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    Friday, March 7, 2003 Sweden to Allow Its Embassies to Wed Gay Couples http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=2344239 See also:
    Message 1 of 17 , Mar 7, 2003
      Friday, March 7, 2003
      Sweden to Allow Its Embassies to Wed Gay Couples
      See also: http://www.gfn.com/news/story.phtml?sid=13186

      STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden wants its embassies around the world to
      marry gay couples, a union that is banned in many countries, the
      foreign minister said on Friday.

      Of Sweden's approximately 100 embassies, 21 are authorized to marry
      men and women if one member of the couple is a Swedish citizen. The
      government wants those embassies to extend their authority to
      homosexual marriages.<MORE>


      Friday, March 7, 2003
      Holy Macaroni! Church takes over pizza business
      Cafe provides financial income as well as spiritual 'hangout'

      LaPORTE � A church that sells pizza?
      This isn't the first time New Life has done something out of the
      ordinary. Less than two years ago, the church was in the middle of a
      controversy in the local Christian community because of its
      gay-affirming theology.

      Duncan and Wright are not only business partners. They are also gay.

      Friday, March 7, 2003
      Lesbians in the mainstream? Heavens! Spare us that dreary fate!

      FLORENCE KING is the author of "Confessions of a Failed Southern
      Lady" and other books. She lives in Fredericksburg, VA


      BEING BOTH A LESBIAN and a conservative is supposed to be impossible,
      but even my different drummer hears a different drummer.

      It's not always easy, though. My conservatism is regularly
      strained--lately by the Bush administration in general and Sean
      Hannity in particular--but most of all by that hokey camarilla known
      as the Religious Right, who never fail to make me cringe. <MORE>


      Texas judge grants same-sex divorce
      by Associated Press

      BEAUMONT, Texas -- Texas may not recognize gay marriages, but that
      didn't stop a judge from granting a same-sex divorce. Judge Tom
      Mulvaney signed a divorce decree on March 3 for Russell Smith, 26,
      and John Anthony, 34, a Beaumont couple granted a license of civil
      union in Vermont in February 2002.

      No state sanctions gay marriages, but the Vermont Legislature
      approved civil unions in 2000, giving domestic partnerships
      many of the benefits of marriage. <MORE>


      Friday, March 7, 2003
      Phelps opens mouth, PFLAG rakes in dollars
      By Kelly Peters

      FERNDALE - The Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays
      Detroit chapter collected almost $9,000 from pledges during Fred
      Phelps' family visit in December 2002.

      According to Pam Hazlett, PFLAG Detroit co-president, more than 97
      percent of the pledges have come in and more money is slowly
      trickling down. The money was a result of 274 minutes of Phelps'
      family talking in the cold. <MORE>


      Thursday, March 6, 2003
      'Death threat' to Palestinian gays
      BBC News

      Civil rights campaigners in Israel are trying to stop the deportation
      of a Palestinian homosexual back to the Gaza Strip, where they say he
      faces death threats. They are appealing to the Israeli Supreme Court
      to overturn the order against the man.
      "In the West Bank and Gaza, it is common knowledge that if you are
      homosexual you are necessarily a collaborator with Israel.

      "The fact he has been in Israel for so long and not deported until
      now - now they are sure he is a collaborator."


      Thursday, March 6, 2003
      States grapple with gay rights and definition of the family
      Amanda Paulson
      The Christian Science Monitor

      (BOSTON) Two court cases this week have the potential to push America
      toward a broadening definition of family that is increasingly
      inclusive of homosexuals.

      In Boston, the state's top court is considering the legality of
      same-sex marriage. If the justices side with the plaintiffs - seven
      gay and lesbian couples - Massachusetts could become the first state
      in the country to sanction gay marriage.

      In Miami, a federal appeals court heard from four men who have been
      barred from adopting the children they take care of because of
      Florida's categorical ban on adoption by gay individuals. Though
      Florida is currently the only state with such a law, a ruling could
      have implications on adoption practices around the country. <MORE>


      Sunday, March 2, 2003
      Debate over gay marriage heads to SJC:
      Appeal says constitution OKs it
      by David Weber

      For the first time ever, the state's highest court will hear a case
      this week that will decide whether the Massachusetts constitution
      grants gays and lesbians the right of same-sex marriage


      March 2, 2003
      SJC to weigh arguments on gay marriage
      By Kathleen Burge
      Boston Globe
      If the SJC agrees with the plaintiffs, Massachusetts could become the
      first state in the nation to sanction same-sex marriage. As a
      result, the justices have been flooded with opinions from hundreds
      of groups that have filed 26 advisory briefs, from state attorneys
      general to international human rights organizations and law
      professors from as far away as Australia. Religious groups have
      weighed in on both sides, with most urging the court not to change
      the marriage laws. Catholic, Protestant fundamentalist, and Orthodox
      Jewish groups argue that homosexual unions are immoral and should
      not be sanctioned. The Unitarian Universalist Association,
      meanwhile, endorses the legalization of same-sex marriages.

      Wednesday, February 19, 2003
      Minister won't sign marriage licenses
      By KATHLEEN MELLEN, Staff Writer
      See also: http://uk.gay.com/headlines/3799

      NORTHAMPTON - In protest against the state's prohibition against gay
      marriages, a local minister announced from the pulpit Sunday that he
      will no longer sign marriage licenses when he performs wedding
      ceremonies, though he will continue to preside over religious
      ceremonies. "I will not be an agent of the state that withholds from
      same-sex couples the array of rights and privileges it extends to
      heterosexual couples," the Rev. F. Jay Deacon, of the Unitarian
      Society of Northampton and Florence announced this week in a news
      release. <MORE>

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    • umcornet
      Many links... People of Faith for Gay Civil Rights http://www.pfgcr.org We stand in solidarity with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 21, 2003
        Many links...

        People of Faith for Gay Civil Rights

        "We stand in solidarity with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and
        transgender sisters and brothers in declaring that their inherent
        dignity as people created by God entitles them to full and equal
        civil rights including the right to have their marriages recognized
        in the law."

        Read and endorse the national, interfaith Religious Declaration on
        Same-Sex Marriage! It has over 200 endorsers from 21 states.


        Saturday, June 21, 2003
        A Too-Hot Topic
        June 21, 2003

        Marriage, it seems, is a hot topic. "People who haven't had
        much positive to say about marriage are suddenly
        enthusiastic," David Blankenhorn said, "as long you put the
        words 'same sex' in front of it."

        <SNIP>As the director of the Institute for American Values, he is a
        leading figure in what is sometimes described as the
        marriage movement, and when it comes to redefining marriage
        to include same-sex couples, "we're divided," he said.

        This loose convergence of thinkers and organizers from
        liberal and conservative, religious and secular ranks is
        described by Mr. Blankenhorn as "people who care about
        marriage as a social institution and want to see it
        stronger." But he said many in this group had not said much
        about gay marriage. In part, he said, that is because "we
        don't agree." And in part, he added, it is an issue that,
        like abortion, "sucks you into the culture wars so
        quickly." <MORE>


        Saturday, June 21, 2003
        Andrew Brown: Does anyone really care about gay bishops?
        The Independent

        Should civilisation really crumble at the news that the suffragan
        bishop-elect of Reading is gay? Dr Jeffrey John is not the first gay
        bishop; he won't be the last, and he's certainly not the only one
        now. <SNIP>
        The most dynamic and influential part of the evangelical movement
        within the Church of England is the Alpha course, which is widely
        regarded as taking a pretty hard line on sex - though it does permit
        and even encourage the remarriage of divorced people. Last month I
        found myself debating against Nicky Gumbel, the leader of the Alpha
        Movement, at the Oxford Union. Chatting beforehand to me and a gay
        friend, he said that he did not believe that the ordination of gays
        was an issue on which to split with Rowan Williams, the new
        Archbishop of Canterbury. <MORE>


        Friday, June 20, 2003
        Church choice: Stay or go
        Mt. Auburn at odds with local Presbytery
        By Kevin Eigelbach
        Post staff reporter

        The Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church has a choice to make: stay with
        the Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken or the Presbyterian Church USA. On
        Monday, the Presbytery of Cincinnati, a group of 86 local churches
        that includes Mount Auburn, removed Van Kuiken as the church pastor
        for performing a marriage ceremony between two women on May 17. That
        decision left church members shocked and angry, as well as in doubt
        about the church's next move. It appears that at least some members
        would rather stay with Van Kuiken.


        Friday, June 20, 2003
        Christian groups spar over gays
        The Oregonian

        More than 1,000 Oregonians are registered for a conference Saturday
        in Portland sponsored by a conservative Christian organization that
        considers homosexuality a sin and offers therapy aimed at changing
        gays into heterosexuals.

        The "Love Won Out" conference, sponsored by James Dobson's Focus on
        the Family, is headlined by self-described ex-gay speakers who say
        faith motivates them to provide "a way out" for gays and lesbians.

        But another group of Christians is waiting for them.

        Organizers of "Love Welcomes All," who assert that homosexuality is
        compatible with Christianity, open their conference tonight in
        Gresham. They convened the gathering to counter the "Love Won Out"
        message, which they say stigmatizes gays and lesbians under the guise
        of compassion. <MORE>


        Friday, June 20, 2003
        California judges with ties to Scouts not allowed to hear gay cases

        The California supreme court has decreed that state judges who are
        members of the Boy Scouts of America may have to disqualify
        themselves from hearing cases involving gay issues. But in a rule
        issued Wednesday that affects California's entire 2,000-member
        judiciary, the state's top court stopped short of barring judges from
        being members of the Irving, Tex.-based Boy Scouts, as several local
        bar associations had requested. <MORE>


        Friday, June 20, 2003
        Gay bishop answers critics
        BBC News

        The gay bishop at the centre of a Church of England storm surrounding
        his appointment has described his relationship as a "gift from God".
        Canon Jeffrey John, appointed to be Bishop of Reading, posted a
        lengthy statement on the Diocese of Oxford website, just before his
        opponents met to try and reverse his appointment.

        Conservative and evangelical Anglicans are meeting the Bishop of
        Oxford on Friday in a final attempt to persuade him to change his
        mind. The group will tell Richard Harries that Canon Jeffrey John is
        unfit to take up the post of Bishop of Reading because he has had an
        active homosexual relationship.

        Although Dr John says the 27-year relationship is now celibate, those
        opposed to his appointment are angry that he has failed to express
        regret. In his statement he described his "life partnership" with
        another man as a "gift and vocation from God".<MORE>


        Friday, June 20, 2003
        Head to head: Gay bishop
        BBC NEWS

        The Bishop of Oxford's appointment of Canon Jeffrey John as the
        Bishop of Reading has caused anger in the Church of England.
        Reverend David Banting, of evangelical group Reform, and Jane
        Griffiths, MP for Reading East, give their opposing views. <MORE>


        Friday, June 20, 2003
        Gay Marriage in Canada Impacts U.S.

        The legal ramifications of the Canadian government's decision to
        legalize same sex marriage is weighed by U.S. legal experts and
        rights advocates.


        Friday, June 20, 2003
        Americans Traveling to Ontario to Wed

        But legal experts on both sides of the border say that couples should
        be aware of what awaits them when they return home.


        Friday, June 20, 2003
        Conservatives Thunder Over Gay Marriage

        The Canadian decision to legalize gay marriage leaves more than a few
        Americans hopping mad and warning of a national backlash -- a small
        sampling of not so idle threats


        Thursday, June 19, 2003
        Canada's Celebration of Marriage
        NY Times Editorial
        Unfortunately, the United States has a long way to go to match
        Canada's record of tolerance on this issue. In contrast to Canadian
        jurists, our Supreme Court is only now considering a ban on the
        antediluvian Texas law criminalizing intimate relations by
        homosexuals in the privacy of the home. And, far from liberalizing
        the law of the land as Canada is choosing to do, Congress responded
        to the gay-marriage issue in 1996 by hastily defining heterosexual
        union alone as the marriage standard for purposes of federal benefits
        in the land of the free and the home of the brave. <SNIP>

        The American public is not yet as ready to accept marriages between
        same-sex partners as a natural part of the landscape as polls show
        Canadians are, but change will be unstoppable in time, whatever the
        pace proves to be. Canada's choice of a clean break with the past is
        a stirring moment. Gay couples have a place where they can legally be
        joined in matrimony, and life goes on, happily ever after or


        Wednesday, June 18, 2003
        Injustice Finds A Season
        Constitutional safeguards bypassed as Rev. Steve Van Kuiken is
        stripped of ordination
        By Paul Peterson

        Photos from the Soulforce vigil and Cloud of Witnesses display appear
        at the end of this article.

        Under the guise of upholding the constitution of the Presbyterian
        Church (U.S.A.), the Presbytery of Cincinnati on June 16, 2003, by a
        vote of 119 to 45 with 4 abstentions, declared that the Reverend
        Steve Van Kuiken of Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church had involuntarily
        renounced jurisdiction of the church. Through this action, the
        pastoral relationship between Rev. Van Kuiken and the Mount Auburn
        congregation was dissolved and Rev. Van Kuiken was stripped of his
        ordination and removed from the denomination. All because Rev. Van
        Kuiken had officiated at same-sex marriages.

        Both the decision and the process used by Cincinnati Presbytery are
        disturbing. Despite an outward facade of openness and fairness, the
        presbytery, through it's committee on ministry (COM), operated with
        closed meetings, mixed agendas, and inappropriate shortcuts. <MORE>


        June 16, 2003
        HRC Lauds Ruling That Allows Same-Sex Couples the Freedom to Marry In
        Ontario, Canada; Same-Sex Couples Who Wed in Ontario May Face
        Discrimination in the United States

        David M. Smith, HRC Information Alert


        WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign joined gay, lesbian,
        and transgender community legal and advocacy groups today in lauding
        the Ontario appeals court June 10 ruling recognizing civil marriage
        rights for same-sex couples. American same-sex couples are also able
        to wed in Ontario under this ruling. HRC strongly believes that
        these marriages should be treated equally and given the same respect
        as any marriage, but warns that married couples returning home to
        the United States can expect to face discrimination under federal
        law and many state laws. But we also believe that some states,
        businesses or other institutions will honor these marriages, says
        HRC. <MORE>


        June 16, 2003
        More Light Presbyterians
        Statement on the Van Kuiken decision

        Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, long recognized for its work for the
        full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
        persons in the life of the Presbyterian Church from a context of
        peace and justice for all of God's children, has experienced yet
        another challenge to its work in a presbytery vote that removed its
        pastor, Steve Van Kuiken. The Presbytery of Cincinnati found Van
        Kuiken to have renounced the jurisdiction of the Presbyterian Church
        (USA) because he dared to name same-sex covenantal ceremonies
        marriages, treating them the same as opposite-sex ceremonies. This is
        a very difficult, challenging and sad time for Mt. Auburn
        Presbyterian Church and for all persons and congregations working for
        justice and change in our Church. <MORE>

        June 16, 2003

        Statement from Rev. Van Kuiken Presented at Meeting of the Presbytery
        of Cincinnati

        We are here to decide not just whether I have broken a rule. You are
        being asked not just whether I have disobeyed the orders of the
        Permanent Judicial Committee. The real question before you is
        whether I have acted in obedience to Jesus Christ.

        There is a collective wisdom in our Book of Order that we should
        honor and respect. The authority of our church government needs to
        be obeyed. However, there are rare circumstances when the decisions
        of the governing bodies of the church may conflict with the spirit of
        Christ. <MORE>


        Friday, May 30, 2003 6:3 PM
        Pride profile: Down on the Farm
        Down on the farm
        By Kelly Peters

        Two mid-Michigan lesbians find love, time for llamas and sheep

        SWARTZ CREEK - Is there a connection between lesbian and llama
        breeders? Two women from Swartz Creek, who run their own farm full of
        sheep and llama, seem to think so.

        Margaret and Cindy find time, outside of their full-time jobs, to
        maintain a herd of Romney sheep and llamas at Pitchfork Ranch in
        Swartz Creek.
        Using their free time to travel around the country to participate in
        wool and sheep festivals and prancing around Michigan for the same
        reason, the couple has noticed that more than an average percentage
        of llama and sheep breeders are lesbians.<MORE>


        Friday, May 30, 2003
        Gay Christian singer and songwriter finds success after overcoming
        By Donald V. Calamia

        FERNDALE - If you don't believe that God works in mysterious ways,
        Marcus Young might convince you otherwise.

        An up-and-coming Christian singer and songwriter who will perform
        June 1 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ferndale, the Indiana native
        had his heart set on teaching band to young people until an encounter
        at Anderson University set him on a different path.

        "I was told by the Dean of Music that I should change majors, that I
        should go from music to something else," Young recalled
      • umcornet
        Tuesday, June 24, 2003 Toronto Dash to Gay Unions By THE NEW YORK TIMES http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/24/international/americas/24CANA.html Anticipating high
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 24, 2003
          Tuesday, June 24, 2003
          Toronto Dash to Gay Unions

          Anticipating high demand for marriage licenses for same-sex couples
          during Gay Pride Week, starting today, Toronto plans to extend
          business hours at City Hall for those looking to take advantage of
          Ontario's recent change in marriage laws. <SNIP>

          By last Friday, the city had issued 175 marriage licenses to gay
          couples — 10 of them Americans — since the Ontario appeals
          court ruled two weeks ago that marriage rights should be extended.

          Tuesday, June 24, 2003
          Honoring marriage made in Canada

          Just two weeks after an Ontario appeals court declared Canada's
          definition of marriage unconstitutional because it excluded gay
          couples, American same-sex partners are crossing the border to take
          advantage of the new law. If all goes as planned, Washington's gay
          couples may be next in line.

          The change has only taken effect in Ontario, Canada's most-populous
          province, but British Columbia is expected to implement the ruling
          within the year. The expectation is that Seattle's gay community will
          head for the border -- and that they will expect their Canadian
          marriage licenses to be legally recognized when they get back to
          Washington. <MORE>

          Tuesday, June 24, 2003
          No schism over gay bishops: Carnley

          THE leader of the Anglican Church in Australia today ruled out a
          split in the church over the decision to appoint gay men as bishops
          overseas. Perth-based Anglican Primate Peter Carnley said the issue
          of gay bishops was not in danger of splitting the church "more than
          any other issue."<MORE>

          Tuesday, June 24, 2003
          Anger over gay clergy erupts in Sydney

          Bishops in the conservative Anglican Diocese of Sydney today
          criticised the appointment of gay clergy in Britain and the United
          States and a Canadian diocese's decision to bless same-sex marriages,
          saying those responsible had "abandoned" the Scripture.

          The Bishop of South Sydney Robert Forsyth said the matter was so
          serious that those within the church who supported such moves were no
          longer welcome in the Sydney diocese.

