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Sunday, February 8, 2004

Bigotry brings us together. Oh, wait!

Finally, something the churches, mosques, and synagogues can oppose together: gay marriage. The Boston Globe headline says "Top clerics join to support amendment". But wait! Aren't there churches and synagogues and religious leaders who support civil rights for gay couples and oppose the constitutional amendment?

The Globe's Michael Paulson downplays the religious leaders who oppose a constitutional amendment. After nine paragraphs about the coalition of religious leaders — Roman Catholic, evangelical, African American, Muslim, and orthodox Jewish — who want to amend the constitution to block gay marriage, there are only two paragraphs that mention another point of view:

[Roman Catholic Archbishop] O'Malley will headline a rally at the State House today in opposition to gay marriage; in response, the Religious Coalition for Freedom to Marry, which includes many mainline Protestant and Reform Jewish clergy, will demonstrate on the other side of Boston Common.

"Every denomination or faith community should decide on its own who they will marry or who they won't marry, but because civil rights of individuals are involved, civil marriage should be open to everyone," said Episcopal Bishop M. Thomas Shaw.

Coming at the end of the article, these two sentences don't quite make it clear that the largest Protestant denominations in Massachusetts — the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church — don't support the constitutional amendment. (Neither does the Unitarian Universalist Association or the Reform Jewish movement or most of the state's Jewish organizations.) But because Paulson tucks the liberal voices in a paragraph that begins with Archbishop O'Malley — the Big Wig among anti-gay marriage folks and the convener of today's bigotry rally — you might not notice them at all. You mean there's a rally today of religious people in support of civil rights for gay couples?! Don't you think the Globe could have mentioned that the civil rights rally will be held on the steps of the Episcopal St. Paul's Cathedral, and not just "on the other side of Boston Common"?

Elsewhere in the Globe, an article in the Ideas section is illustrated with two photographs (not on-line), including one of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry rally and press conference held nextdoor to the State House at the UUA on Thursday. But even though the coalition includes clergy from several denominations — and Bishop Shaw was the key speaker — the caption says: "Massachusetts Unitarians demonstrate in support of the SJC's same-sex marriage decision." Hey! For once we Unitarians aren't alone on this.

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 8 February 2004 at 10:04 AM

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February 10, 2004 04:00 PM | Permalink for this comment

The Boston Herald did a better job covering the range of religious responses to the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment.

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