Tag Archives: gay marriage

N. Ireland Catholics Support Gay Marriage – Overwhelmingly!

A new opinion poll from Northern Ireland shows that the country strongly supports same – sex marriage, and that this support has surged in the past year (possibly influenced by the referendum in the Irish Republic. Support in 2014 was at just barely over 50%, That has now risen to 68%.

Of interest to Catholics, will be that they are far more likely to be in favour than Protestants, This is in keeping with results from elsewhere, but by an unusually large margin:

Meanwhile, those from a Catholic background are more inclined to voice support for gay marriage, with three quarters (75%) agreeing that homosexual couples should be able to get married, compared to 57% of those from a Protestant community background.


Attitudes appear to have changed significantly since a 2014 Belfast Telegraph/Lucid Talk poll. Then, 50.5% were found to be in support with 49.5% opposing gay marriage.

 – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.


The Episcopal Church Approves Gay Marriage, in Church

From  the Washington Post:

The Episcopal Church approves religious weddings for gay couples after controversial debate

The bishops of the Episcopal Church have authorized their clergy to perform same-sex weddings, but don’t expect sweeping changes across the entire denomination anytime soon. Episcopalians voted Wednesday to allow religious weddings for gay couples, but not every priest will necessarily officiate at a same-sex wedding.

In resolutions adopted here at the denomination’s General Convention meeting in Salt Lake City this week, the bishops have endorsed new liturgies or services for same-sex couples wishing to marry in church. The bishops also approved changing the church’s canons, or rules, governing marriage,  making them gender neutral by substituting the terms “man and woman” with “couple.” However, clergy were also given the right to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage, with the promise they would incur no penalty, while bishops were given the right to refuse to allow the services to take place in their diocese.

via – The Washington Post.


Matthew Vines:”Even Christian Evangelicals are warming to gay marriage”

Evangelicals are starting to change their minds about gay marriage. In recent months, three large evangelical churches – EastLakeCommunity Church in Seattle, Washington, GracePointe Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and City Church in San Francisco, California – have announced that they no longer believe all same-sex relationships are sinful. Leading evangelical ethicist David Gushee changed his position on the issue in a landmark speech last fall, and celebrated pastor Campolo did the same in a statement on his website earlier this month.

This new pro-gay movement among evangelicals is still a minority, and staunch conservatives have been pushing back. But bit by bit, the number of American evangelicals who support marriage equality continues to rise.

A new poll released by evangelical research firm LifeWay Research in April demonstrated this shift. True, it showed that 66 percent of American evangelicals, fundamentalists and born-again believers say that same-sex relationships go against God’s will. While that is a super- majority, it is a substantial decline from just three years ago, when the same poll found that 82 percent held this view.

In part, that shift can be explained by the same forces that have changed much of the rest of American society. More evangelicals have openly gay friends and loved ones and, according to LifeWay, those who do are nearly twice as likely to support marriage equality as those who don’t.

But relationships alone are rarely sufficient to change conservative Christians’ minds on issues that are both political and theological. After all, evangelicals have based their opposition to gay rights on the Bible since the LGBT movement began. For years, even many sympathetic Christians have felt unable to embrace the LGBT community because of Scripture.

But while the Bible doesn’t change, interpretations of it can.

via  Reuters.

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.

Francis and the Married Gay Activist: the Somosgay Response.

Since the news first broke of a planned meeting of Pope Francis with a Paraguayan married gay Catholic activist, I’vs been able to dig a little deeper into the matter, with the help of the Somosgay website, my very inadequate Spanish – and some  internet/ crowdsourcing translation.

From the Somosgay report, it seems that this is not a one – to one meeting between Simón Cazal, and the pope- he will simply be one of many on a guest list representing many branches of civil society. This does not necessarily diminish its importance:  Somosgay notes that the symbolic value alone, of being recognized as having an important impact on Paraguayan society, is valuable. On the other hand, they also expressed a hope that the lasting impact of the visit will be more than the merely symbolic.

For the full Somosgay response (in Spanish), go to their website. For an English translation, see my (crude) attempt below, based on a combination of Google translate, some knowledge of English grammar and syntax and crowdsourcing help from the linguistic community at Dyuolingo. (Anyone with better Spanish skills than I, is invited to improve my first stab, at Duolingo

The current best translation available,  I present below:ay

SOMOSGAY will meet with Pope Francis during his visit to Paraguay

Simon Cazal, in his role as co-founder and CEO of SOMOSGAY has been invited by the Paraguay Episcopal Conference, through the Organising Committee for the Visit of His Holiness Pope Francisco, to participate in the meeting with Pope Francis recognizing the high impact the organization has in Paraguayan society. This meeting will take place on July 11 at the Lion Condou Stadium at 16:30 pm.

This meeting, which is expected to draw together representatives of civil society, symbolizes openness and progress towards the LGBT community, remembering always the ultraconservative context that has (previously) characterized the Vatican.

While in 2013, during a press conference at the Vatican Pope Francis said “If a person is gay, seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” the positions of the hierarchy of the church has been at various times, inconsistent.

In spite of this, SOMOSGAY see this as a positive approach. In consultation with our broad social base, it has given us to respond in the same terms of openness to dialogue and promotion of a democratic culture of inclusion. We believe that in a country like Paraguay, already badly damaged by the disruption and confrontation, it is necessary to launch a broader process of dialogue that recognizes the diversity of positions and the different views we hold. In that regard, we hope that this gesture transcends symbolism and brings with it more substantial progress in the current positions of the Paraguayan Catholic hierarchy.

SOMOSGAY reaffirms that there is no contradiction between holding the Catholic faith and support the claims of the LGBT movement. The recent case of Ireland where more than 60% of its population, mainly Catholic, voted in favor of a constitutional change to ensure marriage equality and full legal recognition of homo families.

From this SOMOSGAY recognizes that this symbolic event begins to repair the damage to some extent the rhetoric local sectors of the hierarchy have caused for all these years. It is not a minor fact for the terms of the invitation to recognize the impact that our organization has achieved in society. We are also aware of the long way still to go. We understand that cultural change takes time and that is why we recognize the barriers that our culture has to establish a reality that churches stop discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans.

Finally, we reaffirm our position on the importance of strengthening the full exercise of Lay Paraguayan State respectful of freedoms and promoting equality. We will continue to work tirelessly in that direction. We need attention to pressing issues in health, education and access to decent work, areas where the state remains absent and needs strengthening.

SOMOSGAY continues to promote the democratic construction of a culture of dialogue, contributing to a diverse, plural Paraguayan society, peaceful and inclusive, with full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and their families; in their homes, their schools, their workplaces and recreation.

Archbishop Lori: Opposing Gay Marriage, Is How We Are Helping the Poor!

Crux reports that at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ mid-year assembly in St. Louis, there’s been some questioning whether their priorities reflect those of Pope Francis.

Archbishop Blase Cupich noted the effort US bishops have made on behalf of “individual employers, secular employers,” with religious objections to some laws. He argued Church leaders should give equal ranking to changing US immigration policy in their planning for the years ahead.

But Archbishop Lori explained that actually, the bishops really are helping the poor – by opposing gay marriage.

Archbishop William Lori, who spearheads the bishops’ religious freedom advocacy, said in an interview he found the discussion Thursday “helpful.” Lori said there is a link between religious liberty and the Church’s mission on behalf of the poor. If the US Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage in its ruling this month, Lori said the Church’s social service agencies, which employ thousands of workers and provide them benefits, may not be able to continue operating if they are compelled to recognize same-sex couples.

“In the crosshairs is the ability of the Church to serve,” Lori said. “We need the freedom to do this according to our teachings.”