Polls shows support for marriage equality increasing

Box Turtle Bulletin reports:

Happiness is when reality exceeds your expectations. Apparently the National Organization “for” Marriage has officially lowered its expectations.

Over on their blog, NOM is happily touting a new poll in a post called, New Quinnipiac Poll: Majority Does NOT Support SSM:

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Generations at Odds: The Millennial Generation and the Future of Gay and Lesbian Rights

Public Religion Research Institute (PPRI) reports that there is at least a 20-point generation gap between Millennials (age 18 to 29) and seniors (age 65 and older) on every public policy measure in the survey concerning rights for gay and lesbian people.

in addition to the generation gap, "the Executive Summary also looks at a number of assumptions concerning the views of religious groups and the public perception of these groups.

Here are the links to the full report as well as the press release.

Church of Denmark moving toward marriage equality

Same sex marriage is moving ahead in Denmark and could become a reality as early as next summer if a bill establishing marriage equality passes parliament.

The Copenhagen Post Online reports:

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The meaning of marriage

A short documentary tells the story of Carl and Dave.

Marriage equality: listening for God rather than imposing

Fox News (!) gives space to Shari Johnson, the mother to a now-married lesbian daughter, to tell her tale. In the telling, she disputes the previously aired opinions of Mark Driscoll, a pastor who believes sex is fundamentally an act of selfishness - but still, a kind of selfishness which only one man and one woman may enjoy.

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Getting the story right - the pope on gay marriage

He may well be against marriage equality for LGBT persons, but Pope Benedict XVI wasn't as vitriolic as he was recently made to seem.

In a speech given Monday to the diplomatic corp at the Vatican, the pope said

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Breaking: Proposition 8 ruled unconstitutional

Update: Proposition 8 has been overturned. The Los Angeles Times has the story.

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Washington Post article by Bishop Budde calls for marriage equality in Maryland

The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of Washington, wrote a powerful article for "On Faith". Here is an excerpt:

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Bishop Robinson, in the Boston Globe, defends current NH marriage equality law

With what appears to be a bit of irony, just as Bishop Budde's article discusses the role religion plays in the same-sex marriage debate in Maryland, Bishop Robinson makes it clear that religion should not be the cause of undoing marriage equality in New Hampshire:

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New Jersey Senate approves marriage equality

The New Jersey Senate voted to approve a bill for marriage equality for same sex partners according to The New York Times and faith leaders in New Jersey express support:

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Two steps forward, one step back

Last night news broke that the Maryland House of Delegates voted to approved a measure that would legalize "same-sex unions". This is significant because last year the House blocked such a measure.

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Bishop of Alaska endorses marriage equality

Mark Lattime, the Episcopal Bishop of Alaska has written publicly of his support for Prop 5, a marriage equality measure for the City of Anchorage that is to be on the April ballot.

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New Hampshire preserves Marriage Equality

An attempt to repeal marriage equality in New Hampshire failed on Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

It appeared to many supporters of marriage equality that the Republican-dominated legislature would be sure to pass the repeal. Most of the hope centered on Governor Lynch, who had promised to veto any repeal. The question would be whether or not the veto could be overturned.

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NC bishops oppose "Amendment One"

Three Episcopal bishops in North Carolina have released a joint letter in opposition to a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as existing only "between one man and one woman" and would effectively outlaw other forms of domestic partnership within the state.

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Why the Methodists did what they did

We covered the demonstration following rejection of any official accommodation of conscience for clergy and laity in the Methodist Church who are supporters of marriage equality last week. But there's more to what happened than just the demonstration. The Conference decided, after the votes that would have officially admitted a diversity of opinion to cancel all subsequent votes on issues touching on the same subject.

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Bp. Curry on passage of Amendment One in North Carolina

The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina offers the following on the day after the passage of Amendment One.

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The Rev. Susan Russell on tomorrow's Morning Edition

Susan Russell posts:

Just finished an interview with NPR's fabulous Barbara Bradley Haggerty. Look for her segment on Obama, Faith & Marriage Equality tomorrow on Morning Edition!