          "We have made it clear that we cannot welcome those who have
          abandoned the teaching of Scripture in such a flagrant manner," he

          Monday, June 23, 2003
          Legal arguments weak against gay marriage
          By Cathy Young

          <SNIP>In terms of rational analysis and basic legal principles,
          opposition to gay marriage doesn't have much of a leg to stand on.
          Most secular arguments against it have been masterfully demolished by
          gay conservatives such as Andrew Sullivan and Jonathan Rauch. The
          most prominent of these arguments - that marriage is defined by its
          procreative nature - is belied by the fact that heterosexual spouses
          who are infertile or childless by choice have the same legal rights
          as married couples with children.
          Unfortunately, for now, the weakness of arguments against gay
          marriage does little to diminish the strength of popular opposition.
          While the overwhelming majority of Americans now believe that gays
          and lesbians should be protected from discrimination in the workplace
          and close to half favor legal protections for gay domestic
          partnerships, at least 60 percent oppose allowing full marriage for
          gay and lesbian couples. <MORE>

          Monday, June 23, 2003
          Church vows to stay inclusive
          By Erica Solvig
          The Cincinnati Enquirer

          Their minister may have been removed from the pulpit, but the
          congregation of Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church plans to carry on
          with its history of challenging traditions. <SNIP>
          What is clear is that the 280-member congregation is not backing down
          from an all-inclusive ministry policy it has had since 1991.About one-
          third of the membership is gay and lesbian. <LOTS MORE>

          Monday, June 23, 2003
          Beyond the Pale
          New York Times Editorial

          Many of the Bush administration's judicial nominees have been evasive
          about their positions on abortion, but not William Pryor. Mr. Pryor,
          Alabama's attorney general, has declared that Roe v. Wade, the
          landmark ruling upholding abortion rights, "ripped the Constitution
          and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children." He has shown
          the same lack of subtlety — and fierce ideological agenda —
          on issues ranging from civil rights to states' rights and gay rights.
          His extremism and disdain for the legal rights of many Americans make
          him unsuited to be a federal judge. <MORE>

          Monday, June 23, 2003
          Nigerian church slams gay bishop
          By Sola Odunfa
          BBC, Lagos

          One Church, one faith, one Lord, the congregation sang at the
          Cathedral Church of Christ in Lagos at the weekend.

          But the Worldwide Anglican Communion may not remain a united body for
          long if the current controversy over the place of homosexuals in the
          Church is not resolved soon. The appointment of an openly gay bishop
          in the Church of England has pitted the church provinces in Africa
          against those in Canada, the US and in England. The African
          opposition is led by the Church of Nigeria whose Primate, Archbishop
          Peter Akinola, sees the appointment as a "satanic attack on the
          Church of God". <MORE>

          Monday, June 23, 2003
          A Milestone for Gay Marriage (5 Letters)


          Monday, June 23, 2003
          Activist rallies, rankles
          The Associated Press

          CHARLOTTE -- The leader of Operation Rescue/Operation Save America
          has moved his organization from Dallas to Concord, where he leads his
          fight against abortion, homosexuality and Islam. Philip "Flip" Benham
          and his group have been involved in some of the most publicized anti-
          abortion events in the past decade. In 1995, he baptized Norma
          McCorvey, who was Jane Roe in the Roe v. Wade case that legalized
          abortion. McCorvey last week sought to reopen her case and overturn
          the 1973 landmark decision. <SNIP>
          The Rev. Mick Hinson, senior pastor at Metropolitan Community Church,
          which draws large numbers of gays and lesbians, said he'll hire off-
          duty police officers to patrol the church's large events from now on.
          Members of Operation Save America showed up at a Bible seminar last
          month and upset some people when they dominated the discussion,
          Hinson said. <MORE>

          Sunday, June 22, 2003
          Gay Marriage and Conservative Values
          Commentary by Steve Chapman

          <SNIP>Conservatives want to preserve traditional marriage as the
          foundation of our society. Homosexuals want the legal recognition,
          rights and duties that go with matrimony. They can't both get their
          way, can they? Actually, they can -- which is why the rabid
          opposition has always been a bit puzzling. <SNIP>
          What created the push for gay marriage is that many homosexuals, like
          most heterosexuals, aren't willing to settle for the flimsier
          version, or for mere sexual liberty. They want all the obligations
          and prerogatives available to husbands and wives. <MORE>


          Sunday, June 22, 2003
          Va. Church Greets Gay Faithful With Open Arms
          By Michelle Boorstein
          Washington Post Staff Writer
          Page C07

          <SNIP>Now, the world's largest gay Christian fellowship is planning
          to open a branch in Fredericksburg this summer. Despite
          Fredericksburg's small population -- 19,000 -- and its
          location in a relatively traditional, homogeneous region, its gay
          community is visible and growing, so the planting of a Metropolitan
          Community Church might seem like a no-brainer, hardly a big deal.

          Sunday, June 22, 2003
          New Gay Bishop Unsettles Church of England
          By WARREN HOGE

          Dr. John, now canon theologian at Southwark Cathedral in London,
          issued a statement acknowledging that he has been in a relationship
          for 27 years but avowing that he and his male partner, also a cleric,
          had ceased having sex after church doctrine explicitly forbade it.
          His reference was to a 1991 policy paper, "Issues in Human
          Sexuality," that permitted members of the congregation to pursue
          faithful homosexual relationships but demanded celibacy from gay

          Dr. John's statement said he had no wish to challenge church
          doctrine, and he spelled out his romantic life in detail.

          "My partner and I have never lived together (apart for one brief
          period while he was moving house) because our separate ministries
          have never made it possible to do so," Dr. John said. "However, we
          rely on each other for support and spend as much free time together
          as possible. I am therefore making this statement (despite my
          distaste for having to make such private matters public) for the
          avoidance of any doubt about what this closeness implies."<MORE>

          Sunday, Jun. 22, 2003
          Being Out at 65
          Gay retirement communities are catching on fast

          Nature has it fixed so that women often outlive their husbands. So
          it's no surprise to find the gender ratio skewed to female at most
          retirement communities. Stroll the grounds at one such vibrant
          development near Fort Myers, Fla., and you're apt never to even see a
          man. But that doesn't stop its 300 female residents from enjoying
          busy social lives, competing in tennis by day and partying it up at
          dances in the evenings. That's because these women are part of the
          first predominantly lesbian retirement community of its size in the
          U.S. "I still have to pinch myself that this isn't a dream," says
          Mary Jeanne Walsh, a retired Chase Manhattan bank vice president who
          moved into her attractive two-bedroom home three years ago. "When I
          was younger, I never would have imagined a place like this

          E S S A Y
          The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage
          Want to foster responsibility and commitment? There is no better way

          <SNIP>This move seems an eminently conservative one — in fact,
          almost an emblem of "compassionate conservatism." Conservatives have
          long rightly argued for the vital importance of the institution of
          marriage for fostering responsibility, commitment and the
          domestication of unruly men. Bringing gay men and women into this
          institution will surely change the gay subculture in subtle but
          profoundly conservative ways. <SNIP>
          And after all, isn't that what this really is about? We needn't all
          agree on the issue of homosexuality to believe that the government
          should treat every citizen alike. If that means living next door to
          someone of whom we disapprove, so be it. But disapproval needn't mean
          disrespect. And if the love of two people, committing themselves to
          each other exclusively for the rest of their lives, is not worthy of
          respect, then what is?

          From the Jun. 30, 2003 issue of TIME magazine

          Sunday, Jun. 22, 2003
          Gay Kiss: Business as Usual
          FRANK RICH

          LESS than two weeks after Bravo announced that American TV's first
          gay reality series, "Boy Meets Boy," would arrive on cable this
          summer, CBS jumped the gun, staging the first live gay network
          reality show in prime time. They called it "The Tony Awards." <SNIP>

          Heterosexual sex is alive and well, but the day when homosexuality
          threatens most heterosexuals seems to be passing in America. In
          response to the Tony theatrics, CBS received only 10 phone calls of
          complaint and 68 e-mails (out of 8 million viewers). <SNIP>
          A Gallup poll last month showed that 60 percent of Americans think
          homosexual relations between consenting adults should be legal and 88
          percent think gays should have equal rights at the workplace. More
          astounding, the Gallup numbers for the hot-button issues — gay
          marriage and gay adoption — are now dead-even pro and con.
          <BIG SNIP>
          Patrick Guerriero, the former Melrose, Mass., mayor who now runs the
          gay Log Cabin Republicans, said in an interview last week that the
          time is arriving when "the Bush administration is going to have to
          decide to go on record" embracing gays "as part of the American
          family and the Republican party." There are just too many gay news
          events on the court, political and cultural calendars for the
          president to hide in the closet, nonsensically trying to split the
          difference between "compassion" and homophobia. <MORE>

          Sunday, June 22, 2003
          Metrosexuals Come Out
          By WARREN ST. JOHN

          <SNIP>America may be on the verge of a metrosexual moment. On July
          15, Bravo will present a makeover show, "Queer Eye for the Straight
          Guy," in which a team of five gay men "transform a style-deficient
          and culture-deprived straight man from drab to fab," according to the
          network. Condé Nast is developing a shopping magazine for men,
          modeled after Lucky, its successful women's magazine, which is
          largely a text-free catalog of clothes and shoes. <BIG SNIP>
          While some metrosexuals may simply be indulging in pursuits they had
          avoided for fear of being suspected as gay — like getting a
          pedicure or wearing brighter colors — others consciously
          tropes of gay culture the way white suburban teenagers have long
          cribbed from hip-hop culture, as a way of distinguishing themselves
          from the pack. Having others question their sexuality is all part of
          the game.<MORE>

          Sunday, June 22, 2003
          Fantasy vs. Escapism (Book Review)

          "Faerie Wars," which begins like a problem novel, is, in fact,
          escapist fare, so much so that even the protagonist is absorbed in
          escaping his own problems. Henry Atherton, a middle-class teenager
          living in a small town in England, has just learned that his mother
          has fallen in love with his father's (female) secretary. . . . Many
          cliffhangers later, Pyrgus is restored to the Faerierealm in time to
          rout the looming forces of the Faeries of the Night, with a solid
          assist from Henry. After all that, Henry's acceptance of his parents'
          imminent separation and his mother's new sexual orientation seems
          like a piece of cake. <MORE>


          Remarks of Rev. Scott Ritchey at joint SoulForce, Gay Southern
          Baptists, and No Longer Silent press conference at Southern Baptist
          Convention Annual Meeting, Monday, June 16.
          http://nolongersilent.org/Ritchey_6_16_2003.html <MORE>

          Thursday, May 15, 2003

          Six in 10 Americans Say Same-Sex Couples Should Enjoy Legal Rights of

          WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign hailed a new Gallup Poll
          released today that shows six in 10 Americans support giving same-sex
          couples the same legal rights as married heterosexual
          couples "regarding healthcare benefits and Social Security survivor
          benefits." The new poll also shows that the country is evenly split,
          49 percent in favor and 49 percent against, on allowing gay and
          lesbian couples to legally form civil unions, giving them some of the
          legal rights of marriage. This is the strongest support to date in
          favor of gay and lesbian relationship recognition. In a Gallup Poll
          from May 2002, 46 percent of Americans favored civil unions, while 51
          percent opposed. <MORE>

          Gallup Poll blasted by Religious Right

          Religious Right groups lambasted a national Gallup Poll that showed
          Americans are becoming more accepting toward gay men and lesbians.
          Gallup reported that 85 percent of those polled favor equal
          opportunity for gays in the workplace and 52 percent said that
          homosexuality was an "acceptable alternative lifestyle." Right-wing
          groups were quick to attack the gay-positive results as skewed,
          biased, and inaccurate.

          "They never ask a question that might elicit the truth, like,
          'Would you like your child taught by a homosexual teacher?'"
          complained Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Family
          Institute. Knight also suggested "Do you think schools and Boy Scout
          troops should be forced to accommodate men who wear dresses?" and "Do
          you think that a lesbian ought to have preferential status in terms
          of job hiring and placement over your father/brother/sister?" as
          future poll questions. <MORE>
        • umcornet
          Friday, July 11, 2003 Ruling due in Mass. gay marriage case Decision could impact laws across country By JOE CREA Washington Blade
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 11, 2003
            Friday, July 11, 2003
            Ruling due in Mass. gay marriage case
            Decision could impact laws across country
            By JOE CREA
            Washington Blade

            BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is poised to
            issue a ruling — possibly as early as this weekend — in a
            case that many gay activists predict will legalize gay marriage in
            Massachusetts. <SNIP>

            A ruling on the case could come as early as this Friday, July 11.
            Under court rules, decisions are to be rendered within 130 days of
            oral argument in a case. That deadline would fall this weekend in the
            marriage case, making a decision likely either this Friday, July 11,
            or Monday, July 14. But exceptions have been made in the past for
            controversial rulings, so a ruling is not guaranteed on that

            Friday, July 11, 2003
            Church coalition pushes for gay marriage
            By Eric Gorski, Denver Post Religion Writer

            With a renewed national debate about gay marriage as a backdrop, a
            new coalition of liberal Protestant and Jewish leaders from Colorado
            announced plans Thursday to press for legalizing gay marriage and to
            fight a Colorado congresswoman's bill that would define marriage as
            strictly between a man and a woman.

            Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage, which includes 45 clergy,
            was formed "to highlight the ongoing and unjust discrimination
            against gay and lesbian persons in state marriage laws."

            In 2000, the legislature passed and Gov. Bill Owens signed into law a
            measure barring gay marriage in Colorado. <MORE>

            Friday, July 11, 2003
            Clergy back gay marriage
            By Peggy Lowe, Rocky Mountain News

            Calling Colorado's ban on gay marriage "discrimination at its worst,"
            a newly formed coalition of clergy announced Thursday it will fight
            for equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in religion and law.

            The Rev. Gilbert Caldwell, a retired [United] Methodist minister and
            one of the 45 Christian and Jewish clergy members in the new group,
            likened the marriage-rights effort to the struggle for civil rights.
            Quoting Coretta Scott King, Caldwell said it is part of
            the "continuing justice movement for which Martin Luther King Jr.
            gave his life."

            "History, I believe, will view legislation against same-sex marriage
            as being insensitive, invalid and illogical, as was the legislation
            that prohibited interracial marriage," Caldwell said.<MORE>

            Friday, June 11, 2003
            Church meets amid gay priest crisis
            The Church of England's governing body will meet in York on Friday,
            amid tension over the short-lived appointment of a homosexual priest
            as Bishop of Reading.

            The business committee of the general synod will meet to decide
            whether to hold an emergency debate on Canon Jeffrey John's sudden
            resignation. Whether or not there is a formal debate on the issue,
            commentators say it seems set to overshadow all other items on the
            agenda. These include relations between the Anglican and Methodist
            Churches, racial justice and embryo research.

            Dr John, who will not attend, is believed to have timed last week's
            resignation to avoid a crisis at the synod. <MORE>

            Friday, June 11, 2003
            Couple Battered In Gay Hate Attack

            A Lesbian couple say they are desperate to flee a Stoke-on-Trent
            estate after a 12-month campaign of homophobic abuse. Jacqui and
            Kirsty Lauro say youths in Bentilee have subjected them to a torrent
            of verbal taunts and physical violence to try to hound them out of
            their Dividy Road home.

            The problems culminated on Wednesday night, when a group of teenagers
            attacked them with baseball and cricket bats as the women walked back
            from a night out at a pub.

            Kirsty was struck in the face with one bat and has a swollen lip, a
            lump on her head and has lost a tooth.<MORE>

            Friday, July 11, 2003
            Is an acronym by any other name just as 'queer'?
            Debate flourishes over how to describe a diverse gay community
            By BRYAN ANDERTON

            By now, most people know what the letters LGBT stand for: lesbian,
            gay, bisexual and transgendered.

            Those in the know may even be aware of two newer initials attached by
            some to the ever-growing categories affiliated with the gay rights
            movement: "I" (for "intersexed," or people born with genitalia that
            is not distinctly male or female) and "Q" (for those "questioning"
            their sexual orientation). <SNIP>

            Use of the word queer may have more to do with age than political
            leanings, some say.

            "Many groups now use 'queer' interchangeably with 'lesbian, gay,
            bisexual and transgendered,'" said Brandon Lacy Campos, chair of the
            Lavender Green Caucus, the gay arm of the Green Party. The Lavender
            Greens recently began using "queer" in their press statements.

            <MORE including a list of all of the acronyms>

            Tuesday, July 10, 2003
            Baptism divides Durango church
            By Associated Press
            Rocky Mountain News

            DURANGO - A dispute over the baptism of a lesbian couple's son has
            divided a Lutheran church and prompted the departure of members on
            both sides of the issue.

            The conflict erupted last summer after the Rev. Darin Johnson,
            associate pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Durango,
            baptized the boy. Critics felt Johnson's reference to the couple as
            the boy's parents went beyond the church's stance on homosexuality.

            Some gay members of the church were upset by what they felt was a
            backlash. The couple reportedly broke up. About 60 members of the
            congregation left.<MORE>

            Wednesday, July 9, 2003
            Gay Man, Citing Supreme Court Ruling, Fights '97 Army Discharge
            By THE NEW YORK TIMES

            WASHINGTON, July 8 - A former Army lieutenant colonel who
            was discharged in 1997 for being gay has filed a lawsuit
            challenging the constitutionality of the military's "don't
            ask, don't tell" policy and the military sodomy statute.

            The suit, filed in federal court here, is based in part on
            the recent sweeping Supreme Court opinion in Lawrence v.
            Texas, which declared that the Texas sodomy statute
            violated the right to privacy.<MORE>

            Wednesday, July 9, 2003
            Couple quit over gay church post row

            A OPENLY gay couple who tend the grass at a Suffolk church have
            written to the Archbishop of Canterbury to resign their positions in
            protest over the treatment of Canon Jeffery John.

            Nigel Hughes and Richard Edmunds were volunteer grass cutters at All
            Saints Parish Church in Lawshall, near Bury St Edmunds.

            But after hearing that Canon John, who is also openly gay, had
            decided to withdraw his acceptance of the Bishop of Reading post, the
            couple decided to make their feelings known.<MORE>

            Monday, July 7, 2003
            Debate on gay unions splits along generations
            By Amanda Paulson
            The Christian Science Monitor

            <SNIP> In fact, the biggest divide over gay rights in America today
            may not be along political parties or religious factions, but among

            In a recent Gallup poll, 72 percent of those aged 18-29 agreed
            homosexual relations should be legal, compared with 39 percent of
            those aged 65 and older. Most Americans don't believe same-sex
            couples should be able to marry, yet 59 percent of incoming college
            freshmen support same-sex marriage, according to the latest survey by
            the Higher Education Research Institute. <MORE>

            Monday, July 7, 2003
            Horsley: The Good Book presents a good question
            By David Horsley

            I'm not sure what "the homosexual agenda" is, but I'm probably part
            of it - whatever it is.

            I believe that homosexuals ought to enjoy the same rights and
            privileges in a free society as heterosexuals.
            It took the Southern Baptist Convention a hundred years to get around
            to apologizing for slavery.

            So gays ought to look for an apology from the SBC in the year 2103 or
            so, give or take a few decades. I wouldn't hold my breath until the
            SBC gets friendly with gays.<MORE>

            Sunday, July 6, 2003
            Adversaries on Gay Rights Vow State-by-State Fight
            By SARAH KERSHAW
            New York Times

            SEATTLE, July 5 - Spurred on by the Supreme Court's
            landmark ruling decriminalizing gay sexual conduct, both
            sides in the debate over gay rights are vowing an intense
            state-by-state fight over deeply polarizing questions,
            foremost among them whether gays should be allowed to

            Even with most legislatures out of session until early next
            year, lively debates are already taking shape across the
            country, from Hawaii to Connecticut, Oregon to Alabama to
            Massachusetts. Potentially fierce battles over marriage and
            other rights loom in dozens of statehouses and state
            courts, as social conservatives - including the Senate
            majority leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee - try to breathe
            new life into a proposed constitutional amendment that
            would effectively ban gay marriage. <MORE>

            Saturday, July 5, 2003
            In Blessing Gay Unions, Bishop Courts a Schism
            By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

            VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Michael Ingham may not aspire
            to be a modern day Martin Luther, but he just might be one.

