Tag: Gay Marriage

United Methodist Church’s Pacific NW Annual Conference Votes Not To Enforce Church’s Prohibitions Concerning Homosexuality

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

united-methodist-church-logoIn a significant move toward a possible future change to United Methodist Church’s doctrine and discipline, the Pacific Northwest Conference’s 2016 Annual Conference voted for non-conformity to the Book of Discipline’s mandates proscribing gay marriage, gay ministers, and the disbursement of funds toward gay causes. In effect, the measure declares that the PNW Conference will not participate in any judicial or disciplinary actions against those who violate these laws enumerated within the Book of Discipline.  This represents a strong departure from doctrine.

The subject of homosexuality has in the United Methodist Church traditionally brought decades of internal conflict within the Church from parishioners, clergy, bishops, and the various conferences; especially since the choices in the row have been polar in nature–either the status quo or to completely allow acceptance of homosexuality. The non-conformity action might finally offer a middle ground for the Church Community to move closer to that of society and of the secular laws.

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WA Florist Who Refused To Provide Flowers For Gay Wedding Files Brief With WA Supreme Court

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In April 2013 our host published an article featuring Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson had sued Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts after she had refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding.

Washington’s consumer protection act bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation AG Ferguson sought a $2000 penalty for each violation and to end the business’ allegedly discriminatory practices. The case garnered considerable attention in both the state and nationally in which the religious rights of business owners do not necessarily comport in some cases with antidiscrimination statutes which require equal services be provided for all customers.

After the defendant received an unfavorable ruling at the Superior Court level, her case advanced through the appellate system and now is before the state Supreme Court.
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Gay Marriage Referendum Passes In Ireland. Unresolved Issues Will Remain

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag_of_Ireland_svgWith all constituencies reporting, the Irish citizenry approved a constitutional amendment recognizing gay marriage: Yes 1,201,607; No 734,300.

The Constitution of Ireland permits amendment only by popular vote. A vote of the people for such amendments can provide more legitimacy and acceptance by the public and judging by the margin gay marriage will probably gain acceptance more readily. Nevertheless it does not necessarily engender full acceptance of such partnerships as over seven hundred thousand voters chose otherwise. Some institutions in Irish society will struggle to come to terms with the new direction Ireland is pursuing.

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Irish Voters Abroad Returning Home To Vote On Same-Sex Marriage Referendum

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

100px-Coat_of_arms_of_Ireland.svgOn Friday Irish Citizens went to the polls to vote by referendum on a constitutional amendment allowing same-sex marriage. If passed Ireland will join nineteen other nation states who have legalized such marriages and will be the first to enact the petition by popular referendum.

The topic of the referendum garnered such strong interest it is expected that a large percentage of Ireland’s 3.2 million registered voters will go to  the polls. In fact, reportedly, unexpectedly high numbers returned home at their personal expense to cast votes.

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Court Rules Against Washington State Florist Who Refused To Make Wedding Flower Arrangement For Gay Couple

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Baronelle Stutzman
Baronelle Stutzman

We previously wrote HERE of Richland, Washington Florist Baronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, who caused a row when she refused to provide her floral services for a gay wedding. Now, a Benton County Superior Court Judge ruled that she violated the state’s consumer protection act that bars discrimination against a protected class.

The legal action was brought by customer Robert Ingersoll and the Washington Attorney General’s Office.

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Most Domestic Partnerships In Washington Will Automatically Become Marriages June 30th

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

LGBT USA Pride FlagJune 30th, 2014 will mark a significant change in nomenclature and status for same sex couples who had previously registered their domestic partnership starting in 2012. After this date, these couples’ status will change automatically to “married.” This presents an opportunity to become married without the administrative overhead of now filing for a marriage license. Couples after June 30th who enter into a union will be considered married.

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Former Vice-Principal To File Lawsuit Against Catholic Church Over Termination For Gay Marriage

Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend ContributorEastside Catholic Church Logo

Mark Zmuda announced he is suing Eastside Catholic school and the Seattle Archdioceses for wrongful termination after he legally married his male partner. The case stems from his employment as vice-principal to the school was satisfactory for years and that after he announced he had married his male partner, he was given an ultimatum to divorce his spouse or his employment with the school would be terminated. Mark refused to divorce and was fired.

Employment Attorney, Jeffrey Needle, stated the case is likely to go to the appellate courts and potential the state supreme court for its precedent setting nature. The church counters Mark’s claim, proffering its status as a religious organization which holds tenets that bar gay marriage. However, a recent state supreme court decision might prove difficult for the church to support that position.
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