Bishop Budde on President Obama's "evolution"

(Via e-mail) Bishop Mariann Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington released the following statement on President Barack Obama's endorsement of marriage equality:

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Church of Ireland reiterates traditionalist stance

The Church of Ireland met in General Synod last week. Last year, Dean Tom Gordon entered into a civil partnership with his long time partner and in so doing created a crisis in the Irish Anglican church. After attempts by the bishops to reiterate the traditional opposition to marriage equality in the church as part of a temporizing compromise, a push by the progressive voices to oppose that plan has highlighted the disagreement within the church.

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Shifting when (much of) the rest of the world shifts

In the Dallas Morning News' blog on religion, theologians from all over Texas consider the question of marriage equality and of how and whether the church should shift when the culture does - or if it's the other way around - or both - or something else entirely.

Fort Worth's Katie Sherrod takes a reasoned swing at the question.

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NAACP supports marriage equality

CBS News is reporting that the NAACP has voted to support marriage equality:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) backed a resolution on Saturday in support of "marriage equality."

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The Christian case for gay marriage

"I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage," writes law professor Mark Osler on CNN's Belief Blog. "The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith."

Osler, who worships at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Edina, Minn., goes on to say:

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Peter and the "shellfish" argument

As the Episcopal Church and other denominations have taken positions of that support the full inclusion of LGBT Christians and marriage equality, those in support of that position point out that the ritual law of the Old Testament was suspended after the resurrection, and arguing that Levitical prohibitions are still in force for some things and not others doesn't make a lot of sense.

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Colin Powell supports marriage equality

Politico reports that Colin Powell endorses marriage equality:

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St. David's Episcopal Church and marriage equality

St. David's Episcopal Church featured on KXAN TV news in Austin. Bishop Doyle has designated St. David's to become the first of two Episcopal congregations in Texas to officially "bless" same-sex couples.

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CoE looks ridiculous over fears of marriage equality

Reactions to yesterday's news that top Church of England bishops believe marriage equality is the biggest threat to the church in 500 years are appearing from other members of the Church of England. Many are furious, others see it as one more step to irrelevance, and common themes "ridiculous" and "shameful." Those who support marriage equality wonder if it is time for disetablishment and accuse the bishops of "dictatorship".

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Marriage equality and communicating grace

Bishop Mary Glasspool considers the sacramental dimensions of marriage equality.

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Rethinking the future of marriage

David Blankenhorn was an outspoken opponent of gay marriage. He writes in the New York Times how he came to change his mind.

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No gay families in the pool?

UPDATE: Just minutes after we published our item news flashed on twitter that the club had reversed itself:

BREAKING NEWS: The Carilion Clinic announced they will change their family policy so children with gay parents can swim in the pool!

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Parish reactions to bishop's letter on same-sex unions vary

Not all South Carolina congregations share the opinions of their bishop.

While some of the congregations in the SC Lowcountry area publicly agree with Bishop Lawrence, Erin Moody of the Beaufort/Port Royal Reporter writes of at least one differing understanding:

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Bishop of Alabama: Yes, but no on same-sex blessings

Bishop Kee Sloan, who voted yes at General Convention to approve the new ritual for same-sex blessings, will not allow the blessings to be performed in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.

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Bishop views same-sex marriage as 'conservative proposal'

Same-sex marriage is “a conservative proposal” consistent with basic Christian teaching and the Christian life, Bishop Greg Rickel argues in a statement to be released in Seattle this afternoon.

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Wholly compatible: Freedom of religion, freedom to marry

A new report from the Center for American Progress contends that freedom of religion and the freedom to marry are "twin freedoms" wholly compatible with one another, despite claims to the contrary by conservative religious groups. The group states:

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Poll shows rising support for same-sex marriage in Florida & Ohio

A recent Washington Post poll shows most voters in the swing states of Ohio and Florida support the right of same-sex couples to wed, as do nearly half the voters in Virginia. The Post reports:

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Appeals court in NY strikes down Defense of Marriage Act

A federal appeals court in New York became the second in the nation today to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that denying federal benefits to married same-sex couples is unconstitutional. CNN reports:

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Knights of Columbus spending millions to battle marriage equality

Many U.S. Catholics would be dismayed at how much money the Knights of Columbus are pouring into efforts to battle marriage equality. According to a new report released by Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholic groups support equal treatment for the LGBT community in the church and beyond, the fraternal organization has"used its extensive financial resources to become one of the most aggressive opponents of marriage equality in the United States."