            After an unorthodox decade as Anglican bishop of the
            greater Vancouver area, and years of soul-searching debates
            and votes within his diocese, in May he became the first
            bishop in the Anglican Church to bless same-sex unions.
            Perhaps it is not surprising that Bishop Ingham ended up in
            the midst of such controversy. A life of rugged
            individualism is chiseled on his face, as square as a
            boxer's. When he decided to enter the Anglican priesthood,
            it surprised his mother, a lapsed Methodist, and his
            father, an avowed atheist who wanted him to go to medical
            school. When it came to marriage, he turned to a woman,
            Gwen, who lived alone in a log cabin, chopped her own wood
            and hauled her own water. She currently works as a
            librarian. <LOTS MORE>

            Thursday, July 3, 2003 3:31 PM
            Frist breathes life into anti-gay marriage Constitutional amendment
            Political news
            By Bob Roehr
            Between the Lines

            WASHINGTON D.C. - A constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage took
            on new life when Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist voiced
            his newfound support for the effort. His remarks on June 29 came
            during an interview on the ABC public affairs program "This Week."

            "I very much feel that marriage is a sacrament, and that sacrament
            should extend and can extend to that legal entity of a union between,
            what is traditionally in our Western values has been defined as
            between a man and a woman," said Frist. "So I would support the

            Many observers believe that the language of the recent Supreme Court
            decision throwing out the remaining state sodomy laws in the Lawrence
            case; developments in Canada; and a likely positive ruling on
            marriage in Massachusetts in the coming weeks greatly increase the
            likelihood of gay marriage coming to be in this country. They see a
            constitutional amendment as the only way to stop it. <MORE>

            Thursday, July 3, 2003
            The Ghosts of Jamestown
            By ADAM GOODHEART
            New York Times
            WILLIAMSBURG, Va.

            I had a date the other night with a guy who has been dead for almost
            400 years. His name was Richard Cornish, and the last time he got
            involved with another man, he was executed for his crime. That was at
            Jamestown, Va., in 1624, and his case was the first recorded sodomy
            prosecution in American history. <SNIP>

            In the case of Cornish - a sea captain convicted, on flimsy evidence,
            of sodomy with an indentured servant - not only was he hanged, but
            when several other settlers grumbled about the verdict, they were
            whipped or pilloried, or had their ears cut off.

            Similar laws were enforced in the other American colonies. In
            Massachusetts in 1629, five "beastly Sodomiticall boys" were sent
            back to England for execution. <MORE>

            Wednesday, July 2, 2003
            Next Up, the Gay Divorcée
            By MAUREEN DOWD
            New York Times

            There's a serial cat killer on the loose in the West. Has
            anyone checked Bill Frist's alibi?

            In his 1989 memoir, Dr. Frist, the heart surgeon and Senate majority
            leader, confessed that at Harvard Medical School, he used to adopt
            stray cats at shelters, take them home and slice and dice them for
            practice. <SNIP>

            Now Dr. Frist is not going to let any sentiments about those cute
            lesbians on the new cover of Newsweek - headlined "Is Gay Marriage
            Next?" - stand in the way of his career. He told George
            Stephanopoulos that he supports a Congressional proposal for a
            constitutional amendment
            forbidding gay marriages. <MORE>

            Wednesday, July 2, 2003
            New Wal-Mart Policy Protects Gay Workers
            By SARAH KERSHAW
            New York Times

            SEATTLE, July 1 - Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest
            private employer, has expanded its antidiscrimination
            policy to protect gay and lesbian employees, company
            officials said today.

            The decision to include gay employees under rules that
            prohibit workplace discrimination was hailed by gay rights
            groups, already buoyed by a Supreme Court ruling last week
            that struck down a Texas sodomy law, as a sign of how far
            corporate America has come in accepting gay employees. <MORE>

            Tuesday, July 1, 2003
            New battle line in 'culture war': gay marriage
            Linda Feldmann
            The Christian Science Monitor

            (WASHINGTON) In the blink of an eye, reaction to last week's Supreme
            Court ruling legalizing gay sexual conduct has morphed into an
            impassioned debate over the concept of same-sex marriage - and
            whether that now stands as a possibility on the legal horizon.
            The issue is especially tricky for the Republican Party. As President
            Bush tries to broaden his support heading into an election year, he
            now faces the fury of his social conservative base for not speaking
            in defense of "family values" over the Texas sodomy case.

            "Their silence in the case was deafening," says Gary Bauer, president
            of the group American Values, who complains that the White House
            didn't file a legal brief on the case.<MORE>

            Tuesday, July 1, 2003
            Gay choir director's firing opens chasm at church
            By Nicole Ziegler Dizon

            When the choir rose to sing on Sunday at Holy Family Catholic Parish,
            it was not part of the program. It was a protest.

            The firing of a gay music director has split the congregation at Holy
            Family, the largest Roman Catholic church in this industrial city of
            150,000. <SNIP>

            "It's been a very hurtful and awful time for the choir members
            because we all knew that Bill was gay. It just wasn't an issue," said
            choir member Greg McQueary. "We all loved this guy for what he did
            for the parish and the community." <MORE>

            The Bedroom Door
            By WILLIAM SAFIRE
            New York Times

            The Supreme Court has just slammed America's bedroom door. Sodomy
            — defined in the new 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate
            as "anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite
            sex" — when practiced between consenting adults, straight or gay,
            is none of the government's business.

            Libertarian conservatives like me who place a high value on personal
            freedom consider Lawrence v. Texas a victory in the war to defend
            everyone's privacy. Homosexuals hail the decision as the law's
            belated recognition of fairness, which it is, but some would escalate
            that to American society's acceptance of their lifestyle, which is at
            least premature.<MORE>

            Sunday, June 29, 2003
            Baptist church in Nashville standing by lesbian minister
            By JIM PATTERSON, Associated Press

            NASHVILLE - The sermon at Glendale Baptist Church one recent Sunday
            recalled how Jesus mingled with tax collectors and prostitutes,
            refusing to snub people for the unpopular things they did. <SNIP>

            Listening in the front row in her black sacramental robe was April
            Baker - an unlikely combination of open lesbian and associate pastor
            of a Baptist church in the South.

            Glendale's half-century associations with the Tennessee Baptist
            Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention have been dissolved
            over the past month because of Baker.

            June 24, 2003
            COLUMN: Judy Emerson
            Fired church music director sees both sides

            Certain words spring to mind in reaction to the story of Holy Family
            Church's music director being fired last week because he could not
            promise to lead a "chaste" lifestyle. Bill Stein is gay. He has had
            the same companion for 10 years. Asked point-blank to make the
            promise or lose his job, he had to choose the latter.
            THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE on both sides of the issue. Still, this
            situation is unsettling and unfortunate for Stein and for the many
            people who testify that they were touched by his ministry at Holy

            Stein was not fired for anything he did, but for who he is. <MORE>

            June 24, 2003
            Church music director fired over vow refusal
            Some agree with the decision to dismiss Bill Stein, who wouldn't
            promise chastity; others don't.
            By EDITH C. WEBSTER, Rockford Register Star

            <SNIP> The controversy over his homosexuality began three months ago,
            when he and his partner decided they wanted to adopt a child. The
            parents of a few children in the choir complained to church
            officials, pressuring them to take action.

            "Everybody I talked to was shocked that someone with this much
            talent, who did so much for the church, would be pinpointed for his
            personal lifestyle." <SNIP>

            The saddest thing is not that I lost a job. I'll get a job somewhere
            doing something," Stein said. "The saddest thing is the people who
            have told me that this has shaken their faith." <MORE>

            June 20, 2003
            Time to face facts: Gays gain victory
            Jonah Goldberg (archive)

            The gays have won. The problem is no one will admit it.

            The biggest and latest news is that Canada is poised to legalize same-
            sex marriage. But the signs of the gay victory have been all around
            for us for years. <SNIP>

            The challenge for social conservatives, it seems to me, is to make
            the best of what they consider a bad situation. But that would
            require making some painful capitulations -intellectual, moral,
            philosophical and financial. It would also require gay activists to
            understand that they've won and that the best course of action for
            them would be magnanimity in victory. Unfortunately, this is all
            unlikely since both camps are in denial about how far gays have come.
          • umcornet
            Monday, August 4, 2003 Episcopalians Delay Vote on Gay Bishop By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?
            Message 5 of 17 , Aug 4, 2003
              Monday, August 4, 2003
              Episcopalians Delay Vote on Gay Bishop
              By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

              MINNEAPOLIS - Episcopalian leaders delayed a vote Monday on whether
              to confirm the church's first openly gay elected bishop after
              allegations involving "touching" and "pornography" emerged against
              the clergyman, a church spokesman said.

              Jim Solheim, the spokesman, would not elaborate on the allegations
              against the Rev. V. Gene Robinson.

              The presiding bishop of the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church,
              Frank Griswold, was expected to make a statement later Monday,
              Solheim said. <MORE>

              Monday, August 4, 2003
              Robinson 'joy' at Church vote

              Some overseas Anglican bishops could break ties if Mr Robinson is
              Before allegations of sexual misconduct engulfed his candidacy to
              become the Anglican bishop of New Hampshire, Canon Gene Robinson
              spoke to the BBC's Emma Simpson.<MORE>

              Monday, August 4, 2003
              Episcopalian Vote on Gay Bishop Postponed
              By Sarah Tippit
              MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Episcopalian bishops suddenly put off a
              planned vote on Monday on the church's first openly gay bishop, and
              one of his supporters said it was because of an accusation of sexual

              A copy of an e-mail obtained by Reuters that was sent to Vermont
              Bishop Thomas Ely from a man identified as David Lewis accused New
              Hampshire Bishop-elect Gene Robinson of being a "skirt-chaser" who
              fondled him two years ago.<MORE>

              Monday, August 4, 2003
              Episcopalians Give First Nod for Gay Bishop
              By MONICA DAVEY

              MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 3 - A group of Episcopal leaders approved
              the selection of the denomination's first openly gay bishop
              tonight, but those opposed to the choice said it would
              fracture the church and swiftly called on bishops to block
              approval when they make the final decision on Monday.
              After tonight's vote of lay and clergy leaders, the
              bishop-elect, the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson, said he felt
              peaceful, as well as humbled. <MORE>

              Roanoke church seeks new home for gay, lesbian flock
              The Associated Press
              ROANOKE, Va.

              The Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge has signed a
              contract to purchase an unoccupied church building for its primarily
              gay and lesbian congregation. <SNIP>

              The relocation of the Metropolitan church to the site of the former
              Belmont United Methodist Church would be a major addition to
              Southeast By Design. The $6.8 million public-private effort is aimed
              at revitalizing the heart of Southeast, a neighborhood that has been
              plagued by poverty, crime and housing decay.<MORE>

              Monday, August 4, 2003
              Gay issues draw straight attention
              From court to TV, a summer of notice
              By WILLIAM BUNCH

              SUMMER 2003 isn't in the history books yet but pundits have already
              billed it as the Summer of Gays - a time when public acceptance of
              homosexuality has colored everything from your TV screen to the black
              robes of the U.S. Supreme Court.

              It seems that what had been a slow trickle of gains for the once-
              taboo lifestyle has now reached tidal-wave strength, everywhere from
              the hip popularity of cable TV's "The Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"
              to the stands at Veterans Stadium, where the Phillies will hold a
              precedent-shattering "Gay Community Night" next week.<MORE>

              Monday, August 4, 2003
              Mass Kiss-In Denounces Mall's Anti-Gay Edict
              by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

              (Sao Paulo, Brazil) When a gay couple was kicked out of a Sao Paulo
              shopping center for kissing, it did not take much coaxing to organize
              a mass protest. Sunday more than 3,000 gays and lesbians crammed
              into the Frei Caneca shopping mall for a mass kiss-in.

              The couples, holding hands, marched into the food court, and locked
              lips, while others held a banner proclaiming gay love and condemning
              the mall for its action.

              A spokesperson for the mall stood by the security guard's decision to
              eject the smooching pair. He claimed the couple " had engaged in an
              excessively intimate kiss" after leaving the mall's movie


              Sunday, August 03, 2003
              Fired music director wanted at United Methodist Church
              By MARK BIEGANSKI, Rockford Register Star

              ROCKFORD — Court Street United Methodist Church announced
              Saturday the expected hiring of William L. Stein, the former music
              director of Holy Family Church who was fired for refusing to take a
              vow of chastity.

              Stein was discharged from the Rockford Diocese in June after he
              refused to give up his gay partner of 10 years.

              Controversy over Stein's homosexuality began in April when he and
              his partner wanted to adopt a child. Some church members became
              outraged at Stein's desire, which prompted officials to take

              Sunday, August 03, 2003
              Christian rally on gay rights
              A national convention is scheduled for Aug. 14-17 in Philadelphia.
              The goal: Fostering inclusive worship.
              By Kristin E. Holmes
              Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

              The Book of Leviticus is often cited as clear proof that homosexual
              activity is forbidden. <SNIP>

              But religion professor David Otto argues that the Bible verses are
              not so black and white. When biblical and cultural context are
              considered, what appears to be absolute gives way to ambiguity,
              says Otto, a professor at Centenary College in Shreveport, La. <MORE>

              Sunday, August 03, 2003
              OP-ED COLUMNIST
              Butch, Butch Bush!
              By MAUREEN DOWD

              Let's get it straight. The president and the pope aren't riding the
              new gay wave.

              "I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman," said President
              Bush last week. "And I think we ought to codify that one way or the
              other. And we've got lawyers looking at the best way to do that."
              Trying to add a tolerant note to an intolerant policy, he allowed
              that he was "mindful that we're all sinners."

              Last time I checked, we had separation of church and state, so I
              don't know why the president is talking about sin, or why he is
              implying that gays who want to make a permanent commitment in a world
              full of divorce and loneliness are sinners.

              If we follow Mr. Bush's logic, shouldn't we have a one-strike-and-
              you're-out constitutional amendment: no marriage for gays, but no
              second marriage for straights who prove they're not up to it? <MORE>

              Saturday, August 2, 2003
              President Steps Into Toxic Campaign Debate on Gay Marriage

              The White House, like the Democrats, has far more to lose
              than to gain by getting tangled up in this debate prior to
              the presidential elections. <MORE>

              Friday, August 1, 2003
              Gay-union debate intensifies in churches
              Jane Lampman, Staff writer
              The Christian Science Monitor

              <SNIP> As gay rights issues gather momentum, major religious groups
              are being forced to confront where they stand on the sensitive
              topics of same-sex unions and clergy - and are often taking widely
              varied approaches.

              For some, homosexuality has become the most divisive issue since the
              ordination of women, and has threatened to split denominations in two.

              With US and Canadian courts in the process of redefining homosexual
              rights, possibly to include marriage, churches now face not only what
              it means to include gay and lesbian believers as full participants
              but also how to respond to the potential redefinition of an
              institution most consider the bedrock of society.<MORE>

              Thursday, July 31, 2003
              Playing It Safe on Gays

              Given his treasured reputation for compassion and the strong feelings
              of his conservative base, President Bush took what may have been the
              safest route when he was asked about homosexuality at yesterday's
              press conference. Mr. Bush spoke about the need to be "a welcoming
              country," then denounced gay marriages. He added that he had "lawyers
              looking at the best way" to bar same-sex unions. Instead of covering
              all the bases, we wish the president would show himself willing to
              spend more of his political capital on inclusiveness.<MORE>

              Thursday, July 31, 2003
              Bush Backs Bid to Block Gays From Marrying
              <BIG SNIP>
              But while Mr. Bush's response had political clarity, it left
              supporters on both sides of the issue puzzled as to the legal
              aspects. The reason is that there already is a law, known as the
              Defense of Marriage Act, that appears to address the two principal
              concerns of gay marriage opponents. The law, signed by President
              Clinton in 1996, prohibits any federal recognition of gay marriage,
              meaning that benefits like those given under Social Security or to
              veterans may be claimed only by a surviving spouse of the opposite
              sex. In addition, the law relieves states of any obligation to
              recognize gay marriages performed in other states where they might be
              legal. <MORE>

              Thursday, July 31, 2003
              Vatican Starts Campaign Against Gay Marriage

              VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican launched a global campaign against
              gay marriages Thursday, warning Catholic politicians that support of
              same-sex unions was "gravely immoral" and urging non-Catholics to
              join the offensive.

              The Vatican's orthodoxy watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine
              of the Faith, issued a 12-page set of guidelines with the approval of
              Pope John Paul II in a bid to stem the increase in laws granting
              legal rights to homosexual unions in Europe and North America.<MORE>

              Thursday, July 24, 2003
              For These Transvestites, Still More Role Changes
              By JANE PERLEZ

              SURABAYA, Indonesia, July 18 — For two years, Merlyn Sopjan lived
              with her boyfriend. Using his name, she became Mrs. Nanang. She was
              known in the neighborhood as his wife, and tucked his photo into her
              wallet. She was admired for her feminine looks: with liquid eyes and
              pancake makeup, she has the allure of a model.

              Merlyn, 30, is a transvestite. The women on the block knew, she said,
              that under her demure clothes and despite her "wiggling" walk, she
              was physically a man.<MORE>

              Thursday, July 24, 2003
              Conservative Anglican Leaders Warn of a Schism
              By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

              Conservative Episcopal bishops in the United States and from
              the developing world share a sense of alienation from the
              Anglican dioceses that do not denounce homosexuality. <MORE>


              Saturday, July 19, 2003
              McCarthy: Pat Robertson's prayer offensive is just that
              By Sheryl McCarthy

              Pat Robertson has finally gone over the edge.

              This week on his national TV show the religious broadcaster urged his
              followers to join a 21-day "prayer offensive," asking God to remove
              three liberal-leaning justices from the Supreme Court.

              Robertson was angered by the court's decision last month
              decriminalizing sodomy, claiming it opened the door to homosexual
              marriage, legalized prostitution, even incest. If his followers pray
              hard enough, God might make these sick and elderly justices see the
              wisdom of retiring, he said, although the underlying suggestion
              seemed to be that if they don't, they could be struck dead. <MORE>

              Monday, July 14, 2003; Page A21
              Evolution On Gay Marriage?
              By Fred Hiatt

              In the middle of the night the sheriff barged in, surprising two
              people in their bed. They were not -- as in the Texas case recently
              decided by the Supreme Court -- two men, but a husband and wife, whom
              the sheriff nonetheless hauled off to jail. Charged with a felony,
              they were convicted and banished from their home state of Virginia --
              and not until nine years later, in 1967, were they permitted to
              return home, when the Supreme Court finally ruled that a white man
              could not be forbidden to marry a black woman.

              At one time most states banned marriage between races, and courts
              upheld such laws many times. Does our evolution -- today we read
              those decisions with horror -- provide a template for where society
              is heading with respect to homosexual marriage? Not necessarily. The
              California court that ruled in 1948 that marriage "is a fundamental
              right of free men" didn't mean the comment the way we might read it
              today. <MORE>

              July 10, 2003
              For gays, no unanimity on marriage
              Many welcome prospect; some hesitant on change
              By Don Aucoin, Boston Globe Staff

              PROVINCETOWN -- You might think Rob Tosner and Michael Valenti would
              leap at the chance to wed if the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
              clears the way for same-sex marriage.

