Thursday, April 12, 2007

Liberal Clergy Support Gay and Lesbian Rights Proposals In State Legislatures

On the heels of widespread religious opposition to gay rights, more liberal clergy are now speaking out in favor of laws protecting gays and lesbians, and in favor of civil unions. In Iowa, a coalition of a dozen church leaders held a news conference to announce their support for a proposed amendment to the state's civil rights law that would bar discrimination on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. 365Gay reported yesterday that the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa includes representatives of the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Church, and the Episcopal Diocese.

Meanwhile, V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's only openly gay bishop, testified before a New Hampshire Senate committee in favor of legalizing same-sex civil unions. He said that the bill that would provide equal legal rights to gay and lesbian couples has nothing do to with religious bodies accepting or rejecting such unions. An Associated Press story yesterday quotes Robinson, referring to the desire of gay couples for legal recognition, as saying: ''Would that we could get all heterosexual couples to take these commitments and responsibilities so seriously."