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Opponents of marriage equality cite religion as major factor

A new Gallup poll indicates that religion is a major consideration for Americans who oppose legalization of same-sex marriage. Answering an open-ended question, 47 percent of those who oppose marriage equality say religion and the Bible are the top reasons. Supporters of same-sex marriage cite equal rights and personal freedom to explain their choice, and make no mention of God or religion.

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Updated: Cameron supports gay marriage in churches

UPDATED: The PM has spoken. Video and story at the BBC.

The Church of England is quick to respond, and forcefully object.

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Supreme Court to hear two cases on gay marriage

Breaking: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases concerning marriage equality, one challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 and the other, from New York, challenges the Defense of Marriage Act.

The New York Times reports:

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+Gene on The Daily Show

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show interviews the Rt Rev. Gene Robinson on the changing Christian attitudes toward same-sex marriage and explains how the commonly misinterpreted story of Sodom and Gomorrah actually deals with poverty.

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A tale of two churches

Comparing and contrasting the decision by Washington National Cathedral to perform same-sex marriages and the University of the South's decision to do so only if the bishop in the place where the couple lives approves.

SCG writes on the blog "Wake Up and LIVE."

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Rhode Island House votes today on gay marriage

The Rhode Island State House is expected to pass a bill today that would legalize gay marriage, though the measure faces opposition in the Senate. The New York Times notes that Rhode Island is the "last holdout in New England" on this issue, and is "one of several states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota and New Jersey, where supporters of gay marriage are trying to make legislative gains this year."

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Rhode Island House passes same-sex marriage bill

The Rhode Island State House has voted 52 to 19 to legalize same-sex marriage. The measure now moves to the Senate, where its fate is less certain. The Providence Journal reports:

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Diocese of Mississippi reports Gray's SSB decision

As we first reported Friday, the Rt Rev Duncan Gray announced in his Annual Council address that he will give permission for use of the same sex blessing rite in the Diocese of Mississippi. He also called for the election of a coadjutor. There is now more information on the diocesan website.

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R.I. governor, businesspeople, rabbis back marriage equality

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee is participating is a panel discussion at New York University today to discuss the "economic harms" of not allowing gay couples to marry. See full story here. Business leaders in Rhode Island have announced the formation of a new coalition in favor of legalizing gay marriage, and the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island has announced its support for same-sex marriage in the state, the only state in New England which has not legalized gay unions. From the Providence Journal:

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A conservative cause

Jon Huntsman, former GOP governor of Utah and U.S. ambassador to China and Singapore and a lifelong Mormon, writes in the American Conservative that marriage equality is a conservative cause. .

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Bishops file briefs in support of marriage equality

More than two dozen Episcopal bishops have filed two briefs in the United States Supreme Court supporting civil marriage equality for same-sex couples. The bishops are from dioceses in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Pacific Church News from the Diocese of California reports:

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Marriage Equality in the Episcopal Church: status map

Integrity has produced a map of where each bishop stands on marriage equality. Does your bishop say yes or no to marriage? blessings? or something in between?

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Ohio GOP Senator supports marriage equality

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman writes about how he has come to believe in marriage equality.

His op-ed appears in the Columbus Dispatch:

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Poll finds "dramatic rise" in support for marriage equality

From ABC News:

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Pediatrics group supports marriage equality

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement in support of same-sex parents’ right to wed as well as to foster or adopt children. The policy was guided by the organization’s belief in gay marriage “to promote optimal health and well-being of all children.”

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Supreme Court to hear marriage equality case today

SCOTUSblog rounds up opinions on the marriage equality case before the Supreme Court:

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Summary of the day's look at Marriage Equality

With the US Supreme Court considering two cases concerning Marriage Equality, Washington DC was again busy with demonstrations.

The general consensus of the first day is that the court is likely to find a way to let Prop 8 go away, paving the way for Marriage Equality in California, without making it the law of the land. It remains to be seen if the same will be true of DOMA, which will be argued today, but many feel like this is the case.

