Archive for the ‘Clergy Endorsement’ Category

Evangelicals, Catholics Softening Stances

January 15, 2011

Jay Bakker, son of televangelists Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner, has become a gay-rights advocate among evangelical Christians.

According to two recent news reports, Catholics and evangelical Christians may be softening their views on lgbt rights and same-sex marriage. Follow the links for the full stories.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Speaks Out

December 6, 2010

Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke to a crowd gathered outside a San Francisco courthouse today while a hearing took place in an appeal that will help decide the fate of same-sex marriage in California. The speech marked Jackson’s strongest ever statement of support on the issue. In his remarks, he made a clear connection between the Civil Rights movement and the struggle for LGBT equality.

To those that believe in and fought for civil rights, that marched to end discrimination and win equality, you must not become that which you hated. It’s past time to exist in hypocrisy and ignorance, and time to come out of the shadows and darkness to support unequivocally, equality for all people. Those that support civil and human rights cannot, must not, become perpetrators of discrimination against others based upon race, religion, culture, sexual orientation.

You can read his entire remarks at this link.

Lutheran Pastor Voices Support

November 30, 2010

Rev. Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle, pastor of Good Shepherd Church in Romeoville, spoke eloquently at today’s clergy press conference in favor of the bill. The presence of supportive clergy surely helped to get this bill through the House of Representatives, so thanks to Rev. Anderson-Hurdle and all other clergy who have helped with this struggle!

Equality Illinois Joins Push for Veto Session Vote

November 18, 2010

Equality Illinois has now also joined the push for a veto session vote on civil unions as soon as possible. Gov. Pat Quinn, who recently won re-election, has committed to signing the bill into law if it is passed by the Legislature. The group also posted full information about the bill.

As part of their effort to pass the bill, Equality Illinois gathered hundreds of signatures from supportive clergy and lay people from churches and synagogues across the state. It is not too late to add your name and show that people of faith support fairness and equality for all.

It Gets Better!

October 7, 2010

Dan Savage

In response to the recent spate of suicides of gay youth across the country, columnist Dan Savage has launched a YouTube channel called “It Gets Better” with messages to offer hope to LGBT youth. You can even add your own.

One pastor last week delivered a sermon of hope, also in response to our recent losses. Rev. Nicolette Siragusa, the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Grand Lege, Michigan, is a graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary. She is also a friend of this writer.

Religious Voices Celebrate Prop 8 Ruling

August 5, 2010

Yesterday’s ruling that overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage has left many religious conservatives shocked and angry. If you want to hear what they say, you won’t have to look far.

Meanwhile, gay-affirming religious leaders have been celebrating. Here are a few examples:

Rabbi Changes from “Homophobe” to Advocate

July 6, 2010

Rabbi Peter Knoebel

On the occasion of his retirement, The Chicago Tribune features a profile of Rabbi Peter Knobel, who served Congregation Beth Emet of Evanston for 30 years.

In the story, Knobel says he was once a “homophobe,” but changed his views after serving on a rabbinic committee studying the issue of same-sex relationships. After changing his mind, he began to officiate at same-sex weddings and has become an advocate on the issue. Knobel says that one should always be prepared to change one’s mind on issues.

Petition Signatures Are Published

June 11, 2010

Equality Illinois has published the names of those who have signed the faith petition in support of passing a civil unions bill in Illinois. Check it out. The list includes hundreds of clergy and lay people from an array of religious traditions from all over the state.

And the list is still growing! To add your name to the list, please click here.

UCC Pastor Shares Personal Reflections

May 20, 2010

Rev. Rex Piercy, pastor of Congregational Church of Arlington Heights

Rev. Rex Piercy, pastor of the Congregational United Church of Christ of Arlington Heights, a member congregation of the United Church of Christ, is proud that his home state of Iowa was one of the first states in the nation to legalize same-sex marraige. As a man in a long-term same-sex relationship, he is hoping that the state where he lives now will follow suit. He shared the following comments with the Illinois Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry:

When the church gathers to worship on July 4, 2010 it will have been five years to the day since the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ passed its resolution called “Equal Marriage Rights for All.” Significant things have happened since that vote. One very positive thing was that my home state of Iowa (Iowa you say!) became the Midwest leader in equal marriage rights for all. Not Illinois, not Wisconsin, not Minnesota…Iowa! It made me so proud. It makes me so sad that my new adopted state of Illinois cannot even find its way to support civil unions, let alone full marriage equality. My experience as a gay man in a long-term committed relationship and as the pastor of an “open and affirming” congregation in the United Church of Christ suggests to me that the civil and religious leaders of this state must hold serious, respectful, and prayerful discussion of the covenant relationship of marriage and equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender as a basic right. 

If you are a clergy person or a member of a religious congregation in Illinois and share Rev. Piercy’s call for justice for same-sex couples, please sign the petition at this link to proclaim your support for a state law allowing for civil unions.

Dean at Methodist Seminary Endorses Bill

May 18, 2010

Rev. Pamela Lightsey

Rev. Pamela Lightsey, Ph.D., the dean of students at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a United Methodist school in Evanston, is supporting the civil unions bill that has been introduced in the Illinois Legislature. She writes the following:

As an African American religious scholar and higher education administrator, I believe in the sacred worth of all persons. Our current laws regarding marriage rights deny fair and just public policy standards for LGBTQ citizens while at the same time requiring their allegiance to the very same system that oppresses them. This must end.

If you share Dr. Lightsey’s support for the civil unions bill, please call or write your state legislators today to let them know. Just type in your 9-digit ZIP code at this link to find out the names and contact information of your state senator and representative.