Friday, March 15, 2019

Ongoing controversies about same sex marriage

Relatively recent stories, about the Methodist world and the Arab world remind us that there remains considerable active repugnance to same sex marriage.

From the Washington Post:

Reeling from contentious LGBT vote, some Methodists pledge to fight while others mull leaving

"Dumbarton United Methodist Church is the oldest United Methodist congregation in Washington, D.C., dating almost 200 years before the United Methodist denomination was created — even before the United States was created.

"On Wednesday, when the church’s minister, the Rev. Mary Kay Totty, traveled back to Washington from a groundbreaking meeting in St. Louis, where the denomination decided to uphold its opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy, she said she thought that centuries-old history might be at a breaking point.

“To think of not being Methodist,” she said, then stopped, unable to complete the sentence. Dumbarton voted to affirm gay worshipers more than 30 years ago, and the church has performed 20 same-sex marriages since 2010, breaking the rules of the denomination every time. Now such actions will be met with much harsher penalties."
(The NY Times reports that there were some voting irregularities:
Improper Voting Discovered at Methodist Vote on Gay Clergy)

And from the Guardian:

Luxembourg PM takes Arab leaders to task on gay rights at summit
Xavier Bettel says his same-sex marriage would condemn him to death in some countries

"Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, has confronted Arab leaders over the repression of gay rights, telling them his same-sex marriage would condemn him to death in some of their countries.
"Bettel, the first EU leader to be married to a same-sex partner, had planned to make the intervention before arriving at the summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, which was the first gathering between the EU and Arab League.

"Homosexuality is punishable by death under sharia law in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. Other countries in the region prohibit same-sex acts, including Algeria, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia, Syria, Kuwait and some of the United Arab Emirates.
"Bettel’s point is underscored by the treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Egypt, the country that hosted the summit.

"Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, but LGBT people are frequently detained on euphemistic charges such as “debauchery”. After the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, came to power in a coup in 2013, he “appeared to embrace persecution of gays and trans people as a political strategy” according to a report by Human Rights Watch.
"The European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, defended the bloc’s decision to hold the summit. “If I only talked to flawless democrats, then I would end my week already by Tuesday,” he said."

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