Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gay and faithful

On May 1, in a hotel across the street from Focus on the Family, about 30 Colorado religious leaders spent six hours talking about God, marriage and the upcoming elections. They feel God's on their side -- and groups like Focus are on the wrong one.

The religious leaders belong to a group called Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage, and they're gearing up for a November fight to legalize civil unions and block an amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman. The purpose of this statewide summit was to figure out ways to distribute their message -- the message that, for some believers, "moral values" means standing up for gay rights.

Denominations represented in the meeting included United Church of Christ, Lutheran, Unitarian-Universalist, Episcopalian and the Metropolitan Community Church. The coalition, leaders say, is broader.

"It's what their faith demands," said Harry Knox of the D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay and lesbian activist group. "It's what God demands."

Knox was on hand to facilitate the meeting. Though no one at the meeting was ready to talk about concrete strategies developed there, leaders said they'll get their message out through both conventional means (newspapers, television, radio) and non-conventional ones (business newsletters, church bulletins, one-on-one discussions). They say that polls are trending their way -- that homosexuality is far more accepted now than it was 20 years ago, and that people are growing increasingly tolerant of gay and lesbian lifestyles.

The group may have a tough road ahead this election cycle, however. Several states have already passed amendments protecting the traditional definition of marriage. In fact, no such amendment has ever been rejected by voters.

Leaders for Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage would see the passage of such an amendment as a temporary setback.

"The work will continue," Knox said.


Blogger ZC said...

"In fact, no such amendment has ever been rejected by voters." But a couple have been invalidated by court decisions, notably Massachusetts and Nebraska.

Just because it seems like a good idea to evangelical homophobes like Will Perkins, Rev Fred Phelps, Dr. Dobson and Rev Haggard doesn't mean it's legal, ferchrissakes.

4:53 PM  

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