              After all, Tosner and Valenti, both in their 40s, celebrated their
              15th anniversary as a couple last month. They jointly own the popular
              White Wind Inn here, along with a nearby house and a dwelling in
              Florida. They share a devotion to the Roman Catholic faith in which
              they were both raised. And they believe that gays should have the
              right to marry, both as a matter of simple equality and as a form of
              legal protection.
            • umcornet
              Saturday, August 16, 2003 Anglican women slam gay bishop By Stephen Makabila http://www.eastandard.net/headlines/news16082003003.htm More than 600 Anglican
              Message 6 of 17 , Aug 15, 2003
                Saturday, August 16, 2003
                Anglican women slam gay bishop
                By Stephen Makabila

                More than 600 Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Eldoret diocese women
                faithful yesterday condemned the recent appointment of a homosexual
                bishop by the United States Episcopal church.

                The faithful, who were attending the official opening of the
                diocese's annual Mothers' Union conference at the Mosoriot Teachers
                College said homosexuals should not be allowed to ruin the church.

                Friday, August 15, 2003
                Guest Commentary: The Summer of Sodomy
                By Joe Murray

                (AgapePress-American Family Association) - As another day ends, a new
                one will soon begin, and slowly but surely America is stumbling out
                of a summer that has dimmed her ability to be a moral leader in a
                world tarnished by the temporal and drowned in debauchery. For those
                of us keeping track, this summer has produced a scorecard not
                favorable to the conservatives who are knee deep in the culture war
                to reclaim America's values and dignity. The area suffering the
                largest number of casualties -- marriage and traditional family

                There is no question about it: the Summer of 2003 will go down in
                history as the Summer of Sodomy. The Buggery Battalion, forever
                diligent in its quest to lay siege to America's cultural
                institutions, has made tremendous strides in replacing traditional
                Judeo-Christian values with a New Age doctrine of tolerance and
                acceptance -- i.e., unconditional acceptance of the homosexual
                lifestyle. Put simply, there is not a social structure existing today
                that has not been touched by the homosexual movement. <MORE>

                Joe Murray (jmurray@...) is a staff attorney for the Tupelo,
                Mississippi-based American Family Association Center for Law &

                Wednesday, August 13, 2003
                Washington Post Poll: Gay Unions

                The latest Washington Post poll is based on telephone interviews with
                1,003 randomly selected adults nationwide, and was conducted Aug. 7-
                11, 2003. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or
                minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error is only one of many
                potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll.
                Interviewing was conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa. <MORE>


                Monday, August 11, 2003
                Hoedowns a hit with gay groups
                By Julie Patel
                Mercury News

                With a deep voice and Southern twang, the man wearing a flannel shirt
                crooned into a microphone: "Do-si-do your corner, once around you
                go." <SNIP>

                The dance groups also are attracting some straight dancers who
                dislike the dress code and "couples only" rules of mainstream square

                "This gives me another place to dance," June Genis said last week at
                a dance session hosted by El Camino Reelers, a gay and lesbian square-
                dance group, at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Palo
                Alto. "With straight groups, girls are always girls and boys are
                always boys." <MORE>


                August 11, 2003
                Malawi slams US gay bishop

                Blantyre - Malawi's top Anglican leader said on Monday he was
                considering severing ties between his 600 000-strong flock and the US
                Episcopal Church if it does not reverse its confirmation of a gay

                Archbishop Bernard Malango, who heads the church in Malawi, Botswana,
                Zambia and Zimbabwe, said his members refused to support "the odd and
                unnatural" decision by the US branch of the Anglican church to
                confirm Bishop-elect V Gene Robinson, an openly gay cleric. <MORE>


                Sunday, August 10, 2003
                In gay-union debate, religious influence hard to measure
                By GARY STERN
                THE JOURNAL NEWS

                The Episcopal Church's controversial move to confirm an openly gay
                bishop, coming on the heels of a Vatican statement condemning any
                social recognition of gay relationships, has pushed the long-
                simmering religious debate over homosexuality to a frantic new level.

                But the question remains whether the religious community has the
                clout, especially when it is sending such mixed messages, to
                influence the parallel civil debate over gay rights.

                Will voters, politicians and judges weigh the scriptural
                interpretations of religious leaders or keep their eyes on the
                unexpectedly high ratings of gay-themed television shows like "Queer
                Eye for the Straight Guy"? <MORE>


                Sunday, August 10, 2003
                God and gays: the unbridgeable divide
                The Sun-Herald

                The debate about homosexuality and the tension it raises within
                Christianity is older than the church itself - but today it is far
                more public.

                The Uniting Church in Australia and the Episcopalian (Anglican)
                Church in the US are tearing themselves apart over decisions to
                ordain practising homosexuals as priests and consecrate them as
                bishops. <MORE>


                Sunday, August 10, 2003
                And Now, the Queer Eye for Straight Marriage

                WITH same-sex nuptials in the air on the eve of his
                vacation, George W. Bush rode to the rescue, and not a
                moment too soon. The White House even beat the Vatican to
                the punch in announcing that the president is "strongly
                committed to protecting and defending the sanctity of

                The only question is: where does our superhusband-in-chief
                start? So much marital sanctity to protect, so little time.
                The cultural signs are not aligned in Mr. Bush's favor. <MORE>


                Sunday, August 10, 2003
                Why America Has Gay Marriage Jitters
                By ELISABETH BUMILLER

                CRAWFORD, Tex. - The cultural change has been swift,
                radical and seemingly irreversible. Gay characters star in
                prime-time television shows like "Will & Grace," and real
                gays appear in reality programming like "Queer Eye for the
                Straight Guy." Most Americans say they know someone who is
                gay, and a vast majority support equal rights for gays in
                the workplace. One of Vice President Cheney's daughters is
                openly gay; so is a daughter of a Democratic presidential
                candidate, Representative Richard A. Gephardt. <MORE>

                Canada's Push to Legalize Gay Marriages Draws Bishops' Ire
                By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

                TORONTO, Aug. 9 - When Canada's political leaders decided
                to extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians, there was
                little opposition to what was taken to be a social
                revolution. But a resistance movement is stirring, led by
                the country's Roman Catholic bishops.

                Controversies between church and state are unusual in this
                country where church attendance has been dropping, few
                religious leaders seek a high public profile and policy
                issues rarely take on a moral hue. But the rift took center
                stage just as the Vatican called on Catholic politicians
                worldwide to oppose gay marriage, and in Canada most of the
                top national politicians are Catholic. <MORE>


                Saturday, August 9, 2003
                Homosexuality, in the Biblical Sense
                By Bill Broadway

                Robert Goss sits on the radical edge of homosexual theology, calling
                for churches to abandon centuries-old concepts of "normativity" and
                accept gay men and lesbians for what he says they are: people made
                in the image of God whose sexuality is a divine blessing.

                Goss believes such a change is inevitable, that a diverse and
                increasingly vocal movement called "queer theology" will create an
                impact on Christianity matching that of the 16th-century Protestant
                Reformation. <MORE>


                Saturday, August 9, 2003
                What a Tangled Web We Weave
                By BRUCE KLUGER

                As anyone who has ever clicked a mouse knows, on the
                Internet, everything links to everything. <MORE>


                Friday, August 8, 2003
                Croatia legislation recognises gay couples

                New legislation from Croatia will provide gay partners the same legal
                rights as their unmarried straight counterparts, in a move that has
                been hailed as he first step to full recognition in the country.

                Thursday, August 7, 2003
                Gay policies pose test of Episcopalian loyalties
                Jane Lampman
                The Christian Science Monitor

                The controversial decision by the Episcopal Church to approve its
                first openly gay bishop is likely to lead to an exodus of some
                members and dioceses. The question is how widespread the revolt will
                be and whether it will lead to establishment of an alternative
                church in the US.

                While disaffected conservatives have warned of a dramatic realignment
                in the church and the "shattering of the Anglican family," others
                point out that the ordination of women in the 1970s brought a
                similar reaction, but no split occurred. <MORE>

                Thursday, August 7, 2003
                'Culturally deaf' Anglican Church faces schism over gay bishop
                By Paul Peachey

                The Anglican Church was threatened yesterday with a global schism
                after Western leaders were accused of being "culturally deaf" over
                the appointment of the first openly gay bishop.

                The heads of congregations in South America, Asia and Africa railed
                against the move to select Canon Gene Robinson as Bishop of New
                Hampshire and were considering breaking off relations with the US
                branch of the church last night. <MORE>


                August 7, 2003
                African Episcopalian Bishops Attack Vote for Gay Bishop
                By MARC LACEY

                Anglican church leaders across Africa, where homosexuality is widely
                scorned, denounced a decision installing an openly gay bishop in the
                Episcopal Church USA and predicted a schism in the global Anglican
                Communion unless the vote is overturned.

                Quoting Scripture, church leaders from this conservative continent
                said their American counterparts had deviated from the Bible in
                approving Bishop-elect V. Gene Robinson, who lives with a gay
                partner, to head the New Hampshire Diocese. Homosexuality, the
                leaders said, is a sin that the church should not endorse. <MORE>


                August 7, 2003
                Episcopal Leaders Reject Proposal for Same-Sex Union Liturgy
                By MONICA DAVEY

                Only a day after approving the election of the Episcopal Church's
                first openly gay bishop, prelates of the church tonight rejected a
                proposal to begin writing an official liturgy for the blessing of
                same-sex unions.

                In an atmosphere of tension and protest within their ranks, and weary
                from days of debate over whether to approve the bishop-elect, the
                Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson, the bishops here at the Episcopal Church
                USA convention seemed eager to create no further controversy,
                division or pain. They said unity — or at least agreeing that
                they did not yet agree on what their religion says about
                homosexuality — would be better. <MORE>


                Wednesday, August 6, 2003
                Analysis: Church break-up?
                By Martha Doyle
                BBC's Religious Affairs reporter

                Now that the first openly-gay cleric Anglican bishop has been
                confirmed, the question in church-watchers' minds is whether Gene
                Robinson's appointment will really lead to the break-up of the 500-
                year-old Anglican Communion.

                The answer is far from straightforward. Since the vote, both liberals
                and conservatives have repeatedly stressed that they do not want the
                historic communion to split.

                At the same time, they reiterate their differences on whether or not
                they can accept practising-gay clergy in a way that looks
                increasingly incompatible and irreconcilable. <MORE>


                Wednesday, August 6, 2003
                Anglican Leaders Warn of Global Schism Over Gay Bishop
                By MARC LACEY

                NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 6 — Anglican church leaders across Africa,
                where homosexuality is publicly scorned, today denounced an
                Episcopal Church USA decision to install an openly gay bishop, and
                they predicted a schism within the global Anglican Communion unless
                that action was overturned.

                Quoting scripture, church leaders angrily said that their American
                counterparts were deviating from the Bible by approving the Rev.
                Canon V. Gene Robinson, who has lived openly with his partner for
                many years, as the bishop of New Hampshire. Homosexuality, they said,
                is a sin that the church should do nothing to endorse. <MORE>
              • umcornet
                Monday, September 1, 2003 Delay in Canada s marriage legislation Gay.com UK http://uk.gay.com/headlines/4965 Proposals that would legalise gay marriage across
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 1, 2003
                  Monday, September 1, 2003
                  Delay in Canada's marriage legislation
                  Gay.com UK

                  Proposals that would legalise gay marriage across Canada may have to
                  be delayed by at least a year, after the country's Supreme Court said
                  it would not be able to listen to arguments until 2004. <MORE>

                  Monday, September 1, 2003
                  Netherlands fights Vatican with gay marriage manual
                  Gay.com UK

                  In response to the Vatican's fight against gay unions, Dutch gay
                  rights groups have published a guide to gay marriage.

                  The 60 page manual outlines how and why the Netherlands became the
                  first country in the world to legalise gay marriage.

                  It also offers advice on campaigning in other countries, where the
                  issue is still being discussed, and urges the gay and lesbian global
                  community to fight discriminatory laws in their own countries.<MORE>

                  August 31, 2003
                  Free to Marry, Canada's Gays Say, 'Do I?'
                  By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

                  The extension of marriage rights has thrown gays into a heated debate
                  over how much "integration" is a good thing.

                  It is too soon to draw conclusions about how widespread gay marriage
                  will become in Canada over time. Many same-sex couples say they need
                  time to consider so basic a commitment, or are waiting for the
                  anniversary of their first dates or of their commitment ceremonies to
                  tie the knot.

                  Gay men seem more apprehensive about marriage than lesbians, and
                  generally, couples with children, or thinking of having children,
                  express more interest in marrying.

                  The ambivalence is reflected in the numbers of gay couples who have
                  chosen marriage so far. While members of Toronto's gay population, by
                  far Canada's largest, express support of the Ontario court's ruling
                  and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's decision to introduce
                  to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, they have not mobilized to
                  defend the change. Even as some churches and conservative politicians
                  have begun to mobilize against the legislation, demonstrations for it
                  have been few and mostly small. <MORE>

                  The *Integrator* is the bimonthly newsletter of Integrity/Toronto.
                  The online edition (minus cartoons in the paper version) is now
                  available online at:
                  http://www.geocities.com/integritytoronto/i34.html <MORE>

                  Saturday, August 30, 2003
                  California DP law nears passage
                  The Advocate

                  Registered domestic partners in California would have many of the
                  same rights and responsibilities as married couples under a landmark
                  bill approved by the state senate that Gov. Gray Davis has already
                  signaled he plans to sign. The bill, by lesbian assemblywoman Jackie
                  Goldberg, would give registered domestic partners the ability to ask
                  for child support and alimony, the right to health coverage under a
                  partner's plan, and the ability to make funeral arrangements for a
                  partner. The legislation, passed Thursday, would put California on
                  par with Vermont in the rights afforded to gay and lesbian couples,
                  gay rights activists have said. <MORE>

                  Friday, August 29, 2003
                  U.S. gays find altars in Canada
                  Ontario hosts 53 same-sex marriages of Americans
                  By Paul Egan / Special to The Detroit News

                  SARNIA -- This blue-collar town, known for its chemical plants and
                  oil refineries, is not the most obvious destination for a wedding.

                  But this summer, Sarnia has hosted a dozen same-sex marriages, with
                  half the newlyweds coming from the United States. These six same-sex
                  marriages are among 53 of Americans that have been carried out in
                  Sarnia, Windsor and Sault Ste. Marie, three cities along the Michigan-
                  Ontario border, since the marriages became legal in the Canadian
                  province in June. <MORE>

                  Friday, August 29, 2003
                  South Africa opens up gay unions for public debate
                  Gay.com UK

                  South Africa could be on its way to recognising domestic partnerships
                  for gay couples, with drafted proposals being opened up for public
                  opinion. <MORE>

                  Friday, August 29, 2003
                  Colombia shelves gay rights legislation
                  Colombia has decided to abandon its plans to legalise same sex
                  relationships, in what is said to be the first direct hit from the
                  Vatican's anti-gay statement. <MORE>

                  Friday, August 29, 2003
                  Poll: Californians split on subject of same-sex marriage
                  LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer

                  Half of California voters remain opposed to gay marriages, but
                  more than seven in 10 support domestic partnership laws granting same-
                  sex couples legal recognition and rights, according to a Field Poll
                  released Friday.

                  Republicans and voters who identified themselves as conservative
                  were more than twice as likely as Democrats and self-described
                  liberals to disapprove of gay marriage, a finding that poll director
                  Mark DiCamillo called "striking." <MORE>

                  Wednesday, August 6, 2003
                  The Bible's 'Clear Teaching'
                  By John Corvino

                  "Unfortunately, many people confuse complete faith in God with
                  complete faith in their ability to discern God's will. They then take
                  their own fallible interpretations (which may be challenged) and
                  present them as God's clear teaching (which cannot.)">

                  Recent gay progress has generated backlash, and much of that backlash
                  comes from the religious right. These two facts are about as
                  surprising as the Liza Minnelli/David Gest split. What IS surprising
                  is how much traction the religious right continues to get by citing
                  the "clear teaching" of Scripture on homosexuality. If Biblical
                  scholarship teaches us anything, it's that we ought to be cautious
                  before jumping to conclusions about God's will as revealed in
                  Scripture. <MORE>

                  Thursday, July 24, 2003
                  Gay pastor added to chaplains roster
                  By Sharon Gittleman

                  FERNDALE - Last year's uproar following Police Chaplain Tom Hanson's
                  anti-gay comments at a City Council meeting, resulted in a call for
                  policy changes in the department and new volunteers for the chaplain
                  program. This week, that outcry has produced results.

                  Ferndale police have added five new chaplains to the police
                  department, including at least one gay man, Rev. Mark Bidwell, pastor
                  of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, in Ferndale. The
                  department also revised the chaplain's policy statement adding a
                  clause requiring volunteers to "offer pastoral care freely to all
                  persons regardless of race, sex, religion, creed, national origin,
                  age, disability or sexual orientation."

                  Bidwell will join Scott Gentry of the Ferndale Free Methodist Church,
                  and Baptist preachers Walter Mozee, Donnis Reese and incumbent Tom
                  Hanson on the chaplain's roster. <MORE>

                  Do justice. A series of essays toward General Convention in 2003 and

                  Note: Items are in reverse chronology of their being posted here, the
                  most recent items coming first.

                  Anglican Authority and Homosexuality By The Rev. William Coats
                  Jason Green's Collection of Pastoral Responses of Bishops to General
                  Convention 2003
                  The Fires of Intolerance by Ken Shimamoto
                  God's Buffer by J. V. Michael Motes
                  Snakes in the Churchyard, Lightning in the Sky A Rumination on the
                  General Convention of the Episcopal Church, 2003 by The Rev. Canon
                  Mark Harris
                  A Letter to the Parish by the Rev. Andrew Sloane, Rector, St.
                  Paul's 'K' Street, Washington, DC, an historic Anglo-Catholic parish.
                  The Mount of God's Unchanging Love, a sermon at General Convention
                  2003 by Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry
                  A Difficult Teaching: Blame It on Jesus. By the Rev. Kelly Koonce,
                  Autin, TX <MORE>
                • umcornet
                  For September, Reconciling Kansas brings Reconciling worship directly to you. http://community.webtv.net/reconcilingkans/RK/ ... Photos and Reports from
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 16, 2003
                    For September, Reconciling Kansas brings Reconciling worship directly
                    to you.



                    Photos and Reports from WOW2003 event in Philadelphia

                    Being an Instrument of Peace
                    Some Reflections on WOW 2003
                    by Candace Chellew-Hodge
                    Whosoever, September/October 2003

                    See also:


                    Monday, September 15, 2003
                    Gay Clergy: Cracks Appear in African Front at Lambeth
                    By MWANGI GITHAHU
                    East African, Uganda

                    As 38 Anglican primates from all over the world gather in London this
                    week, it seems that the divisions within the Worldwide Anglican
                    Community are not as clear cut as they appeared to be at the
                    beginning of the ongoing debate on gay clergy.

                    Saturday, September 13, 2003
                    Lesbians 'have higher heart disease risk'
                    Health messages may not be getting through to lesbians

                    Lesbians are generally fatter and have a higher risk of heart disease
                    compared to other women, a study suggests. Researchers in the United
                    States based their findings on a study of 324 lesbians living in
                    California. <MORE>

                    Friday, September 12, 2003
                    Trying to Make His Special Students Feel Ordinary
                    By KATHERINE ZOEPF

                    AFTER what surely is one of the most taxing summers he has
                    ever faced, Bill Salzman shows remarkably little sign of
                    wear. As the new principal of the Harvey Milk High School, the
                    nation's first publicly financed school for gay, lesbian
                    and transgender students, Mr. Salzman has helped to oversee
                    Harvey Milk's rapid transition from a small high school
                    program with 50 students to a full public high school
                    serving 91 students in eight classrooms. <MORE>


                    Thursday, September 11, 2003
                    LGBT clergy declare it 'ok to be gay'
                    By Jason Michael

                    DETROIT - They stood at the foot of the impressively bold Spirit of
                    Detroit monument outside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in
                    downtown Detroit donned in their crisp, freshly pressed cleric's
                    clothing. But behind all the pomp and circumstance of their
                    presentation lay a painfully simple message: It's ok to be gay.

