The U.S. Supreme Court takes up two cases this week on the fiercely debated moral question of same-sex marriage, and religious voices on both sides of the issue are weighing in on what could become pivotal decisions in the court’s — and the nation’s — history.
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News that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are divorcing is fodder for glossy celebrity magazines, but there is an important religion angle to the story because Cruise’s involvement in Scientology is central to the marriage and the media coverage. ReligionLink has an extensive source guide for writing about Scientology.
Even as attention focuses on political battles over gay rights and on the growing acceptance of homosexuality in society, religious communities also continue to struggle with the role of gays and lesbians in their ranks. Can homosexuals be ordained? Can gay relationships be blessed?
On May 8, voters in North Carolina will decide whether to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. The referendum is the latest is a series of state-level initiatives on a fiercely debated moral issue – same-sex marriage – that is gaining support among the public. The opinion shift hasn’t eased the controversy.
While debates over gay marriage dominate the headlines, the iconic American family, composed of a husband, wife and children, is undergoing a profound transformation. For the first time, fewer than half of American households are headed by married couples. Yet today couples remain married longer, are more loyal and are less likely to divorce.
New York is now the sixth and largest state to allow gay marriage, and it may not be the last. Maryland will try to follow suit, and the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 hang in the balance – developments that herald complications for religious groups on both sides of the issue.
Even as public attention focuses on the legalization of gay marriage in New York and related battles across the country, religious communities are continuing to struggle with the role of homosexuals. Presbyterians voted in May to allow openly gay clergy, and in June a Methodist church court convicted a pastor for performing a same-sex union.
The lame-duck Congress repealed the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from serving openly in the military, a fight that galvanized religious lobbyists on both sides of this volatile issue and a battle that mirrored the gay marriage debate in the wider society.