After SCOTUS, Will US Episcopal Church Approve Gay Marriage?

As the USA Supreme Court was handing down its ruling that institutes marriage equality across all 50 states, the bishops of the Episcopal Church were already gathered for their triennial General Convention from Thursday, June 25, until Friday, July 3. Sometime next week, they too will take a decision on whether to approve gay marriage.

Episcopalians have a strong progressive record on inclusion, so the chances are good. The Church has already approved a liturgical rite for use in same – sex blessing ceremonies. Even before the rite was formally approved in 2012, some bishops were already approving blessing services in their dioceses. Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop of Saginaw, Michigan, told Mlive that he did so three years before that. Ousley notes that in the three years since 2012, the landscape has changed dramatically. Many bishops have already allowed this rite to be used for marriage services, in states where the law allows.  Even years before the rite was approved, two senior women priests where married in Boston’s cathedral. When New York state approved same – sex marriage legislation, some of their bishops instructed priest in same – sex partnerships to either get married, or end the relationships. When the Supreme Court struck down a part of the Defence of Marriage Act in Windsor, the Washington Cathedral rang its bells in celebration. It’s likely that across the USA, many churches will be celebrating the court’s ruling today.

The landscape has changed even more dramatically today, with same – sex marriage now approved in secular law, across the USA. We wait now, to see if the bishops’ decision next week is in step with the country, and the court.

 

Couples win right to challenge NI gay marriage ban

From RTE News

Two couples have cleared the first legal hurdle in their bid to challenge a ban on gay marriage in Northern Ireland.

A judge in Belfast High Court granted them leave to judicially review the refusal to legalise same sex marriage in the region.

Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane are taking the joint action.

They were, respectively, the first and second couples in the UK to enter into a civil partnership after Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to make that option available to same-sex couples in December 2005.

However, the Northern Ireland Assembly has rejected a proposal calling for the introduction of gay marriage on four occasions since, with unionists opposed to the move using a contentious voting mechanism to effectively veto it.

Following the “Yes” vote in May’s referendum on same-sex marriage in the Republic, Northern Ireland is now set to be the only part of the UK or Ireland where civil marriage is denied to gay couples.

Earlier this month, about 20,000 campaigners marched in Belfast city centre demanding a change in the law.

 – RTÉ News.

New Jersey Court: “Conversion Therapy” is Consumer Fraud/

Right from the start, my objection to so-called “conversion therapy” and the “ex-gay” movement, has been simple: it amounts to misleading advertising. I have no objection to those wishing to offer religious counselling to gay people who find it a struggle to  live in accordance with their religions belief – but to call it “conversion” is deceitful. It is now widely accepted that one’s sexual and affectional orientation is deeply ingrained (possibly even within the womb), and simply cannot be changed. Even the “ex-gay” leaders themselves have now acknowledged it.

Now, an American court has ruled (unanimously) that so-called “conversion therapy” amounts to consumer fraud

After three weeks of trial, a New Jersey jury reached a quick verdict in the case against JONAH, a Jewish ex-gay organization sued under the state’s consumer fraud laws. The jury unanimously found against JONAH on all counts, meaning it will have to pay upwards of $25,000 in damages to the clients and their families for undergoing ex-gay therapy. Continue reading New Jersey Court: “Conversion Therapy” is Consumer Fraud/

Same-sex couple adoption doesn’t have any negative effect on children

Of course, we knew this: my daughter Robynn says of gay parents “I recommend them” (aHEM!) – but still good to have it confirmed in a major meta – analysis of all available academic research: . “Same-sex couple adoption doesn’t have any negative effect on children”

two daddies

A 2013 study addressed the question directly, evaluating the outcomes of adoptees less than 3-years old who had been placed in one of 56 lesbian and gay households since infancy. It was a fairly small sample size, but the study found no significant associations between parental sexual orientation and child adjustment. In other words, no downside related to same-sex adoption was reported. The same can be said about this new study.

Now, a new study conducted by University of Colorado Denver research found that children of same-sex parents experience ‘no difference’ in terms of social and behavioral outcomes to children of heterosexual couples. The study examined thousands of peer-reviewed articles referencing same-sex parenting for patterns in citation of work by other researchers. Jimi Adams, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Studies at CU Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences wanted to review all existing literature on the issue, and see if a consensus was reached. By the time he reached the 1990s, a consensus was already starting to develop, and by the time he reached 2000, he discovered that researchers had reached ‘overwhelming’ consensus on the issue. Basically, virtually all researchers reported that same-sex parenting is just as fine as opposite sex parenting, but they just weren’t aware of each other’s results.

via ZMESxience.com

Related posts

Synod “Lineamenta”: Good News and Bad News for LGBT Catholics

At Bondings 2.0, Frank DeBenardo writes that there’s reason for both hope and disappointment for LGBT Catholics in the Family Synod “Lineamenta”. That’s a fair appraisal. The disappointment is clear in a public statement from the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics – a loose coalition of Catholic groups from around the world, who will be gathering in Rome for a short conference at the start of the bishops’ synod. I plan to be among them. (The GNRC includes Quest and the Westminster Gay and Lesbian Pastoral Council from the UK, and Dignity and New Ways Ministry from the USA, as well as groups from Europe and Latin America).

