Category Archives: Marriage / family

Rainbow families : Gays granted more adoption rights

The Swiss parliament has voted to allow gay couples to adopt each other’s children. However, the motion passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday was not as liberal as the original version approved by the Senate.

 

 

The Senate had approved a motion granting adoption rights regardless of marital status or sexual orientation, as long as the arrangement was the best option for the child in question. However, the House of Representatives altered the motion – specifying that a homosexual could only adopt the child of his or her partner.

In Switzerland, gay couples in a registered partnership are not allowed to adopt children. However, Swiss law permits a single gay man or lesbian woman to do so. This peculiar situation – which essentially punishes couples who have made a formal legal commitment to each other – is what sparked gay rights’ groups to ask legislators to amend the law.

Thursday’s developments were welcome news to homosexuals interested in adopting their step-children and gaining proper parental rights. However, gay rights groups will continue to push for full adoption rights.

In Switzerland it is estimated that there are several thousand children growing up in homes headed by same-sex couples.

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Gay Catholics Speak Out for Marriage Equality in Illinois

The Rainbow Sash Movement (Lesbian/Gay Catholics) challenges the policy arm of the Catholic Church in Illinois when that Conference makes the claim that it represents nearly 4 million Catholics in the State of Illinois on the issue of Gay Marriage; such a claim is not based in reality.

 

Rainbow_Sash_Movement_Logo

The Illinois Catholic Conference also states that marriage is unique because it’s a union between two genders and “same-sex marriage goes against nature.” This is another example of hierarchal bias of basic human rights and fairness for LGBT people. It is not reasonable to deny the evolution of marriage over the centuries with divorce and remarriage being the most obvious example of such evolution.

The Rainbow Sash Movement finds it difficult understand why the Illinois Catholic Conference would align itself with an organization which is part of the ex-gay movement to promote their anti-gay agenda. Courage was founded by Fr. John Harveybased on the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and understands sexual orientation of the LGBT Community as a disease to be cured. The attempt to promote such bigotry under their conference is in our opinion not only offensive to the LGBT Community and most reasonable people, but is also lacking in any significant pastoral intent.

The promotion of such ideas by the Illinois Catholic Conference that love is an abomination when Lesbian and Gay couples practice it in Gay Marriage has its origins in ancient taboos, not nature. This only highlights how out of touch Catholic leaders are with the views of pew-sitting Catholics when it comes to Gay Marriage.

At issue is how to balance competing rights—to freedom of religious expression and freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We believe it would be unfortunate to replace legal oppression of one community (LGBT couples) with legal oppression of another (Illinois Catholic Conference), and current Gay Marriage legislation to be introduced in January 2013 has built in protections to make sure this does not happen.

We want to remind our leaders the principles of our faith and church are based on: forgiveness, love, mercy and charity. Not the flawed opinions of men – even those in the church hierarchy. We are calling on our Bishops to refocus their attention on caring for the poor and vulnerable

The Rainbow Sash Movement believes that the Catholic Conference of Illinois has a right to create its own definition of the sacrament of marriage, but not to impose those beliefs on the people of Illinois who understand this as a question of basic fairness and social justice.

Perhaps it is time for the Church to remove itself from Civil Marriage if it cannot tolerate marriage equality which is defined by the state, and focus rather on sacramental marriage which is defined by the Church. The Catholic Conference of Illinois is stepping over the line when it tells non Catholic Churches who they can and cannot marry.

It is time to pass Gay Marriage in Illinois.

SOURCE Rainbow Sash Movement

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1wZdx)

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Again and Again, Statistics Tell a Positive Story About Catholics

Over the past month, several polls have confirmed what many previous polls have already shown:  the Catholic laity support LGBT equality, including marriage equality.

In the most recent survey, a Quinnipiac poll released last week, Catholics outpace average Americans when it comes to marriage equality.  According to Newsmax.com:

“While same sex unions are approved by 48 percent to 46 percent overall, Catholics give them the thumbs-up by 49 percent to 43 percent, the survey from Quinnipiac University found.

“ ‘It seems pretty clear that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in American society are changing rapidly,’ said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Connecticut university’s polling institute.

“ ‘While the country remains split on the issue, supporters have come pretty far in the last four years.’ . . .

“The biggest opposition among any group is with white Protestants who oppose it 63 percent to 32 percent.”

A Public Religion Research Institute report confirms that Catholics are ahead of the average American population on marriage equality:

“A slim majority (52%) of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and 44% oppose.

“Among religious groups, majorities of Catholics (59%), white mainline Protestants (56%), and the unaffiliated (77%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.”