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The pastoral impact of the Marriage Equality debates

The Rev. Susan Russell has a powerful blogpost in The Huffington Post on the easily overlooked pastoral dimension of the past days of debate. Here's a glimpse:

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Gene Robinson on Holy Week and the Supreme Court

Bishop Gene Robinson writes on this Good Friday at the Washington Post's On Faith blog:

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Persecution? Or simply losing the argument?

Retired Archbishop George Carey has said that Christians who oppose marriage equality are being persecuted. Which raises the question, when is persecution persecution and when us it that sinking feeling that accompanies losing the argument?

The Telegraph reports Lord Carey's view:

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Jim Wallis for marriage equality
- sort of

Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches reports that Jim Wallis of Sojourners has sort of jumped on the marriage equality bandwagon:

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Marriage: one man and one woman?

Updated: A clergy member of the Church of England's Faith and Order Commission has written a response to the recent report by that group defending the view that marriage has always been about one man and one woman. Meanwhile, the Church Times says this about the report: "ignore it."

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Mormons step back from crusading against marriage equality

As the court heard arguments on the constiutionality of California's Proposition 8 and DOMA, religious groups on both sides were out in force. But the group most responsible for passing Proposition 8 in the first place, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was notably absent.

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Ireland in favor of marriage equality

The Constitutional Convention held in Ireland has voted 79% in favor of marriage equality according to Inside Ireland:

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New Zealand approves Marriage Equality

The New York Times reports the AP story:

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Many faith groups in RI support marriage equality

As the Rhode Island Senate nears a vote on marriage equality, a myriad of religious groups and leaders have rallied and are working to see the legislation passed.

From the HRC Blog:

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"No more exemptions" RI faith leaders write to legislature

Faith leaders in Rhode Island, including Episcopal Bishop Nick Knisely, tell legislators, no more exemptions are needed in the marriage equality bill H5015/S38. The Providence Journal reports:

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France legalizes marriage equality

Not unanticipated. The New York Times has a report:

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Catholic laity begins to sway church hierarchy on LGBT issues

Francis DeBernardo and Sister Jeannine Gramick of New Ways Ministry note that lay Roman Catholic laypeople are exerting a certain democratic and very positive influence on church leadership regarding same-sex relationships. Writing at Huffington Post, they observe:

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Bishop warns Catholics against attending same-sex weddings

A few weeks ago, I traveled to the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, in the state of Washington, to witness the state-sanctioned, church-blessed wedding of my gay cousin and his partner of more than 35 years. The sister of one of the grooms, a devout (and I would have to say downright conservative) Roman Catholic, was one of the lay readers at the service. Another RC cousin in attendance expressed unqualified joy about this long-awaited family celebration. Both brought small children who ate too much cake and ran happily amok at the reception. I thought of them today when I read that Bishop Thomas Tobin in Rhode Island is warning Roman Catholics to "examine their consciences very carefully" before attending same-sex ceremonies. From WPRI.com:

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Gays save ... more

Ezra Klein at Wonkblog:

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RC bishops issue bulletin insert to battle marriage equality

The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops is fighting same-sex marriage with new Sunday bulletin inserts about marriage equality and the Supreme Court. From Think Progress:

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Minnesota to become 12th state with marriage equality

The Minnesota Senate passed a marriage equality bill Monday and the governor is expected to sign it today according to the New York Times:

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Where do same sex couples raise their children?

Huffington Post notes a new poll that shows the highest percentage of same sex couples raising children live in states that forbid marriage equality:

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Fate of bi-national same-sex couples in immigration reform

It looks as though the Congress and President will not include same sex bi-national couples in the immigration reform bill. According to Think Progress:

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Changing marriage...for the better

Recent research indicates that same-sex unions are happier than heterosexual marriages. So what might gay and lesbian couples teach straight ones about living in harmony?"

Liza Mundy writes in The Atlantic:

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Might Supreme Court toss Prop 8 case on a technicality?

The LA Times:

Lawyers leading the fight for gay marriage in California have been quietly preparing state officials for the possibility the U.S. Supreme Court might dismiss the case on a technicality next month without deciding the fate of Proposition 8.

