Friday, June 24, 2011


The Old Order Is Passing Away

The Senate in Albany has just passed the bill establishing same-sex marriage in New York State on a 33 to 29 vote.  With Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature a slam dunk, my home state becomes the largest in the US to adopt the principle of marriage equality.

Here is another sign that the tide is turning:

Omaha Clergy Proclamation: Being Gay Not A Sin

Minister Organizes Effort To Welcome Gays To Church

 POSTED:8:56 pm CDT June 12, 2011



Omaha area ministers will publicly unveil a proclamation on Wednesday calling for an end to religious and civil discrimination based on sexual orientation.  Rev. Eric Elnes, pastor of Countryside Community Church, said the proclamation was created because, “we were just fed up with the popular notion that the Christian point of view is anti-gay.”  Elnes, who leads an Omaha church of 1,500 members at 87th Street and Pacific Street, said more than 100 ordained Christian ministers have signed the proclamation, including leaders from Lutheran, Episcopalian, United Church of Christ, Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

The ministers will join together on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge to publicly unveil the proclamation and show full acceptance of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people.  “We believe homosexuality is not a sin.  It’s not a birth defect or a choice.   God created people this way.  And if God created them this way, they need to be honored for who they are, and fully included in church life and wider society,” said Elnes, whose words are reflected in the document.

Elnes said after sharing his point of view, he’s learned that many Christians hold the same beliefs, but have not openly expressed them.  That’s the reason the proclamation also includes an apology to the gay community.  “We felt it was important for us to apologize for the times when we ourselves have been silent. Some of us have not always been on this side of the issue.”  Elnes said he unveiled a similar proclamation while working with another church three years ago in Arizona. He said nine Catholic priests were ordered to remove their names from the proclamation or be removed from the priesthood.

Amy O’Connor, a board member of Omaha’s Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays group, PFLAG, said the proclamation is significant.  “It’s pretty huge,” she said.  O’Connor heads the telephone helpline for the group and said without acceptance from family, church and the community, gay people often live isolated, sad lives.  O’Connor, whose 21-year-old son is gay, said as a Catholic, she’s had to deal with conflicting feelings and teachings about the acceptance of gays in the church. “It’s not an issue of sexual orientation or gender identity. God loves everybody,” said O’Connor.  Her son, Matthew Macchietto, said Elne’s efforts are bold. “It really does take one person or a small group of people to make a big impact. In 10, or 20 years, I think people will think, why wasn’t it always this way?”

Macchietto's partner, Brad Chapin, said issuing the proclamation is, "the Christian thing to do.  The whole point of Christianity is love and compassion."   Elnes said in ministering to gay, lesbian and transgendered people, he’s learned that he must first convince them that God doesn’t hate them before he can share the message that God loves them.“It’s very clear and very simple. We want to be open to all people."

Matthew Macchietto, recipient of the Gay, Lesbian and Allies at Dow (GLAD) Scholarship.  Matthew has been active in his school's Gay Straight Alliance and has organized both an Anti-Bullying Week and a Coming Out Week. He also volunteered at the Nebraska AIDS Project, and was the Design Editor for Xanadu and Pundit magazines. Matthew is a graduate of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska.

it sounds hopeful; I wish it so.
I can't stop being fretful 'they' still have all the money and power to thwart it all.
Interesting times for the GLBT.
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