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same sex marriage

Jimmy Carter at the COmmonwealth Club.

Jimmy Carter, 99, was the 39th president of the United States (1977 to 1981). Looking back on his achievements both in and out of office, it’s easy to say that he was a man ahead of his time. He was far ahead of the mainstream when it came to advocating for social justice, human rights, and the environment.

Carter famously installed solar panels on the White House in 1979, only to have them removed by Ronald Reagan.

The former peanut farmer and Navy Lieutenant from Plains, Georgia, was also far ahead of his time when supporting gay rights. In 1976, while running for president, he said he would sign the Equality Act, an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. “I will certainly sign it, because I don’t think it’s right to single out homosexuals for special abuse or special harassment,” he said.


He continued to advocate for gay rights as president. In 1977, the first gay delegation visited the White House. He also campaigned against California’s Proposition 6, which would have barred gays and lesbians from teaching in the state’s schools and was the first Democratic president to endorse gay rights in the party’s platform in 1980.

It may seem unusual for Cater, a confessed born-again Christian, to be a staunch advocate for gay rights. But he has publicly said that he believes that being pro-gay is wholly aligned with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Carter’s advocacy is in the spotlight once again after a meme featuring his thoughts about Christ and homosexuality from 2012 went viral on Reddit's MadeMeSmile forum on April 8, 2024.

Jimmy Carter
byu/PR0CR45T184T0R inMadeMeSmile

The viral quote was taken from an interview with the Huffington Post in 2012, during which Carter promoted his book, “NIV, Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter.” At the time, LGBTQ rights were the subject of heated debate in Washington, and President Obama had just “evolved” and began publicly supporting same-sex marriage.

"A lot of people point to the Bible for reasons why gay people should not be in the church or accepted in any way,” the interviewer Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush said. But Carter responded by correctly noting that Jesus Christ never said anything about homosexuality.

"Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things—he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies,” Carter said. "I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I'm a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs.

"So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does, by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn't require them to,” he continued.

Three years later, Carter shared the same sentiments in another interview with the Huffington Post, this time shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. “I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else,” Carter said.

Jimmy Carter’s belief in gay rights stems from his faith as a Christian, but it’s also in complete alignment with his values as an American. Carter believed that the United States was a “beacon” for human rights, and in his 1981 presidential farewell address, he reminded the nation that the job was an ongoing struggle.

“The battle for human rights – at home and abroad – is far from over,” Carter said. “If we are to serve as a beacon for human rights, we must continue to perfect here at home the rights and values which we espouse around the world: A decent education for our children, adequate medical care for all Americans, an end to discrimination against minorities and women, a job for all those able to work, and freedom from injustice and religious intolerance.”

Identity

Chasten Buttigieg shared what marriage equality looks like after the Senate voted to protect it

The Respect for Marriage act would codify same-sex and interracial marriage into law.

Chasten and Pete Buttigieg.

In a landmark, bipartisan 61 to 36 vote, the Senate approved the Respect for Marriage Act on Tuesday setting the stage for same-sex and interracial marriage to remain legal, even if they are struck down by the Supreme Court. It’s believed that the bill will be quickly passed by the House and signed into law by President Biden.

Even though same-sex and interracial marriages are legal in the U.S., after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade last summer, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas noted that the decision that legalized gay marriage rests on the same principles that underscored Roe.

This signal by the conservative justice pushed Democrats to quickly work to codify same-sex and interracial marriage into law.


If the Respect for Marriage Act becomes law it would require all states and the federal government to recognize legally-conducted marriages. Therefore, if the decisions that legalized same-sex and interracial marriages were overturned, states still would have to recognize all marriages conducted in the U.S.

So, if Kentucky made same-sex marriage illegal and a same-sex couple got married in another state where it was legal, say California, Kentucky would still have to recognize the marriage. The only barrier a couple would face to getting married would be traveling to another state to have their wedding performed.

Republicans added a religious consideration to the Respect for Marriage Act that protects nonprofit and religious organizations from having to provide support for same-sex marriages.

After this historic vote, Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, shared a Twitter thread where he showed what the Senate moved to protect. “This morning, after dropping the kids off, I came home and stopped to take in the aftermath of a chaotic morning. And it got me thinking. This is what marriage is to me,” Chasten wrote.

Last year, Pete and Chasten became the parents of a son and a daughter.

Chasten’s post is poignant because it shows how all marriages, regardless of the sex of those involved, look the same. Especially after having kids. It’s constant domestic chaos, punctuated by quick outbursts of fun all tied together by love.

For those who oppose same-sex marriage, all they have to do is spend a morning in the Buttigieg household and they can see that it’s not much different than any straight marriage.

Chasten even invited members of Congress to come and visit his home to see for themselves.

“And if a member of congress is confused, or has questions and wants to turn down the noise from the online rhetoric—our playroom is always open, should you want to meet a family who is just trying their best to make their kids happy and their country better, just like you,” Chasten wrote on Twitter.

By colifying same-sex marriage into law, Congress won’t be doing anything revolutionary. It’d simply be solidifying rights that 71% of Americans think same-sex couples should have. Signing the act into law would also go a long way toward settling an issue that has been a point of contention for a generation.

“I hope that we can move on from these votes, these arguments, and these debates soon,” Chasten wrote on Twitter. “I hope that our friends on the other side of the aisle will listen to over 70% of Americans and vote to protect families like mine and the unions that make us all better Americans.”