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Bishop of Salisbury restates his support for marriage equality

In a letter to Lord Waheed Alli, one of the world's few openly gay Muslim politicians, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Rev. Nicholas Holtam, reaffirms his support for same-sex marriage, stating: "It is striking that within the Anglican Communion one of the strongest supporters of same sex marriage is Archbishop Desmond Tutu. From his experience of the racism of Apartheid he sees same sex marriage as primarily a matter of justice.” Responding to a letter from Lord Alli asking for clarification of the bishop's views as the House of Lords begins debate on a same-sex marriage bill, Holtam writes:

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Roman Catholic Church hierarchy's political influence waning

The Roman Catholic hierarchy's influence in the fight agains marriage equality and in other political issues is waning according to MassLive.com.

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Breaking: Lords 242 majority supports marriage equality


The Guardian reports that the marriage equality bill is moving forward:
Evening summary

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Church of England gives up the fight against marriage equality

The Church of England is giving up the fight against marriage equality and will try to improve the legislation for families and children according to The Telegraph

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Bishops eating dust in race for marriage equality

Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of the popular History of Christianity: the first 3000 years, relates the sweep of marriage equality across the world leaving bishops in the dust.

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Marriage Equality: CoE bishops not clear on "the program"

Andrew Brown, writes in The Guardian, on Sentamu's recent speech on equal marriage and the resistance of the bishops to calling it marriage. Brown puts things in historical perspective well:

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Implications of Supreme Court marriage equality cases

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide on landmark cases regarding same-sex marriage—Hollingsworth v. Perry (a challenge to California’s same-sex-marriage ban) and United States v. Windsor (a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act). We suggest a couple of tools to help you navigate the issue. The Washington Post offers a state-by-state status report. And The New Yorker presents a click-the-buttons interactive map to help you explore potential outcomes of the ruling.

Reactions from DOMA/Prop 8 rulings

Susan Russell in The Huffington Post, says that the two decisions cannot be separated from what the court did yesterday:

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Marriage Equality: What will religious conservatives do now?

After yesterday's landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage, David Gibson of Religion News Service offers four possible paths forward for religious conservatives who oppose marriage equality. Could yesterday's rulings be for marriage equality what Roe v. Wade was for abortion? He writes:

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Obama supports gay rights in Africa

During his visit to Senegal, President Obama comes out strongly for gay rights.

Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post says that "Obama was direct and clear in espousing American values to the people of Africa. That he is African American only adds to their weight and power."

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Indiana law could jail clergy for same sex marriages

UPDATE: from Bilerico:

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Marriage Equality passes House of Lords

The Telegraph reports that the marriage equality bill has passed its third reading in the House of Lords. It will return to the House of Commons on Tuesday for final approval of a few amendments:

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Historical perspective on marriage equality

Thomas M. Finn relates a brief history of marriage equality in the National Catholic Reporter"

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Is error better than uncertainty?

Savi Hensman writing at Ekklesia wonders about certainty and error in the church:

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22 year trip to the altar

Seattle Post Intelligencer

Ed Murray (candidate for Seattle mayor and his sister is Senator Patty Murray) and Michael Shiosaki will mark the 22nd anniversary of the day they met by legally tying the knot Saturday at St. Mark's Cathedral, with a full marriage ceremony out of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (see below) and music from 3,944 pipes of the mighty Flentrop organ.

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Hawaii same-sex marriage debate goes to the pulpits

Hawaii News Now has a story focusing on debate of same-sex marriage in Hawaii coming from religious leaders. Bishop Larry Silva issued a letter against same-sex marriage. He told Hawaii News Now:

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Judge orders New Jersey to provide marriage equality

Marriage equality has come to New Jersey. Friday state judge Mary Jacobson ordered the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning October 21. She found the state's marriage laws denied equal rights guaranteed by the Supreme Court of the United State in June.

The New York Times reports,

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Southern Africa synod considers pastoral response to civil unions

From Anglican Communion News Service:

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"I give thanks that same-sex marriage can proceed in New Jersey"

Bishop Mark Beckwite writes to the people of his diocese on the news that same-sex marriages may proceed in New Jersey starting Monday.

The Bishop's Blog: Signs of God's Grace:

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Retired Roman Catholic priest officiates gay weddings

As New Jersey's marriage equality law goes into effect, clergy officiated at weddings just after midnight. One priest is the Rev. Thomas Pivinski, a retired Roman Catholic priest.

