A coalition of clergy members is challenging North Carolina’s constitutional ban on gay marriage with an unusual approach: They’re filing a federal lawsuit that contends that the ban violates their First Amendment religious freedom rights.
The clergy members said in the lawsuit filed Monday that they would like to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies in their congregations but can’t because of the “unjust law.”
The lawsuit is one of dozens that have been filed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act last year. Since then, several states have challenged the legality of their same-sex marriage bans. But this is the first to use the First Amendment protection of freedom of religion as the basis for the challenge.
“North Carolina’s marriage laws are a direct affront to freedom of religion,” said the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, executive minister with the Cleveland-based United Church of Christ, which is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “We feel that it is important that any person that comes into community life of a United Church of Christ congregation be afforded equal pastoral care and equal opportunity to religious services that clergy provide.”
But in North Carolina, clergy are often faced with a troubling decision — “whether to provide those services or break the law,” Guess said. “That’s something no clergy member should be faced with.”
Along with the United Church of Christ, which has more than 1 million parishioners across the country and over 50,000 in North Carolina, a dozen clergy members and same-sex couples were listed as plaintiffs. The defendants included North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and several county district attorneys as well as five registers of deeds. Continue reading “Marriage equality = religious freedom”
Although about the half the total U.S. population is married and the numbers continue to drop, Gallup today reported that only 5% say that they never ever, ever, ever want to tie the knot. About 20% are out there hunting, and the rest are divorced or just disillusioned
These results are based on a June 20-24 Gallup poll, which reports thus: It is not known whether the percentage who don’t want to marry was lower in previous years or decades. But 5% is a low absolute percentage, regardless of what it was in the past.
“Attitudes about marriage are important in the context of a declining marriage rate in the U.S. The Census Bureau reports that the rate of marriage is down, from 9.9 marriages per 1,000 Americans in 1987 to 6.8 in 2011. In addition, researchers at the University of Maryland found that the marriage rate per 1,000 unmarried women fell from 90 in 1950, at the height of the baby boom, to just 31 in 2011.
“There is significant variation across age groups in the four marriage categories, mainly driven by the increase in the “married” or “previously married” percentage as age increases. Nine percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 are unmarried and express no interest in marrying, but 56% of this group is unmarried and does want to get married. This high level of interest in marriage suggests there is little widespread attitudinal aversion to first-time marriage among the nation’s younger unmarried residents.
“Nonwhites in the 18- to 34-year-old age group are significantly less likely than whites of the same age to be married. But 61% of the never-married younger nonwhites want to get married, meaning that 81% of this group is married or wants to be, only slightly lower than the 87% of young whites who are in these two categories. Continue reading “Many ambivalent about marriage”
With marriage rates at all time lows, you would think its fans might be looking for new recruits.
But obviously the opposite is happening. As of this year, the largest family demographic in the United States is … the single person living alone.
Meanwhile, here is the latest news, as reported by Huffington Post: “It’s no secret that marriage rates have been on the decline for decades — in 2011, just 51 percent of Americans were married, compared to 72 percent in 1960. And new research predicts that marriage rates will remain at a historic low in the years ahead.
“Private research company Demographic Intelligence studied the state of marriage in the U.S. and, in an analysis released Monday, predicted that the marriage rate will remain at 6.8 marriages per 1,000 people in 2013, where it’s been since 2009 (compared to 7.3 in 2007).
“Researchers projected that there would be 2.189 million weddings in 2014 and, depending on the economic recovery, 2.208 million in 2015 (up from 2.168 million this year). Demographic Intelligence spokesperson Steve Morales explained to HuffPost Weddings in an email that although more weddings will take place, the overall rate of marriage will remain the same because the “echo boom” generation (grandchildren of baby boomers) is so large. Continue reading “Marriage needs recruits”
Having an affair is one of the most immoral things you can do, according to a new Gallup poll. A survey of 1,535 American adults found that 91 percent considered extramarital infidelity to be morally wrong, a higher percentage than objected to human cloning, suicide, and polygamy. As The Atlantic discussed the new findings: “The poll aside, it’s difficult to think of any other relatively common and technically legal (adulterous affairs are no longer subject to criminal sanction) practice of which more of us disapprove.
“While this same poll showed growing acceptance of divorce, pre-marital sex, and having babies out of wedlock, the 91 percent disapproval rate for cheating is nearly twice what it was 40 years ago, when similar surveys showed that only half of American adults believed that having an affair was always wrong. As political scientist John Sidesnotes in a recent detailed analysis of changing attitudes towards adultery, “Americans, and especially better educated Americans, have become less accepting of adultery with the passage of time.” Pointing out the simultaneously growing acceptance for ending an unhappy union, Sides summarizes what he sees as our contemporary attitude: “If you’re in an unhappy marriage, don’t cheat. Just get divorced.” Continue reading “Americans think infidelity is worse than … anything”
Ronald Reagan’s son may just expressed his fervent opposition to same-sex marriagein an editorial, but his sister has a much different view. So, evidently, would his father.
Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis, 60, tells The New York Times that her father — who had a checkered history with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community during his presidency — would have supported marriage equality and “been puzzled” by the opposition to same-sex marriage…at least this is the conclusion drawn in today’s Huffington Post.
“Davis cited Reagan’s “distate for government intrusion into private lives,” as well as his Hollywood connections and close friendship with a lesbian couple that his children affectionately referred to as their aunts as reasons she believed her father would have been in favor of gay marriage, according to writer Sheryl Gay Stolberg. Continue reading “Ronald Reagan would have supported marriage equality?”
