poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Largest UCC church in New England leaves denomination over gay issue

WETHERSFIELD, Conn.--Differing views on homosexuality and gay marriage have splintered another denomination, according to the Associated Press. A Wethersfield congregation voted to leave the United Church of Christ.

According to the report, members of the First Church of Christ in Wethersfield voted 510-to-59 to break away from the denomination, saying they don't agree with the UCC's support of gay rights and marriage. Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran and Episcopal denominations have also lost members over the issue within the past year.

The Wethersfield congregation, the largest United Church of Christ church in New England, was independent for most of its 369-year history. It joined the United Church of Christ in 1961.

Congregation members held hands and sang a hymn in the sanctuary of the church's historic meetinghouse after the vote. A similar vote last year failed by a slim margin.


Group files suit against state official
Gazette State Bureau

HELENA - The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative religious legal group, filed a lawsuit in federal court against state Political Practices Commissioner Linda Vaughey late Monday on behalf of a Helena church, claiming that some of the election laws she enforces are unconstitutional.

The lawsuit came in response to the investigation that Vaughey will launch into the activities of the Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church in East Helena. Gay rights advocates filed a complaint against the church with Vaughey two weeks ago, saying the church inappropriately held an event to support a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage in Montana.

Petitions supporting the proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage - Constitutional Initiative 96 - were circulated at a church event May 23, where the Rev. B.G. Stumberg encouraged parishioners to sign them. The initiative will be placed on the November ballot if about 41,000 voters sign petitions.
While the gay rights advocates say the church should have filed with the commissioner before holding such an event, the Alliance Defense Fund of Scottsdale, Ariz., said the church's rights to free speech and religious expression are being trampled by "vague" and "ambiguous" election laws.


Gay advocates start TV ad campaign

A national organization of Republicans who back gay rights will bring a 30-second television ad to the Toledo area that opposes President Bush's call for a constitutional amendment against gay marriages.

The ad will run more than 700 times on local television stations, Christopher Barron, political director for the Log Cabin Republicans, said yesterday during a press conference at the Sanger branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

President Bush, reacting in February to a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling stating that gays had the right to marry, said that a constitutional amendment may be necessary if judges continue to rule in favor of gay marriage.

The television spot is part of a $1 million national campaign supporting the right for gays to marry. In the spot the Log Cabin Republicans plan on using, Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a lesbian daughter, speaks on a talk show.


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