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Dean Mike Kinman faults Missouri ruling on survivor benefits

The Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, believes the Missouri Supreme Court was wrong to rule that the partner of a Missouri highway patrolman killed in the line of duty is not entitled to survivor benefits from the state pension system. Kinman writes:

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Illinois legislature approves marriage equality UPDATED

MORE UPDATES: Statement from Bishop Jeff Lee, Diocese of Chicago:

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Pope to bishops: How can the Church serve same-sex couples?

Pope Francis is surveying Catholic bishops around the world about how to provide pastoral care in practical ways to meet the needs of modern families, including same-sex couples. From Agence France Press, via rawstory.com:

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Methodist pastor suspended 30 days for son's wedding

The Methodist pastor found guilty in the case of presiding at his son's wedding has been received the news of the penalty that will be imposed. Philly.com reports:

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Scotland votes for marriage equality


MSPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will allow same sex couples to marry on what has been described as a historic day at Holyrood.

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When Catholic schools fire gay teachers, laity push back

A recent spike in firing of gay teachers in Catholic schools or in lay employees who support marriage equality has generated something new...rebellion and protest among the laity.


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New Mexico Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage

The New Mexico Supreme Court today has legalized same-sex marriage. From the Washington Post:

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Utah same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

UPDATE 2: The Rev Lee Shaw reflects on officiating at a wedding for 2 friends tonight. See also photo.

UPDATE: Press release from the Rt Rev. Scott Hayashi, Bishop of the Diocese of Utah


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Episcopal priest shares story with Alabama Equality

The Rev. Joseph P. Mathews, Communications Working Group Head at The Episcopal Diocese of California, and Associate Priest at Christ Church Portola Valley, has written a blog post for Alabama Equality (thanks for the use of the Facebook photo!):

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Scotland: marriage equality is the law

Good news from Scotland! The Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, reports:

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CofE House of Bishops says no to same-sex marriage

The Church of England is open to clergy who wish to offer prayers to couples after gay marriage becomes legal in the UK, but remains closed to providing church weddings to gay couples. The Independent reports:

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Speaking out

Paul Rauschenbusch argues that Christianity is the common thread in the current wave of LGBTQ oppression.
Because of this. then, Christians need to be on the front lines of those fighting for the freedom and dignity of all persons--otherwise, our religion will be entirely co-opted.

Recent events around the world show us that sitting on the sidelines is no longer permissible -- especially for Christians. We cannot let others speak for Jesus. Our faith is being used to do serious harm to LGBT people. Showing love for our neighbor today, as commanded by Jesus, means stepping up and standing in solidarity with our LGBT sisters and brothers around the world

Read the whole thing here.

Church of England bishops' dishonest compromise

Andrew Brown writing in The Guardian calls the compromise on marriage equality dishonest:

The compromise of the House of Bishops on gay marriage is incoherent, dishonest in itself, and reliant on dishonesty in others to work. It will certainly fail in the long run. But I am less inclined than most of my friends to dismiss it out of hand: it does come tantalisingly close to being workable. The guidelines published the day after Valentine's Day say that gay and lesbian clergy may not marry, and married LGBT people may not be ordained. Nor are there to be services of blessing for civil partnerships (which clergy may, and do, enter into) – but there may be services of "thanksgiving".

The double standard for clergy and laity is really there to gratify the conservative belief that sexually active gay people are radically second-class Christians. This is the belief of a substantial and determined minority within the church. But it's not the belief of the majority and it certainly won't be within 10 years, if only because half the people in the pews today will be dead, or close to it.

What happens next will be a reputational disaster if it is widely reported. As Justin Welby told the General Synod last week, it will lead "to behaviour that many see akin to racism". It will be another kind of reputational disaster if it is ignored, as if no one expected any better of the Church of England than "behaviour that many see as akin to racism."