My own initial response is likewise that it contains both bad news and good news. The bad news, is that it has so little to say about us. The good news is – also that it has so little to say about us. It’s obvious to me that the drafters of the document have no idea how to deal with the issue, and would far prefer that the matter simply go away quietly. It won’t.

Continue reading Synod “Lineamenta”: Good News and Bad News for LGBT Catholics

Family Synod Working Document Disappoints Global Rainbow Catholics

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, an international coalition that will be meeting in Rome at the start of the 2015 family synod, has expressed disappointment with the synod “Instrumentum Laboris” (or working document), that was released yesterday.

GNRC logo

WORLDWIDE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANS CATHOLICS, & PARENTS

RESPOND TO SYNOD 2015 WORKING DOCUMENT

A number of organisations and advocates who focus on pastoral care and social justice for LGBT people and their families, working to form a Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, is disappointed by the 14th Ordinary Synod of Bishops’ Working Document ( Instrumentum Laboris) on “The Vocation & Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World”, published on 23 June 2015.

Although “suitable attention to the pastoral accompaniment of families in which live persons with homosexual tendencies, and families of these same persons” is recommended, Paragraphs 130-132 of the Working Document hardly reflect the rich discussions which have taken place, internationally and at all levels in the Church, on the welcome, respect, and value which should be afforded to lesbian and gay people in the Catholic community.

We strongly regret the inclusion of the unfounded statement that international organisations are pressurising poorer countries to introduce same-sex marriage as a condition of receiving financial aid Para. 132). Far better for the Church to show its commitment to social justice through the condemnation of global criminalisation of LGBT people, including torture and the death penalty.

The GNRC therefore offers the following reformulation of the Synod text referring to same-sex relationships,families & parents as a more positive contribution to further discussion and discernment:

Some families include homosexual members who, with their parents, families and children, have a right to informed pastoral care (The Code of Canon Law: Canons 208-231). As such, they ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of discrimination in their regard should be avoided. The language used by the Church in describing its pastoral ministry in this area of human concern should reflect its principles of the precious dignity of the person and its commitment to social justice so that the gifts and qualities of homosexual people may be welcomed, valued, and respected (Paragraphs 10 & 16, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, CDF, 1986). When people living in same-sex unions request a child’s baptism, the child must be received with the same care,tenderness and concern which is given to other children. Furthermore, the Church responds to the needs of children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.

This Synod proposes that a structured discernment process be introduced, to involve homosexual people, including those living in long-term, stable relationships as well as those who are single or celibate, their children and parents, experienced pastoral ministers, and theologians, as well as relevant dicasteries of the Holy See. Such a process, reflecting upon examples of positive pastoral experience and ongoing theological, anthropological and scientific study, should be conducted at both global and local levels of the Church for a period of three to five years.

The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an important educative challenge at all levels of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 2357-2358, 2395). It has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid constitutes a precious support in the life of same-sex partners.

Arising from the experience of positive pastoral ministry, this Synod encourages the whole Church to renew its theological reflections on human sexuality and gender identity, working towards the right integration of ortho-praxis and ortho-doxy .

At a global level, people with variant sexual orientation are unjustly criminalised, tortured, subjected to death penalties, and those offering pastoral and practical care in such circumstances are also often penalised. This Synod of Bishops unequivocally condemns such injustices perpetrated on people and firmly opposes such patterns of criminalisation. It urges governments and civil society to respect the human rights of each person regardless of their sexual orientation.

NOTE: The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics is an international network of organizations of/with LGBT Catholics which met for the first time during the Family Synod 2014 in Rome and has since worked together to initiate a global network of LGBTQI Catholics, their parents and families.

Founding groups include:

European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups,
Associació Cristiana de Gais i Lesbianes de Catalunya (ACGIL)(Catalonia),
Comitato promotore dell’associazione Cammini di Speranza – associazione nazionale cristiani lgbt (Italy),
Dette Resources Foundation (Zambia),
DignityUSA (USA),
Drachma (Drachma LGBTI and Drachma Parents Group)(Malta),
Ichthys christian@s lgtbh de Sevilla (Spain),
LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council (UK),
New Ways Ministry (USA),
Nuova Proposta (Italy),
Ökumenische Arbeitsgruppe Homosexuelle und Kirche (Germany),
Wiara i Tęcza (Poland)

Also see:

LGBT Catholics Find Little Encouragement in Family Synod Document. (Adcocate.com)