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The Catholic Church and gay rights and marriage equality


75% of Young Catholics in the US Support Marriage Equality

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

titleIn the wake of a conservative Bishop revolt over even saying one nice thing about gays and lesbians, there’s a new poll out.

Pink News reports:

A poll has found that young Catholics in the US overwhelmingly approve of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, despite the Church’s teachings. The Pew Research Centre research, conducted earlier this year, found that 85 percent of Catholics aged 18-29 approve of homosexuality, while 75 percent support equal marriage. A majority of every single age group accepted homosexuality, with the lowest support among over-65s – 57 percent of whom still approve of it.

How long until some of these youth get into Church leadership and start changing minds?

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Slovakia Anti Gay Activists Push to Ban Marriage Equality

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Slovakia - Google MapsThere’s a movement afoot in Slovakia to ban gay marriage via a referendum.

Joe.My.God reports:

The constitutional definition of marriage, which some gay-right-advocates openly called a ban on same-sex marriages, does not go far enough, some conservative activists say, as they gather signatures to force a referendum that would make the laws even stronger. Behind the referendum initiative is the Alliance for Family (AZR), which declares itself a non-partisan and non-religious organisation and which emerged during the preparations for the September 2013 March for Life as an alliance of dozens of pro-family organisations. It has collected over 300,000 signatures under its petition, which needs to be signed by 350,000 citizens in order to be binding for the president to hold a referendum. The AZR hopes to achieve this aim by the end of this summer, the Sme daily reported. The referendum could possibly be held together with the November 15 municipal elections.

Does it surprise you to know that a group of Catholic Bishops are backing the petition?

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Image via Google Maps

NOM Hate March Flops

Friday, June 20th, 2014

NOM Hate March

photo credit: Zach Ford

The NOM hate march in Washington DC drew only about 2,000 people, most of those bused in for free.

The Washington Blade reports:

Many of the estimated 2,000 people from across the country held NOM signs that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Others carried posters reading “each child deserves a father and a mother” in Spanish. “When we hear time and time again from some in the media that the fight to protect marriage is over, we are here today to say no,” said NOM President Brian Brown. “We are here to say that no matter the circumstances, no matter how difficult it may be, we will stand in and out of season for the truth of marriage.”

Metro Weekly reports on some familiar faces who attended the rally:

Rep. Tim Huelskamp was the only current member of Congress to speak at the rally, mere yards from the House Chamber. “There are those intent on destroying marriage who claim history is on their side,” declared the Kansas Republican, who proposed amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman mere days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark marriage-equality rulings last June… The most recognizable names at the rally were former Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Santorum, who paused between sentences of his speech to allow a translator to repeat his words in Spanish, insisted that the institution of marriage must be reclaimed.

Think Progress interviewed folks at the rally:

Both on the dais and in the crowd, religious beliefs were the driving force behind attendees’s opposition to same-sex marriage. ThinkProgress spoke with several members of the crowd to get a sense of why they were participating, and most cited their religious beliefs as their primary motivation. In particular, many were religious leaders themselves or specifically came to the march with a church group. Watch a compilation of ThinkProgress’ interviews from the March for Marriage:

And remember how Archbishop Cordileone swore the whole rally had nothing to do with the gays?

SF Gate report:

“Kneeling on the sidewalk across from the U.S. Supreme Court, San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archbishop led several thousand protesters Thursday in prayer against same-sex marriage. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was the star attraction of a rally in Washington organized by National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, the nation’s leading opponent of same-sex marriage. Brown tapped Cordileone as the first speaker at the event and had him lead the group in prayer after a march from the west front of the U.S. Capitol to the Supreme Court steps.”

Oops. Will he be called on it?

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Where Do Religions Stand on Marriage Equality

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Marriage Equality and Religion

The Pew Research Center has a great chart on where the major religions are these days on marriage equality.

Pew reports:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) plans to hold a historic vote on same-sex marriage this week that could reverberate beyond the church’s nearly 2 million members. Church leaders gathering in Detroit are expected to decide as early as today whether to allow gay marriage or to continue to prohibit it, a move some Christian leaders believe could influence other centrist and liberal mainline Protestant churches as they also grapple with the issue. In the last two decades, several religious groups have moved to allow same-sex couples to marry within their traditions. This includes the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

Will the Presbyterians come around tomorrow?

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Italy: Catholic Bishop Says Church Should Be More Accepting of Gays

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Florence ChurchAn Italian Bishop, Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference, wants the church to be more welcoming to gays.

Think Progress reports:

Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference (CEI) and bishop of the southern diocese of Cassano all’Jonio, reportedly told a Florence-based newspaper on Tuesday that Italian church leaders should embrace the more liberal path paved by Pope Francis and pay closer attention to progressive religious arguments. “With Pope Francis the Italian Church has an extraordinary opportunity to reposition itself on spiritual moral and cultural beliefs,” Galantino said. “My wish for the Italian Church is that it is able to listen without any taboo to the arguments in favor of married priests, the Eucharist for the divorced, and homosexuality.” The Italian bishop, who Pope Francis permanently appointed as secretary-general of the CEI last month, echoed the pontiff’s belief that the Catholic church is too “obsessed” with debates over abortion and same-sex marriage.

