It was after all, their religious community and the church that had been their home for their year relationship. But there was a problem: Holy Covenant is in Charlotte, North Carolina, a state that does not allow ministers to perform legal same-sex marriages. Ministers who do marry a couple that has not yet obtained a marriage license can face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to days in jail. The UCC is also seeking preliminary injunction that would allow ministers to choose whether to perform a religious marriage. State laws prevent ministers from performing weddings if the couple does not already have a marriage license, and so religious wedding ceremonies are at odds with the law even if ministers are not sanctioning civil marriages.
Houston LGBTQ Community & Culture | My Gay Houston
He looked excited but slightly out-of-sorts, a white robe flapping over his shoulder and rainbow-colored pastoral stole clenched in his first. I explained that I was a reporter, here to interview the head pastor. He looked disappointed. Built out of stones and mortar and celebrating its year anniversary this past June, the anachronistic exterior of the church belies a cutting-edge theology preached within: over the past three years, the medium-sized congregation has become the epicenter of a burgeoning faith-based movement for LGBT justice in North Carolina, supporting advocates and organizations to help bring marriage equality to the Tar Heel State. Public opinion has shifted towards acceptance of marriage equality in recent years, but religious groups have remained staunch opponents of LGBT rights, especially within the American Southeast, where opposition to marriage for same-sex couples is the highest in the country. Yet the efforts of First Congregational UCC, the Campaign for Southern Equality, and a constellation of other faith-based advocates in North Carolina paint a very different picture of gay rights organizing, and may offer a glimpse into the future of LGBT advocacy in the South.
First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
D uke University, which prides itself on being an elite and cosmopolitan institution of higher learning, has suddenly reminded the world—and probably many of its own astonished students—that it has a religious affiliation with the United Methodist Church. The 93 Methodist-affiliated institutions, which serve about , students nationwide, are mostly divinity schools and small- to medium-size colleges. None of the presidents of these four behemoths seem to belong to the UMC.
For years, Episcopalians have been deeply divided over homosexuality. One proposal being debated at this meeting would allow Episcopal churches to conduct same-sex weddings in the six states that have legalized gay marriage. Currently, most mainline denominations do not officially allow same-sex weddings. But the changing legal environment is adding new pressure. Kim Lawton has our report.