Jimmy Carter Says Jesus Would Approve Of Gay Marriage

Jimmy Carter Says Jesus Would Approve Of Gay Marriage
HuffPost Live | By Ryan Buxton

Faith is important to former President Jimmy Carter, and he writes about it extensively in his new memoir A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety. But his religious beliefs don’t keep him from supporting every American’s right to marry the person they love.

HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill asked Carter on Tuesday whether he believes Jesus would approve of gay marriage, and Carter said he does.

“I believe Jesus would. I don’t have any verse in scripture. … I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage, but that’s just my own personal belief. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else, and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else,” he said.

So Gay Marriage Biblically Offends You? Then you Should Read This. Huffington Post Gay Voices

So Gay Marriage Biblically Offends You? Then you Should Read This…
Posted: 07/06/2015 4:48 pm EDT Updated: 1 hour ago

I want to start by saying that I am a Christian. I always have been and always will be… and I’m also a gay woman who is happily married to a beautiful British Woman named Megan. Since the recent Supreme Court ruling of legalizing same-sex marriages in the United States, I have seen the ugly and the uglier come out in people I never expected. Having moved to live with my wife in the UK, I find myself in awe at the complete and utter ignorance that has been clogging up my news feed and other social medial outlets in the past few days from my so-called American friends back in the South. It’s important to state that I’m not generalizing all, as I’ve also seen a positive response from those Christian in the South; even including support from an amazing pastor. However, it saddens me that amongst the many rainbow-colored pictures on my feed, there is also a great deal of hatred.

What I don’t understand is quite simply, this: why does gay marriage bother people so much? If you are making an unnecessary palava because your offended by gay marriage then you seriously need to look at your own life and educate yourselves a bit. If the sole reason you feel that gay marriage is wrong because it’s a sin, and the Bible tells you this is wrong, then I sure as hell hope you don’t have bacon with your eggs or indulge in shrimp. Oh, or better yet, do you have any tattoos? Ever been drunk, told a while lie or been divorced? Yep, whoops. Those are all sins, too. And all sins are equal, right? I don’t see anyone going off the handle because of any of these ‘sins’ and I most certainly don’t see protests or hurtful propaganda against those. Just because you disagree with something — and we all have the right to do so — it is an absolute disgrace to treat the LGBT community the way you do. What if we treated all sins in this way? Bacon eaters would be doomed.

Therefore, if gay marriage or ‘homosexuality’ doesn’t affect you personally in the way you live your life in any way, why do you feel the need to even get involved? Why worry about something that is, frankly, none of your business? For instance, I’m not divorced, but many people I know are, and I’m not going to judge them. We shouldn’t judge anyone for the way they live their life. If you don’t agree with gay marriage, then don’t have a gay wedding. Simple.

I know what you must be thinking. If the LGBT community can protest and stand up for their rights, then why can’t Christians? They have every right to stand up for what they believe in also… To a a degree, yes. Christianity and gay rights will always butt-heads. Luckily, we have the Equality Act 2010 in the UK, where we’ve seen it in the favor of gay rights; e.g. where a gay couple were wrongly turned away from a B&B due to the owners Christian views, to in favor of Christianity; e.g. the nurse who was wrongly fired for telling her lesbian colleague she’s committing a sin. I don’t expect the battles to ever fully cease, but choose your battles wisely. Is this really worth your time? Could your time not be better spent with showing kindness and acceptance — isn’t that what being a Christian is truly about, rather than showing hatred? It is not your duty to judge and tell others how to live theirs to ensure your angelic conscious is clear. However, it does change the lives of the LGBT community and gives us freedom and the same rights as anyone else. This means that now my wife and I, if we ever decide to move back to the U.S., can do this freely and can move to any state. Your hatred towards this is unjust and unfair and don’t even try to the quote the Bible at me; you may want to actually read it first.

To all of the haters, how would you feel if your rights were completely stripped from you because you had a divorce or because you had a baby out of wedlock, for instance? How would you like someone judging and telling you that you’re going to hell because of this?

