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The Things We Share: A Catholic’s Case for Same-Sex Marriage

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Gay Wedding - RingsThere’s this guy I know in Manhattan. Call him Jim. Jim Watson. We’re friends, I guess. We used to be friends, anyway–grabbing a hamburger together near Gramercy Park, from time to time, or meeting out on the Stuyvesant Town Oval on a summer afternoon to play some folk and bluegrass with the guitar strummers, mandolin pickers, autoharpers, and amateur banjo players who’d drift by. None of us any good, but fun, you know? Old-timey Americana like “Wayfaring Stranger,” “Pretty Saro,” and “The Orphan Girl.” A version of “Shady Grove,” I remember, was one of his specialties: When I was just a little boy, / all I wanted was a Barlow knife. / But now I am a great big boy, / I’m lookin’ for a wife.

A few years ago, his friendship began to cool, bit by bit. You understand how it is: a little here, a little there, and last time I was through New York he didn’t even bother to answer my note suggesting we put together one of our low-rent urban hootenannies. The problem, our conversations had made pretty clear along the way, was that I am a Catholic, and Jim is gay.

Well, actually, gay isn’t the word he would use. I have what might be the worst ability to recognize sexual orientation on the planet, but no one needed sensitivity to guess Jim’s views. Not that he was campy or anything when I knew him, but he was always vocal about his sexuality, naming himself loudly to anyone nearby with words that polite society allows only in ironic use by gay men themselves.

Authored By Joseph Bottom – See the Full Story at Commonweal Magazine

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Australia: Catholic Professor Backs Marriage Equality

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Australia MapA Catholic professor in Australia has flipped and now supports marriage equality, as long as religioins aren’t requred to marry same sex couples. Gay Star News reports:

Father Brennan, a Jesuit priest and professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, previously opposed marriage equality despite being a high profile advocate for human rights and social justice – although he had previously expressed that civil unions might be ok. In an article published today in the progressive Catholic journal Eureka Street Brennan wrote, ‘I believe the secular Australian state should be able to recognize same-sex marriage.’ ‘I also believe that this change should legally exempt religious institutions from any requirement to change their historic position and practice that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman.

Sounds good to me – I wouldn’t want an officiant at our wedding who didn’t want to be there.

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Rhode Island, USA: Catholic Bishop Says Marriage Equality Sanctions “Immoral Activity”

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Rhode Island, USA: Catholic Bishop Says Marriage Equality Sacntions "Immoral Activity"Another day brings another anti-gay condemnation from a Catholic bishop. Over the weekend, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island published his own screed attacking the proposed advance of marriage equality, claiming that same-sex marriage constitutes “immoral activity” and that the government should impose the Church’s beliefs upon all of society.

In addition to raising familiar concerns about the “religious freedom” to discriminate according to individuals’ consciences, Tobin went on to attack the very notion that gays and lesbians exist, let alone deserve civil rights:

A final point. If we are in fact forced to discuss the nature of matrimony in our state, it should be placed before the general public in a referendum. The proposal to redefine marriage as a fundamental structure in our culture is a very serious issue with profound consequences. I suspect that people on both sides of the issue agree with that. On a question of this magnitude, then, the people of this state should decide as they have in many other states. Let us vote!

Authored By Zack Ford – See the Full Story at Think Progress

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Washington, USA: Archbishop’s Statement Proves Marriage Equality Doesn’t Need to Impact Religious Freedom

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Washington Archbishop's Statement Proves Marriage Equality Doesn't Need to Impact Religious FreedomIn the wake of Washington state voters approving the state’s new civil marriage and religious freedom law, which allows same-sex couples to marry, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has summarized archdiocesan policy regarding same-sex marriage.

Appropriately, these prohibitions are based on canon law, which Sartain quotes at length to explain the policy. But then Sartain goes on to cite numerous sections of Washington state civil law (Revised Code of Washington, or RCW) to assure archdiocese employees that civil law supports their right to follow these points of canon law. The RCW was heavily amended by the new marriage law to include the extensive religious freedom assurances that Sartain is taking comfort in.

By citing the religious freedom sections of the RCW as amended by Washington’s new marriage law, Archbishop Sartain is assuring the faithful that such claims are baseless.

