against same-sex marriage right now. However, this is simply not true.

- The Village Voice

Rev. Winnie Varghese, of St. Mark’s Church In the Bowery, writes that marriage equality is a sacrament. The Rev. Jacqui Lewis was featured in the video below, by the New York Times. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, has been officiating weddings since Sunday morning. While denominational views on marriage equality may vary, more and more support for the recognition of marriages for all couples is visible every day.

GLAAD is working to compile a directory of places of worship that are excited to host and officiate at weddings for all couples. Bishop Gene Robinson, who was ordained as the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop in 2004, warned the audience of an adult faith forum in Louisville, Ky., not to adopt a “superior attitude” towards LGBT Christians, to avoid “spiritual arrogance”, and to show more love. Randy Potts Roberts, the gay grandson of the famous anti-gay Pentecostal televangelist Oral Roberts, and himself a minister, has spoken out for the Unitarian “Re- imagining Religion” project. Similar to the difficulties faced by Catholic Charities in Illinois, service agencies associated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are struggling to cooperate with their more progressive counterpart, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A study has been released examining the experiences of gay Mormons, and Jim Dabakis, the recently elected Utah Democratic Party Chairman and the first openly gay man to lead a major political party in Utah, is reaching out to LDS officials in an effort to change the perception that Democratic and Mormon values are incompatible. Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a historic haven for LGBT Jewish people and allies founded in New York City in 1973, plans to move to their new location by 2013 to coincide with their 40th anniversary, and Jon Marana’s play about the struggle to be gay and Orthodox opened on July 19 at New York’s Theater Row Studio Theatre. Please forward and subscribe to