Gay Marriage, Mexico: Catholic Bishops Lose (Again)

Yesterday, the Mexican state of Coahuila voted overwhelmingly. to legalize gay marriage, becoming the second Mexican state to do so, in the face of fierce opposition by the Catholic bishops.

This is not quite as dramatic as it may seem. Mexico City became the first Mexican jurisdiction to approve marriage and family equality in 2009, also resisting strong opposition from the bishops. A later constitutional court ruling held that all marriages conducted in Mexico City must be recognized throughout the country, effectively making same – sex marriage available to any couple able to travel to the capital for the ceremony. Since 2012, same – sex marriages have also been conducted in the state of  Quintana Roo, in the South of Mexico, after it was found that they were not specifically excluded by the state constitution.

In addition. following a 2012 case in Oaxaca state, a particular Mexican judicial procedure (the “injunction” process), any couple in any state can secure approval for a same – sex marriage, by making specific application to the courts. Several individual couples in a range of states have done so, as this map shows.

Map_of_Mexico,_gay_rights

(Source: Wikipedia. State recognition of same-sex relationships in Mexico   Dark blue – Same-sex marriage (Rings: Individual cases)   Mid  blue – Same-sex civil unions   Light blue – Same-sex marriages recognized but not performed)

 

Mexican State Legislature Enacts Marriage Equality Law

Since Mexico City’s Federal District legislature passed a bill permitting same-sex marriage in December 2009, most of Mexico’s steady march to marriage equality has been propelled by court rulings. However, on September 1, 2014, the legislature of the state of Coahuila overwhelmingly voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

As Rex Wockner reports, the new law, which alters more than 40 parts of the state’s Civil Code, takes effect in one week. It also extends adoption rights to same-sex couples and defines marriage as “the free union with full consent of two people, which has as its objective to realize community life where both [people] seek respect, equality and mutual aid, and make in a free, responsible, voluntary and informed way reproductive decisions that fit their life project, including the possibility of procreation or adoption.”

According to BBC News, the law was supported by the national party PRI and local parties. Congressman Samuel Acevedo, who sponsored the legislation, which was adopted on a vote of 19 to 3, described the changes as a “great step forward.”

Despite the lopsided vote, Acevedo said that the bill was fiercely opposed by conservative groups, including the Catholic Church.

Coahuila is located in Northeastern Mexico and shares a 318-mile border along the Rio Grande with Texas. Its has a population of almost 3,000,000 inhabitants.

Although Coahuila is only the second of the 32 Mexican states to enact marriage equality via legislation, other states, including Quintana Roo, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Jalisco, and Yucatán, have achieved marriage equality as a result of court rulings or administrative decisions.

via glbtq >> blogs.

Cardinal Muller Implies that Only Women Should Be Priests, Bishops.

In welcome news, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has revealed in a newspaper interview that at Pope Francis’ request, there will soon be more women on the International Theological Commission: the numbers will go from two, to “five or six”. To put this into context, out of a full complement of 30, that’s only 20% at best. The reason is simple: with a commission heavily dominated by an all – male clergy, there cannot be more realistic representation of women, until there the representation of priests goes down. We need more lay people, of either gender, and religious women.

Buried inside the report on increasing female representation on the commission, are some observations by Muller which have startling implications, taken to their logical conclusion: that far from excluding women from the priesthood, only women should qualify for ordination.

Müller underlined that the female presence in the Church needed to be recognized within its own specific context, it should not be an imitation of the male model.

- Vatican Insider

That seems innocuous enough, echoing some sentiments of Pope Francis himself. But look at what comes next:

He stressed that the Church needs to be like a mother, not an institution, because an institution cannot love but a mother can.

If women in church should not be in imitation of men, then by symmetry, it must also follow that men in the church should not attempt to imitate women. And yet – the Church must be “like a mother”. If men should not attempt to imitate women, and the only people who truly can be like a mother a the women, then it must surely follow that the people best qualified to take the key roles in the Church, as priests, bishops, cardinals and pope – are the women.

That is obviously not what Müller intended to say – but it’s the logical conclusion from his two propositions.

“Armagayddon”: How Marriage Equality Will DESTROY Irish Traditional Marriage (or Not).

A parody video about gay marriage has sparked a debate about the issue in the Republic of Ireland.

Armagayddon pokes fun at how Ireland will change if same-sex marriage is introduced. It was made by the gay rights group LGBT Noise and has been viewed over 200,000 times on YouTube.

Civil partnerships have been available in the Republic of Ireland since 2011. The country is due to vote on same-sex marriage in a referendum next year.

via BBC News

I particularly enjoyed the extreme lengths that this beleagured couple went to, to “protect” their son from the gay threat – storing him locked up in a dark box for his safety.

Queer Saints for September

  • Sep 21st
    • Henri Nouwen?
  • St Edward II King of England, 1284 -1327 (LGBT Catholic Handbook)

Indian Lay Leader: Synod Must Bring LGBT People ‘In From the Cold’

What does Virginia Saldanha want from this fall’s Synod concerning marriage and family life? Bringing LGBT people ‘in from the cold’ would be a good start.

Saldanha, who is former executive secretary of the Office of Laity for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, recently wrote an op-ed in UCA News that expresses just that desire and shares her thoughts on what LGBT issues look like for Catholics in India.

She begins by noting that Synod questionnaire responses regarding whether one’s Catholic community accepted  same-gender marriage were overwhelmingly negative, prompting her to why her fellow Catholics are “so strongly homophobic.” Saldanha lays out some of the anti-gay beliefs present in Indian society:

- read more at Bondings 2.0.

The Celibacy Wars: A Reason for Hope?

Quite suddenly, my news feeds are full of stories and opinion pieces on celibacy and gay Christians, from the evangelical Christian Charisma News and the like on the one hand, to the gay Advocate on the other. On the religious right, there are discussions on accepting gay Christians as long as they are celibate. In some LGBT sites, there are concerns that this promotion of celibacy is just the discredited “ex – gay” movement in disguise, attempting to re-establish credibilty.
At New Ways Ministry Bondings 2.0, Frank DeBenardo has sound commentary. Noting a Religion Dispatches article which states that the celibacy debate is re-shaping the conservative religious approach to lesbian and gay people, Frank describes this as “a shame” – because it is “a shame for gay and lesbian people, religion, and, most of all, celibacy“.
He goes on, to explain just why this is a disservice to the entire idea of celibacy:

There is no doubt that celibacy can be a beautiful, satisfying, and enriching way to live.   And Catholicism’s history is filled with many holy and virtuous celibates.   But these conservative Christians will be making the same mistake that Catholic leaders have made for decades by saying that celibacy is the only moral option for lesbian and gay people.

Catholicism, and perhaps more accurately, early Christianity viewed celibacy as a gift and a calling.  It was something that grew out of a personal relationship with God and also seen as a way of responding to this relationship.  It was never something that was required of a whole class of people.  It was seen as a calling, a vocation, which arose out of one’s spiritual longings and experiences.

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