poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Mass. UUs defend right to wed
by Jane Greer
Donna Ruvolo, a member of the First Church in Belmont, Massachusetts, seldom had reason to call her elected officials. But with the issue of same-sex marriage being debated by the state legislature, the lesbian mother, who would like to legally wed her partner of fourteen years, decided it was time to change that and set up a meeting with her state senator, Steve Tolman.

“I told him that I was as surprised as anyone by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision in November and how empowering that moment was for me,” Ruvolo says. “He really listened.” Tolman, a Catholic, was moved by the story, telling the Boston Globe, “It practically brought tears to my eyes when she said that.” Tolman is opposing amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

The same-sex marriage issue has stimulated new activity in congregations across the country. However, with the Massachusetts ruling that same-sex marriage will be legal in May and with political opposition mobilizing against it, Massachusetts Unitarian Universalists have stepped up their lobbying efforts. While few churches have acted as a unit, individual congregants have taken the lead in organizing educational and lobbying events.

One of the most widespread activities is e-mailing, writing, and phoning elected representatives. The First Parish of Sudbury set aside a room supplied with stationery, envelopes, stamps, addresses, and fact sheets during the Sunday morning coffee hour. The First Church Unitarian Universalist in Jamaica Plain organized a phone bank one night to call friends and relatives urging them to contact their representatives.


Gay Methodists Rejected 
by Newscenter Staff
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) The highest ecclesiastical court in the Methodist Church has reaffirmed the denomination's position that "homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching".

The United Methodist Judicial Council had been asked to revisit church teaching following the acquittal of Rev. Karen Dammann, a minister in Washington state who came out to her bishop.

In March a church jury found her not guilty of breaking church rules after Dammann told the bishop she was a lesbian and in a committed relationship. The jury found that church law was unclear on the subject.

Had she been found guilty she could have been removed from the clergy.  The church under some circumstances will allow gay ministers as long as they are "non practicing homosexuals".


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