World Vision takes back plan to hire married gays

The evangelical disaster relief organization World Vision created a stir with its announcement that it would hire homosexuals as long as they are married.  This would preserve the Christian principle of “no sex outside of marriage.”  But World Vision then reversed that decision, going back to its former policy requiring abstinence except for men and women married to each other. [Read more...]

Making distinctions in religious liberty cases

Fordham theology professor Michael Peppard says that the religious liberty issues being raised by gay marriage need to make some careful distinctions.  For example, the different roles in weddings played by bakers and photographers. [Read more...]

How to treat the losers in the marriage war

Advocates of gay marriage are evidently victorious, or soon will be.  So how will the defenders of traditional marriage be treated?  Ross Douthat says that one way would be to let religious people alone to have their own beliefs and practices about marriage.  The other is to tolerate no dissent, demonizing and punishing gay marriage opponents.  Mr. Douthat thinks the latter is becoming more likely. [Read more...]

No state ban on gay marriage has been upheld

A federal judge overturned Virginia’s state constitution that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.  The story, linked after the jump, points out that thus far federal judges have thrown out ALL state bans on gay marriage where the issue has been litigated.  The Supreme Court threw out the Defense of Marriage Act in part, it was said, because that imposes a federal law that prevents states from deciding what they want marriage to be, saying that such issues should be left up to the states.  But in reality, states are not allowed by federal courts to determine their marriage laws at all. [Read more...]

Most important historical development of 2013

I would say that the most important historical development of 2013, the one that will prove most pivotal and culturally significant , is the Supreme Court decision casting out the Defense of Marriage law, which, along with various other court decisions and state laws, threw the door completely open for same-sex marriage.  Never in all of human history and never in the wide diversity of human cultures, including those that have been most open to homosexuality, have men married men or women married women.  Just as a matter of history and anthropology, the new legal and social acceptance of gay marriage is revolutionary and unprecedented.

What else happened in 2013 that you think historians of the next century will study?  (That will not necessarily be the same as the “top news stories,” since historians are more interested in the big picture.)

 

Is religious liberty for individuals or just churches?

Mollie Hemingway has written a piece in the Wall Street Journal about the impact of gay marriage on religious liberty, which is being construed as applying only to religious institutions and not to individuals. [Read more...]


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