                    "We're here today because for years the only audible spirit-centered
                    voice speaking out on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues
                    has been the religious right shouting their tired old line
                    about 'love the sinner hate the sin,' 'gays can change' and 'threats
                    to the family' to anyone who will listen," said Michael Gibson-Faith
                    of the American Friends Service Committee. "With our new
                    show, 'Whosoever,' and this new initiative from the American Friends
                    Service Committee's Faith Action Network and these Detroit area
                    churches, we say 'no more.'" <MORE>

                    Tuesday, September 9, 2003
                    Protests Mar Opening of Expanded Harvey Milk School
                    By KATHERINE ZOEPF
                    New York Times

                    For the 75 students who attend the Harvey Milk High School,
                    the first day of classes yesterday included not just the
                    usual confusion over new classrooms and new electives, but
                    also a walk past a crowd of chanting demonstrators.
                    The Harvey Milk High School was established in 1985 as an
                    alternative program for gay and lesbian teenagers, and
                    other students suffering from violence or intolerance in
                    New York City public schools. Before this summer, it had
                    generated little controversy. <MORE>

                    [CORNET Note: The high school's first home was at Washington Square
                    United Methodist Church in New York City & there was controversy in
                    1985 about both the school and its location.]

                    Tuesday, September 9, 2003
                    Men Marry, With and Without a Church Blessing
                    By SETH MYDANS
                    New York Times

                    NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, Sept. 5 - Standing at solemn
                    attention with embroidered bridal crowns on their heads,
                    two young men were married here this week by a Russian
                    Orthodox priest, defying both religious and state law in
                    this conservative country.

                    Nothing like this had happened in the church's 1,000-year
                    history, said a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate,
                    Viktor Malukhin, and it was blasphemy. <MORE>

                    Tuesday, September 9, 2003
                    Movies: A Star's Real Life Upstages His Films
                    By BERNARD WEINRAUB
                    New York Times

                    At 72, Tab Hunter has decided to write a memoir covering his years
                    as an archetypal Hollywood star and his struggle to hide his
                    homosexuality. <MORE>

                    Friday, September 5, 2003
                    SA Advised To Recognize Gay Marriage
                    by Mark Levy
                    365Gay.com Newscenter
                    Cape Town, South Africa Bureau

                    (Cape Town, South Africa) An advisory group to the South African
                    government is proposing the legalization of same-sex marriage. In a
                    report to the government the South African Law Reform Commission has
                    made seven proposals, addressing both same-sexl and heterosexual
                    relationships, and invited public comment. The proposals address
                    legal problems faced by a growing number of people who are not
                    married but are in dependent or committed relationships. <MORE>

                    Friday, September 5, 2003
                    Missing the Point on Gays
                    By Alan Simpson
                    Washington Post; Page A21

                    For several weeks now a storm has been brewing in the Senate over
                    just how homosexuals fit into the mainstream of American life. First,
                    an honest debate on the criminalization of gay sex in Texas somehow
                    gave rise to baseless fears about permitting bestiality and incest.
                    Then, after the Supreme Court's reasonable ruling in Lawrence v.
                    Texas that the government had no business policing people in their
                    bedrooms, a panic developed. Some worried that the decision would
                    lead to gay marriage, thus posing a threat to the survival of the
                    American family.

                    In the view of this old Senate hand, it's time for everyone to take a
                    deep breath, calm down and wait for this storm to head out to sea.
                    But no such luck: Several Senate members want to create more anguish
                    by pushing a proposal to amend the Constitution. It would set a
                    federal definition of marriage as being a union between a man and a
                    woman. <MORE>

                    September 2, 2003
                    Big Brothers Pro-Gay Policy Challenged by Christian Law Group
                    Michael Christopher Bryan

                    The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based law firm that supports
                    conservative Christian issues, released letters to school districts
                    and parents last week, warning that the Big Brother Mentoring Program
                    could be liable for millions of dollars in legal costs if the
                    organization places a child with a gay mentor without the consent of
                    the child's parents.

                    August 2003
                    The Harvey Milk School
                    by Andy Humm
                    Gotham Gazette

                    The Harvey Milk School, a public school primarily for gay students,
                    is the subject of tabloid attention and conservative attacks once
                    again. But it is also receiving scrutiny from civil libertarians, who
                    frame the debate as a matter of civil liberties - for the non-gay
                    students that they fear might be excluded from the school. Andy
                    Humm, who
                    used to work there, offers his analysis.<MORE>

                    The following petion is online at:

                    "To: Manchester Cathedral Authorities
                    We regret the inhospitable action of Manchester Cathedral, in
                    withdrawing permission for an act of worship for the Lesbian and Gay
                    Christian Movement, to be held at the Cathedral. We invite the
                    Cathedral authorities to explain their action clearly, and to
                    consider seriously the message that their action gives to lesbian
                    and gay people."

                    See also OPEN LETTER
                  • umcornet
                    Note: Yesterday, I forgot to paste in the link for By the Power Vested In Me, I Now Pronounce..., the last item of message #2132 [
                    Message 9 of 17 , Oct 17 5:41 AM
                      Note: Yesterday, I forgot to paste in the link for "By the Power
                      Vested In Me, I Now Pronounce...," the last item of message #2132 [
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UMCalledOut/message/2132 ]. It should
                      have been:


                      Friday, October 17, 2003
                      Clergy avert schism but say gay bishop will damage church
                      By Paul Vallely

                      Contrary to predictions the Anglican Communion stepped back from the
                      brink of schism when its 38 primates issued a unanimous statement at
                      the end of their emergency summit on homosexuality agreeing "not to
                      act precipitately".

                      The outcome was a diplomatic victory for the Archbishop of
                      Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. There are traditionally three outcomes
                      to a church crisis: the Archbishop can crack down on rebels,
                      capitulate to opponents, or offer a fudge. Yesterday Dr Williams did
                      all three - and even drew a tribute from a leading anti-gay
                      conservative, Drexel Gomez, the Primate of the West Indies, who
                      praised "the inspired leadership given to us by the Archbishop of
                      Canterbury". <MORE>

                      Friday, October 17, 2003
                      'Huge crisis' over gay bishop
                      BBC News

                      The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned of a serious split looming in
                      the Anglican Church, after US clerics insisted they would go ahead
                      with consecrating a gay bishop. <SNIP>

                      There remained a paradox at the heart of the Church with two
                      different groups feeling "squashed" and needing to be included, he

                      "One group of course is the homosexual community, here and elsewhere.

                      "The other group is those from small and struggling churches, often
                      in the developing world, who feel excluded, overruled and ignored."

                      Friday, October 17, 2003
                      Bishop's consecration set to split Anglicans
                      Ireland Online

                      Anglicans in the US plan to go ahead with the consecration of an
                      openly gay bishop in defiance of a warning that it could "tear the
                      fabric" of the Church and jeopardise its continued union. <SNIP>
                      "When we elected Gene Robinson as our next bishop, it was not to make
                      a political statement but because he's had 17 years of faithful
                      service to the diocese and because we recognised the quality of his
                      gifts and the depth of his faith," said the Rev Tim Rich, who would
                      serve as the new bishop's assistant. <MORE>

                      Friday October 17, 2003
                      Church heads for schism
                      US bishop refuses to back down in gay row
                      Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
                      The Guardian

                      The 70 million-strong Anglican communion stepped closer to schism
                      last night after the US Episcopal Church rejected an appeal by
                      Anglicanism's worldwide leaders, headed by Rowan Williams, the
                      Archbishop of Canterbury, not to proceed with the consecration of the
                      church's first openly gay bishop. <SNIP>

                      Smiling gently, Bishop Griswold said he respected the primates but
                      also the decision to approve Canon Robinson's election, made by
                      worshippers in his state and endorsed in August by the church's
                      national general convention.

                      In doing so Bishop Griswold ignored pleas from developing world
                      churches that their position will be made more precarious in some
                      fundamentalist states, particularly those with militant Muslim
                      movements hostile to Christianity. <MORE>


                      Friday, October 17, 2003
                      Gay issue imperils 'unity' of Anglicans
                      Nicholas Read
                      Vancouver Sun
                      Lesley Bentley, a spokeswoman for the Anglican communion in New
                      Westminster, a coalition of 11 Anglican churches opposed to same-sex
                      blessings, said she was particularly heartened by the primates'
                      concern for those who disagree with the practice of the diocese.

                      "They specifically recognize that we, as the dissenting parishes in
                      New Westminster, maintain ourselves in line with the worldwide
                      Anglican church," Bentley said. <SNIP>

                      Bentley hopes that will open the door to the possibility of a new
                      bishop being appointed to oversee the 11 churches in question. <MORE>


                      Friday, October 17, 2003
                      US Anglicans to defy UK over gay bishop
                      Evening News, Scotland

                      ANGLICANS in the United States plan to go ahead with the consecration
                      of an openly gay bishop in defiance of a warning that it could "tear
                      the fabric" of the Church and jeopardise its union.

                      <SNIP> "I just think Gene will make a great bishop," said Susan
                      Milliken, an Episcopalian from Concord. <MORE>


                      Friday, October 17, 2003
                      Statement from the Primates of Nigeria, Southeast Asia and Rwanda

                      It is with great gratitude to God and appreciation to the people of
                      the Anglican Communion and other churches that we greet you in the
                      name of Jesus Christ.

                      As we met this week at Lambeth we experienced the power of the Holy
                      Spirit moving among us. We are so grateful to God for hearing the
                      prayers and cries of his praying people to preserve both the truth and
                      the unity of the Anglican Communion. We urge continued prayer that the
                      whole Anglican Communion may continue by God's power to witness to the
                      transforming love of Jesus for all people.

                      The Most Revd Peter Akinola - Archbishop of Nigeria
                      The Most Revd Yong Ping Chung - Archbishop of Southeast Asia
                      The Most Revd Emmanuel Kolini - Archbishop of Rwanda


                      Thursday, October 16, 2003
                      Post-Primates' Statement Blog
                      Susan Russell

                      WAITING TO EXHALE

                      I guess I hadn't realized I was holding my breath until I finally
                      exhaled as I read the statement issued by the Primates from their
                      meeting in Lambeth Palace. It offers -- in classically Anglican
                      language -- a classically Anglican response to a classically Anglican
                      challenge: how do faithful people who hold deeply different
                      perspectives hold together in the fragile relationship we describe
                      as "communion." I am gratified by the essential honesty of a
                      statement that states clearly how challenging these present
                      disagreements are -- but states equally clearly that the value of our
                      common journey together as Anglican Christians is something worth the
                      hard work of wrestling through the challenges we face. <MORE>


                      Summer/Fall issue of the Voice of Integrity | General Convention
                      issue http://www.integrityusa.org/voice/SummerFall2003.pdf (PDF
                      Format Only)
                    • umcornet
                      CORNET Note: Don t miss the following op ed by Andrew Sullivan. If you do not want to register with the New York Times, you can sign in with the userid of
                      Message 10 of 17 , Oct 19 5:08 PM
                        CORNET Note: Don't miss the following op ed by Andrew Sullivan. If
                        you do not want to register with the New York Times, you can sign in
                        with the userid of "userid" (no quotes) and password of "password"
                        (no quotes)

                        Sunday, October 19, 2003
                        Losing a Church, Keeping the Faith
                        By ANDREW SULLIVAN
                        New York Times

                        Last week, something quite banal happened at St. Benedict's Church in
                        the Bronx. A gay couple were told they could no longer sing in the
                        choir. Their sin was to have gotten a civil marriage license in

                        <BIG SNIP> There are moments in a spiritual life when the heart simply
                        breaks. Some time in the last year, mine did. I can only
                        pray that in some distant future, some other gay people not
                        yet born will be able to come back to the church, to sing
                        in the choir, and know that the only true scandal in the
                        world is the scandal of God's love for his creation, all of
                        it, all of us, in a church that may one day, finally,
                        become home to us all.

                        Andrew Sullivan is a senior editor at The New Republic.


                        Sunday, October 19, 2003
                        India Film Festival Examines Homophobia
                        By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

                        BOMBAY, India (AP) -- One film focused on the life of a lesbian truck
                        driver. Another showed two older men lovingly feeding each other.

                        In a country where homosexuality is a crime, and where gays rarely
                        gather publicly, India's first gay film festival was more about
                        coming out than it was about filmmaking. <MORE>


                        Sunday October 19, 2003
                        Gay Episcopal Bishop-Elect Going Forward
                        By ANNE SAUNDERS
                        Associated Press Writer

                        MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - The Episcopal Church's first openly gay
                        bishop-elect said Sunday he agonizes over the turmoil his election is
                        causing but believes God wants him to go forward.

                        "This is one of the hardest things I'll ever do," the Rev. V. Gene
                        Robinson told about 40 people during religious education hour at
                        Grace Church. "I do have this sense I'm supposed to go forward, and I
                        do feel that's coming from God and not my own ego. But I don't know."

                        Saturday, October 18, 2003
                        When churchmen need to listen to other voices
                        JOYCE McMILLAN
                        The Scotsman

                        <SNIP> . . . in 100 years' time, current prejudices against
                        homosexuality as an expression of love will seem as quaint and
                        unacceptable as 19th-century ideas about racial superiority appear to
                        most of us now.

                        But does the archbishop choose to come out fighting, and say as much?
                        He does not. The weight of tradition, prejudice, and disagreement is
                        too strong; he is forced to wait, to defer decisions, and to ask of
                        openly gay churchmen like Gene Robinson, the bishop-elect of New
                        Hampshire, and Jeffrey Johns, the erstwhile bishop-elect of Reading
                        who was persuaded to stand down earlier this year, that they put the
                        interests of church unity before their own sense of vocation, and the
                        claims of natural justice. <MORE>
                      • umcornet
                        Saturday, February 14, 2004 Gays Rush to Wed in San Francisco BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/americas/3488005.stm Hundreds of gay couples have
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 14, 2004
                          Saturday, February 14, 2004
                          Gays Rush to Wed in San Francisco
                          BBC News

                          Hundreds of gay couples have been racing to get married in San
                          Francisco after the city's mayor lifted a state ban on same-sex
                          marriage. Mayor Gavin Newsome took the decision on the grounds that
                          the ban was a form of discrimination.

                          Some 298 marriage certificates have been issued (on Friday) and 98
                          (on Thursday) <MORE>

                          Saturday, February 14, 2004
                          Political Memo: How Massachusetts Left Gay Marriage at the Altar
                          By PAM BELLUCK
                          New York Times

                          At the end of a two-day constitutional convention, the 199
                          members of the Massachusetts legislature had not come close
                          to resolving their stand on gay marriage. <MORE>

                          Saturday, February 14, 2004
                          Bid to Stop San Francisco From Letting Gays Marry
                          By DEAN E. MURPHY
                          New York Times

                          Two conservative groups went to court on Friday to block the
                          city's new policy of recognizing same-sex marriages. <MORE>

                          Friday, February 13, 2004
                          Front-runner Kerry is thrust into gay marriage debate
                          The Advocate

                          John Kerry tells voters he opposes gay marriages, but when 85 of his
                          Senate colleagues voted to write that opposition into law, he
                          compared the effort to 1960s Southerners trying to outlaw interracial
                          marriages. And two years ago, Kerry signed a letter with fellow
                          members of Congress urging the Massachusetts legislature to drop a
                          proposed state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a union
                          between a man and woman because he feared it was too sweeping. <MORE>

                          Friday, February 13, 2004
                          Political Points | Dean Explains Support for Civil Union but Not Gay
                          By JODI WILGOREN
                          New York Times

                          Since the beginning of his presidential campaign, Howard Dean has had
                          to defend his signing of the first bill in the nation creating civil
                          unions for gay couples while also being challenged about why he does
                          not back gay marriage. <MORE>

                          Friday, February 13, 2004
                          More Than 50 Gay Couples Are Married in San Francisco
                          By CAROLYN MARSHALL
                          New York Times

                          Two lesbians who have been living together for more than 50 years
                          were the first to marry at city hall on Thursday under a new city
                          directive. <MORE>

                          Thursday, February 12, 2004
                          Gay marriage poses dilemma for lawmakers
                          The Advocate

                          Mark Montigny was raised by an Irish Catholic mother, went to
                          Catholic camp as a kid, and attended Catholic grammar school. He
                          holds the church sacraments in high esteem. He's also a state senator
                          who supports the rights of gays to marry. "As a Catholic, I would
                          never vote to diminish the sanctity of the church sacrament of
                          marriage," said Montigny, a Democrat. "As a human being, I will never
                          vote to deny someone their equal rights. It is my belief that the
                          only requirement of civil marriage is enduring love and respect."

                          Thursday, February 12, 2004
                          Gays want the right, but not necessarily the marriage
                          Sara B. Miller
                          The Christian Science Monitor

                          <SNIP> In recent days, thousands of gay marriage advocates have
                          overrun the steps, halls, and offices of the Massachusetts State
                          House in support of a November ruling by the state's highest court
                          that gays have a constitutional right to marry. But if they have
                          created a united front to state lawmakers, the gay community itself
                          is divided on whether marriage is the right priority.

                          Many gays and lesbians plan to wed. Many others will not. Some want
                          to marry as a legal protection or as the only nondscriminatory way to
                          validate their love. But marriage is also seen as a flawed
                          institution, as a conservative step backward, unwinding years of work
                          to redefine notions of family. <MORE>

                          Thursday, February 12, 2004
                          Church of England Seeks Middle Ground in Debate Over Gays
                          By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

                          LONDON, Feb. 11 - Church of England leaders issued a plea on
                          Wednesday for more understanding in the debate over homosexuality in
                          the church.

                          The church's governing General Synod endorsed a report by bishops
                          calling for "interpretive charity" between reformers and
                          conservatives and a balancing of biblical
                          teaching with social reality in a debate that is threatening to split
                          the 77-million-member Anglican Communion. <MORE>


                          Monday, February 9, 2004
                          Gay rights no easy sell in courts
                          Warren Richey
                          The Christian Science Monitor

                          Last June, the US Supreme Court gave a major boost to gay rights,
                          overturning a 17-year legal precedent that had allowed states to
                          criminalize private homosexual conduct.

                          Now, lower court judges are getting down to the important work of
                          applying the high court's decision to a crop of new cases. <MORE>

                          Monday, February 9, 2004
                          Congressman Says Bush Is Open to States' Bolstering Gay Rights
                          By JENNIFER 8. LEE
                          New York Times

                          President Bush believes states can use contract law to ensure some of
                          the rights that gay couples are seeking, says a South Carolina
                          lawmaker quoted in Time magazine. <MORE>

                          Sunday, February 8, 2004
                          Do Real Men Wear Skirts? Try Disputing a 340-Pounder
                          By ALAN FEUER
                          New York Times

                          In what future generations may look back on as the birth of the Male
                          Unbifurcated Garment movement, some 100 men in skirts marched to
                          demand their rights to women's clothing. <MORE>

                          Saturday, February 7, 2004
                          Catholic Charities, city claim victory
                          By GREGORY D. KESICH
                          Portland Press Herald

                          Portland won a split decision Friday in its fight with Catholic
                          Charities of Maine over the city's domestic partnership ordinance.

