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Flipping the Script – Why the UCC Lawsuit Could Change Everything

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

UCC LogoIn recent years, the religious and political right in this country has weaponized the Constitution. From bans on gay marriage to the right to own an assault rifle without a background check, the First and Second Amendments, in particular, have been used as a battering ram against equality, fairness and public safety.

You cannot make peace if you do not even know you are in a war, and people of faith and conscience in this country need to realize that the very rights that the Constitution protects are under siege by those who abuse and misuse constitutional guarantees.

This why what the United Church of Christ, my own denomination, has just done matters so much at so many levels. The UCC has taken a bold step in engaging this struggle, right at the heart of the abuse of religious freedom. This church just filed a landmark lawsuit against North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage, arguing that the state’s marriage laws violate the First Amendment rights of clergy and the principle of “free exercise of religion.”

Authored By Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite – See the Full Story at the Huffington Post

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in North Carolina.

Breaking: United Church of Christ Files Lawsuit Against North Carolina’s Marriage Equality Ban

Monday, April 28th, 2014

North Carolina MapThis just in – a gay-friendly church has filed a lawsuit in North Carolina saying that the ban on marriage equality violates its religious freedom.

The Washington Blade reports:

The United Church of Christ and a group of clergy and same-sex couples on Monday filed a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The lawsuit — which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina — argues the marriage amendment violates the religious beliefs of denominations and congregants who support the recognition of gay nuptials and clergy who want to perform them. Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, president of the United Church of Christ, and Rev. Nancy Kraft of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Charlotte are among the plaintiffs who attended a Charlotte press conference.

“As a senior minister, I am often asked to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples in my congregation,” said Rev. Joe Hoffman of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, who is a plaintiff along with Diane Ansley and Cathy McGaughey, two of his congregants who have been together for 14 years. “My denomination — the United Church of Christ — authorizes me to perform these ceremonies, but Amendment One denies my religious freedom by prohibiting me from exercising this right.”

It seems like a great argument – after all, whose religious freedom is more infringed, for-profit business owners who must follow the law in marriage equality states, or actual pastors and ministers who are forbidden from marrying same sex couples in anti-gay marriage state?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in North Carolina.

Religion and Gay Issues – Where the Churches Stand

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Lutherans might be at the leading edge of issues surrounding religion and homosexuality, but other religious groups have staked out their positions as well:

Episcopal Church: Episcopalians allow gay ordinations, although bishops are not required to perform them. The church last year ended a moratorium on ordination of gays as bishops, choosing a lesbian in March in Los Angeles.

The church’s triennial general convention last year called for development of same-gender blessings. Meanwhile, the convention said, bishops may give “generous pastoral response” to couples in states that permit gay unions.

Full Story from the Sun Sentinel

Click here for gay marriage resources.

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