The Common Good

civil unions

Cardinal Dolan: Pope Francis Opened Door to Gay Civil Unions Debate

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Sunday that Pope Francis is asking the Catholic Church to look at the possibility of recognizing civil unions for gay couples, although the archbishop of New York said that he would be “uncomfortable” if the church embraced that position.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera last week published an interview with the pope in which Francis reiterated the church’s teaching that marriage “is between a man and a woman” while acknowledging that governments want to adopt civil unions for gay couples and others to allow for economic and health benefits, for example.

Francis said the churches in various countries must account for those reasons when formulating public policy positions. “We must consider different cases and evaluate each particular case,” he said.

+Continue Reading

Gov. Chris Christie, a Catholic, Tiptoes on Gay Marriage

As activists push states to recognize gay marriages, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — conservative Republican governor in a blue state and a 2016 presidential possibility — is walking a fine line between two electorates and two elections.

Christie vetoed same-sex marriage legislation last year and severely criticized the Supreme Court’s decision striking down a ban on federal rights for same-sex married couples. At the same time, he is “adamant” that same-sex couples deserve equal legal protection, wants a referendum on gay marriage, and vows to abide by a same-sex marriage law if New Jersey voters approve it.

He’s tiptoeing between constituencies. First are the voters of New Jersey: polls show they favor same-sex marriage, and Christie wants them to re-elect him in November by a big margin.

+Continue Reading

Both Sides Gearing Up for Same-Sex Marriage Fight in North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. — As the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, North Carolina is the next battleground, with religious groups on both sides bracing for a high-stakes fight on May 8.

Against a recent string of gay-marriage victories in California, Washington state and Maryland, North Carolinians will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment on May 8, the same day as the state Republican primary.

Same-sex marriage has been illegal in the Tar Heel State since 1996;  Minnesota also has a marriage amendment planned for a vote in November.

"Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state," the proposed amendment reads.

+Continue Reading

Are Millennials Conflicted About Morality?

The Public Religion Research Institute recently released the results of their newest survey, "Committed to Availability, Conflicted About Morality," which shined new light on the complexity of opinions on abortion between different religious groups and age demographics. The study results were presented two weeks ago at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

The most intriguing age group in the study are Millenials, ages 18 to 29. In the introduction to the survey results, the authors claim that given Millenials' self-described characteristics of being "confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat, and open to change," they have a "peculiar profile" when it comes to their views on abortion. And this is especially "peculiar" when viewed alongside their strong support for gender equality and rights for gay and lesbian people. Millenials' complex, label-defying views of abortion make them "conflicted about morality," the report states. But are Millenials really, actually conflicted about morality?

+Continue Reading

Ignoble Indifference: Evangelicals, Race, and GLBT Issues

[Read more of this blog conversation in response to the Sojourners magazine article "
+Continue Reading

Affirming the Footnotes: What the Manhattan Declaration Gets Right

Although there are several points I find troubling, inaccurate, or misleading in the recent Manhattan Declaration, and although I noticed the relative
+Continue Reading

An Evangelical Trojan Horse in the Democratic Party?

A recent Daily Kos post asks this question: Does the Evangelical movem
+Continue Reading

When Calls to 'Unity' Sow Division in the Civil Union Debate

Last month, legislators in Hawaii introduced House Bill 444 (HB 444), which would provide rights and privileges to same-
+Continue Reading

The Sad State of Dialogue on Civil Unions

I am an evangelical Christian who attends church regularly, so I was surprised to see a worship service on the grounds of the Hawaii state capitol this past Sunday.
+Continue Reading

Another Reason for Being a Red Letter Christian

With the resignation of Richard Cizik as vice president for government affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, we have one more reason why many of us are calling ourselves Red Letter C
+Continue Reading