A recent survey of Catholics in Illinois, conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, showed an overwhelming majority support some form of  legal relationship recognition for lesbian/gay couples.  According to LGBTQNation.com:

“. . . 81 percent of Catholics surveyed support either full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples or the right to a civil union. Specifically, 39.9 percent said they support marriage rights and 40.1 percent said their position is for same-sex couples to have civil unions. Only 15.7 percent said there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

“. . . the same poll found that 43.6 percent of Illinois residents approve of full marriage equality, 31.8 percent preferred civil unions and 20.2 percent said there should be no legal recognition. In 2010, the same poll reported 33.6 percent of people were in favor of marriage rights.”

The Illinois statistics are significant because that state, which already has a civil unions law, may well take up the discussion of a marriage equality law in 2013.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 Bondings 2.0.

Poll: Gay Marriage Gaining Support, Especially Among Catholics

Roman Catholic voters are more accepting of gay marriage than other Americans, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

While same sex unions are approved by 48 percent to 46 percent overall, Catholics give them the thumbs-up by 49 percent to 43 percent, the survey from Quinnipiac University found.

“It seems pretty clear that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in American society are changing rapidly,” said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Connecitcut university’s polling institute.

“While the country remains split on the issue, supporters have come pretty far in the last four years.”

The poll found that men in particular have shifted their position. Four years ago they opposed gay marriage by 61 percent to 31 percent. That figure is now down to 50 percent opposition and 43 percent support. Women now back gay marriage by 52 percent to 42 percent.

The biggest opposition among any group is with white Protestants who oppose it 63 percent to 32 percent.

-more at  NewsMax.

Catholic Group Wants Answers on Archdiocese Spending

EAGAN, Minn. — A group of nearly 100 Catholics is calling for accountability and transparency in the church’s finances.

At a meeting in the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan Thursday night, Martha Turner of Catholic Coalition for Church Reform said she hopes to start a conversation with the Archdiocese for St. Paul and Minneapolis.

“We would like to hear your stories,” Turner said. “We want to hear from you, we want to hear your experiences and your concerns about how the money is used that you donate to your parishes and that some of which ends up in the archdiocese.”

The archdiocese spent $650,000 in a failed attempt to pass a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Michael Anderson, one of the leaders of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, asked the audience if the archdiocese’s spending was improper.

“How would we feel if the archdiocese had invested a million dollars saying ‘vote no’ in opposition to the marriage amendment?” Anderson asked. “Would we be complaining about that? I don’t know. I think it’s an honest question.”

Several people at the event said the church’s stance made them feel like they had to choose between going to Mass and supporting gay friends and family. They said they wanted to have more of a say in the way the church spends its money. A few said they had reduced their donations or stopped going to church.

via The Progressive Catholic Voice

 

“Quote of the Day” on the Gay Marriage Doorway to Polygamy

. . . [T]he Catholic Church hierarchy, as evidenced by [a recent editorial by Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Television Centre], continues to deny the distinction between religious rites and public rights. No one is telling the Church what to do within its magisterium (misleading rhetoric about “religious freedom” notwithstanding). I would appreciate it if it would stop telling New York what to do with ours. We’re not changing religious definitions; we’re expanding secular domains of equality. Of course, I understand that such distinctions may fly in the face of a thousand years of Church teaching. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t real.

Ironically, if we followed the Church’s theocratic logic, we’d validate polygamy first, same-sex marriage second. After all, polygamy was a biblical value, practiced by Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon… the list goes on. If religious values (which, according to dogma, are absolutely and objectively true) are to dictate civil laws, presumably we should re-institute polygamy, strip married women of all rights against their husbands, and regard women as chattel to be purchased: all of which are part of the Biblical definition of marriage.

Really, though, what’s most amusing about such reductio ad absurdum arguments is how weirdly dated they already feel. Come on, really? You’re still telling me that same-sex marriage is going to destroy traditional marriage and lead to wild sexual anarchy? As if. The only thing thousands of boring, ordinary gay marriages have changed is the demand for matching suits. The sky just hasn’t fallen, and it’s not going to . . .

