Religious views on gay rites

school bus2Californians will vote next month on whether only marriages involving one man and one woman should be recognized. Proponents of the measure have argued in television advertisements that children will be taught about same-sex marriage in public schools and that they will be taught that same-sex marriage is equivalent to traditional marriage. And whatever you think about whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, it didn't take long for them to be proven right.

This week, six-year-olds at a public school were taken on a field trip to their lesbian teacher's wedding. Their teacher was married by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the newlyweds spent the afternoon after their wedding making political statements about their nuptials. Some of the children wore anti-Proposition 8 buttons when they went to the civil ceremony.

The San Francisco Chronicle covered the wedding with video, pictures and a story:

"It really is what we call a teachable moment," [the school's interim director Liz] Jaroflow said, noting the historic significance of same-sex marriage and related civil rights issues. "I think I'm well within the parameters."

Nonetheless, the excursion offers Proposition 8 proponents fresh ammunition for their efforts to outlaw gay marriage in California, offering a real-life incident that echoes their recent television and radio ads.

"It's just utterly unreasonable that a public school field trip would be to a same-sex wedding," said Chip White, press secretary for the Yes on 8 campaign. "This is overt indoctrination of children who are too young to have an understanding of its purpose."

The story, or follow-ups, could use a bit more analysis of what field trips or other public school activities like this might mean for parents who are religiously opposed to presenting same-sex marriage in this manner.

The Chronicle also ran a story on religious groups supporting and opposing Proposition 8.

Catholics, Mormons and evangelicals have been contributing millions of dollars and flying into the state from around the nation to lead rallies and services that preach support for the measure. . . .

Liberal groups representing Christians, Jews and others are trying to defeat the measure. But their efforts have been far more modest, even though priests and rabbis in the Bay Area have played a pivotal role in creating and cultivating a theology that includes lesbians and gays as equals to heterosexuals.

Conservatives and liberals generally use dramatically different lenses to interpret the Bible. Christian conservatives tend to emphasize an interpretation of the Bible that doesn't change with the times. They say the Bible describes marriage as only between a man and a woman.

The story is actually not terrible but man is that last line of the second paragraph a doozey.

BibleviewsEqual in what? The ability to sin? The encouragement to repent? The possibility of salvation? The opportunity to hear the Word of God? The right to receive the sacraments? The opportunity to be ordained? What does that mean? I know what we're supposed to take from it, but what a biased approach.

It's also worth noting that support from outside the state of California is not something that only one side can claim.

Here's another confusing paragraph:

Liberal Christians tend to emphasize that divine revelation can come from many places, even outside the church. For example, many denominations don't allow same-sex marriages, while California law does.

"Culture is going to manifest Christ in a way that summons the church to new realities," said Episcopal Bishop Marc Andrus.

Is it true that Andrus believes that the California State Supreme Court decision was divinely revealed? I'm not sure if the set-up for that quote is unfair or if it's accurate. It's clearly a radical position.

The rest of the story is, thankfully, much better. It goes through the different strategies of the opposing religious groups and notes the heavy involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Roman Catholics. The article -- published before the first grade field trip to the lesbian wedding -- says that one argument having particular resonance with Catholic voters is the claim that children will be "indoctrinated" in schools to accept homosexual relationships.

The story concludes with a discussion of how the religious groups interpret Bible passages dealing with homosexuality. It even includes a chart. Nice to see some actual religion in a story, even if the article is flawed.

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