Catholic Latino Voters Support Marriage Equality

The Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life have released data from a new survey which shows for the first time in their polling that more Latinos are in favor of marriage equality than are opposed to it, with 52% in favor and 34% opposed.

Those numbers get better when looking at Latino Catholics vs. Latino Evangelicals.  According to a Reuters news report:

“Despite increased activism against same-sex marriage by some U.S. Roman Catholic bishops this election season, Latino Catholics are more supportive of same-sex marriage than Latino evangelical Protestants, the Pew survey found, by 54 percent compared with 25 percent.”

Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues

Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues, President of DignityUSA, offered an explanation of the favorable statistics:

“Growing support among Latinos for civil marriage equality is not at all surprising. The importance of family across Latino cultures means that they want the best for all of their members, including those who are gay and lesbian.”

The Reuters story also cited another influence:

“Obama’s declaration of support for gay marriage May 9 may have prompted some Americans, especially blacks and Hispanics, to reconsider their opposition, an analysis of Reuters/Ipsos poll data showed in May. The data found that fewer blacks and Hispanics opposed gay marriage after Obama’s remarks than before.”

A poll earlier this year conducted by the Social Science Research Solutions group found that 54% of Latinos support marriage equality, as opposed to 53% of the general population.

Meanwhile a group of Catholic and Evangelical Latino leaders are holding a press conference today to urge Hispanic voters to support Mitt Romney, according a  Fox News Latino report.   These religious leaders opposed Barack Obama in part because of his support for marriage equality.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry





Former Ambassador to the Vatican Speaks Out Against Ugandan Discrimination

Thomas Patrick Melady, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican and also to Uganda, has repeated and strengthened his plea to other religious leaders calling for an end to discrimination and injustice directed towards lesbian and gay people in Uganda.  In a blog posting on the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good website, Melady calls on Christians to speak out against the draconian practices against lesbian and gay people, especially since these practices are being justified by religious arguments.

(A “hat-tip” to Michael Sean Winters’ blog post on The National Catholic Reporter website for alerting me to Melady’s post.  Winters points out that Melady is a co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Catholic outreach team, making the former ambassador “another example of an orthodox Catholic calling on Catholics not to traffic in anti-gay bigotry. Coming from such an illustrious member of the Republican Party’s Wise Men, let’s hope Melady’s counsel reaches far and wide and deep.”)

Melady argues that

“. . . the new tranquility in Uganda is being threatened by a determined effort in the legislature to criminalize homosexuality. Gay Ugandans are being demonized. A recent bill would have enforced lifetime prison sentences and even the death penalty for gay acts. Neighbors could be punished by prison sentences for not reporting gay and lesbian neighbors to the authorities.

 “It is unfortunate that the campaign for these actions has been inspired by American missionaries and others. As I stated in a previous article on this matter, I urge U.S. faith leaders of all denominations to speak out against the campaign to demonize gays in Uganda. The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes that ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ against gays should be avoided. As a layman I would like to observe that the legislation being advocated by a few, which emphasizes severe punishment, runs contrary to the Christian tradition. In view of the high numbers of Christians of all denominations in Uganda, this represents and opportunity for American faith leaders, especially Christians, to urge their co-religionists to respond more correctly to Christian teachings and traditions.”
Silence on this issue, Melady points out, is not an option, and so he makes his call to speak out explicitly to Catholics, noting:
“Our Catholic faith in the inalienable dignity of every human being demands no less.”
Indeed, Catholic leaders have been shamefully silent about this matter, particularly compared to how quickly and loudly they speak out when questions of equal marriage rights for lesbian and gay people are proposed.  In the face of such blatant injustice, silence from Catholic leaders is even more unjust.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry
Additional Bondings 2.0  posts on the situation in Uganda: