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Gay Marriage Activists Continue to Break Down Religious Barriers

Gay Marriage Activists Continue to Break Down Religious Barriers

In a huge victory for LGBT rights, the Washington National  Cathedral will now host gay marriage ceremonies. The breakthrough on this hotly-contested issue came several months ago “when the Episcopal Church approved a ceremony for same-sex unions…in states where gay marriage is legal” (Huffington Post).

However, the Episcopal Church still defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and will use new language prepared specially for same-sex unions instead of the traditional marriage ceremony. The United Church of Christ is the only major Protestant group in the United States to have endorsed gay marriage as equivalent to heterosexual marriage.

Nevertheless, the Episcopal Church is ready and willing to open their doors to gay couples seeking marriage ceremonies. The Very Rev. Gary Hall, a same-sex marriage activist and the dean of Washington National Cathedral said, “As a kind of tall-steeple, public church in the nation’s capital, by saying we’re going to bless same-sex marriages…we are really trying to take the next step for marriage equality in the nation and in the culture.”

Other LGBT victories in religious spaces

Where else have LGBT rights activists achieved huge victories, in some of the most hostile spaces? One recent example that comes to mind is the Anglican Church’s decision to allow priests in same-sex, celibate relationships to become bishops. While they still must be celibate, as the Church believes that “homosexual genital acts fall short of the Christian ideal,” the priests’ relationships are validated and respected within the church.

As mentioned before, the United Church of Christ allows pastors to perform same sex marriages and passed a resolution affirming “equal marriage rights for all regardless of gender” in 2005.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted in 2009 to allow people in monogamous, committed same sex relationships to become members of the clergy, a decision that was contested by many individual congregations. Since August 2009, more than 600 congregations have left the ELCA in protest over the organization’s public attitude toward gay marriage.

Does your church support gay marriage?

As the movement to make gay marriage legal across the United States grows more powerful, the LGBT community has made great strides even in environments that may have initially been the most hostile towards them. How is gay marriage viewed in your church? Are homosexual men or women permitted to become members of the clergy? How has this inclusiveness affected your congregation and your feelings about religion? Or, conversely, how do you feel if your church or a church in your community actively discourages gay marriage? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Stories:

Bishops Protest Over Anglican Church’s Gay Marriage Stance

Catholic Church Condemns Gay Marriage in Scotland

UK Could Legalize Same-Sex Marriages, But Force Some Churches Not to Perform Them

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Photo credit: Jose Antonio Navas

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1:23PM PDT on Mar 15, 2013

Who would Jesus discriminate against? NOBODY!

2:56AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

My church is not going to recognize gay marriage because it goes by the Book.

You are out of line to infiltrate Christianity. Id like to see live and let live.

You want to use the Bible for toilet paper.

5:45AM PST on Mar 4, 2013

Good News

12:28PM PST on Feb 8, 2013

no, they have been twisted by the poison of satan, unfortunatily it will cost them an awful lot as thed go down

Original Message:

Mari left a comment on the following article:

Gay Marriage Activists Continue to Break Down Religious Barriers
Cool, glad some religious institutions are progressive. Looking at some of these comments, the ignorance and overall ridiculous beliefs that stem from mythological dogma, is painful. I wonder how much more advance the world would be if they stopped accepting fairy tales as truth.

1:06PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

makes me happy to be an Episcopalian married to a UCC ministrer

3:49PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

@ Martha E. “that doesn't give the atheists the right to force their non-beliefs on those who DO believe!” Watch out Martha. Once they do a number on those damn fence-sitting agnostics, they’ll be coming for you. Better get a couple more locks on your front door.

9:43AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

In addiction to Amanda M. Seriously, I do not spend a penny, or a dime, or whatever - to obtain that religious groups accept gay marriage: the more, I do not spend a draw to religious groups. I am a _citizen_, and as a member of a State (Italy, in my case) I _want_ that my State guarantee my rights, even in front of any religious group. So, if a Muslim man got married with four women, my State has to guarantee his family; on the same way, if I got married with a man, my State has to guarantee my family. Religious groups have the right to express themselves - yes, I too know what the First Amendment says, and subscribe it; but, they have not the right to shut up other groups, no matter what they say.

11:23AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

Marriage is first and foremost a LEGAL commitment, something that those who are against same-sex marriage tend to forget. Therefore, Sara B. and Darryl G., if they have that license from the courthouse, they are MARRIED. The religious ceremony (if they want one) is strictly OPTIONAL. And don't threaten anybody with your hellfire, because not everybody follows your version of Christianity anyway.

I am glad that my religion (Wicca) accepts LGBTs as the people they are and treats everyone equally. Same-sex marriage? No problem! Ditto for becoming a member of the clergy. While it saddens me that not every religion has the same acceptance of people regardless of gender or sexuality, I am heartened by those that do show such acceptance, and elated to see more and more states recognizing that same-sex marriage is the same right as hetero marriage-a LEGAL one!

12:48AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

That's wonderful! I'm glad that gay marriage is being more widely accepted. However even though I am pro gay marriage and am straight, I can understand why some religions would choose not to accept it, so I'm indifferent on whether or not it should be required of all religions. It wasn't that long ago that I was uncomfortable with the subject and didn't even want to hear it discussed. But my views now are very different than they were just a few years ago and I'm proud of that fact. Still it's not an easy subject for everyone to accept so readily. I don't think that the churches should shun those who are gay, however or treat them any differently than anyone else. But if the churches decide to embrace gay marriage, it's a truly wonderful thing.

10:38PM PST on Jan 17, 2013


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