Authored By Laurel Ramseyer – See the Full Story at Pam’s House Blend

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Wisconsin, USA: Bishop Calls Vote for Equality a Vote for “Evil”

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Wisconsin, USA: Lawsuit Aaainst Domestic Partnership Law AdvancesConservative pastors are really laying on the histrionics ahead of the election. First there was Maryland Rev. Robert Anderson using scripture to say that people who support equality are “worthy of death”. Now we have David Ricken, the Catholic Bishop for Green Bay, Wisconsin, claiming a vote for equality is a vote for evil.

Here’s what he had to say in a letter to parishioners sent on October 24th:

A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals…

Authored By Andrew Belonsky – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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Maine, USA: Ex Bishop Says Vote for Marriage Equality “Unfaithful to Catholic Doctrine”

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The former bishop of Maine today released a statement saying that any Catholic who votes in favour of equal marriage “is unfaithful to Catholic doctrine.”

Richard J Malone, now head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, New York, who had previously said equal marriage was “dangerous”, released a statement today urging Maine Catholics to “vote your faith on Nov. 6.” It read:

“A Catholic whose conscience has been properly formed by scripture and church teaching cannot justify a vote for a candidate or referendum question that opposes the teachings of the church.”

Authored By Joseph Patrick McCormick – See the Full Story at Pink News

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Scotland, United Kingdom: Top Catholic Wants Public Vote on Marriage Equality

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Scotland, United Kingdom: Top Catholic Wants Public Vote on Marriage EqualityCardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s top Catholic, says that “intense public interest in the issue” warrants a public referendum on same-sex marriage in Scotland, as the government prepares to announce legislation on it, the BBC reports:

Scots ministers, who favour same-sex marriage, are to announce legislation this week after their consultation resulted in 80,000 responses.

Same-sex couples in Scotland currently have the option to enter into civil partnerships and the Holyrood government has insisted no part of the religious community would be forced to hold gay weddings in churches…

Authored By Andy Towle – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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UK: Catholic Archbishop Launches Attack on Marriage Equality Plan in Churches

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Catholic Archbishop Attacks Marriage Equality PlansThe head of the Roman Catholic Church in England will be the latest church leader to try to ambush the prime minister’s attempt to legalise same-sex marriage when he launches his “no” campaign from the pulpit this weekend.

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols has written a pastoral letter to be read out during Mass in dozens of churches on Sunday, warning about the dangers of changing the legal definition of marriage.

Prime Minister David Cameron is already facing a religious backlash from many in the Anglican mother church, the Church of England, which has sometimes been called the “Conservative Party at prayer”.

Full Story from Reuters

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MD: Catholic Archbishop Tried to Talk Governor Out of Marriage Equality Support

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Two days before Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced plans to sponsor a same-sex marriage bill, a Catholic archbishop strongly urged that he reconsider the move, suggesting the governor was acting out of “mere political expediency.”

Edwin F. O’Brien, the archbishop of Baltimore, said in a letter late last month that sponsoring the bill would “deeply conflict” with O’Malley’s Catholic faith and that he should resist pressure to do so after New York’s recent legalization of same-sex marriage.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, another Democrat with a rising national profile, was widely credited with pushing a gay-marriage bill through a divided state legislature.

Full Story from The Washington Post

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A Catholic Case for Gay Marriage

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

For all of my 81 years I have absorbed, lived and taught the doctrines and spirituality of the Roman Catholic Church. My Church has directed me well to love what is right and just. Not only to stand up for the oppressed but to search my own soul lest it harbor prejudice or hatred toward anyone. Being true to one’s conscience is an essential teaching of the Catholic faith.

And so I must speak now as my conscience dictates. Having studied this question of same-gender marriage from every angle available to me, and having associated with broad range of members of the gay community, I conclude that same-gender couples have a right to petition the state to have their marriages lawfully recognized and protected. And the state, considering the right of all its citizens to live free from bullying, discrimination, physical and psychological violence, which is so carelessly heaped upon gay and lesbian persons, would do well to support same-gender marriage.

To want to be married is not a frivolous request. If anyone wanted to live a dissolute and totally selfish life they would not want to tie themselves down with a marriage certificate! Marriage is a bond that is made public, it brings with it responsibilities and entails sacrifices.

Full Story from the Baltimore Sun

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