After gay marriage successes, activists look to build on new faith outreach techniques
Faith-based activists in Minnesota helped defeat a proposed gay marriage ban there this month.
November 30th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

After gay marriage successes, activists look to build on new faith outreach techniques

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

(CNN) – It may not sound very powerful, but gay rights activist Debra Peevey said that a two-inch green button played a major role in convincing voters to legalize gay marriage this month in her home state of Washington.

“Another Person of Faith Approves R. 74,” said the button, which refers to the ballot initiative that wound up legalizing gay marriage in Washington.

As faith director for the statewide pro-gay marriage campaign, Washington United for Marriage, Peevey and her team distributed 5,000 of the buttons. They were conversation starters, she said, ways of letting people know they could relate to one another on the intimate level of religion. And that being religious didn’t meant you had to oppose gay marriage.

“We had people clamoring for the buttons,” Peevey said. “People of faith all over the state wore them. It amplified that perspective that people of faith do, in fact, support marriage equality.”

This year, voters in Washington State were joined by those in Maryland, Maine and Minnesota in handing big victories to the gay rights movement. In the first three states, voters legalized gay marriage. In Minnesota, they rejected a measure that would have banned same-sex marriage.

After watching dozens of states adopt gay marriage bans in recent years, gay rights activists hope this month’s victories mark a national turning point. And to help push other states to follow suit, they are holding up efforts like Peevey’s as a blueprint for how to successfully incorporate faith into future gay rights campaigns.

Some same-sex marriage proponents think their fight may move to Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon or some combination of those states. Wherever the effort goes, gay rights activists say, faith will be a part of the mix.

“Faith became part of the solution and not just the problem in all four states” where gay marriage was on the ballot this year, said Sharon Groves, director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. “We will never do a campaign moving forward where engaging people of faith will not be central part of that work.”

‘Be who you are, not something you are not’

For Grant Stevensen, a Lutheran pastor in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the faith director for the campaign opposing a gay marriage ban in the state, engaging faith communities depended on framing the debate the right way.

In past gay rights ballot fights, Stevensen said, the same-sex marriage movement put “a big emphasis on civil rights language and connection to the civil rights movement.” But the messaging didn’t work, he said, with many people rejecting the idea of a link between civil rights for minorities and marriage rights for gays.

Instead, Stevensen and his team used words like “love,” “marriage” and “commitment,” in their messaging about opposing a gay marriage ban, words that he said strike at the heart of Christian beliefs about marriage. “Our goal for the whole campaign was to emphasize those themes and talk specifically about gay people,” he said, “as opposed to making this another civil rights movement.”

Similar campaigns in other states took different approaches.

For instance in Maryland, gay rights activists emphasized outreach to African-American churches and played up civil rights arguments.

In Maine and Washington State, enormous effort went into mobilizing lay Catholics, even if their hierarchy actively opposed the gay marriage campaigns. Stevensen’s Minnesota campaign, meanwhile, targeted the state’s many Lutherans.

“Be who you are, not something you are not,” the pastor said, encouraging other gay rights activists to combat the stereotype that all Christians “are opposed to gay people.”

The right conversation

In past ballot fights, which resulted in gay marriage bans in more than 30 states, forces opposed to same-sex marriage had dominated the faith conversation.

A faithful same-sex marriage supporter was seen as an outlier.

When Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), was asked by his bosses to be one of the lead liaisons between the four state-based gay campaigns and the national gay rights organization, he knew more emphasis than ever was going to be put on religion.

Murray advised the campaigns to ask “people to vote the value that they have been taught” and “make sure that you can reach within all religious groups and get those who have passion and have them reach their friends, neighbors and co-congregants.”

That’s what Stevens tried to do in Minnesota: “We were going to either own this conversation about faith and if we can’t own it, no one is going to own it.”

Stevensen and his eight-person faith staff trained 2,500 "conversationalists," religious people who were taught how to have conversations about gay marriage with other people of faith. They were instructed to discuss same-sex marriage in terms of their religious beliefs. The campaign offered similar training sessions to more than 500 clergy.

The two-hour-long training sessions also focused on people telling their own faith stories. If someone had once been opposed to same-sex marriage because of their religious beliefs, they were encouraged to talk about that, too.

More than anything, said Stevensen, the conversationalists were encouraged to listen.

“People have their reasons to think what they do. [We taught how to] draw people out and make sure they are heard,” he said. “All of us like to be listened to.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s Groves said she was impressed by the lengths these campaigns went to reach deep into faith communities. As a veteran of the same-sex marriage fight, Graves was there when the movement struggled with this sort of outreach.

“It makes sense that we would have made some mistakes around that,” Groves said. “LGBT people have been harmed by the church.”

Perhaps the biggest mistake was around the gay marriage ban in California, known as Proposition 8.

Prop 8 mistakes

Debra Peevey was faith-based field organizer in Southern California during the fight against the Proposition 8 ballot initiative in 2008.

One reason she and her fellow gay rights activists lost that campaign was the way the religious conversation played out. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, along with the Roman Catholic Church actively campaigned for Prop 8. That framed the fight as one between secularists and believers.