Identity

Bishop rebels against Anglican church by coming out in support of marriage equality

"We have been so slow as a Church to reach better decisions and practice on these matters."

Oxford Bishop Dr. Steven Croft.

The Church of England, also known as the Anglican Communion, forbids its ministers from performing or blessing same-sex marriages. In 1998, the church reaffirmed its commitment to Biblical teachings rejecting “homosexual practice as incompatible with scripture” and upheld “faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union.”

The church holds this opinion because the Bible harshly condemns homosexuality although it says nothing about same-sex marriage.

“Church of England ministers can not carry out or bless same-sex marriages, but your local church is still there for you,” the Anglican church says on its website. “At any time you are welcome to come and pray with us, or ask us to pray for you.”

The Right Reverend Dr. Steven Croft, Anglican bishop of Oxford, made a bold push against Anglican orthodoxy on November 3 when he published a 52-page essay “Together in Love and Faith.” In the essay, he says that clergy should marry same-sex couples if they wish and apologized on behalf of himself and the church for denying LGBTQ people the right to marry.


Bishop Croft is the most senior clergy in the church to come out in support of same-sex marriage. It’s illegal for any Church of England minister to bless or marry same-sex couples.

"I need to acknowledge the acute pain and distress of LGBTQ+ people in the life of the Church," Bishop Croft wrote. “I am sorry that, corporately, we have been so slow as a Church to reach better decisions and practice on these matters. I am sorry that my own views were slow to change and that my actions, and lack of action, have caused genuine hurt, disagreement and pain."

He added that the highest value the church should promote should be love.

"Any settlement must be founded on love and respect: love and respect for LGBTQ+ people and their families within and beyond the Church, love and respect for those who take different views,” he wrote.

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) quickly rebuked Bishop Croft’s essay.

"CEEC continues to believe that the Church of England's current position on human sexuality is built on the teaching of scripture and is therefore good for individuals and society as a whole," a CEEC spokesperson said according to Christianity Today.

"We are therefore committed to praying and working for the outcome of the Living in Love and Faith process to be one of joyful reaffirmation of this position,” the statement continued.

Even though Bishop Croft’s essay was rebuked by the Church of England, he should be commended for taking a bold stance against discrimination in favor of promoting a higher principle, love.

Throughout history, Christians have jettisoned ideas in the Bible because they fell out of fashion, including slavery, condemning those who eat pork and sport certain haircuts, and silencing women in the church.

But in the face of changing attitudes toward LGBTQ people, many churches are standing their ground. Studies show that one of the biggest factors driving young people away from Christianity is the church’s attitudes toward LGBTQ people. Isn't it time the church changes with the times once again before its pews become empty?

Democracy

Pete Buttigieg told Marco Rubio why the Respect for Marriage Act isn't a 'stupid waste of time'

“If Rubio’s got time to fight against Disney, I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine."

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, eliminating federal abortion protections, Democrats are scrambling to protect same-sex marriage from being reversed as well.

Supporters of same-sex marriage are concerned after Justice Clarence Thomas called for other rulings to be revisited in the wake of the Roe decision. "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell," Thomas wrote, referring to decisions on contraception, sodomy and same-sex marriage.

To ensure that same-sex marriage won’t be overturned by the aggressive court, the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) bill last week. It won by a 267-157 vote, with 47 Republicans joining a unanimous Democratic caucus in supporting the legislation.


Now, the bill has to be approved by the Senate where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hopes to get 10 Republicans to support the bill to overcome the Senate's 60-vote filibuster hurdle.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio called the bill a “stupid waste of time” after being approached by a reporter at the Capitol building on Wednesday, July 20. Rubio says he wouldn’t participate in a vote when it comes to the Senate, saying that it’s a “fake problem.”

Rubio clearly hasn’t considered the fact that the United States has 980,000 same-sex households, of which 58% are married. Repealing same-sex marriage would severely impact the rights of hundreds of thousands of American families.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg pushed back against Rubio’s suggestion that it was a waste of time by explaining how important the issue is to his family. He also made note of the fact that Rubio was part of Florida’s Republican Party’s petty culture-war-driven fight against Disney.

If the thought of someone mentioning the word gay in a public school setting is a threat to Rubio then surely considering the legality of same-sex marriage is far from a waste of his time.

“If [Rubio’s] got time to fight against Disney, I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine. Look, this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me,” Buttigieg said on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend.

Rubio has also recently got really worked up about UFOs.

As the first openly gay person confirmed to a U.S. cabinet position who is married and has two children, Buttigieg is in a unique position to point out how out of step Rubio is with reality. Buttigieg went on to explain why the legislation was on his mind as he fed his twin babies breakfast over the weekend.

“That half-hour of my morning had me thinking about how much I depend on and count on my spouse every day, and our marriage deserves to be treated equally,” he said. “I don't know why this would be hard,” he added.

“I just don’t understand how such a majority of House Republicans voted ‘no’ on our marriage as recently as Tuesday,” he continued.

Rubio responded to Buttigieg on Twitter.

“I’m gonna focus on the real problems,” Rubio said. “I’m not gonna focus on the agenda dictated by a bunch of affluent elite liberals and a bunch of Marxist misfits who sadly today control the agenda of the modern Democratic Party.”

Rubio is wildly out of touch with that statement as well. Buttigieg isn’t parroting the agenda of some elitist class, but the average, everyday American. Polls show that 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage, so it’s Congress’s job to step up and protect a cornerstone of the American family from being overturned by an activist court.