Is the Catholic Church finally softening its stance on LGBT issues?

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Vatican’s Special Meeting On Gay Marriage – Good News or Bad News?

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

The VaticanPope Francis clearly wants to put his mark on the Catholic Church, but what exactly what is that mark? We may get a better sense this fall. The pontiff has just ordered an “extraordinary” session of bishops to gather at the Vatican then to discuss family and relationship issues that include marriage equality.

Whether or not this is a positive development is anyone’s guess.

Among his first acts as pontiff, Pope Francis ordered every diocese in the world to survey Catholics for their attitudes about any number of controversial issues, including marriage equality, contraception and divorce. The gathering of bishops will discuss the results of those surveys. In 2015, they will meet again to formulate policies based on their discussion.

Authored By John Gallagher – See the Full Story at Queerty

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Pope Francis wants to “study gay unions”

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

The VaticanThere’s time of changes in Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis, who took Peter’s throne one year ago, is studying the reasons why some people have decided to enter in gay civil unions, as stated by Cardinal Dolan in an exclusive interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Dolan stated that “[Pope] dind’t come right out and say he for gay civil unions” but he wants to study the reasons that have driven them. Dolan also claimed he himself believes that marriage between one man and one woman is “not something that’s just a religious, sacramental concern. It’s also the building block of society and culture”.

According to a survey conducted among Catholics in United States and Spain, they back gay marriage. In the rest of the world opposition persist but with increasing of support among young believers.

We also find growing support among clergy: last October, Pistoia’s Bishop Mansueto Bianchi, former vicepresident of episcopal conference of Tuscany, said to Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” that “Church is wrong with gay people” and that “People are more important than morality”. In April, Piero Marini, arcibishop of Martirano and Master of Ceremonies during Benedicts XVI’s papacy, stated that “we need to recognize same-sex unions”.

Maybe it’s time for Roman Catholic Church to come out to support LGBT rights?

USA, Oregon: Catholic Group Joins Push for Marriage Equality

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Catholic ChurchTo mark the start of Lent, Catholics are gathering in front of St. Mary’s Cathedral to speak out against a proposed measure that would discriminate against Oregonians because of who they are and whom they love.

Catholic Oregonians for Marriage Equality members also plan to attend Ash Wednesday Mass at the cathedral while wearing violet, the liturgical color for the Season of Lent, and pins that that show they support marriage equality.

According to a Sunday cover story in the Los Angeles Times, Portland Archbishop Alexander K. Sample told his diocese staff in an email that the Archdiocese of Portland and the Diocese of Baker would work to exclude same-sex couples from marriage.

“Poll after poll show Catholics support marriage equality even more than the general public does, and our faith calls on us to treat others as one would hope to be treated,” said Jackie Yerby, a lead organizer of Catholic Oregonians for Marriage Equality and a former board member of Catholic Charities of Oregon. A March 2013 New York Times/CBS poll found that 62 percent of US Catholics support marriage for same-sex couples.

“We love our church, and our faith tells us that nobody should be singled out for unfair treatment because of who they are, which is why we’re particularly concerned about this discrimination measure. Freedom means freedom for everyone,” said Yerby said.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

Vatican: Pope Francis Suggests Church Could Accept Some Civil Unions

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Pope FrancisPope Francis suggested the Church might be ok with some form of legal recognition for same sex couples.

The Catholic News Service reports:

“Matrimony is between a man and a woman,” the pope said, but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.” Asked to what extent the church could understand this trend, he replied: “It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.”

Bishops around the world have differed in their responses to civil recognition of nonmarital unions. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family said in February 2013 that some legal arrangements are justifiable to protect the inheritance rights of nonmarried couples. But until now, no pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions.

It’s an olive branch – not a big one, but far more than his predecessor ever offered.

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USA, Utah: AG Needs More Money for Ban Defense; Churches Weigh In

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Utah Attorney General Sean ReyesA couple stories out of Utah today – first off, the state’s new Attorney General wants more money to defend the state’s ban on marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes says his office is seeking extra money from lawmakers to help pay for the state’s legal fight over same-sex marriage. Reyes is spending up to $300,000 on three outside attorneys to assist Utah’s defense of its ban on same-sex marriage as it heads to a federal appeals court. He says his office is covering the cost now but has limited resources he’d like to use elsewhere. Reyes on Tuesday asked lawmakers to help pay for additional attorneys in his office to reduce the regular workload on other staff.

Aren’t there better things he could be spending the state’s money on?

In related news, a number of church groups, including Mormons, Baptists, Catholics and others, filed a brief on the pending Utah and Oklahoma cases.

Think Progress reports:

“…the religious groups argue that their beliefs about marriage “have nothing to do with homosexuality.” The brief largely ignores any discussion of the gay community, leaving open the question of what banning same-sex couples from marrying actually does to the marriages of straight couples. Instead, the brief comes off as wholly passive-aggressive, implicating same-sex couples for hurting marriage without explicitly saying so… by arguing that there was, in fact, a purpose for the amendment other than discrimination against same-sex couples: namely, that it helps protect husband-wife marriage, which is good for society. The implication is that marriage has to be protected from same-sex couples, without any explanation as to why.”

Because there is no why. Briefs like these from marriage equality opponents are all fluff and air – there’s no “there” there.

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