                          Saturday, February 7, 2004
                          Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name
                          By DINITIA SMITH
                          New York Times

                          Roy and Silo, two chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo in
                          Manhattan, are completely devoted to each other. For nearly six years
                          now, they have been inseparable. They exhibit what in penguin
                          parlance is called "ecstatic behavior": that is, they entwine their
                          necks, they vocalize to each other, they have sex. Silo and Roy are,
                          to anthropomorphize a bit, gay penguins. When offered female
                          companionship, they have adamantly refused it. And the females aren't
                          interested in them, either. <MORE>

                          Friday, February 6, 2004
                          Gay marriage divide roils states
                          Noel C. Paul and Amanda Paulson
                          Staff writers of The Christian

                          (BOSTON)The political divide over gay marriage is escalating in
                          states across the country, and has so far become the focal point of
                          America's culture wars for this election year. <MORE>

                          Sunday, February 01, 2004
                          Methodists to tackle budget, same-sex unions at meeting
                          Church prepares for Quadrennial event in Pittsburgh this spring
                          By Ervin Dyer
                          Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

                          About 280 United Methodists departed town yesterday a little more
                          ready to prepare their jurisdictions and congregations for the work
                          of setting policy and direction for the church. <SNIP>

                          Key issues include a recommended budget of $585 million to fund the
                          church's administration and missions; a continuing divide in whether
                          the church should recognize gay clergy and same-sex unions; and
                          expanding ethnic outreach. <MORE>
                        • umcornet
                          Sunday, March 7, 2004 Editorial: The Road to Gay Marriage New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/07/opinion/07SUN1.html When Massachusetts highest
                          Message 12 of 17 , Mar 7, 2004
                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            Editorial: The Road to Gay Marriage
                            New York Times

                            When Massachusetts' highest court ruled that gays have a right to
                            marry, it opened a floodgate. From San Francisco to New Paltz, N.Y.,
                            thousands of gay couples have wed, and the movement shows no sign of
                            slowing. There has been opposition, from the White House down, but
                            support has come from across the nation and the political spectrum.
                            Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor of the most populous
                            state, said it would be "fine" with him if California allowed gay
                            marriage. The student newspaper at Baylor, the world's largest
                            Baptist university, ran a pro-gay-marriage editorial. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            Gay couples find more traditional building for a wedding: church
                            MELISSA L. JONES and AMY HSUAN
                            The Oregonian

                            <SNIP> Pastor John Schwiebert of the Metanoia Peace Community, a
                            Methodist church, presided over his first same-sex ceremony Saturday.
                            Schwiebert, who normally does not preside over weddings, made an
                            exception for a couple he's known for many years. <SNIP>

                            "I'm in civil disobedience myself because I have married a gay
                            couple. But it's a whole new situation with the marriage license
                            because pastors now have to exercise full discretion," Schwiebert
                            said. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            Unitarian Ministers Defy Authorities by Conducting Same-Sex Weddings
                            in New Paltz
                            By THOMAS CRAMPTON
                            New York Times

                            NEW PALTZ, N.Y., March 6 - Stepping in for the mayor who faces
                            misdemeanor charges and a court injunction for solemnizing New York's
                            first same-sex weddings last week, two Unitarian ministers defied
                            threats of prosecution to wed 13 lesbian couples here on Saturday.

                            <SNIP> "I have never knowingly violated the law at any previous time
                            in my life," said Dawn Sangrey, the minister who leads the Fourth
                            Unitarian Society of Westchester County. "I am perfectly willing to
                            face jail and fines for conducting these marriages." <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            Gays wed despite mayor's absence
                            The Associated Press

                            NEW PALTZ - <SNIP> About 13 same-sex couples gathered under a packed
                            tent in a private parking lot on the village's Main Street Saturday
                            to be married by local Unitarian ministers.

                            <SNIP> Meanwhile, a group called Churches on the Square representing
                            Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal churches in Goshen, near New
                            Paltz, issued a statement in support of West on Saturday.

                            "We believe that changes in attitude and legislation around this
                            issue are both essential and inevitable. We commit ourselves to
                            support for Mayor West," said the statement. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            The extraordinary journey of an ordinary St. Louis family
                            By Betty Cuniberti
                            St. Louis Post-Dispatch


                            Now he's a grandfather and been through a great many things. But Tom
                            Miles never had a drink until he was 21 years old, at his company
                            picnic. Born in St. Louis, raised Methodist by a Catholic father and
                            a Methodist mother who read the Bible every day, Tom was about as
                            straight and narrow as a kid could be. That day he was on his first
                            date with Audrey. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            A Former Justice With the Law, and God, as His Guide
                            By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
                            New York Times

                            Roy S. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme
                            Court, talks about his fame and why he disagrees about the
                            need for an amendment banning same-sex marriages. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            'Strangers': The Age of Uranians
                            By ADAM GOODHEART
                            New York Times

                            <SNIP> Graham Robb is neither gay nor an academic. It is perhaps
                            these fortunate circumstances that have allowed him to view the
                            history of homosexuality with a fresh eye. In "Strangers," he has
                            produced a brilliant work of social archaeology, all the more
                            remarkable because the truths he unearths were never buried very
                            deep; for decades if not centuries they have been hidden in plain
                            sight. Robb, who comes to gay history by way of his work as a
                            biographer of Balzac, Rimbaud and Victor Hugo, is also one of those
                            rare historians who actually feel at home in the past, who see our
                            great-grandparents not as an alien species of primitive organisms but
                            as creatures much like ourselves: complicated, neurotic and capable
                            of the full human range of generosity and stupidity. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
                            Power of Two
                            By JONATHAN RAUCH
                            New York Times

                            In endorsing the passage of a constitutional amendment that would
                            restrict marriage to the union of men and women, President Bush
                            established himself as the country's most prominent advocate of same-
                            sex marriage.

                            To be more precise, he established himself as the most prominent
                            advocate of the best arguments for gay marriage, even as he roundly
                            rejected gay marriage itself. Consider the words that he spoke in the
                            Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 24. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            Same-Sex Marriage Blurs Lines on Both Sides of the Political Aisle
                            By MICHAEL SLACKMAN
                            New York Times

                            As the debate over gay marriage evolves, Republicans say
                            they risk looking mean-spirited, while Democrats say they
                            risk looking too liberal. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            Poll shows voters in Florida oppose gay marriage, constitutional ban
                            BY ERIKA BOLSTAD
                            Knight Ridder Newspapers

                            TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (KRT) - While most Florida voters don't approve
                            of marriage for gay and lesbian couples, a majority supports civil
                            unions that would give same-sex couples the legal rights of married
                            couples, according to a new poll.

                            Voters are also uncomfortable with a proposed federal constitutional
                            amendment prohibiting gay marriage, with only 41 percent of those
                            polled saying they would support President Bush's push to ban same-
                            sex marriages. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            Gay Anglican Bishop Invested in New Hampshire
                            By Mark Wilkinson

                            CONCORD, New Hampshire (Reuters) - The Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson
                            became the ninth bishop of New Hampshire on Sunday, four months after
                            his controversial installation as the first openly gay bishop in the
                            U.S. Episcopal Church. <MORE>

                            Sunday, March 7, 2004
                            Gay-Rights Foes See Opportunity in Furor
                            By DAVID CRARY
                            AP National Writer

                            NEW YORK -- Even as they issue dire warnings, many longtime opponents
                            of the gay-rights movement are welcoming the furor over same-sex
                            marriage as a chance to expand the audience for their unfavorable
                            views of homosexuality.

                            Activists in this camp -- clergy, conservative lobbyists, men and
                            women who say they moved away from homosexuality through prayer or
                            therapy -- have been dismayed by gay-rights advances in recent years.
                            But they see new opportunities for their cause if, as polls indicate,
                            a majority of the Americans oppose the spreading push for gay

                            "People are taking us more seriously," said Joseph Nicolosi, a
                            leading proponent of the contested concept that homosexuality is a
                            disorder treatable by therapy. <MORE>

                            Saturday, March 6, 2004
                            Pastor says gay parishioners open minds

                            This month, Times staff writer Randy Myers talks to the Rev. Renae
                            Extrum-Fernandez of Walnut Creek United Methodist Church. The parish
                            recently celebrated 10 years as a "reconciling congregation," a
                            religious movement to fully include gay men and lesbians. She
                            estimates that the 700-member congregation includes more than 20 gay
                            and lesbian parishioners, with roughly four or five of the same-sex
                            couples having recently wed. <MORE>

                            Saturday, March 6, 2004
                            Gay Bishop: I Wish I Could Marry My Partner

                            Gay bishop Gene Robinson has said he would marry his partner "in a
                            minute" if he had the chance.

                            Robinson, whose election as the US church's first openly gay bishop
                            last year had divided Anglicans throughout the world, said yesterday
                            , two days before he was due to become the Episcopal Church's leader
                            in New Hampshire – that the gay marriage issue was one of civil
                            rights. <MORE>

                            Saturday, March 6, 2004
                            'Middle Way' Episcopalians Set to Meet
                            By Alan Cooperman
                            Washington Post Staff Writer
                            Page A03

                            Episcopalians who do not want their church to split over the
                            consecration of a gay bishop plan this month to establish a
                            nationwide alliance of clergy and laity who stand for moderation,
                            tolerance and inclusion, leaders of the movement said yesterday.

                            Representatives of 11 regional Episcopal groups that go by different
                            names but collectively call themselves Via Media -- Latin for "middle
                            way" -- will gather March 25-27 in Atlanta to "swap notes, meet each
                            other and plan strategy," said Lionel Deimel, president of
                            Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. <MORE>

                            Saturday, March 6, 2004
                            Bloomberg Said to Want State to Legalize Same-Sex Marriages
                            By ROBERT D. McFADDEN
                            New York Times

                            Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has refused in his two years in
                            office to disclose his personal views on gay and lesbian marriage,
                            told 80 journalists at a lesbian and gay
                            fund-raising dinner in Manhattan Thursday night that he favored
                            changing state law to legalize same-sex unions, four people who were
                            there said yesterday. <MORE>

                            Tuesday, March 2, 2004
                            New report details torture of gays in Egypt
                            The Advocate

                            Egyptian authorities have entrapped, arrested, and tortured hundreds
                            of men suspected of engaging in consensual gay sex, a New York-based
                            human rights group claimed in a report released Monday that demands
                            an end to such actions. Human Rights Watch urged Egypt to repeal
                            legislation allowing the prosecution of consensual homosexual
                            relations--covered under the country's debauchery laws--and
                            permitting police surveillance and entrapment. In a 144-page report
                            titled "In a Time of Torture: The Assault on Justice in Egypt's
                            Crackdown on Homosexual Conduct," Human Rights Watch documents what
                            it describes as Egyptian government repression of gay men. <MORE>

                            In a Time of Torture:
                            The Assault on Justice In Egypt's Crackdown on Homosexual Conduct
                            Human Rights Watch

                            <SNIP> Egypt is carrying out a crackdown. The professed motive is
                            cultural authenticity coupled with moral hygiene. The means include
                            entrapment, police harassment, and torture. The agents range from
                            government ministers to phalanxes of police informers fanning out
                            across Cairo. The victims are men suspected of having sex with men.
                            The violence is aimed not only at their loves but at their lives.

                            Since early 2001, a growing number of men have been arrested,
                            prosecuted, and convicted for having sexual relations with other men.
                            Human Rights Watch knows the names of 179 men whose cases under the
                            law against "debauchery" were brought before prosecutors since the
                            beginning of 2001; in all probability that is only a minuscule
                            percentage of the true total. Hundreds of others have been harassed,
                            arrested, often tortured, but not charged. <MORE>

                            Feb 25, 2004
                            Institute of Hate
                            Right-wingers are targeting liberal pastors -- including at least one
                            in S.F. -- who favor gay marriage
                            BY MATT SMITH
                            SF Weekly

                            The Rev. Karen Oliveto, the personable pastor of Bethany United
                            Methodist Church in Noe Valley, is the last person one might imagine
                            to be the subject of scrutiny from a former CIA analyst employed by
                            a pressure group co-founded by a one-time collaborator of Col.
                            Oliver North. <SNIP>

                            It's within this church spirit of vigorous civil discourse that the
                            tactics behind the IRD's attempt to move mainstream churches to the
                            right are troublesome. The IRD and its allies' strategy of using
                            right-wing nonreligious foundation money to smear liberal church
                            leaders through mailings, articles in IRD-aligned publications, press
                            releases, and stories in secular newspapers and magazines has more in
                            common with a CIA Third World destabilization campaign than ordinary
                            civilized debate. <MORE>
                          • umcornet
                            Saturday, March 13, 2004 Lesbian minister faces a church trial Proceeding could presage a split in Methodism By WYATT BUCHANAN SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
                            Message 13 of 17 , Mar 13, 2004
                              Saturday, March 13, 2004
                              Lesbian minister faces a church trial
                              Proceeding could presage a split in Methodism
                              By WYATT BUCHANAN
                              SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

                              ELLENSBURG -- Karen Dammann never chose to take on the Methodist
                              church.She chose to be a minister, a right that women in the church
                              have had since 1956. Then she fell in love, with a woman named
                              Meredith Savage. When Meredith gave birth to a son five years ago,
                              Dammann adopted him. <MORE>

                              Saturday, March 13, 2004
                              Gay Marriage Issue and Seaside City Seem a Perfect Match
                              By THOMAS CRAMPTON
                              New York Times

                              ASBURY PARK, N.J., March 10 - This once-thriving seaside
                              resort where Bruce Springsteen started his career has gone
                              through many changes since Rita M. Marano moved here more
                              than 40 years ago. <MORE>

                              Saturday, March 13, 2004
                              Gay couple left waiting for an altar
                              By JOSIE HUANG
                              Portland Press Herald

                              A wedding dress was picked out, the bed and breakfast suite booked.
                              Janelle Bainter and Erin Clark were getting married in San Francisco,
                              and they couldn't be more breathless. Then the California Supreme
                              Court put a stop to gay weddings Thursday - and like that, the
                              Portland couple's dreams of marital bliss crumpled. <SNIP>

                              Bainter and Clark have entered into a civil union in Vermont, the
                              only state to provide same-sex couples the same legal rights as
                              those given heterosexuals. But up to now, civil unions have not
                              been portable. And federal law keeps same-sex couples from enjoying
                              more than 1,000 legal protections regarding adoption, medical
                              emergencies and Social Security survivor benefits.

                              "It's separate and unequal," Bainter said. <MORE>

                              Two states dealt gay marriage setbacks
                              The Advocate

                              The California supreme court on Thursday ordered an immediate halt to
                              gay marriages in San Francisco, delivering a victory to conservatives
                              who have fought for a month to block the ceremonies. Meanwhile,
                              Massachusetts lawmakers gave preliminary approval to a constitutional
                              amendment that would ban gay marriage but allow civil unions. <MORE>

                              Friday, March 12, 2004
                              Is the Black Gay Man Really Ready for Marriage?
                              San Francisco Bay View, Commentary
                              K. Godfrey Easter

                              <SNIP> In one hypocritical breath, Black mainstream churches teach
                              that God's love and grace is unconditionally available for everyone.
                              Then while exhaling that same breath, our families, both domestic and
                              religious, are encouraged to continue tossing their gay and lesbian
                              loved ones to the wolves. <MORE>

                              K. Godfrey Easter is a social activist, public speaker and the author
                              of "Love Lifted Me: In Spite Of The Church."

                              Friday, March 12, 2004
                              Three Photos Stolen From Gay-Missionary Art Exhibit
                              ABC 4 News

                              Three photographs have been stolen from an art exhibit that drew
                              angry reactions this week because the subjects were said to be two
                              returned Mormon missionaries in a gay relationship.

                              "For someone to take action through a crime to say what they need to
                              say is not the way to go about it," the photographer, Don Farmer,
                              told The Salt Lake Tribune. <MORE>

                              Friday, March 12, 2004
                              The Gay-Marriage Debate Resumes in Massachusetts
                              By PAM BELLUCK
                              New York Times

                              Massachusetts legislators moved a step closer on Thursday to amending
                              the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriages and establish civil
                              unions for gay and lesbian couples. <MORE>

                              Friday, March 12, 2004
                              Spitzer and New Paltz Mayor Meet About Gay Marriages
                              By THOMAS CRAMPTON
                              New York Times

                              Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney general, discussed the issue of
                              same-sex marriage yesterday with Jason West, the mayor of New Paltz,
                              who conducted marriages for 25 gay
                              couples in his village two weeks ago. In the end, the two men agreed
                              to differ. <MORE>

                              Friday, March 12, 2004
                              Bush Assures Evangelicals of His Commitment to Amendment on Marriage
                              By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
                              New York Times

                              President Bush on Thursday forcefully restated his call for passage
                              of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to
                              enthusiastic rounds of applause. <MORE>

                              Friday, March 12, 2004
                              We are family: Legal marriage or no, same-sex couples are creating
                              happy homes in Arkansas.
                              By Janie Ginocchio
                              Arkansas Times

                              In the company of almost 100 onlookers, John Schenck and Robert Loyd
                              publicly celebrated their 29-year relationship on the steps of the
                              state Capitol on Feb. 29. The grooms wore matching black tuxedos with
                              tails, pink tuxedo shirts and rhinestone brooches pinned to their
                              collars, instead of traditional ties. Jerry King, a former Dallas
                              Metropolitan Community Church pastor, officiated.

                              The marriage (which isn't legal in Arkansas) was performed in protest
                              to comments about gay marriage made by Gov. Mike Huckabee. <MORE>

                              Friday, March 12, 2004
                              California suspends gay marriages
                              BBC News

                              California's Supreme Court orders same-sex marriages to be halted in
                              San Francisco pending a legal review. <MORE>

                              Thursday, March 11, 2004
                              E.U. seeks to expand residency rights for gay and lesbian couples
                              The Advocate

                              Gay and lesbian couples in the European Union will have an easier
                              time moving around--but only in E.U. countries that also legally
                              recognize same-sex couples--under a directive adopted Wednesday by
                              the European Parliament. <MORE>

                              Thursday, March 11, 2004
                              California Supreme Court Orders Halt to Gay Marriages
                              By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

                              The order today is a victory to conservatives who have fought for a
                              month to block the ceremonies in San Francisco. <MORE>

                              Thursday, March 11, 2004
                              'Open and affirming'
                              By Dinah Cardin / DCARDIN@...

                              As the Constitutional Convention on gay marriage gears back up,
                              religious groups will be watching, both from the steps of the State
                              House and from the pews of their houses of worship.

                              A sample of the churches in town proves that Saugus is quite a
                              microcosm of the rest of the country, with opinions vastly divided.

                              Certain denominations are divided on the issue and many congregations
                              are split from within. The members of the East Saugus United
                              Methodist Church, which became "open and affirming" to all groups of
                              people three years ago by unanimous vote, don't necessarily all
                              support gay marriage. But Rev. Sydney Pierce has done her best to
                              educate her congregation on the importance of including gay
                              individuals and couples and making them feel welcome in the
                              community. <MORE>

                              Thursday, March 11, 2004
                              Heath enrages Augusta
                              By PAUL CARRIER
                              Portland Press Herald

                              AUGUSTA -- The head of the Christian Civic League of Maine
                              apologized Wednesday for using the group's Web site to solicit
                              information about the sexual orientation of lawmakers and other state
                              officials. The apology capped a day of high drama at the State
                              House, as politicians with views ranging from very conservative to
                              very liberal united to condemn the league for trying to expose -
                              or "out" - gays and lesbians. <MORE>

                              Thursday, March 11, 2004
                              Asbury Park Halts Gay-Wedding Applications
                              By THOMAS CRAMPTON
                              New York Times

                              ASBURY PARK, N.J., March 10 - After a warning from New Jersey's
                              attorney general, the city of Asbury Park stopped accepting
                              applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples on Wednesday
                              and said it would temporarily freeze all applications in progress.

