The California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the ballot measure that banned same-sex marriages in the state, by a 6-1 vote Tuesday, May 26. But the seven justices unanimously ruled that the 18,000 marriages that took place during the five months before the ban went into effect last November are still valid under California law.
An article in the Bay Area Reporter by Matthew Bajko (link to the full article there) mentioned a faith service at ELM congregation St. Francis Lutheran Church and included quotes by ELM pastor Dawn Roginski:
Bajko writes: “This morning it was LGBT ministers who led a service at St. Francis Lutheran Church in the gay Castro District to pray for justice and to also offer a prayer of protection to those individuals planning to participate in the civil disobedience actions.
Following the service, a group of 125 people marched from the Church Street sanctuary to join those in the Civic Center. Wearing T-shirts that said “Separate is not Equal,” they walked behind a rainbow-colored banner that said “Faith Demands Justice.”
“We plan to occupy Van Ness at Grove until we get arrested,” said Kip Williams, one of the organizers of the protest.
The Reverend Dawn Roginksi, the lesbian pastor at St. Francis, said she planned to join the demonstration in order to “stand on the side of equality and the side of love.”
“We can not stand by and let well-funded conservative voices be the only voices hear din California,” said Roginski.”
As you recover from Ascension Day activities and look forward to a long Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to point you towards a study released this week: Mainline Protestant Clergy Views on Theology and Gay and Lesbian Issues: Findings from the 2008 Clergy Voices Survey
This four-minute video slide show contains many photos of members of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries roster, as well as a brief introduction to our mission and work. To watch the video, make sure your sound is turned up and click on the “play” arrow at the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
We received the following news this weekend from ELM volunteer Candidacy & Credentialing Chair Fred Wolfe, a member of University Lutheran Church of the Incarnation in Philadelphia:
“In one of the less observed, but just as significant events of the Southeast Pennsylvania Synod assembly, the Rev. Jay Wiesner, ELM pastor of University Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, was elected Dean of the Central Philadelphia Conference. This is significant in that Jay was not there as a voting member, as well as that he ran against two other pastors. Outgoing Dean Tim Poston announced the results to thunderous applause in the over-crowded break-out-room. The Holy Spirit was indeed busy in Franconia PA this weekend.”
Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries Co-Chair Pastor Erik Christensen and Executive Director Amalia Vagts (pictured at right) were in Washington, D.C. last week for the Human Rights Campaign’s Clergy Call. Pastor Erik and Amalia joined several hundred others, including ELM friends Pastor Jim & Diane DeLange and Pastor Bradley Schmeling, for the two-day conference and lobby day.
The first day consisted of speakers and conversation about transgender issues (including information about HRC’s new transgender curriculum) and diversity; and an update on marriage equality; and updates from President Obama’s Council on Faith-based Initiatives. The day ended with a lively two hour interfaith service.
The group met with members of Congress to discuss legislation that would add sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability to federal hate crimes legislation and the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, which would make prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
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