compiled by Howard Israel
“As a pastor, I reached my own conclusion on such (sexual orientation) issues a couple of decades ago. Having grown up with the usual bias against homosexuality, I came to a different conclusion largely from knowing gay men and lesbian women, hearing their stories and observing their lives. I concluded that there are some folks whose sexual orientation is toward persons of their own gender. That’s who they are, or a part of who they are, and both church and society will do best to acknowledge that. For me that has meant welcoming people who are gay and lesbian in the congregations I’ve served, receiving their gifts and ministering to their needs. It has meant supporting measures that make it possible for gay and lesbian persons to have their civil rights ensured and to be in socially sanctioned lifelong partnerships with another person whom they love and with whom they seek to build a life.”
– Anthony B. Robinson, in a guest column titled “Articles of Faith: Issues sidetracking churches from core focus,” about the breakaway from the Episcopal Church by those opposed to the ordination of an openly gay bishop, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dec. 5.
“It’s taken Proposition 8 to reawaken political consciousness that many peers and I abandoned during college. I’d been focused on other things in my life. Then Nov. 4 happened, and it woke me up. We’ve been spoiled. Because while we knew we’d been discriminated against in the past, we’d never felt it until now.”
– Matt Palazzolo, 23, one of a group of founders of Equal Roots Coalition, a grass-roots organization dedicated to reinvigorating the LGBTQ movement, in an article titled “Gay Marriage Ban Inspires New Wave of Activists,” New York Times, Dec. 10.
“While Stonewall was a key pivot point that ignited an explosion of grass-roots activism and organizing, the gay rights movement was in full swing by 1969 and got its start in Los Angeles in 1950. But like the Stonewall riots, Proposition 8 may prove to be something of a perfect storm at the worst possible time for those who seek to keep the lid on the hopes and aspirations of a new generation of gay young people.”
– Eric Marcus, author of “Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945 to 1990,” in a letter to the editor, responding to an article about the new wave of LGBT activists, New York Times, Dec. 12.
“Faith’s straight line defies the secular grid that so many politicians and journalists try to impose upon religious communities: that they be unswervingly Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative, left or right. Since the vote on Proposition 8 in California, it has been the turn for liberals to bewail and conservatives to gloat that a large number of black Christians and Latino Catholics and Pentecostals who supported Barack Obama for president simultaneously cast their ballots to strike down same-sex marriage. The only surprise is that anybody should be surprised that theology refuses to adhere to a partisan platform.”
– Samuel Freedman, in a column titled “Faith-Based Views Veer Off a Straight Political Line,” about the varying politics of social issues within the faith community, New York Times, Dec. 13.
“‘Lifestyle’ is a trivializing term, and connotes that it is a choice, on a par with deciding whether you drink red wine or white, or deciding to dye your hair. Choice is the lynchpin of the religious right’s campaigns to keep discrimination against gay people legal. Their ‘special rights’ argument is particularly specious. If it’s not a choice, there can be no question of morality or that gay marriage, for example, is a civil right.”
– Edward Hobler, Santa Fe, N.M., in a letter to the editor, responding to an op-ed column titled “Showdown in the Big Tent,” that categorized gay marriage, and homosexuality in general, as “matters of morality and lifestyle,” New York Times, Dec. 13.
“It’s important from a visibility perspective because it reminds people that gay and lesbian people are part of the fabric of America. We are integral in the community. We’re a part of the coalition that came together to elect the new president.”
– Cliff Norris, tuba player and member of The Lesbian & Gay Band Association, a group based in San Francisco and the first gay contingent ever chosen to participate in a presidential inaugural parade, commenting on the LGBA’s participation in the Inauguration Day parade, Washington Blade, Dec. 12.
“Some same-sex marriage supporters urged people to call in gay and not go to work to show how much our country relies on the gay and lesbian people in the workforce. Interesting idea, but it kind of backfired here in Hollywood. When they called in, there was nobody there to answer the phone. So, how does that work? When you call in gay to take the day off, do you have to prove it? Do you have to have a note from another gay guy? Does the note have to be signed and notarized by another gay person to make sure? Sen. Larry Craig called in not gay. Actually, he tapped the message in code with his foot.”
– Jay Leno, in his monologue, referring to “Day Without a Gay.” (Dec. 10), a campaign that asked gay rights supporters to avoid going to work by “calling in gay” and volunteering in the movement instead, posted in the New York Times, Dec. 11.
“The dignity of human beings will only be guaranteed when all the fundamental rights are recognized, defended and promoted. These rights are a universal given, since they form part of the very nature of humanity. They are based upon natural law, which is inscribed by the creator in human consciousness. If this solid ethical base is disregarded, human rights remain fragile because they are deprived of a solid foundation. The 60th anniversary of the U.N. human rights declaration offers an opportunity to assess how well the world’s nations and individuals are respecting the ideals contained in the document. Unfortunately human equality and dignity are not always respected, while new barriers have been raised for reasons tied to race, religion, political opinion or other convictions.”
– In a statement issued by Pope Benedict XVI, on United Nations Human Rights Day and the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, paying tribute to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, http://www.CatholicCulture.org, Dec. 11.