                              Thursday, March 11, 2004
                              Politicians hit a hot button
                              Noel C. Paul and Sara B. Miller
                              Christian Sciene Monitor

                              (BOSTON)Massachusetts lawmakers will reconvene Thursday to continue
                              work they left unfinished a month ago: deciding how to handle the
                              sensitive question of gay marriage.

                              But even as the Bay State remains a key battleground, a host of
                              officeholders from Chicago's mayor to a county clerk in northern New
                              Mexico have mounted their own bully pulpits. The wrangling in
                              Massachusetts, prompted by a 2003 court ruling, is no longer the
                              centerpiece of this national debate. Instead, a series of officials
                              both powerful and parochial have helped push gay marriage to the fore
                              in multiple locales. Vowing to "go with the law" may for now be the
                              politically safe course, yet it is becoming harder for elected
                              leaders to avoid entering the debate. <MORE>

                              Wednesday, March 10, 2004
                              Wenke explains his stand on the gay marriage amendment
                              By Lorence Wenke
                              Kalamazoo Gazette

                              I am grateful for this opportunity to clarify my position on the
                              proposed marriage protection amendment. I wish to thank the Kalamazoo
                              Gazette and Julie Mack for a two-hour interview that resulted in an
                              accurate and honest report. Other individuals who have made no
                              attempt to speak with me have misrepresented my stance. <SNIP>

                              I do not support gay marriage. I do not endorse using the word
                              marriage to define a relationship between members of the same sex. I
                              do, however, support the creation and recognition of a legal
                              arrangement between same- sex couples. I am not alone in my
                              conclusion as Gov. Jennifer Granholm and about half of all Americans
                              favor civil unions for homosexuals. <MORE>


                              Wednesday, March 10, 2004
                              Issuing Licenses, Quietly, to Couples in Asbury Park
                              By THOMAS CRAMPTON
                              New York Times

                              ASBURY PARK, N.J., March 9 - For a woman who set her entire tate
                              talking, D. Kiki Tomek has few characteristics of a firebrand.

                              On Tuesday, Ms. Tomek, the deputy city clerk of Asbury Park who
                              processed the first same-sex marriage licenses in New Jersey, sat as
                              quietly as possible behind her desk, accepting more marriage
                              applications from gay couples. The soft-spoken clerk, called "Ma" by
                              some colleagues, also processed a dog license, answered queries on a
                              liquor license and declined many requests for interviews. (She also
                              declined to say how old she was, though she said she came of age
                              during the 1960's.) <MORE>


                              Tuesday, March 9, 2004
                              Supreme Court won't hear Boy Scouts appeal
                              The Advocate

                              The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from the Boy
                              Scouts of America over what the organization claims is discrimination
                              because of its policy against hiring gays. <MORE>

                              Tuesday, March 9, 2004
                              Gay Legislator at the Center of a Storm in Georgia
                              By ANDREW JACOBS
                              New York Times

                              ATLANTA, March 8 - In contrast to the mundane mementos that dress the
                              offices of most politicians, State Representative Karla Drenner has
                              chosen to hang a startling array of
                              images that show her crossing the finish line of a half-dozen recent
                              marathons, sweat-soaked and jelly-legged, her face contorted in pain.

                              The photos are a source of strength to Ms. Drenner, Georgia's only
                              openly gay legislator, who has become the most visible - and derided -
                              opponent of an effort to enact a constitutional ban on same-sex
                              marriage. The emotional turmoil she feels is often reflected in the
                              agonizing expressions of those finish-line portraits. <MORE>


                              Tuesday, March 9, 2004
                              In Seattle, a Legal Challenge to Marriage Laws
                              By SARAH KERSHAW
                              New York Times

                              SEATTLE, March 8 - The gay marriage debate rippled into Washington
                              State on Monday, as six same-sex couples filed a lawsuit challenging
                              the state's Defense of Marriage
                              Act and the Seattle mayor said the city would now recognize gay
                              marriages forged elsewhere. <MORE>


                              Tuesday, March 9, 2004
                              Op-Ed Contributor: A Marriage Made in History?
                              By DON BROWNING and ELIZABETH MARQUHARDT
                              New York Times

                              Rather than overextending marriage, society should find alternative
                              ways to solemnize the wide variety of human relationships. <MORE>


                              Tuesday, March 9, 2004
                              Gay and Republican, but Not Necessarily Disloyal to President
                              By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
                              New York Times

                              As the debate over same-sex marriage heats up, some gay Republicans
                              say that President Bush may still get their vote in November. <MORE>


                              Tuesday, March 9, 2004
                              Mayors Asked to Face the Music, as in a Same-Sex Wedding March
                              By LISA W. FODERARO
                              New York Times

                              In the struggle over same-sex marriage in New York, small-town mayors
                              suddenly emerged last week as the unlikely protagonists, becoming
                              engines for social and political change. The actions of mayors in
                              places like New Paltz and Nyack fed the debate and helped trigger a
                              declaration by the attorney general that gays and lesbians were not
                              permitted to wed under current state law. <MORE>

                              Monday, March 8, 2004
                              Together in a Parade, but Not on Gay Unions
                              By MIKE McINTIRE
                              New York Times

                              At the Saint Patrick's Day march, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg found
                              himself in a civil union of sorts with the mayor of New Paltz, whose
                              signature issue is gay marriage. <MORE>
                            • umcornet
                              Sunday, April 25, 2004 Methodist General Conference to tackle agenda ranging from gays to pensions By Ervin Dyer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
                              Message 14 of 17 , Apr 25, 2004
                                Sunday, April 25, 2004
                                Methodist General Conference to tackle agenda ranging from gays to
                                By Ervin Dyer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

                                Money, power and sex.

                                Those are three of the topics expected to take center stage as United
                                Methodists gather for two weeks in Pittsburgh, beginning Tuesday.

                                Sunday, April 25, 2004
                                Methodist General Conference: Gay pastor flashpoint for debate
                                By Ervin Dyer
                                Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

                                In the summers of rural Iowa, Karen Dammann would earn extra money by
                                taking a hoe to clear weeds. It was honest, humble work that kept the
                                young girl close to the Earth and close to God.

                                It was in these same fields, where she grew up, that she fell in love
                                with the Lord. <MORE>

                                Sunday, April 25, 2004
                                Ties of Methodist 'family' tested by issue of gays
                                BY ANGIE BRUNKOW
                                Omaha World-Herald

                                David England's not a protester.

                                But the Bellevue father will head to Pittsburgh today to make his
                                views known as the United Methodist Church holds its national meeting
                                to set church policy and law.

                                England, who will wear a badge that says "My child is of worth," said
                                his presence is important as the global church grapples with the
                                issue of homosexuality. <MORE>

                                Sunday, April 25, 2004
                                The many meanings of marriage As Oregon considers same-sex unions,
                                religious leaders, anthropologists, historians and others add
                                NANCY HAUGHT
                                The Oregonian

                                Leaving the ultimate "we do" -- or "we don't" -- to the Oregon
                                Supreme Court, the state's politicians or voters, Multnomah County
                                Circuit Judge Frank L. Bearden ordered Multnomah County last Tuesday
                                to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses. <BIG SNIP>

                                Are all religious leaders opposed to same-sex marriage?

                                No, they are not. Almost 50 ministers from 13 different religious
                                groups issued a statement in support of same-sex marriage the week
                                that Multnomah County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex
                                couples. It read in part, "As people of faith, we believe that God
                                has created all of us in the divine image. We hereby assert that
                                equality in marriage is a justice issue and strongly encourage equity
                                that crosses all barriers, including sexual orientation." <LOTS MORE>

                                April 25, 2004
                                Romney Won't Let Gay Outsiders Wed in Massachusetts
                                By PAM BELLUCK
                                New York Times

                                Same-sex couples who live outside Massachusetts will not be able to
                                marry in Massachusetts when gay marriage becomes legal here next
                                month, Gov. Mitt Romney said.

                                "Massachusetts should not become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage,"
                                Mr. Romney said in an interview on Friday. "We do not intend to
                                export our marriage confusion to the entire nation."

                                The governor's decision could mean disappointment for thousands of
                                couples from all over the country who had planned to marry when
                                Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. <MORE>

                                April 25, 2004
                                Evangelicals threaten to 'ruin' C of E over gay canon
                                By Elizabeth Day

                                Evangelical Anglican churches are threatening the Church of England
                                with financial ruin in protest at the appointment of Canon Jeffrey
                                John, a homosexual, as the Dean of St Albans Cathedral.

                                Several parish churches in the Diocese of St Albans are planning to
                                cap their financial quota contributions after Dr John's elevation,
                                accusing the Church of pursuing "a homosexual agenda". <MORE>

                                Saturday April 24, 2004
                                Campaign begins against gay dean
                                Blair accused of trying 'to move church in more liberal direction'
                                Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
                                The Guardian

                                Conservative evangelicals yesterday demanded a meeting with the prime
                                minister to protest against his appointment of the gay canon Jeffrey
                                John as dean of St Albans Cathedral.

                                <SNIP> The group - Anglican Mainstream, founded last year in the
                                wake of the attempt to make Dr John the suffragan bishop of Reading -
                                had earlier in the week offered to pray for him in his new post. But
                                attitudes against the appointment appear to be hardening. <MORE>

                                Saturday, April 24, 2004
                                Alabama 10th in nation in older gay couples
                                BOB JOHNSON
                                Associated Press

                                MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Frank Romanowicz and Bob Hill have been a couple
                                for 30 years, living together most of that time in the home they own
                                in Birmingham. The longevity of their relationship amazes some of
                                their straight friends. <SNIP>

                                Hill said he and Romanowicz also worry about whether they will be
                                able to stay together if one or both needs to move into an assisted-
                                care facility or nursing home. <SNIP>

                                "We've even run into the issue of whether Bob and I should have
                                pictures shown together in the church directory. They would not let
                                us be photographed together," Romanowicz said. <MORE>

                                Saturday, April 24, 2004
                                Methodists Debate over Gay Clergy
                                By Terry Mattingly

                                The Rev. Julian Rush watched the headlines as 13 United Methodist
                                pastors in the Pacific Northwest judged the fate of a colleague.

                                <SNIP> Rush wasn't surprised by the trial and he wasn't surprised by
                                the verdict — not guilty.

                                After all, he survived a similar ecclesiastical minefield two decades
                                ago in Colorado. <MORE>

                                Saturday, April 24, 2004
                                Gay issue to dominate Methodist conference
                                100 resolutions seek to solidify or change policy on homosexuals in
                                the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination
                                By KEVIN ECKSTROM
                                RELIGION NEWS SERVICE

                                When the United Methodist Church convenes in Pittsburgh next week
                                Tuesday for its quadrennial General Conference meeting, nearly all
                                quarters agree that the same subject that has divided the church for
                                30 years will again dominate the agenda -- homosexuality. <MORE>

                                Saturday, April 24, 2004
                                Church may face moment of truth with homosexuality
                                The Daily Times (Maryville, TN)

                                Frank "Buzz" Trexler is managing editor at The Daily Times and pastor
                                of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa, TN.

                                When the United Methodist Church opens its General Conference session
                                Wednesday in Pittsburgh, it will be, as baseball great Yogi Berra
                                would say, "like déjá vu all over again."

                                Except, the situation isn't anywhere near as funny as Yogi. Quite the
                                contrary, in that the scene in Pittsburgh -- which is a repeat of
                                past denominational conflicts where the issue of homosexuality
                                reigned -- is likely to be quite sad. The dissension and rancor will
                                present to the world the antithesis of "see how they love one
                                another." <MORE>

                                Saturday, April 24, 2004
                                Methodists will be divided by gay clergy
                                By JIM KETCHUM
                                Port Huron Times Herald (MI)

                                Define split personality in three words: United Methodist Church.

                                These good Christian folks are heading toward the same showdown
                                nearly every other mainline American denomination has faced in the
                                past decade or so on the very same issue: the role of gays and
                                lesbians in ministry. <SNIP>

                                What would Jesus say? I hate to sound presumptuous, but my bet is
                                he'd say something like this:

                                "Shut up, make peace and get on with my business. Time is running

                                Is anybody listening? <MORE>

                                Saturday, April 24, 2004
                                United Methodists to debate homosexual-clergy policies
                                BLADE RELIGION EDITOR
                                Toledo Blade

                                As the 10-million member United Methodist Church prepares for its
                                quadrennial General Conference that opens Tuesday in Pittsburgh,
                                delegates expect to confront some of the same issues that are causing
                                turmoil for the Episcopal Church USA. <SNIP>
                                "I think we're all just waiting to see what's going to happen," said
                                the Rev. Cheri Holdridge, pastor of Central United Methodist Church
                                in Toledo. "There is a lot of legislation to be voted on, so many
                                different issues, but of course the homosexuality issues get most
                                coverage," said Ms. Holdridge, whose church promotes inclusiveness
                                for people of all sexual orientations. <MORE>

                                Saturday, April 24, 2004
                                OP-ED COLUMNIST
                                Hug an Evangelical
                                By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
                                New York Times

                                "I've argued often that gay marriage should be legal and that
                                conservative Christians should show a tad more divine love for

                                "But there's a corollary. If liberals demand that the Christian right
                                show more tolerance for gays and lesbians, then liberals need to be
                                more respectful of conservative Christians. <SNIP>

                                Moreover, saying that one will tolerate evangelicals who do not
                                evangelize ­ well, that's like Christians saying they have nothing
                                against gays who remain celibate. <MORE>

                                Saturday, April 24, 2004
                                Rainbow coalition: Gay influx helps Asbury Park rebound
                                By JOHN CURRAN
                                Associated Press Writer

                                <SNIP> The East Coast has a new gay mecca, and it is Asbury Park.

                                With its seaside setting, shabby-chic real estate and liberal local
                                government, the city most often associated with corrupt New Jersey
                                politics and rocker Bruce Springsteen is now the place to summer, to
                                party, to invest - especially if you're gay. <SNIP>

                                In some respects, Asbury Park is an unlikely place for such a
                                movement: Named after a Methodist bishop and developed in the 19th
                                century by a visitor to the religious camp meetings at neighboring
                                Ocean Grove, it was originally intended to be a temperance resort.

                                Friday, April 23, 2004
                                Minister to help shape church policy
                                JIM KINNEY
                                The Saratogian

                                SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The Rev. Michelle Ruller, associate pastor of the
                                Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, will join 1,000 other
                                Methodist clergy and laypeople next week in Pittsburgh to discuss
                                issues as controversial as homosexuality and as routine as the
                                church's retirement plan.

                                'There is really no way you can predict what is going to happen,'
                                Ruller said. 'It's 1,000 people voting.' <MORE>

                                Friday, April 23, 2004
                                Tragedy changes mom's life
                                Speaker urges churches to abandon anti-gay stands
                                By Sean D. Hamill
                                Special to the Chicago Tribune

                                In the years since Mary Lou Wallner's lesbian daughter committed
                                suicide, believing her mother would always see her sexuality as
                                sinful, Wallner has dedicated her life to changing people's views.

                                Speaking at churches and other gatherings across the country, she
                                seeks to persuade Christians to stop considering homosexuals as
                                sinners. <MORE>

                                Friday, April 23, 2004
                                Out-of-wedlock births linked to gay unions
                                2 House Dems call European trend coincidence
                                Carolyn Lochhead
                                San Francico Chronicle Washington Bureau

                                Washington -- A Hoover Institution scholar told a House committee
                                Thursday that same-sex marriages destroy heterosexual marriages,
                                citing a coincidence of out- of-wedlock births in Scandinavia and the
                                Netherlands after acceptance of homosexual unions. <SNIP>

                                Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., asked Kurtz several times if what he was
                                arguing was that heterosexual couples will not marry if homosexual
                                couples do. "Are you saying that men and women are less likely to get
                                married because two men get married?"

                                When Kurtz said yes, Scott laughed.

                                Kurtz agreed with Nadler that banning such things as divorce and
                                female employment would strengthen traditional marriages, and he said
                                there is a tradeoff between changing social mores and strengthening
                                traditional marriage. <MORE>

                                Friday, April 23, 2004
                                Methodists to debate 'compatibility' of gays at conference
                                Backlash from southern states feared over lesbian minister's
                                By CHRISTOPHER SEELY
                                Southern Voice

                                <SNIP> "We're in a crisis here," said Rev. James Moore, pastor of St.
                                Mark United Methodist Church in Atlanta, a church that includes a
                                heavily gay congregation. "As much as I applaud what happened in
                                Seattle, this decision really strikes at the heart of who we are."

                                <SNIP> Recommendations to alter Methodist laws about gays will be
                                made by delegates who want further acceptance of gays in the church
                                as well as those who seek to make the church code more "orthodox,"
                                said Patricia Miller, executive director of Confessing Movement, a
                                group opposed to gay clergy.

                                "There are people working on a proposal to work on the damage of what
                                happened as a result of the Dammann trial," Miller said. <MORE>

                                Friday, April 23, 2004
                                Magazine for Gay Parents Gets a Healthy Start
                                By THOMAS CRAMPTON
                                New York Times

                                And Baby, published every two months, deals with issues
                                unique to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parents. <MORE>

                                Thursday, April 22, 2004
                                Family Values
                                Randall Terry Fights Gay Unions. His Son No Longer Will.
                                By Michael Powell
                                Washington Post; Page C01

                                Jamiel Terry grew up a child of movement royalty.

                                His father, Randall Terry, was a wavy-haired charismatic possessed of
                                a mellifluous voice and proudly extreme politics, a Christian warrior
                                from Upstate New York who founded Operation Rescue, appeared
                                regularly on national television and denounced murderous abortionists
                                and demonic homosexual sodomites.

                                Randall Terry adopted Jamiel, and Jamiel became his adoring son.

                                Thursday, April 22, 2004
                                Gay N.H. bishop riding crest of liberation wave
                                Rev. Gene Robinson says he won't stop doing God's work
                                By JOHN COLLINS, The Broadcaster

                                NASHUA We are on the crest of a new era, said the first openly gay
                                Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire.

                                "And it's too late to put the toothpaste back in the tube."

                                As for the string of death threats that the Right Rev. V. Gene
                                Robinson and his male companion, Mark Andrew, have received since
                                Robinson was consecrated in November?

                                He brushes them aside. <MORE>

                                Thursday, April 22, 2004
                                Matters of the heart
                                Profiles of commitment
                                By D'Anne Witkowski

                                In our 4th annual Commitment and Wedding Guide, we profile five
                                couples that have made commitments to each other. We celebrate their
                                relationships and their love and we hope their stories inspire our
                                community. There are many, many more couples like those featured
                                here, and we congratulate each and every one.