Today two legendary figures wrote to the Supreme Court in opposition to California’s ban on gay marriage: Clint Eastwood and Barack Obama. The famous gunslinger (who famously admonished an imaginary Obama in a chair at the Republican Convention) and the president chose the same day to ratchet up their support for marriage equality. Huffington Post, covered Eastwood’s announcement this way:
“Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood has taken his well-publicized support of same-sex marriage one step further, calling upon the U.S. Supreme Court to drop Prop 8. As Breitbart’s Mike Flynn reports, the Oscar-winning actor and director joined more than 100 Republicans in signing a Supreme Court-bound brief in favor of allowing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples the right to legally wed in California.
“Flynn describes Eastwood as a “long-time Republican with strong libertarian leanings,” and says that signing the Supreme Court briefs implies that he “is going to stay active in the political landscape.” One of Eastwood’s representatives and a spokesman for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group spearheading opposition to California’s law banning same-sex marriage, confirmed the news to NBC. Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and GOP strategist Steve Schmidt are among the other high-profile names to sign the brief, CBS News reports.
“The 82-year-old Eastwood discussed his generally pro-same-sex marriage stance in a September 2012 appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. “The condition of society right now, with the high unemployment rates and the tremendous debt we’re increasing and the government spending, we’d think there’d be [many more worthy issues] to think about [rather] that worrying about gay marriage,” he told DeGeneres.In 2011, Eastwood similarly told GQ magazine, “I don’t give a f**k about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of … Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”
More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/clint-eastwood-prop-8-gay-marriage-_n_2783489.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices
The Christian co-founder of the popular dating site eHarmony is no stranger to sparking controversy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.Now, however, Neil Clark Warren has gone even further, saying he’s “tired” of the same-sex marriage debate and what he perceives as its negative impact on eHarmony, reports Huffington Post.
“’I think this issue of same-sex marriage within the next five to 15 years will be no issue anymore, Warren told Yahoo! Finance. We’ve made too much of it. I’m tired of it. It has really damaged our company.’ Continue reading “eHarmony blues”
Four of ten American children are not born into married households.
This doesn’t necessarily mean we are talking “single-moms.” Definitions of family and parenting are rapidly changing, not to mention views of marriage itself.
Many of these issues are discussed by
Naomi Cahn and June Carbone in an article appearing in today’s Slate.com – on the 40th anniversary of the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court Decision Excerpted below, the story begins:
“As the co-authors of Red Families v. Blue Families, we often give talks about the recent rise in what’s called the “nonmarital birthrate,” or the idea that more than 40 percent of children are now born to women who aren’t married. Sometimes at our talks someone will come up to us, confess his or her encounter with single parenthood, and say something like: “When my daughter got pregnant and decided to keep the child, we were OK with that because we are Christians. Continue reading “Fewer married mothers”
This may sound like an old Henny Youngman joke, but long-term couples are not the world’s happiest people. Nor are they the least happy. In fact, a new study appearing in
Personality and Social Psychology Review says that monogamy doesn’t really matter very much at all. As Salon reports,
“Researchers looked at consensual non-monogamy — relationships in which both adults agree to have multiple sexual or romantic partners — among gay couples and found nearly identical levels of satisfaction as those in monogamous partnerships.
“Men reported that their open relationships accommodated their intimacy needs as well as their desires for sexual diversity. Continue reading “Monogamy is overrated, research shows”
Shortly after taking office, French President Francois Hollande vowed to implement marriage equality with one year. In the wake of this week’s reaction by to Vatican to pro-LGBT outcomes in several American states––French Catholics have taken to the streets. As Al Jazeera reports, “
“More than 100,000 people have taken to the streets across France to protest the government plans to approve same-sex marriage and adoption.Saturday’s protest, called the “March for Everyone,” included pro-family and Catholic groups. Several thousand people marched in Paris, carrying signs with slogans such as “One child (equals) one father + one mother.”Some 70,000 people joined the Paris rally on Saturday, police said, though organisers put the figure at 200,000, with more than 30,000 others holding similar protests in towns around the country.
“In the southeastern city of Lyon, 22,000 people protested, police said. Officers there detained around 40 youths who had come to oppose the main rally.There were other protests in the northwestern towns of Rennes and Nantes, and in the northern town of Laon. Up to 8,000 also marched in the southern city of Marseille, where they too were confronted by supporters of gay marriage.
“In the southwestern city of Toulouse, police used tear gas against a group of several hundred activists who tried to confront the main rally of several thousand in a counter-protest.”
“The church is called to present itself as the lone critic of modernity,” states a front-page article in yesterday’s Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, as the Catholic Church reiterated its opposition to same-sex unions. Insisting that homosexual relationships are “intrinsically disordered,” in a later radio interview the pope’s spokesman asked sarcastically why gay marriage proponents don’t now push for legal recognition for polygamous couples as well.
The Huffington Post reports that “The Vatican’s anti-gay marriage media blitz came after three U.S. states approved same-sex marriage by popular vote in the election that returned Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency, Spain upheld its gay marriage law, and France pushed ahead with legislation that could see gay marriage legalized early next year.” For full story see, “Vatican Digs in After Gay Marriage Advances” by Nichole Winfield. Continue reading “Vatican doubles down on marriage”