In a statement from LGBTI

The LGB&TI Anglican Coalition is appalled by the House of Bishops’ recently‐issued Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage, especially in the light of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s presidential address in which it was stated that differing views should be accepted in a spirit of ‘good disagreement’. In this document we see no acceptance of disagreement at all, but instead a heavy‐handed and legalistic imposition of discipline...
More here.
Parish priest in London, the Rev. Richard Haggis comments in The Guardian
What amazes me is that we - their clergy - stick up for this sort of hogwash. Every bishop under whom I have served has known that I am gay. If he bothered to ask, he would have known whether or not I had a partner. He could even have known, if he wanted, whether I was "practising". Well, OK, I'm not perfect yet. But I am not called to celibacy, and nor are most gay men and women who serve the church. Many of us long for the sort of union that could be marked by a public ceremony and decent and proper civil rights (from which the bishops have sought to exempt us for too long through their powerful position in the House of Lords). I very much hope to use the new law. I shall not ask permission and I shall not promise to be celibate. If they want to sack me they can, but they must own up to the kind of people they are.

The Rev. Tobias Haller, writes at his blog that the letter is "incoherent hypocrisy:"
I call this statement "incoherent" due to its many internal contradictions, as well as its frequent assertions that contradict both received tradition and plain sense. Not being in a mood to "fisk" it (as I've done with things like Some Issues in Human Sexuality), I leave it to knowledgeable readers to do the work themselves. Leave it at this: a church that has come to tolerate remarriage after divorce cites the teaching of Jesus and its own tradition (including the plain text of its own traditional marriage liturgy) as a reason not to include same-sex couples. It is as if we were living on Animal Farm: the values of monogamy, permanent fidelity and mutual love (which the document cites as evident in at least some same-sex relationships) can be erased from the constitution, leaving only "man" and "woman" — the crucial defining adjective "one" no longer being applicable, even, as has been noted, for the likely future governor of the church. The Bishops have hinged the sole significant virtue (fidelity and so on being all very well but not restricted to mixed-sex couples) upon heterosexuality itself. Gender has become a virtue, and virtue insignificant. And they have the gumption to call this the teaching of Christ.

H/T to Wounded Bird

Tengatenga on homophobia, the Anglican Communion & his future

From the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News:

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CofE Bishops quizzing gay clergy about planned marriages

While trying not to incarnate "behaviour that many see akin to racism," some Church of England bishops are meeting with gay clergy and encouraging them not to marry when marriage equality arrives in the UK but to remain in "quiet" civil unions.

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Bishops applaud federal ruling on Michigan gay marriage ban

Michigan's Episcopal bishops are unanimous in applauding yesterday's federal ruling overturning their state's gay marriage ban. Their statement:

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World Vision reverses decision to hire Christians in same-sex marriages

World Vision has backed out of its openness to hiring Christians in same-sex marriages, made only days ago.

Monday's story from The Lead included this and an excerpt from their letter:

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SCOTUS shoots down photography appeal

In the final stage of the court case, the Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a case, brought by a New Mexico photography studio.

The owners of the photography studio declined to photograph the wedding of a gay couple, thus violating New Mexico's anti-discrimination laws. Thereupon, the owners of the photography studio decided to sue the state of New Mexico, claiming that their religious freedom had been infringed upon, as well as their right of artistic expression (though that last one was probably not envisioned by the writers of the Constitution.)

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Virginia Bishops "step up" in amici brief

The Friends of Jake blog rejoice over the Virginia Episcopal Bishops (Diocese of Virginia and Southern Virginia) joining a multi-faith group in an amici brief in the marriage case in Virginia:

This is what they pulled from the brief:

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Bishop Curry interviews NC pastor who filed federal suit

The Right Reverend Michael Curry, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, interviews the Reverend Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, about the suit she and other religious and denominational leaders filed in federal court against North Carolina's Amendment One, the law that prohibits all domestic legal unions except opposite-sex marriage.

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NZ blessings reactions

Episcopal News Service reports on the NZ General Synod:

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What the first wave of same-sex marriages are teaching us about marriage

Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins, looks at marriages that that take place after the couple have been together a while...long enough to have mortgages, merged finances and a child...and sees that a huge proportion of newly married gay couples are both middle aged and have been together a long time. In other words, when given a choice they are choosing to opt in to marriage in an era when many young straight couples are choosing to delay marriage.

He calls these relationships "reinforcing marriages."

