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Archive for September, 2012

Does Same-Gender Marriage Change the Definition of Marriage?

In his new book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage, Bishop Gene Robinson wonders if same-gender marriage changes the definition of marriage at all. His assessment is based on his own experience of counseling both same-gender and opposite-gender couples in preparation for marriage. He discovered that all couples bring similar struggles and questions to premarital counseling. Read more

“For Just Such a Time As This”

By Kay Myhrman-Toso

This November, Minnesota voters are being asked to vote on a constitutional amendment which seeks to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Given that 31 other states have already passed such draconian limitations, where do we find our hope? What are we doing differently? The major difference in Minnesota is faith! Minnesotans United for All Families, the organization working to defeat the amendment, has actively partnered with the faith community from the very beginning of the campaign. Read more

The Coming Out Pilgrimage of a Presbyterian Pastor

For most LGBT people, coming out is a pilgrimage filled with “concrete, tangible, markers by which one can discern where one is located on the map of coming out.” Rev. Brett Webb-Mitchell, a Presbyterian Church (USA) pastor, shares his courageous coming out pilgrimage in the Huffington Post. His story demonstrates the risks and suffering of coming out in a church that turned away the gifts and graces of LGBT people and also illustrates the importance of the passage of Amendment 10-A. Read more

Rainbow Scarves: Knitting and Praying Our Way, Every Day

One of the most delightful parts of the PCUSA General Assembly is seeing people wearing rainbow scarves everywhere they go—in the hallways, meeting rooms, plenary sessions, hotel lobbies, restaurants—witnessing to God’s love for all. These days, almost every picture of the assembly includes someone wearing a rainbow scarf! Read more

Gay Black Church: An Interview with Bishop Yvette Flunder

Bishop Yvette Flunder, founder of City of Refuge UCC in San Francisco, celebrated gospel recording artist, and eloquent preacher, is a friend of More Light Presbyterians through our association with the Bishops and Elders Council of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. In this insightful interview she talks about her mission building an inclusive church drawing on African-American traditions of worship, social justice, and evangelism. Read more

Intersex and Transgender Theology

Our lived experiences help us understand the nature of God and God’s people. Feminist, Black, womanist, liberation, mujerista, and gay theologies have helped to deepen and expand our knowledge of an ever-creating God, the risen Christ, and the holy spirit at work in the world. Last week, the Episcopal Divinity School hosted a panel discussion on the ways in which transgender and intersex theologies can inform believers. Professor and theologian Kwok Pui Lan reflects on the nature of these theologies, and points us toward some resources for more study. Read more

Moving the Fence Around Marriage

Washington State Senator Debbie Regala, a devout Catholic, voted in favor of Senate Bill 6239, legislation that will extend the right of marriage to same-sex couples if Referendum 74 is passed this fall. Her personal convictions came at a cost and a parishioner at her church even questioned her right to partake in the Eucharist.

“Regala’s belief that LGBT couples should be granted equal civil rights under the law, as a matter of conscience shaped by her life experiences, her understanding of democratic values, and her adherence to Christian teaching, wasn’t up for debate.” Read more

Loving Families with Transgender Children

When transgender children begin to live into their gender identities, their parents often “transition” socially and emotionally alongside their children. In Transitions of the Heart, a collection of stories by mothers of transgender children, we meet Tracie Stratton and Izzy. “Izzy would lay in bed every night and tell me he was a boy,” Tracie writes. “He’d say, ‘God made a mistake,’ or ask, ‘Why does God hate me?’… ‘Am I going to be an abominable snow man?’ (This last question stemmed from Izzy unfortunately overhearing a conversation in which one of the church ladies stated that Izzy was ‘an abomination of God.’) I had no idea how to answer all of his questions.” Read more

DNC Models LGBT Welcome

The 2012 Democratic Convention (DNC) hosted the largest number of LGBT delegates in history, 486 up from 288 at the DNC in ’08. This included the largest number of transgender delegates ever. For the first time in history, the platform of the Democratic Party includes a commitment to the full equality of LGBT people and their families. Read more

Proposition 8 Case Advances

United States Supreme Court Justices plan to assemble in private on September 24 to look at three same-sex marriage cases including California’s Proposition 8. According to SCOTUSBlog, “The September 24 private meeting, coming a week before the new Term opens, often produces a fairly lengthy list of new grants. None are known in advance, however.” Please keep the Supreme Court Justices in your prayers at this critical juncture for marriage equality. Read more