compiled by Howard Israel
“With so many congregations embroiled in controversy over sexual orientation issues, or struggling to address teenage sexuality, or concerned about sexual abuse, there is an urgent need for ordained clergy who understand the connections between religion and sexuality. Seminaries must do more to prepare students to minister to their congregants and be effective advocates for sexual health and justice.”
– Rev. Debra W. Haffner, director of the Religious Institute, in a statement about a recent study released by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing and Union Theological Seminary, in a press release, Union Theological Seminary web site, Jan. 8.
“It is a sad story. I made myself sad. I made everybody that loves me sad. My process has been very complex and very confusing. After much therapy and prayer, I don’t think of myself as bisexual. I think of myself as a heterosexual but with issues. Those labels just don’t work, and from the research, they don’t work for most people. The boxes don’t work for me. People are people. We’re a mess.”
– Ted Haggard, the disgraced former pastor who was exposed by Mike Jones, a male prostitute, as a regular client, commenting about an upcoming HBO documentary titled “The Trials of Ted Haggard,” about the aftermath of his 2006 sex and drug scandal, Denver Post, Jan. 9.
“I was part of the first generation to ever live my entire life in a world with HIV, and yet my first education about it came when I found out I was living with the disease. Several months after, I learned that half of all new HIV infections are in people under 25. Why did I feel so alone? Why didn’t I take the opportunity to educate myself before my diagnosis? How had I gone through an entire life and not have had any personal connection to the epidemic? Was I going to spend my entire life feeling shame and guilt or to stop living my dreams? Why was the only emotion I related to HIV fear?”
– Todd Murray, director and cofounder of Hope’s Voice International, an HIV and AIDS organization committed to promoting the education and prevention of HIV and AIDS to young adults, in an interview in HIV Plus magazine, http://www.HIVPlusMag.com, Sep/Oct 2008 issue.
“We have all become Harvey Milks, as is witnessed by the flurry of organizing around the country in the past weeks. We are all Harveys now. His spirit, his determination and his organizing both inspires us and is embodied by all of us today. Thank God we’ve rediscovered the Harvey in all of us.”
– Travis Ballie, a student activist at American University who has been inspired by the protests after the passage of Prop. 8, on a guest blog titled “What I’m Thankful For: Harvey Milk,” http://www.Bilerico.com, Nov. 29, 2008
“Under Arkansas law, people convicted of major crimes, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor, remain eligible to adopt children or become foster parents. Single people who have no partner, or who have a large number of casual sex partners, are also eligible. Anyone who is in a committed relationship, gay or straight, but is not married is automatically barred. The new law interferes with the Department of Human Services’ ability to do its job of making individualized assessments of prospective parents and placing children in the homes that are best able to meet their needs. An unmarried couple could be the most qualified parents. And because of the shortage of foster parents, the ban is very likely to make children wait substantially longer for a loving home. Arkansas’s new law was a victory for the forces of bigotry and a major setback for the guiding principle of the law in adoption and foster care: the best interests of the child.”
– New York Times Editorial, about the Arkansas ballot initiative that recently passed making it illegal for gay and unmarried heterosexual couples to adopt or become foster parents, New York Times, Jan. 6.