Massachusetts Episcopalians will seek authorization from their denomination to use the church’s official marriage rites in same-sex marriage ceremonies. Delegates in the diocese favored that step, 324 to 43, at a late October convention in Boston.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s constitution requires that marriage rights be available to same-sex couples on an equal basis with heterosexuals. But the court left it to state legislators to decide whether to refer to the unions by the term marriage or a different one.
Marriage does not exist only for companionship or procreation or complementarity. It has a cruciform shape, like other ascetical practices, and is a transformative experience for the two individuals. In marriage, God intends not only to alleviate human loneliness but to effect human salvation.
Minnesota lawmaker Keith Ellison won the Democratic primary for his Minneapolis-area congressional district September 12, paving the way for him to become the first Muslim in Congress. Ellison, who was elected as a state representative in 2002, took 41 percent of the vote, beating six other contenders in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
A small coalition of religious leaders voiced their support for same-sex marriage in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, saying they intend to continue fighting for same-sex marriage despite a string of recent court setbacks.
AlvinO.Jackson, a former pastor of National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., and once moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), who resigned his posts in 2004 amid charges of plagiarism, has been chosen as the new minister of a New York City congregation. Jackson will begin as senior pastor of Park Avenue Christian Church September 17.
The first national, in-depth study of health services provided by religious communities is being undertaken by the National Council of Churches. The project will survey more than 100,000 Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations to determine the level of health care education, delivery and advocacy being offered.
The U.S. Senate takes up this month a proposed federal ban on same-sex marriage that was moved forward after a heated debate last month by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But critics say the vote has more to do with partisan politics than legal reform.