The USS Traditional Marriage has sailed.
So reports emergent-evangelical leader Rob Bell, who has recently signed on with the USS Same-Sex Marriage.
Bell declared at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, San Francisco, March 17: "I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it's a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are." more >>
Last week I wrote about public opinion polls, arguing that they are influenced by people's desire to give socially acceptable answers to human questioners and that poll results can differ vastly when a robotic caller is employed. If, however, we accept as true a shift in public opinion on same-sex marriage, what trends and forces explain that change?
The most visible is the entertainment industry's increasingly affirmative depictions of homosexuality. Soap operas, such as All My Children, that introduced gay themes and gay relationships as early as 2000, movies like Brokeback Mountain, The Color Purple, and Precious, and the continuing string of actors and actresses who have come out in recent years have no doubt helped move public opinion toward support of same-sex marriage. Although most religious groups, including non-Christian ones in their orthodox forms, oppose same-sex marriages, there are notable exceptions among Christian groups. Episcopalians, Unitarian Universalists, and the United Church of Christ all support same-sex marriages. The ordination of gay priests and same-sex marriages continue to split numerous churches and denomination.
Besides the endorsement of gay marriage in Hollywood, another force of cultural change is our schools. Public schools have pushed an agenda that includes the normalizing of homosexual relationships and greater tolerance for sexual exploration. Increasingly, young people are surprising their parents by coming out of the closet. Bible-believing Christians are surprising their friends, neighbors, and congregants by shifting their stance to one of acceptance when a relative adopts a gay lifestyle. These are the times in which we live. Moreover, we can expect the percentage of young people who express same-sex attractions to grow because of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) propaganda campaign that is taking place in many public schools across the nation. more >>
Georgia's GOP Chairwoman Sue Everhart, who opposes same-sex marriage, said in a recent interview that she is concerned some may commit fraud in order to receive government benefits, should same-sex marriage be legalized.
"You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow," Sue Everhart, Georgia GOP chairwoman, told The Marietta Daily Journal this past weekend.
"Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you're gay, and y'all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this it's unreal," Everhart continued. more >>
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York recently said that the Roman Catholic Church has not done a good enough job when it comes to making sure that gay people are accepted, while still affirming the traditional definition of marriage.
In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos over Easter, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke about a wide range of topics, including how pleased he was with the appointment last month of Pope Francis, but also addressed the sensitive gay marriage issue America and many places around the world are facing today.
Stephanopoulos posed the question: "What do you say, as a minister, as a pastor, to a gay couple that comes to you and says, 'We love God. We love the Church. But we also love each other, and we want to raise a family in faith.' What do you say to them?" more >>
With support for redefining marriage to include same-sex couples appearing to grow, Republican operatives are debating whether the party's position could shift on the issue.
When asked if a future Republican presidential candidate could support same-sex marriage, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) answered that it is "inevitable." "There will be one. And I think he'll receive Republican support, or she will," Flake said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
An Arizona judge ruled Friday that a transgender man who birthed three children could not divorce his wife because there was insufficient evidence indicating that he was male when he and his wife wed, and therefore the nine-year union is invalid because Arizona does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Thomas Beatie sparked a media firestorm nearly five years ago when he became known as the "pregnant man" after he gave birth to a girl, the first child of three with his wife, Nancy Beatie.
Beatie was born a female but underwent transgender surgery to become a man, taking testosterone hormone supplements beginning in 1997 and undergoing a double-mastectomy in 2012, as well as undergoing psychological treatment for his change. more >>