Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Arm in arm we must go

"Catholics first U.S. church to endorse gay-marriage ban"(AP, 25 June 2004)

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops Friday endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. He urged all Roman Catholics to lobby for its passage.

The statement from Bishop Wilton Gregory was the first from the American church backing a specific amendment that would deny recognition of same-sex marriages. ...

Catholics are the largest denomination in the country, with 63.7 million members. The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's second-largest denomination with 16.3 million members, also has backed an amendment against gay marriage, as have several other conservative religious groups.

Conservative Protestants are organizing "Marriage Protection Sunday" on July 11, encouraging pastors and religious educators to address the topic, then mobilize congregants to lobby their senators the next day.

Several other denominations oppose a constitutional amendment.

Twenty-six religious organizations, including the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Union for Reform Judaism, have together urged Congress to reject the legislation.

Meanwhile, however, "Presbyterians to Wrangle Over Gay Clergy" (AP, Richard Ostling, 28 June 2004)

Deep rifts over homosexuality have worsened among Episcopalians and United Methodists over the past year, and now the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is getting ready to continue its divisive debate over gay clergy.

The 2.4 million-member church's weeklong national legislative assembly begins Saturday in Richmond, Va., where liberals will take up new attacks against the church's strict law barring actively gay clergy and lay officers.

I was born and raised a Presbyterian (PCUSA), and a few years ago I made my peace with where the PCUSA is headed, but this still really stings.

In related news,
"'Rainbow-Colored' Communion Bread Surfaces at Methodist Gathering"

(Agape Press, Jim Brown, 15 June 2004).

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