Catholic bishop: Same-sex marriage 'endangers religious liberty'

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    Oct 22, 2012 5:39 AM GMT
    YAKIMA, Wash. -- Same-sex marriage “jeopardizes freedom rather than expands it,” and “endangers our religious liberty and the right of conscience," according to Bishop Joseph Tyson, the Catholic bishop of Yakima, Wash.

    Tyson's remarks came in a recently released pastoral letter, where he delivered yet another apocalyptic denunciation of Referendum 74, the upcoming ballot initiative in Washington that will allow voters to approve or reject the state's new marriage equality law.

    “Once marriage is redefined as a genderless contract, it will become legally discriminatory for public and private institutions such as schools to promote the unique meaning of marriage," wrote Tyson. "This law will challenge our right to educate about the unique value of children being raised by his or her own mother and father in a stable home.”

    However, it was noted by pro same-sex marriage advocates that the prelate did not specify how these rights would be challenged by passage of the measure by Washington voters.

    The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that the pro-Referendum 74 group, Catholics for Marriage Equality, delivered a sharp response to Tyson and his fellow bishops in the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Diocese of Spokane, who have issued letters and videos opposing marriage equality.

    “We are shocked when we read the language and examples used by our bishops to incite fear in our Catholic brothers and sisters if Referendum 74 passes -- the message of Jesus is love and compassion, not fear,” said Kirby Brown spokesman for Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington.

    In statements regarding the issue, Tyson has called same-sex marriage "offensive to basic human rights and equality” and “a loss of civil rights and equality for the most vulnerable among us, children,”

    “The terms ‘husband and wife’ and ‘father and mother’ will continue to recede as so-called gender-neutral terms overwhelm our public lexicon,” he warned.

    Experts, political analysts and observers all agree that the debate over the issue of same-sex marriage has sharply divided the state's faith community.

    Episcopal Bishop Greg Rickel has endorsed Referendum 74 as a “conservative proposal” consistent with basic Christian teaching and the Christian life. Two prominent Methodist pastors in Seattle have endorsed marriage equality in campaign ads paid for by same-sex marriage advocates.

    Catholics for Marriage Equality is asking its supporters to distribute a brochure that supports Referendum 74, entitled “Love Overcomes Fear” outside their churches, even as bishops’ letters are read inside.

    Source: LGBTQNation
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    Oct 22, 2012 6:46 AM GMT
    If child rape didn't harm it, don't think anything else can.
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    Oct 22, 2012 3:57 PM GMT
    On the other hand, the petition signed by many religious leaders in Washington, including both Episcopal bishops:

    We, the undersigned ministers, rabbis and priests in the State of Washington, emphatically declare our support for the dignity and equality of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.

    Moreover, we declare that

    · We welcome all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons as full members of our congregations.
    · We support the struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in their struggle for equal rights under the law.


    · We emphatically deny the claims by any group, religious or secular, to speak for all religious persons or bodies to deny the dignity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
    And we deplore the interference of out-of-state bodies who promote the denigration and defamation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons or seek to deny them full dignity and equality under the law, especially those groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups*.


    Yesterday, at Trinity Episcopal, Seattle, a very full church heard Fr. Stan Fowler's sermon on "Marriage equality - the Gospel Imperative of our time".

    Bishop Tyson is on the wrong slope of history and the law, and most Catholics I know agree.

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    Oct 22, 2012 5:19 PM GMT
    If you are a bishop of the Catholic Church, your career depends on saying stupid things like that. Just check out the new Archbishop of San Francisco, who made his mark by organizing Proposition 8.

    To these people it doesn't matter whether what they are doing is right or wrong. It doesn't matter whether anyone in their flock agrees. The only thing that matters to them is that the Vatican is happy.
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    Oct 23, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidIf he's saying equality will limit his church's ability to participate in institutionalized hatred, then I'd say he's right. I look forward to such a day.