To Have and to Hold: Gay Marriage and the Religion Question

If a conservative religious traditions can’t give their mothers or sisters full equality, how can we expect them to give a GLBT individual the time of day?

John Erickson, sports, coming out.Outrage.  Anger.  Fear.  Hatred.  These are just a few of the words that flashed across my Twitter feed as I woke up on that fateful Wednesday, June 26 morning when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA) was unconstitutional and that supporters of Proposition 8, the hotly contested voter initiative in California that banned same-sex marriage, had no standing.   People were mad.  However, it wasn’t just the typical kind of mad that is associated with hatred, it was a type gay_marriage_81102178_620x350of mad that was met with impossible anguish because what I was reading and feeling was a result of one thing: there was nothing more they could do.

What does all this mean?  Questions from friends and family were filling up my inbox and although I wanted to take a moment to just hit “Reply All,” and input the words: Equality, I had to hold back and start to examine the notion that although equality may now be firmly on the proverbial table, there is still a lot of work to be done, specifically for gay marriage and those wanting to marrying inside the traditional church spaces they grew up in and not just the ones that have come out as open and affirming in recent years towards LGBT individuals. Continue reading “To Have and to Hold: Gay Marriage and the Religion Question”

On Being a Gay Male Theologian During the War on Women by Dirk von der Horst

For some time, a prominent strand of gay and feminist theory and theology has taken it almost as axiomatic that gay men, lesbians, and straight women have a common stake in dismantling patriarchy.  While I have always understood my own work as a gay theologian in terms of that common struggle, recent developments point to a significant challenge to keeping that bond intact in the larger sphere of political activism.

At the end of last year, National Public Radio deemed 2011 an extraordinary year for gay rights.    Buzzfeed listed 40 reasons why it was the best year for gays ever, beginning with a Gallup poll showing that for the first time a majority of Americans supported same-sex marriage.  The list also included the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and several firsts for openly gay elected officials.  Even the world of professional sports is becoming more accepting: in a recent tweet, Ravens’ linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo equated support for same-sex marriage with playing in a Super Bowl when asked about his life’s greatest accomplishments.

Simultaneously, we saw a steady legislative assault on women’s reproductive freedom.   Continue reading “On Being a Gay Male Theologian During the War on Women by Dirk von der Horst”

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