– Jay Michaelson “No Father, The Gay Sky Isn’t Falling

Religion Dispatches

November 19, 2012

(Quoted at the Wild Reed, as “Quote of the Day“)

“Jesus and Gay Marriage”

While visiting friends in the Baltimore area, I saw Dan Rodricks’ column “A priest speaks up for same-sex marriage” (Nov. 4). As a Catholic priest myself, I am dismayed by Archbishop William E. Lori’s assertion that “preaching … requires subordination of personal views to the word of God” in response to the Rev. Richard T. Lawrence’s nuanced distinctions. It was precisely Jesus’ personal views that led him to freely and frequently dissent in interpreting Torah Law (word of God). This is what prompted the religious leaders of his day to accuse him of “stirring up the people,” according to Luke 23:5. It is the Reverend Lawrence, not Archbishop Lori, who is being faithful to the dissenting tradition of Jesus by distinguishing between marriage as a sacrament and as a social contract.

Emmett Coyne, Exeter, N.H.

(letters page,  baltimoresun.com)

Gay marriage has strengthened Canadian society, Anglican Rev tells New Zealand

Rector of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Vancouver tells congregation of Dunedin’s St Paul’s Cathedral that gay marriage has increased respect and tolerance

05 NOVEMBER 2012 | BY ANNA LEACH

Mark Munn

An Anglican leader told the congregation at St Paul’s Cathedral in Dunedin yesterday that gay marriage has strengthened Canadian society.

The Very Rev Dr Peter Elliot, Rector of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Vancouver was visiting New Zealand from Canada, where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005.

Dr Elliot, who is gay, told Otago Daily Times that respect and tolerance for gay people had increased since the legalization of gay marriage.

A marriage equality bill passed its first reading in New Zealand’s parliament in August with support from all major parties.

However some Anglican church leaders have been preaching their opposition to the legislation.

The second reading of the bill, after consideration of submissions from the public, is expected next year.

via Gay Star News.

 

A Catholic priest speaks up in favor of same-sex marriage

And the Archdiocese issues admonition against personal views from the pulpit

      Father Richard Lawrence is the long-time pastor of St. Vincent de Paul.

(Doug Kapustin, The Baltimore…)

Last Sunday in Baltimore’s St. Vincent de Paul Church, its longtime pastor, the Rev. Richard T. Lawrence, delivered a thoughtful and nuanced argument for support of the Question 6 ballot referendum.

This, of course, was news in Roman Catholic circles — an opinion from the pulpit fully at odds with the hierarchy of a church that has devoted much time and money to voter rejection of a Maryland law that allows couples of the same sex to wed.

Lawrence is the most eloquent homilist I’ve ever heard. I didn’t attend the Mass where he delivered his pro-Q6 homily. But I saw and listened to the video posted to the parish’s web site. I found it courageous, illuminating and inspiring. That was Monday.

Two days later, the video was gone. It had been deleted from its Vimeo platform at 3:27 am Wednesday.

I inquired about what had happened, but the pastor declined to comment and I haven’t heard back from St. Vincent’s. I assume Lawrence’s superiors might have had something to do with the removal of the video. The same day it disappeared, a message about “the teaching role of priests” appeared on the archdiocesan web site.

Baltimore Sun

Catholic adoption agency loses five year legal battle over gay adoption

A Catholic adoption agency was told today it cannot turn away gay couples if its wants to keep its charitable status in a landmark court ruling.

Defeated: A Catholic adoption agency has been told it cannot turn away gay couples if its wants to keep its charitable status (file photo)

The case is particularly unique because it sets the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church against European law.

Catholic Care, a voluntary adoption agency based in Leeds, asked the Upper Tribunal to sanction its refusal to recognise same-sex couples as potential adopters and to restrict its services to ‘Nazarene families’ of father, mother and child.

‘Nazarene families’ refers to Jesus of Nazareth, who was fathered by a man, Joseph, and a woman, Mary.

But the Charity Commission fought the case every inch of the way, insisting that the charity’s stance is ‘divisive, capricious and arbitrary’ and ‘demeaning’ to the dignity of homosexual couples whose parenting abilities are ‘beyond question’.

Today the Commission won the debate when the tribunal ruled that Catholic Care had failed to come up with ‘weighty and convincing reasons’ why it should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples on grounds of their sexual orientation.

The long-established adoption agency said during the case that it would be forced to close if it lost the dispute.

Catholic Care argued its work in finding new homes for ‘hard to place’ children is of enormous social value and saves the public purse about £10 million-a-year by removing youngsters from the care system and placing them with adopters.

If banned from only recognising married heterosexual couple as potential adopters, it argued children would be the losers as its funding through Church collections and other voluntary donations would inevitably dry up and it would have to close.

However, Emma Dixon, for the Commission, told tribunal judge, Mr Justice Sales, that Catholic Care’s stance was in clear violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which outlaws discrimination on sexual orientiation and other grounds.

-more at  Mail Online.

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