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Pennsylvania in on Marriage Equality

BuzzFeed reports that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will not be appealing Tuesday’s ruling bringing marriage equality to the Keystone State:

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Gallup: same sex marriage support at new high

Justin McCarthy reports on Gallup's latest poll numbers on Americans' support of same-sex marriage, now at 55% for, and 42% against.

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The clergy as marital agents of the state

In celebrating the legalization of same-sex marriage in Oregon, Bishop Michael Hanley of the Diocese of Oregon, has opened a conversation with the clergy of the diocese about whether it is appropriate for clergy to function as an agent of the state with regards to marriage.

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Census to count same-sex spouses as "married"

The U.S. Census Bureau will now count same-sex spouses as married couples, rather than grouping them with cohabiting partners. The change will appear in the bureau's household survey due out in September.

Pew Research Center:

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Asheville Episcopal clergy join marriage equality suit

Casey Blake of the Citizen-Times reports that the clergy from All Souls Episcopal Cathedral in Asheville have joined as plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s marriage laws:

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Marriage Equality comes to WI, what will church do?

Fr, Johnathan Grieser, a priest in Wisconsin, has been noting the progress made towards marriage equality on his blog.

He also notes, however, the sad lack of a unified response to the events of this past week, when the US District court struck down the same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. He points out that as these bans fell all across the country, it should have become evident that it was going to happen in Wisconsin, and the local church would need to respond. Yet, there was no proactive conversation.

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Uncertainty in Wisconsin

County clerks in Wisconsin might get prosecuted if they issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and clergy who are ready to preside at the marriages of their same-sex congregants cannot do these weddings in their diocese.

Fr. Jonathan Greiser continues to monitor the situation on his blog.

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Colin Coward awarded OBE

Changing Attitude UK announces that Colin Coward, long time advocate for full equality of LGBTI persons, has been honored by the Queen by appointment as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

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All 4 Michigan bishops file Amici briefs for marriage equality

From the Diocese of Eastern Michigan comes this news:

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The fading "defense of (traditional) marriage" movement

Many of the people who turned out for the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) second annual “March For Marriage” rally yesterday in front of the U.S. Capitol rally cited religious reasons for their presence.


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Second Church of England priest marries his male partner

Andrew Brown of The Guardian writes:

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Methodists reinstate defrocked pastor

The United Methodist Church has reinstated the pastor who was defrocked for performing his son's marriage to male partner. New York Times has the story:

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Should the Episcopal Church embrace marriage equality?

The Episcopal Church's Task Force on the Study of Marriage is continuing its work, and ever more Episcopalians live in states in which marriage equality is now the law. Indiana joined the fast-growing group yesterday.

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Ginsburg: unlike miscegenation, SCOTUS will not duck same-sex marriage

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has told the AP. "I think the court will not do what they did in the old days when they continually ducked the issue of miscegenation," Ginsburg said. "If a case is properly before the court, they will take it." She expected the Supreme Court would take up the issue of marriage equality in 2015 or 2016. The court takes up appeals of its own choosing.

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UPDATED: Bishop of Virginia issues statement on marriage equality

Barring a last minute stay from the Supreme Court, marriage equality will be the law in Virginia tomorrow, Thursday August 21. [UPDATE: The Supreme Court has issued a stay.] The bishop of the Diocese of Virginia this afternoon issued this statement and guidance:

August 20, 2014

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Evangelicals for Marriage Equality

Time Magazine reports on a new organization of Evangelicals For Marriage Equality and why they are starting an initiative for evangelicals to support civil marriage equality:

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Taskforce on the Study of Marriage issues a new report

The Taskforce on the Study of Marriage, convened by action of General Convention 2012, has issued a new report on their progress this morning.

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Breaking: SCOTUS refuses marriage equality ban petitions

SCOTUSblog reports:

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Bishop Gibbs to co-chair Michigan for Marriage campaign

From Episcopal News Service:

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Marriage equality without job protection for same-sex couples

Pennsylvania was the only state with marriage equality, but no job protection for same-sex couples. Now there are several. Vox.com has the story and the map:

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Episcopal Bishop on marriage equality in Wyoming

Michele Richinick on MSNBC:

Wyoming on Tuesday became the 32nd state to legalize gay marriage, joining several other conservative areas in allowing same-sex weddings.

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