same sex marriage
In the 1990s the U.S. Supreme Court decided a handful of religious liberty cases on the basis of the First Amendment’s free speech clause. The most significant of these was Rosenberger v. University of Virginia (1995). In that case, the University of Virginia had denied funding to a religious student publication called Wide Awake. The case began with a focus on the establishment clause, and it might have been based on the free exercise of religion—but it ended up being about free speech.
For no reason I can remember, I put the ’90s classic Four Weddings and a Funeral on my Netflix queue and re-watched it recently. The scene etched in my mind all these years was that of the funeral. John Hannah, with his beautiful Scottish accent, reads “Funeral Blues” by W. H. Auden. What the clip leaves off is the funeral officiant, presumably an Anglican priest, introducing the beloved partner of the man in the coffin as “his closest friend.”
In the recent U.S. Supreme Court hearings on whether states have a constitutional right to ban (or refuse to recognize) same-sex marriages, the conservative justices seemed to be preoccupied with the definition of marriage. As Chief Justice Roberts stated, in response to advocate Mary Bonauto, “Every definition that I looked up prior to about a dozen years ago, defined marriage as a unity between a man and a woman as husband and wife. Obviously, if you succeed, that core definition will no longer be operable.” Whereas this and similar comments made during the hearing are perhaps true on their surface—marriage in the past has not been defined as a relationship between same-sex couples—such comments are misleading, suggesting that the definition of marriage has been unchanged “for millennia,” or disingenuous.
When what's at stake is a commercial transaction, it makes sense for a religious freedom claim to be trumped by the commitment to treat people equally.
(RNS) I’m not supposed to like this idea. It was put forward by a conservative Christian pastor who says that “Faithful American Christians are increasingly under attack across the country by the gay lobby.” And it’s a proposal for Christian-owned small businesses who don’t want to serve people like me: gay people, especially ones who are out, loud, and proud.
Mark Achtemeier and I once faced off at General Assembly over gay ordination. Sixteen years later, he preached at my ordination.
"It is better to marry than to burn," says Paul. This strange, embarrassing passage may offer some ground for fresh discernment.
Well, there you have it: World Vision has reversed its decision to allow Christians in same-sex marriages to work there. For 48 hours, the evangelical organization was poised to join Ken Wilson and others in acknowledging that SSM is a subject Christians disagree about, not a dividing line between who does and doesn't count as a Christian in the first place. But as Katherine Willis Pershey put it yesterday, in trying to stay out of the SSM fray, World Vision ended up right in the thick of it.
The National Cathedral’s going to start doing same-sex weddings! Here’s what prominent conservative blogger Allahpundit has to say: [The cathedral is] nominally Episcopal but I’ve always thought of it as the beating heart of ceremonial deism, so no surprise that it would shift as the wider public does. Say this for [Dean Gary Hall], too: He makes no bones about his political intentions. Although if you’re head of the National Cathedral and reaching out to press a hot button, why bother doing that? Why pretend it’s a purely religious decision when it’s not? Allahpundit is obviously right about the ceremonial deism part. And I’ll be the first to admit that this strange American habit is bad for church and state alike. But it’s absurd to suggest that the National Cathedral is only “nominally Episcopal.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to consider whether to grant review of the Defense of Marriage Act. This follows the recent appellate court decision declaring the 16-year-old law unconstitutional. Judges in New York and Boston have now said DOMA violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause and interferes with a state’s right to set marriage eligibility requirements. But the final word will come from the Supreme Court.
North Carolina voters go to the polls today, and the race that will make all the headlines doesn’t have a candidate. On the ballot is a constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal domestic union recognized by the state. I’m against the amendment--a popular view here in Greensboro. The city council passed a resolution opposing it. Light blue “Vote Against” yard signs dot the neighborhood around our church. Across the state, opinions are more varied.
The Catholic bishops' media-relations director: "While the general population has debated whether it's nurture or nature that leads to a homosexual inclination, the church has not posed any theory in that regard."
Risking their careers or standing in the United Methodist Church, at least 164 clergy and six congregations from Long Island to the Catskill Mountains and southern Connecticut are vowing to marry same-sex couples.
How will the ELCA hold gay pastors who aren't married accountable to the standard of monogamy and lifelong commitment? Do same-sex couples have to prove what is taken for granted with married heterosexual couples?