Friday, June 05, 2009

Faith Groups Key to N.H. Gay Marriage Vote

Are you listening progressive Christians? Our silence is our sin. When we speak we can be key in making positive change.

Via the Pew Forum:
New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage on Wednesday (June 3) in part because faith leaders testified that the measure would not impinge on religious rights, according to V. Gene Robinson, the state's openly gay Episcopal bishop.

When credible Christians, Muslims and Jews advocated for same-sex marriage, it "had a lot of sway with legislators in terms of giving them cover," said Robinson. "Our message was loud and clear: religious organizations have nothing to fear from civil marriage for same-gendered folks."


Two separate studies released on Wednesday concluded that anti-gay marriage groups relied heavily on religious language to successfully push for ballot initiatives in Michigan in 2004 and California in 2008 that outlawed gay marriage.

"A religious opposition requires a religious response," said the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and an author of one of the reports.

Robinson said, "I think it's about emboldening legislators to see people like them who identify as Roman Catholic or American Baptist or Methodist or Lutheran (and) say `OK, this ... is clearly a person of faith, so despite what the denomination says as a whole I've got a fairly firm piece of ground to stand on here."

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