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United Kingdom: David Cameron Reaffirms Marriage Equality Support

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

UK: David Cameron Reaffirms Marriage Equality SupportBritish Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirmed his commitment to legalizing gay marriage in a World Pride statement.

On Saturday London hosts World Pride, the biannual Gay Pride celebration. Toronto will host the next party in 2014.

Cameron, whose government has pledged to legalize gay marriage in Britain by 2015, applauded the festival.

Authored By – See the Full Story at On Top Magazine

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MD, USA: Cardinal Orders Priests to Read Anti Gay Letter in Churches

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Maryland: Cardinal Orders Priests to Read Anti Gay Marriage Letter in ChurchesIs it just me, or are these news items becoming a daily occurrence?

Here’s the latest, courtesy of popular LGBT blog Joe.My.God: The office of Baltimore Cardinal Edwin O’Brien required that a pro-marriage-discrimination letter authored by the cardinal himself be read aloud at Mass this past weekend as part of a petition drive to collect the signatures needed to ensure that a statewide referendum to overturn Maryland’s new marriage equality law makes it onto the ballot in November.

The cardinal addressed Catholics directly in the letter: “Today after Mass, you will have the opportunity to sign this petition, and I strongly encourage you to do so.”

Full Story from the Huffington Post

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UK: Blogger Rewrites Bishops’ Anti Marriage Equality Letter

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Blogger Rewrites Bishops' LetterA gay blogger in New York has rewritten the Archbishop of Westminster’s letter to Catholics, which told them they had a “duty” to oppose equal civil marriage rights for gays, the way he believes it should have been.

Joe Delmonaco, who describes himself as a “highly lapsed” Catholic, posed the improved version of the letter to his blog, Flaneur: Reflections of a Bric-A-Brac Gay Mind.

He told PinkNews.co.uk after being labelled a “bitter gay man” for a post he had written about the Archbishops’ letter, the original version of which you can read in full here, he wanted to show exactly why the Church’s position had made him angry.

Full Story from Pink News

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UK: Catholic Bishops Mislead Faithful on Marriage Equality Plans

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Catholic Bishops and UK Marriage EqualityCatholic Archbishops, Vincent Nichols and Peter Smith, are guilty of misleading the faithful – either deliberately or by careless omission. Last Sunday, they instructed every Catholic parish priest in England and Wales to read out a letter to the congregations of 2,500 Catholic churches.

The Pastoral Letter On Marriage, signed by the archbishops, opposed government plans to legalise same-sex marriage; suggesting that it was the moral “duty” of all Catholics to fight plans for marriage equality.

Mischievously, their letter did not make it clear that the government was proposing to allow gay couples to marry only in a civil ceremony in a register office – not in places of worship. Whether by intention or default, the fact that churches would not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages was not made clear.

Full Story from Pink News

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HRC Releases Marriage Equality Letter Signed by Governors and Mayors

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

HRCToday HRC released a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee members from a bipartisan group of governors and mayors in marriage equality states calling for repeal of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The letter was sent the day before the committee is expected to markup the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) – the bill to repeal DOMA and end federal marriage discrimination.

Signatories to the letter include: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York; Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island; Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut; Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland; Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts; Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont; Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, NY; Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. of New Haven, CT; Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport, CT; Mayor Vincent C. Gray of Washington, DC; Mayor Edwin Lee of San Francisco, CA; Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, MA; Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego, CA; Mayor Pedro E. Segarra of Hartford, CT; and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, CA. California Gov. Jerry Brown – whose state recognizes a limited amount of same-sex couples married before the passage of Prop 8 – submitted a separate letter to the committee in support of the RMA.

Full Story from HRC.org

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Catholic Archbishop Urges Obama to Defend DOMA

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Defense of Marriage ActArchbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent a letter to President Barack Obama this week to criticize recent actions of the administration on behalf of LGBT equality, especially the decision to stop defending DOMA.

In the letter sent Tuesday, the archbishop of New York, writing in his capacity as head of the bishops’ public policy arm, expressed “grave concerns” about steps that, in his opinion, “escalate the threat to marriage and imperil the religious freedom of those who promote and defend marriage.” He focused on the decision of the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this year, a move the bishop’s conference opposed.

“Now the Justice Department has shifted from not defending DOMA — which is problem enough, given the duty of the executive branch to enforce even laws it disfavors — to actively attacking DOMA’s constitutionality,” wrote Dolan, who seemed largely absent from the marriage equality debate in New York this year. “Unfortunately the only response to date has been the intensification of efforts to undermine DOMA and the institution of marriage.”

Full Story from The Advocate

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MD: Openly Gay Delegates Ask Colleagues for Equality

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Maryland's Gay and Lesbian DelegatesOpenly gay Maryland Dels. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore), Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery), Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery), Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore), Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) and Mary Washington (D-Baltimore) have appealed to colleagues in a letter ahead of an expected marriage equality vote later this week, the Washington Post reports:

The letter from the six openly gay delegates says it is an attempt “to refocus this debate back to what this bill will actually do. Quite simply, it will secure for our families the protections that marriage – and only marriage – provides to loving and committed couples who have pledged to spend the rest of their lives together.”

THE LETTER:

Dear Colleagues,

It will come as no surprise to any of you that this is a crucial week for the six of us. As you know, the House will soon consider the Civil Marriage Protection Act (Senate Bill 116), a bill that will allow same-sex couples to marry in Maryland. Importantly, it will also reaffirm religious communities’ constitutional right to solemnize only those unions that fit within their faith traditions. First and foremost, we write to ask you – on behalf of our families and thousands of families headed by same-sex couples in our state – to vote yes on this legislation.

Full Story from Towleroad.com

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Argentina: Mormon Church Meddles in Marriage Equality Fight

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Gay rights have been a big issue in the past couple of years and the LDS church has taken a stand once again. Argentina is looking to pass a gay marriage bill. In response to this, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter reiterating its stand on traditional marriage.

This is not uncommon for the LDS church. Letters from the First Presidency are read at ward meetings, many of which advocate for beliefs. As a lifetime member of the LDS church, I have heard many a letter from the First Presidency and read over the pulpit on Sundays.

The First Presidency’s letter to Argentine LDS church members is straightforward, reminding members of traditional marriage between a man and a woman and reiterating the importance of the doctrinal document The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

Full Story from The Examiner

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Analyzing the USCCB Letter on ENDA and the Catholic Church

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

I know I’m a little late to the party on this one. On May 19, the USCCB wrote a letter setting out its reasons for opposing the proposed Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in employment. The crux of its position appears to be that it is opposed to the law because (1) it might be applied to the Church in ways that interfere with its religious autonomy and (2) it might be used by litigants and courts to promote successful constitutional challenges to prohibitions on same-sex marriage.

I don’t know enough about the proposed legislation to comment on the Bishops’ specific claim that the religious exemptions built into the law are insufficient to protect the Church’s autonomy, but there were a number of troubling features of the letter that may shed some light on the hierarchy’s views on homosexuality and the law.

First, the bishops repeatedly insist that, while they oppose the proposed legislation, the Church continues to oppose “unjust discrimination” on the basis of “homosexual inclination.” I found the two qualifications within this statement to be troubling. First, the word “unjust” seems to be doing a lot of heavy lifting for the bishops, both in this letter and in other statements. We know that at least one bishop thinks its not “unjust” discrimination to prohibit the child of a gay couple from attending Catholic school. And the Catholic Church openly engages in at least some exclusion of even celibate homosexuals from the priesthood.

Full Story from Commonweal

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