                                Michael and Clayton Gibson-Faith

                                Nancy Katz and Margo Dichtelmiller

                                Jeff Davison and Anthony Marsalese

                                Torii Hamilton and Beth Kendall

                                Christine Cantrell and Susan McEwan

                                Christopher and Frederic MacDonald-Dennis
                                http://www.pridesource.com/article.shtml?article=7473 <MORE>

                                Tuesday, April 20, 2004
                                Diverse forces marshalling resources for homosexuality debate
                                By Steve Smith
                                United Methodist Reporter

                                <SNIP> Soulforce members also have written letters to bishops and
                                delegates about their concerns. In addition to protesting, they also
                                will provide non-perishable items to needy residents in the area, Ms.
                                Rutt said.

                                Meanwhile, Good News leaders are advocating petitions that would
                                close Discipline "loopholes" and maintain current bans. They added
                                that one option is for General Conference to refuse to seat delegates
                                from the Pacific Northwest conference and Western Jurisdiction. <MORE>


                                Monday, April 19, 2004
                                ADRIAN WALKER
                                1913 statute revives bias
                                By Adrian Walker,
                                Boston Globe

                                David J. Rushford is probably on the right side of history, if not on
                                the right side of Massachusetts law. Rushford is the city clerk of
                                Worcester. He says he has no plans to ask whether gay couples seeking
                                marriage licenses plan to become Massachusetts residents, a question
                                he says is not asked of straight couples seeking to tie the knot.
                                Rushford says clerks should not be asked to function as "the marriage

                                At issue is an odious law dating to 1913 that states couples whose
                                marriages would be invalid in their home states are not eligible to
                                receive marriage licenses in Massachusetts. <MORE>

                                Monday, April 19, 2004
                                African Anglicans shun US money over gay policies
                                Mike Crawley
                                The Christian Science Monitor

                                (ACCRA, GHANA)From the welcome shade of a leafy neem tree outside
                                Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Accra comes the hubbub of
                                postservice conversation. But an uncomfortable silence descends when
                                parishioners are asked about the ordination of gay clergy by their US
                                counterpart, the Episcopal Church.

                                "I don't think it's right," says Caroline Tetteh, impeccably dressed
                                in a crisp white dress accented by a sash of multi-colored woven
                                kente cloth. Nearby, Elizabeth Jackson-Davis doesn't hide her
                                scorn. "It shouldn't happen," she says. <MORE>

                                Sunday, April 18, 2004
                                MICHIGAN PERSPECTIVES: Black, Christian and gay
                                BY JOE GUY COLLIER
                                Detroit Free Press

                                Michael Belcher and Walter Houston stand in the cold outside the
                                Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown Detroit. Surrounded by
                                strangers, they're in the midst of a gay marriage rally. <SNIP>

                                Last year, the couple exchanged vows in a commitment ceremony in a
                                small church in Ferndale. They're hopeful that their ceremony will
                                be fortified by a marriage license. But Belcher and Houston have
                                more to overcome than legal hurdles; they're also fighting culture.
                                They are a minority within a minority.

                                The African-American community and Christian churches they grew up
                                in don't accept them because they're gay, they say. And because of
                                their race, they don't always feel comfortable in the gay community.

                                Sunday, April 18, 2004
                                Singing the gospel of Transcendence
                                Nation's first all-transgender gospel choir raises its voices to
                                praise God and lift their own feelings of self-love and dignity
                                Rona Marech,
                                San Francisco Chronicle

                                At first, Bobbi Jean Baker, a big-voiced, loud-clapping, ex-convict
                                Tennesseean with deep roots in the Baptist Church, was skeptical of
                                the new gospel choir at San Francisco's City of Refuge United Church
                                of Christ. Who's to say they could sing?

                                But a friend dragged her to a rehearsal, and sitting in the audience,
                                she thought, "Mmmm -- they got a little beat about themselves." The
                                next time she stopped by, she found herself singing along when a
                                member motioned to her, saying, "Oh, precious, you need to come up
                                here." <MORE>

                                Thursday, April 16, 2004
                                Commentary: For the sake of UMC unity, change Discipline
                                By A.W. Martin Jr.
                                United Methodist Reporter

                                <SNIP> If enough delegates can agree to these changes — and of
                                the balance of power lies with the "moderates" — then the
                                denomination will:

                                *Allow for a cooling-off period about a volatile issue;
                                *End almost all church trials over questions related to ordination
                                and holy unions;
                                *Affirm that West Coast and other like-minded annual conferences, as
                                well as local congregations, are a vital part of the United Methodist
                                communion; <MORE>

                                Thursday, April 15, 2004
                                Randall Terry shocked by son's coming-out
                                The Advocate

                                Randall Terry, the notoriously militant antiabortion activist and a
                                staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, said he is in "a state of
                                shock" following his son's coming-out in the May issue of Out
                                magazine. Terry said his 24-year-old adopted son, Jamiel, first told
                                him he is gay two years ago but that he is very upset about the first-
                                person article in Out and the $5,000 payment Jamiel told him he
                                received for writing it. <MORE>

                                Thursday, April 15, 2004
                                Spain's New Government to Legalize Gay Marriage

                                MADRID (Reuters) - Spain will legalize homosexual marriages and grant
                                equal rights to gay couples, incoming Prime Minister Jose Luis
                                Rodriguez Zapatero said Thursday.

                                The move is likely to stir controversy in one of Europe's most
                                Catholic countries as the Vatican condemns same-sex unions and
                                homosexuality was banned under Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

                                Thursday, April 15, 2004
                                Zanzibar outlaws homosexual acts
                                BBC News

                                Zanzibar's parliament has passed a bill that outlaws homosexuality
                                and lesbianism.
                                The bill imposes stiff penalties which include up to 25 years
                                imprisonment for those in gay relationships.

                                The overwhelmingly Muslim Indian Ocean island is a key tourist
                                destination on the East African coast. <MORE>

                                Tuesday, April 13, 2004
                                Appeals Court: Church music director not protected under human rights
                                Associated Press

                                ST. PAUL - A former church music director wasn't protected under the
                                Minnesota Human Rights Act when he was dismissed for calling a church
                                member "homophobic," the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

                                Hamline United Methodist Church of St. Paul dismissed Randall Egan
                                after he refused to apologize for making the remark during a
                                conversation in the church's parking lot. Egan is bisexual and the
                                church had been contemplating a declaration that it would welcome
                                gay, lesbian, and bisexual parishioners into its membership. <MORE>
                              • umcornet
                                Saturday, May 22, 2004 Conservative Group Amplifies Voice of Protestant Orthodoxy By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK New York Times
                                Message 15 of 17 , May 22, 2004
                                  Saturday, May 22, 2004
                                  Conservative Group Amplifies Voice of Protestant Orthodoxy
                                  By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
                                  New York Times

                                  As Presbyterians prepare to gather for their General Assembly in
                                  Richmond, Va., next month, a band of determined conservatives is
                                  advancing a plan to split the church along liberal and orthodox
                                  lines. Another divorce proposal shook the United Methodist convention
                                  in Pittsburgh earlier this month, while conservative Episcopalians
                                  have already broken away to form a dissident network of their own.

                                  In each denomination, the flashpoint is homosexuality, but there is
                                  another common denominator as well. In each case, the Institute on
                                  Religion and Democracy, a small organization based in Washington, has
                                  helped incubate traditionalist insurrections against the liberal
                                  politics of the denomination's leaders. <MORE>


                                  Saturday, May 22, 2004
                                  Gay couple's wedding faces new legal block
                                  By BETH QUIMBY
                                  Portland Press Herald

                                  Virginia Purcell and her partner drove 5 1/2 hours from their
                                  Yarmouth home to Provincetown, Mass., on Tuesday to apply for a
                                  marriage license. <SNIP>

                                  By Thursday it became apparent to Purcell that their long trip might
                                  have been a waste. The couple learned their license was one of 10
                                  handed over to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by the Provincetown
                                  Town Clerk. Romney has ordered clerks in the four communities that
                                  issued licenses to out-of-staters to turn over their records. <MORE>

                                  Saturday, May 22, 2004
                                  Gay marriage is wedge for politician and son
                                  By Lisa Leff
                                  The Associated Press

                                  SAN FRANCISCO - When David Knight married his boyfriend of 10 years,
                                  his parents were not among the mothers and fathers proudly snapping
                                  photos and sipping champagne at San Francisco's City Hall.

                                  His mother is long gone, dead of cancer when he was 17. And his
                                  father, well his father ...

                                  These are precarious times for the gay son of state Sen. William
                                  J. "Pete" Knight, the arch-conservative architect of California's
                                  Defense of Marriage Act. <MORE>

                                  Saturday, May 22, 2004
                                  Episcopal Diocese of Utah sanctions same-sex blessings
                                  By Alexandria Sage
                                  The Associated Press

                                  A church known for its colorful history in Utah is taking a stand as
                                  a progressive voice on one society's most divisive issues -- same-sex
                                  unions -- ruling that Episcopal priests will be allowed to bless
                                  those partnerships.

                                  The Episcopal Diocese of Utah has a history of open-mindedness -- one
                                  former bishop was an avowed socialist, while another was an avowed
                                  pacifist -- and dedication to community. After the church became the
                                  first major Protestant denomination to organize in the state in 1867,
                                  it opened the first hospital and Utah's first private school. <MORE>

                                  Saturday, May 22, 2004
                                  County commission OKs gay marriage
                                  Recommendation moves forward to Board of Supervisors
                                  By Justine DaCosta
                                  Alameda Times-Star

                                  In 1973, Robin Barnett packed up her car and drove3,000 miles to San
                                  Francisco in hopes of finding a place she could call home.

                                  As a lesbian, she found that most of the country was not open to the
                                  idea of homosexuality, but when she arrived in the Bay Area she felt
                                  a sense of acceptance she never had before.

                                  A few years later, Barnett fell in love, and like many young women,
                                  dreamed of having a traditional wedding. But unlike most brides,
                                  Barnett was in love with another woman and didn't know how to begin
                                  planning a same-sex Jewish ceremony. <MORE>

                                  Friday, May 21, 2004
                                  Houstonians rally for marriage equality
                                  Outdoor event celebrates Mass. marriage and calls for equality in all
                                  By JOSEF MOLNAR
                                  Houston Voice

                                  Marriage may not now be an option for gay couples in Houston, but a
                                  rally on Monday at City Hall celebrated the groundbreaking court
                                  ruling in Massachusetts that paved the way for the same-sex weddings
                                  that began in that state this week. <SNIP>

                                  Marilyn Meeker Williams, pastor at Bering Memorial United Methodist
                                  Church who supports same-sex marriage, said she finds it difficult to
                                  turn down gay and lesbian Methodists who want her to perform
                                  marriages for them.

                                  "It's not just because of the state law here in Texas, it's also our
                                  church law," she said. "But that also will change. We're committed to
                                  working until it changes, because it's a simple matter of honoring
                                  the way God has created us." <MORE>

                                  Thursday, May 20, 2004
                                  Column by bishop presses abstinence for gays, lesbians
                                  Michael Clancy
                                  The Arizona Republic

                                  Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted on Wednesday released a copy of
                                  his "personal and confidential" letter to priests asking them to
                                  remove their names from a pro-gay statement. <SNIP>

                                  Leaders of No Longer Silent remained silent on the bishop's actions,
                                  saying only they understood why seven Catholic priests removed their
                                  names. The Rev. David Felten, pastor of Via de Cristo United
                                  Methodist Church, said the group still is considering how to
                                  respond "without aggravating the situation." <MORE>

                                  Thursday, May 20, 2004
                                  Opposing bills set up clash on gay marriage
                                  By PAUL CARRIER
                                  Portland Press Herald

                                  AUGUSTA — Same-sex marriage could emerge as a key post-election
                                  issue in Maine next year.

                                  State lawmakers apparently will take up competing bills supporting
                                  and opposing same-sex marriage when they return to the State House in
                                  January. <MORE>

                                  Thursday, May 20, 2004
                                  Will 'I dos' end the gay-marriage debate?
                                  Marilyn Gardner
                                  The Christian Science Monitor

                                  For almost nine years, Valerie and Jacqueline Fein-Zachary have
                                  considered themselves married. On Monday, the rabbi who conducted an
                                  elegant ceremony for the couple in 1996 will make their status
                                  official by signing their marriage license - something he can do now
                                  that same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts. <MORE>

                                  Tuesday, May 18, 2004
                                  From this day, paired for life
                                  By Michael S. Rosenwald
                                  Boston Globe Staff

                                  They were magic words, charged yesterday with such power and meaning
                                  that upon hearing them, hundreds of people in the Arlington Street
                                  Church leapt to their feet and cheered.

                                  "By the power vested in me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,"
                                  said the Rev. Kim Crawford Harvie, who was cut off by roars coming
                                  from the pews, shaking one of Boston's oldest churches. After the
                                  applause subsided, Crawford Harvie looked at David Wilson and Robert
                                  Compton and said, "I hereby pronounce you partners for life, legally
                                  married." <MORE>

                                  Tuesday, May 18, 2004
                                  In Court, Mayor Backs Weddings
                                  By THOMAS CRAMPTON
                                  New York Times

                                  KINGSTON, N.Y., May 17 - Jason West, the New Paltz mayor who brought
                                  the same-sex marriage debate to New York State with solemnization
                                  ceremonies for 24 gay and lesbian
                                  couples in late February, defended his action before a judge on
                                  Monday. <SNIP>

                                  While the courts are likely to decide the legality of the ceremonies
                                  performed by Mr. West and the clergywomen who stepped in to replace
                                  him, same-sex couples have been marrying in New Paltz at a pace of
                                  more than 40 a month. <MORE>

                                  Monday, May 17, 2004
                                  Nation's first same-sex marriages fuel debate
                                  By Charisse Jones and Fred Bayles
                                  USA TODAY

                                  PROVINCETOWN, Mass. — Erin Golden and Eileen Counihan knew they
                                  were making history by getting married Monday, the day Massachusetts
                                  became the first state to grant same-sex marriages.

                                  Despite rising early to get their legal papers, the pair put history
                                  on hold and delayed their wedding ceremony until 3 p.m. — when
                                  their 10-year-old son got out of school. <MORE>

                                  Monday, May 17, 2004
                                  With Festive Mood, Gay Weddings Begin in Massachusetts
                                  By PAM BELLUCK and WARREN ST. JOHN
                                  New York Times

                                  BOSTON, May 17 - Same-sex weddings began in Massachusetts today,
                                  making it the first state in the country to recognize marriages of
                                  gay couples.

                                  The first gay couple to marry in Boston City Hall were Tom Weikle,
                                  53, and Joe Rogers, 55, who showed up on line at 5:30 a.m. The
                                  ceremony, which took place about 11 a.m., was performed by Boston's
                                  city clerk, Rosaria E. Salerno. <MORE>

                                  Sunday, May 16, 2004
                                  Backers of Gay Marriage Ban Find Tepid Response in Pews
                                  By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
                                  New York Times

                                  Just four months after an alliance of conservative Christians was
                                  threatening a churchgoer revolt unless President Bush championed an
                                  amendment banning same-sex marriage, members say they have been
                                  surprised and disappointed by what they call a tepid response from
                                  the pews. <SNIP>

                                  For months, [Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious
                                  Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention] has told
                                  President Bush's political adviser Karl Rove and members of Congress
                                  that no issue has upset ordinary evangelical Christians as much as
                                  the threat of gay marriage. Last week he stood by that view, but he
                                  acknowledged that parishioners around the country might not have
                                  voiced their opinions to elected officials as loudly as he had
                                  expected. <MORE>

                                  Thursday May 13, 2004
                                  Church calls for right to marry gay couples
                                  ALAN MCEWEN
                                  Evening News

                                  MEMBERS of an Edinburgh church have demanded the Scottish Executive
                                  pass new legislation to allow ministers to marry gay couples.

                                  The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) made the call before the
                                  Parliament's Public Petitions Committee yesterday. <MORE>

                                  Thursday, May 20, 2004
                                  American Indian lesbian couple say their rights not being honored
                                  The Advocate

                                  A lesbian couple in Oklahoma, who have not been permitted to file
                                  their marriage certificate with the Cherokee Nation, said Wednesday
                                  they deserve the same legal rights given to straight couples. Dawn
                                  McKinley and Kathy Reynolds said they will sue if the tribe does not
                                  lift a moratorium on same-sex marriages put in place a day after they
                                  received their marriage license application.

                                  The Cherokee women were married Tuesday in a Cherokee ceremony at
                                  Mohawk Park in Tulsa, but the Cherokee Nation court clerk would not
                                  record the marriage amid a tribal dispute over same-sex marriages.

                                  Wednesday, May 19, 2004
                                  HERE I STAND:'Dark heart of judgment' contradicts the very purpose of
                                  God's incarnation
                                  By Gary Keene
                                  United Methodist Reporter

                                  As a baptized Christian and ordained elder who attended the 2004
                                  General Conference, I am disappointed, ashamed and angered at the
                                  words and actions of the Rev. Bill Hinson, a fellow United Methodist

                                  Jesus said, "To whom much has been given, much shall be expected."
                                  Dr. Hinson has been given the tremendous burden and opportunity of
                                  leadership, first as pastor of the denomination's largest church and
                                  now as president of the evangelical Confessing Movement.<MORE>

                                  Wednesday, May 19, 2004
                                  Two thirds of Massachusetts newlyweds are women
                                  The Advocate

                                  A new survey has found that two thirds of the same-sex couples who
                                  applied for marriage licenses in Massachusetts on May 17--the first
                                  day gay and lesbian couples could legally be issued marriage licenses
                                  in the country--were women and that 40% of those female couples said
                                  they had children in their households. <MORE>

                                  Monday, May 10, 2004
                                  United Methodist Controversy Could Mean Schism
                                  by Keith Peters, Washington , D.C. , correspondent
                                  Family News in Focus, Focus on the Family

                                  The controversy swirling around the United Methodist Church over the
                                  denomination's stance on homosexuality is tearing the church apart.

                                  <SNIP> Don Wildmon, president of the Tupelo, Miss.-based American
                                  Family Association — and a United Methodist pastor — thinks
                                  he sees the hand of God in the potential schism and doesn't mind if
                                  there's a split.

                                  "The liberals will eventually die out and the conservatives will
                                  grow. That's just the nature of the beast," Wildmon said. "Now,
                                  you've got Methodists and Methodist congregations across this nation
                                  beginning to discuss this, and I think that's good and healthy."

                                  Saturday, May 8, 2004
                                  Divided Church Remains Intact
                                  Methodists avoid separation at conference.
                                  By Cary McMullen
                                  Ledger Religion Editor

                                  PITTSBURGH -- On the final, frazzled day of their General Conference,
                                  United Methodists stood and held hands and sang hopefully from the
                                  old hymn "Blest Be the Tie That Binds." "Our fears, our hopes, our
                                  aims are one, our comforts and our cares." <SNIP>

                                  Bishop Timothy Whitaker of Florida said Hinson's proposal for
                                  separation represented a dangerous new development.

                                  "It's the first time anyone has spoken openly about it. I'm
                                  concerned because it psychologically conditions people to the
                                  possibility of separation. We need to give serious consideration to
                                  the sin of schism. The church is God's experiment to learn how to
                                  live together," he said. <MORE>

                                  Friday, May 7, 2004
                                  THE METHODISTS
                                  Parting of ways has been suggested
                                  By Frank E. Lockwood
                                  Lexington Herald Leader

                                  Conservative United Methodists, weary of debating homosexuality at
                                  the church's quadrennial general conferences, said yesterday that it
                                  might take a church split to end the controversy.

                                  Prominent Kentucky Methodists, including Asbury Seminary President
                                  Maxie Dunnam, say a liberal-conservative breakup is a possibility,
                                  although unlikely before 2008. <MORE>
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