from Nicholas Wapshott:

Gay marriage and the triumph of ’60s

By Nicholas Wapshott
April 3, 2013

Whatever the Supreme Court decides, it seems same sex marriage is here to stay. As the cover of Time put it, “Gay Marriage Already Won. The Supreme Court Hasn’t Made Up Its Mind – But America Has.”

from John Lloyd:

England’s inevitable gay union

By John Lloyd
February 7, 2013

Earlier this week the British Parliament housed a restrained, sometimes mawkish and at times moving debate on gay marriage – and the bill passed the House of Commons, 400 to 175. The story was not that it passed, which had been expected. Instead, it was the split in the major governing party, the Conservatives, more of whose 303 MPs voted against the bill than for it. (Conservatives voted 136 in favor of the bill, with 127 voting no, five abstentions and 35 not registering a vote.) Prime Minister David Cameron, still intent on ensuring that his party is liberal as well as conservative, was emollient and understanding of those against the measure but presented his support in the context of a “strong belief in marriage. … It’s about equality but also about making our society stronger.”

from John Lloyd:

A church married to the wrong side of history

By John Lloyd
January 4, 2013

After the attack on the Twin Towers in September 2001, the evangelical preacher Jerry Falwell took some time to tell his fellow Americans that homosexuals (along with abortionists, feminists and pagans) were at least in part to blame. “I point my finger in their face,” he said, “and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”

from Reihan Salam:

Are we having the wrong marriage debate?

By Reihan Salam
October 19, 2012

The marriage debate is entering a new phase. As recently as 1996, a Gallup survey found that 68 percent of Americans opposed civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. On May 8 of this year, Gallup released a report which found that only 48 percent were opposed to same-sex marriage while 50 percent were in favor. The next day, in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, President Barack Obama announced that he too favored the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, a move that delighted social liberals, many of whom believed that the president’s previous tepid opposition was rooted in political concerns rather than real conviction.

National impact expected from New York gay marriage law: experts

By Reuters Staff
June 26, 2011

(A rainbow flag symbolizing gay pride hangs from the awning of a store in New York June 22, 2011/Shannon Stapleton)

Gay marriage law in Argentina signals waning Catholic power in Latin America

July 23, 2010

gay buenosThe Catholic Church’s failure to derail a gay marriage law in Argentina shows once powerful clergymen losing their influence in Latin America, where pressure is growing for more liberal social legislation.

Karl Rove says did not ask for gay marriage fight

March 10, 2010

Karl Rove, the political operative widely credited with the electoral successes of former U.S. President George W. Bush, says in his new book that he did not choose gay marriage as a wedge issue but that circumstances thrust it his way.

U.S. religious conservatives and progressives profiled

September 15, 2009

The first ever comparative surveys of U.S. conservative and progressive (or liberal) religious activists has just been published by the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron and Public Religion ResearchClick here for a link to the survey.

Pope in Nazareth restates Catholic family values

May 14, 2009

nazareth-mass (Photo: Catholics attend pope’s Mass in Nazareth, 14 May 2009/Gil Cohen Magen)

After several days when the location of a speech sometimes clashed with the message he wanted to send, Pope Benedict must have been relieved to visit Nazareth today. The town where Jesus grew up lies in Israel proper, in the north of the country, and not in the political minefield of the West Bank that Benedict visited yesterday to see Bethlehem. In the town of the Holy Family, he was able to defend traditional Catholic family values without having to consider issues such as Palestinian statehood or apologies for the Holocaust. As he put it:

Have culture war issues returned to America?

April 9, 2009

America’s seemingly dormant culture wars reignited this week as the issue of gay marriage competed with the sour economy and volatile markets for media attention.