Does Benedict Oppose Gay Priests?

Andrew Brown thinks so, based on the relevant passage in Seewald’s book. I hesitate to comment with any conviction until I have read the full passage myself, but the published extracts are disturbing and important. Up to now, there have been some signs of a more rational approach to homosexuality under this papacy, but some of these views strike me as just wackadoodle. Benedict is widely acclaimed as a great and subtle theologian, but he could do with some lessons in basic facts of gender and sexuality.

For example:

We could say, if we wanted to put it like this, that evolution has brought forth sexuality for the purpose of reproducing the species.

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The “Impact” of Iowa Marriage Equality – Findings From Evidence.

One important feature of Judge Walker’s verdict in the Prop 8 trial was his finding that the case against marriage equality rested on claims, of the “harm” done by same sex marriage and the supposed threat to children is based on no evidence whatsoever. The substantial evidence that does exist on gay parents, and the experience from Manhattan and the Netherlands where marriage is well established, is that there is indeed no demonstrable harm – to between sex marriages, or to the children of same-sex couples.
Now yet another independent survey, this one from  Iowa, shows the same finding. “Iowawatch” is an online news service for The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan news service. Their researchers conducted interviews with married couples and professional experts, and examined extensive published urnal articles, marriage statistics, census data, polls and court rulings.
The conclusion? There is no “harm” – at least no more than from the between sense marriages they so closely resemble. These are extracts from an extensive report at Press Citizen: Read the rest of this entry »

R.I. Catholics Support Gay Marriage – 2 to 1!

In New England, just two of the six states do not yet have marriage equality – Maine, where gay marriage was passed by the legislature before being disappointingly overturned, and Rhode Island.  I would expect that to change next year, after a new governor is elected in November.

The two factors most commonly quoted as reasons for the failure to secure gay marriage have been the implacable opposition of the current governor Don Carcieri, and the high proportion of Catholic voters. (At 46%, this is the highest in the US).  However, a new state level poll confirms what has become apparent at the national level. Support for marriage equality has grown, local Catholics support gay marriage – and support has grown faster among Catholics than among other groups. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fallacy of the Church Push Against Gay Adoption

In Australia, the New South Wales parliament has a bill before it which would legalise gay adoption. The churches are outraged, and pushing hard against the measure, or asking for special treatment. One Australian church agency is asking for exemption  from the non-discrimination clause. Anglicare argues that adoption should not be about politics and the “rights” of gay couples, but about the best interests of the child.

In Mexico, the Supreme Court this week will follow last’s week’s decision on gay marriage in Mexico City with a consideration of gay adoption (and also gay marriage nationally). In the US, GOP candidates for the governorships of Nevada and Georgia are proposing to follow Florida and outlaw gay adoption. In the UK, where the issue is supposedly settled in law, the church is continuing to fight a rearguard action to have its own agencies exempted. What do all these have in common? Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Law, Natural Sex, Natural Families.

A favourite argument used by the religious right against homoerotic relationships, and by the Vatican theologians against any form of sexual expression outside of marriage and not open to making babies, is that such sexual activities are “against nature”, and that the “purpose” of sex is procreation. Well, the people making these claims have never considered the actual evidence from, well, you know – “Nature” itself, which shows the exact opposite.  In a famous exchange, Anita Bryant once remarked that the things that homosexuals do were so disgusting that “even barnyard animals wouldn’t do it.” When it was pointed out to her that actually, barnyard and other animals do “do it”,  as is well known to farmers, she simply replied, “Well that still don’t make it right”. No, and it don’t make it wrong, either.  On sexual ethics, “Nature” is morally neutral.

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