By Bishop Gene Robinson
Reblogged from the Washington Post:
Twenty or 30 years ago, most Americans would have told you they didn’t know anyone gay. By that, they would have been claiming not to know anyone who openly and proudly disclosed their sexual orientation – and certainly not in the ranks of the clergy. Now, is there any family in America left who doesn’t know some family member, co-worker or former classmate to be gay? And once they know someone gay, know their relationships and their families, people are simply not willing to believe all the awful things said about us – especially by religious institutions.
Every denomination, no matter how clear and unwavering their condemnation of homosexuality and homosexual relationships, is struggling with this societal and religious issue. A substantial majority of Roman Catholic laity in America now support marriage equality – a momentous step beyond mere acceptance of homosexual people. Mormons and evangelicals are softening their language about gay people at a minimum; some are reassessing their traditional stances and moving toward greater acceptance.
Religious institutions of all stripes are asking this big question: Could the church have gotten it wrong in using a few verses of scripture to condemn homosexual people, just as it got it wrong about using isolated verses to justify slavery and the denigration/subjugation of women? More and more religious people and institutions are moving toward a “yes” in response to that question. The church has misunderstood God’s will before, but over time, we get it right. I believe that this is one of those moments.