As a Christian, I wholeheartedly believe that God does not make mistakes and he would not have accidentally made millions of people (and animals) gay by chance. We are all who we are for a reason and no one should ever make you feel bad for that. If anything, my relationship with God is better than ever, and I know that I am definitely not going to hell or that my lifestyle is wrong. It’s important for people to know that you can be a Christian and gay. You do not have to choose one or the other. We need more people like Christian singer Vicky Beeching, who came out as a lesbian last year, to look up to as role models.

So, my dear fellow Christians, from one Christian to another, please mind your own business and PLEASE make sure that your hands are clean before you point your finger at me and my community. Amen.

The next front in battle over gay rights – The Hill

The next front in battle over gay rights

Greg Nash
By Lydia Wheeler – 07/05/15 01:38 PM EDT
The Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage opens the door to host of new benefits for same-sex couples, but claiming them means coming out of the closet to employers who may not share the court’s opinion.

That’s why gay rights advocates are hoping to ride the momentum of the court’s landmark decision and push for workplace protections they say are needed to allow gay and transgender people to live openly.

“People do have to live in fear,” said Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Freedom for All Americans. “Now you can go get married, but to come to work and live openly as a married person means you are coming out and that could be a real problem for people who work in organizations that are not supportive.”

In the fight for nondiscrimination laws, Freedom for All Americans plans to follow the same general playbook that Freedom to Marry, the group it’s modeled after, used in the fight for marriage equality.

Though the new group has a separate leadership structure, it plans to tap many of the same donors that funded the push for legalized gay marriage.

But the endgame will be different, with advocates planning to target Capitol Hill, rather than the courts.

“The only way to gain fully guaranteed statutory protections is to get something passed through Congress,” McTighe said. “Unlike marriage, which we knew would be decided by the court, this is going to take an act of Congress that the President will need to sign.”

On the heels of the Supreme Court ruling, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced plans to move forward in the coming weeks with legislation to protect LGBT employees.

The measure would add gender identity and sexual orientation to federal statutes that now only prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The effect, Cicilline said, would ensure that LGBT Americans are free from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and jury service.

The group also plans to take the fight to states around the country, which have widely disparate statutes on their books.

The District of Columbia and 17 states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington — have broad laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Another three states — New Hampshire, New York and Wisconsin — have similar policies in place, though they exclude transgender people. Two states —Massachusetts and Utah — offer protections, but only in employment and housing.

In 28 states, there aren’t any protections for LGBTs.

The Supreme Court’s ruling has no bearing on employment law in those states, because the same-sex marriage case questioned only whether states were acting unconstitutionally by enacting state bans on the practice.

“If a private employer fires someone for being gay, there is no state action so there’s no impact,” said Neal Katyal, a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells, who formerly served as Acting Solicitor General for the U.S.

“This decision doesn’t have a strict legal impact in the private employment sphere, but it is a huge shot in the arm, a huge boost, to those fighting for anti-discrimination laws at the state and federal level.”

Those who opposed same-sex marriage are prepared to fight any initiative to implement laws they believe would infringe on their own rights and religious beliefs.

“One of the first things that the pro–life movement did after Roe v. Wade was protect the right of conscience for all American citizens to never have to pay for an abortion or perform an abortion if it violated their beliefs,” noted Ryan Anderson, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“So in the same way, the pro-marriage movement will need to protect our rights not to be coerced or discriminated against by the government into violating our belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Anderson said pro-life advocates have never accepted Roe v. Wade as the final word about abortion, just as pro-marriage advocates should not accept Obergefell v. Hodges as the final word about marriage.

But gay rights advocates, believing they have the wind at their back, intend to push an even more ambitious agenda, one that includes an increasingly visible transgender community.

“I think the root of almost all discrimination based on our sexual orientation is because we are not conforming to proper gender norms,” Kate Kendell, executive director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said.

“If we can make headway in having there be an understanding that gender identity is non-threatening, not only will we see significant gains in protections for the transgender community, but there will be a rebound benefit for lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals as well.”

