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
WHITNEY KAY BACON

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.

How Gay Marriage Became a Consitiutional Right

How Gay Marriage Became a Constitutional Right
The untold story of the improbable campaign that finally tipped the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bruno Domingos / Reuters

16k 423
MOLLY BALL JUL 1, 2015
On May 18, 1970, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell walked into a courthouse in Minneapolis, paid $10, and applied for a marriage license. The county clerk, Gerald Nelson, refused to give it to them. Obviously, he told them, marriage was for people of the opposite sex; it was silly to think otherwise.

Baker, a law student, didn’t agree. He and McConnell, a librarian, had met at a Halloween party in Oklahoma in 1966, shortly after Baker was pushed out of the Air Force for his sexuality. From the beginning, the men were committed to one another. In 1967, Baker proposed that they move in together. McConnell replied that he wanted to get married—really, legally married. The idea struck even Baker as odd at first, but he promised to find a way and decided to go to law school to figure it out.

When the clerk rejected Baker and McConnell’s application, they sued in state court. Nothing in the Minnesota marriage statute, Baker noted, mentioned gender. And even if it did, he argued, limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples would constitute unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of sex, violating both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. He likened the situation to that of interracial marriage, which the Supreme Court had found unconstitutional in 1967, in Loving v. Virginia.
The trial court dismissed Baker’s claim. The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld that dismissal, in an opinion that cited the dictionary definition of marriage and contended, “The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman…is as old as the book of Genesis.” Finally, in 1972, Baker appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. It refused to hear the case, rejecting it with a single sentence: “The appeal is dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.” The idea that people of the same sex might have a constitutional right to get married, the dismissal suggested, was too absurd even to consider.

Last week, the high court reversed itself and declared that gays could marry nationwide. “Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his sweeping decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

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A New Right Grounded in the Long History of Marriage

The plaintiffs’ arguments in Obergefell were strikingly similar to those Baker made back in the 1970s. And the Constitution has not changed since Baker made his challenge (save for the ratification of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment, on congressional salaries). But the high court’s view of the legitimacy and constitutionality of same-sex marriage changed radically: In the span of 43 years, the notion had gone from ridiculous to constitutionally mandated. How did that happen?

I put the question to Mary Bonauto, who argued Obergefell before the Supreme Court in April. A Boston-based staff lawyer for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Bonauto won the Massachusetts case that made the state the first to allow gay couples to wed in 2004. In 1971, she noted, sodomy was a crime in nearly every state, gays were routinely persecuted and barred from public and private employment, and homosexuality was classified as a mental illness. “We were just as right then as we are now,” she said. “But there was a complete lack of understanding of the existence and common humanity of gay people.”
What changed, in other words, wasn’t the Constitution—it was the country. And what changed the country was a movement.

Friday’s decision wasn’t solely or even primarily the work of the lawyers and plaintiffs who brought the case. It was the product of the decades of activism that made the idea of gay marriage seem plausible, desirable, and right. By now, it has become a political cliché to wonder at how quickly public opinion has changed on gay marriage in recent years—support for “marriages between homosexuals,” measured at 60 percent this year, was just 27 percent when Gallup first asked the question in 1996. But that didn’t happen organically.
Supporters of gay marriage rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the days before the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. (Joshua Roberts / Reuters)
The fight for gay marriage was, above all, a political campaign—a decades-long effort to win over the American public and, in turn, the court. It was a campaign with no fixed election day, focused on an electorate of nine people. But what it achieved was remarkable: not just a Supreme Court decision but a revolution in the way America sees its gay citizens. “It’s a virtuous cycle,” Andrew Sullivan, the author and blogger whose 1989 essay on gay marriage for The New Republic gave the idea political currency, told me. “The more we get married, the more normal we seem. And the more normal we seem, the more human we seem, the more our equality seems obviously important.”

Some gay activists harbor a certain amount of nostalgia for the days when their movement was seen as radical, deviant, extreme. Today, when many Americans think of gay people, they may think of that nice couple in the next apartment, or the family in the next pew at church, or their fellow parents in the PTA. (Baker and McConnell are still together, living a quiet life as retirees in Minneapolis.) This normalization will continue to reverberate as gays and lesbians push for more rights—the right not to be discriminated against, for example. The gay-marriage revolution didn’t end when the Supreme Court ruled.