Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gay Marriage Gains Acceptance

In an earlier post, I discussed the results of a recent survey that showed that the South was the "most religious" region of the US. It also appeared in the survey that New England might be called the "least religious." Of course, the issue is raised, How are "most" and "least" religious defined? and, an associated question, Are the operational definition of the terms framed in such a way that they actually measure religiosity as opposed to something else? I advise the reader to visit the earlier posting and decide for him/herself.

One thing is certain, New England does appear to be more, let us say, "liberal" (another tricky word to operationally define). Currently Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut permit gay marriage. Listening to NPR this week, I have discovered that New Hampshire and Maine may soon join those ranks as well. Certainly, when it comes to the issue of marriage, New England is the most gay friendly place to be.

All of these moves have been applauded, in rather official ways, by the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Unitarian Universalists. The ECUSA and the UCC are both more decidedly "Christian" than the UU Church. This raises further issues about the nature of these denominations. Both do have a strong presence in New England-- especially the UCC, being the "church of the Pilgrims," at least after a fashion.

Then there are the Concerned Women for America. They are right on top of the situation stating: "While government officials may change definitions they cannot change nature.... The first human relationship was between one man and one woman, and it became the foundation of all society."

Now, there are two parts to that statement. The first is an appeal to nature. It might be incorrect, but it must carry some weight in considering this matter. The second part is based on a religious myth-- at least to some degree. There are many cultures and many myths in this world. It reminds me of an old Jerry Falwell line (a rather ridiculous one at that, I might add), "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

Back to New England.... Does this just prove the stereotype (or research) that folks aren't particularly religious "up there?" Or does it prove that they are strong supporters of justice, equality, and human rights? What do you think?

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