How Episcopalians Embraced Gay Marriage – Daily Beast

Gene Robinson
AT LAST07.05.1512:01 AM ET
How Episcopalians Embraced Gay Marriage
Gene Robinson received death threats when he became the first openly gay Episcopalian bishop. Twelve years later, his church is performing gay weddings. That’s progress.
It’s hard to remember how difficult life in the Episcopal Church was for me a mere 12 years ago. In June of 2003, I had become the first openly gay priest to be elected a Bishop in historic Christianity. Not the first gay bishop, mind you, but the first one to openly say so. Today, it is difficult to believe how panicked everyone was.

The death threats against my partner and me commenced immediately. Many within The Episcopal Church thought that our beloved Church had come loose from its biblical and theological moorings. (It hadn’t.) This controversy was going to kill us. (It didn’t.) The Archbishop of Kenya said that when I was consecrated, the Devil entered the Church. (Hardly!) This would cause division and strife in the Episcopal Church. (True. And sadly, some 100,000 members—out of roughly 2 million—left over this and other changes in the Church.) The Church, some said, had gone too far in its efforts to be inclusive. (In fact, we hadn’t gone far enough.)

Fast-forward only 12 years to today, when the just-concluded General Convention of the Episcopal Church opened the sacrament of marriage to gay and lesbian couples, just days after the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. And the Church’s vote by bishops, clergy, and laity wasn’t even close. By a stunning majority, and with little rancor, the Church elected to open all the sacraments to all the baptized. We’d gone from panic over a gay bishop to affirming gay and lesbian relationships in marriage in only 12 years.

A similar rate of progress was happening in the society as well. Sodomy between consenting adults was illegal in many states until struck down as unconstitutional in 2003 (Laurence v. Texas). And a mere 12 years later, the Supreme Court would rule that bans on marriage for its gay/lesbian citizens were unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, offered an elegant, and sometimes poetic, vision of marriage to which every citizen would have access.

We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians have been reading our Bibles too, and finding therein the seeds of our own liberation at the hands of a loving God.
How did we make such progress in 12 years—in the Church and in American society? Surely the major reason is that so many of us have come out, openly telling the truth of our lives. Whereas only a decade or two ago, most Americans would have told you they didn’t know anyone gay, now there is hardly an American left that doesn’t know some family member, co-worker or former classmate to be gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender. And as Harvey Milk, the slain gay rights advocate, predicted in the ’70s, coming out makes all the difference. When they know us, he argued, they will no longer fear and hate us. Indeed, they will want us treated fairly.

Many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are also people of faith, and we have been working in our faiths and denominations to change the traditional judgments against us. I am reminded that slave owners in the Old South gave Bibles to their slaves in order to keep them quiet, compliant, and resigned to their lot in life. The problem was, those slaves actually read the Bible, with its talk of God’s loving all of God’s children, and St. Paul’s assertion that in Christ, there is neither slave nor free. They learned from the Bible that in God’s eyes, they had a full and equal claim on God’s love, and deserved not only freedom but dignity.

We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians have been reading our Bibles too, and finding therein the seeds of our own liberation at the hands of a loving God. We learned to read the scriptures used to condemn us in the context of the cultures within which they were written—and found them not to be saying what tradition told us they meant. More and more of us came out so that people in our churches and synagogues began to know that we were sitting in the pews next to them. We raised our children in the traditions of our faith and proved that we could be good parents. We contributed to the life and mission of our congregations. And finally, over time, it became unconscionable to treat us as anything less than full members of our faiths.

Some church people say to me that in offering the sacrament of marriage to gay couples, the Church is “giving in” to the culture, and not in a good way. But I would argue that God is going to do God’s justice work with or without the Church. For years, the Church resisted changing its mind about gay people and our relationships, so God looked for justice workers outside the Church. I believe that the changing attitudes of American culture toward LGBT people is the work of a loving God. By welcoming LGBT people into our faiths, we are only joining God’s efforts in the world.

Despite all of this progress, there is still much to do. The number of faiths and denominations that unreservedly welcome LGBT people as full and equal members is small compared to those who do not. But the naysayers’ days are numbered, and the arc of history continues to bend toward justice. The Episcopal Church’s full embrace of us will take a while longer to become a full reality, but we have declared ourselves, once and for all, to be an open and welcoming Church.

There’s no going back. And for that, I am truly grateful.