“There was a resistance in engaging faith community,” Groves said. “We kind of let the religious right define the space for us and that was a real learning that we got from that.”

While religious organizations were pouring in money and manpower, said GLAAD’s Murray, anti-Prop. 8 opponents were apprehensive in reaching out to religious allies and ineffective at building enthusiasm from sympathetic religious communities and leaders.

Both Murray and Groves describe the post-Prop 8 reflection period as a “turning point” for the gay-rights community that gave rise to this year’s intense faith-based organizing.

Now, Peevey said, there’s no going back: “I can’t imagine that we will ever have a LGBT campaign where faith was not a part of the team.”

Moving forward

At pro-same-sex marriage organizations like GLAAD, Murray said conversations are turning to where the next gay marriage fights will happen.

“It is really hard to tell where this is going to come up again,” said Murray, adding that the next attempts to block or legalize gay marriage may happen legislatively in some states, as opposed to via ballot initiative.

He said gay rights groups want to tap into the Lutheran networks in Colorado, Illinois and Oregon early, to ensure that their LGBT outreach is well established by the time any ballot initiative or legislative efforts formally get under way.

By the time that happens, the gay rights community has learned, it may already be too late to frame the faith conversation around gay marriage.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Politics • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality • United States

soundoff (1,674 Responses)
  1. Reality

    At http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/pdf/d61a.pdf , there is a check box for "unmarried partner" under Person #2. There of course is also a check box for "husband/wife". One assumes a gay couple could check this latter box but how does one choose which is which for a gay union?

    December 1, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • Akira

      Cute conundrum.
      If gays are allowed to be married, forms will have to obviously be updated.
      Not a real good reason to deny gays the right to be married.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • End Religion

      Need to get rid of "divorced" box too. When one divorces one becomes single again.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Why are you people awake at this ungodly hour?

      December 1, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • Reality

      To be biologically and physically correct, the new box should be "gay union partner".

      To wit:

      From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.
      Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

      As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits where approved are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  2. God

    Dear humans,

    You misunderstood Jesus. When he said "until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law", it actually does mean that the old laws are mandatory. So here is the bottom line: I still want burnt offerings, and it's okay to kill mouthy children.

    Oh, and more foreskins please.

    December 1, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Akira

      What do you do with the foreskins?
      Make some strange celestial chip dip?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • End Religion

      They're recycled into "live strong" bracelets.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • God

      Foreskins are the chewing gum of the gods.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • jarhead333

      Clever, but you can't have the Old Testament without the new. I dislike it when Christians preach on the Old without the reform of the new.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Yes, Paul did say they were free from the Old Law, except when it suited him.
      Especially with respect to the subservient position of women.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  3. right4life

    Dear World I have something to add to this discussion, I'm all knowing, loving and have the best interest at heart for you. If interested please read my book. Sincerely God

    I will be seeing you.

    2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    November 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting

      Dear right4life.
      Fvck your 2000 year old book.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, dude, if you actually wrote the book, I might be a little more intersted...but since yu had so many people ghost write it...and hey, while you're at the computer, and clearly have the capabilities to re-write it making it pertinent to today's society, why don't you just do it?
      You can clear up the whole 6-day thing, the slavery thing, the stoning thing, the silencing of women...God, you have some splaining to do.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • jarhead333

      Ghost writers? Guess you should brush up on your history. I find it funny how so many people speak about the Bible without any proper knowledge about history.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Adam


      Take your pick:

      either it was ghost-written


      it was written by a bunch of schizophrenics


      it was written with the aid of drugs

      December 1, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Earthling

      that's right, jarhead, we know who many of the re-writers were, and we know the political agendas they were attempting to further by way of the rewrites. Of course, the erroneous translations and mistakenly omitted bits that were the accidental changes wrought by anonymous scribes – well, those guys will just have to remain anonymous I guess.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • jarhead333

      Take a history class.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:02 am |
  4. Akira

    Apple, where are you?
    I wanted to continue the conversation, but the page changed.

    November 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Sorry, had to attend to some bidness. Hope to chat tomorrow!

      December 1, 2012 at 7:05 am |
  5. John Thomas Tolbert

    Typical tactics of h-o-m-o-s: call the opposition bigots. I maintain that it is YOU who are the bigots against traditionalists.

    November 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Maintain whatever you wish. Opposition to equal rights labels you a dinosaur.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • J.W

      No, because they are not trying to prevent straight people from being married.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • sybaris

      when did you decide to be straight?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      Bigots means self centered or a denier of truth absolute, no one is more hindu, bigot, self centered than followers of hindu filthy gays ism, hind lovers by faith, chasing each others hind to please their hindu soul, filthy desire like hindu filthy animals.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      If they were telling you who you could marry, you'd be squealing like a stuck pig. No one is telling YOU who to marry. Bigot.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • pogojo

      Equal rights? at this point no one has the right to marry someone of their own gender.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      Chasing hind by hindu gays, filthy hind lovers is not a right as you hind, absurd but hinduism, illegality, punishable by La, limit of truth absolute, hindu, gando.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      midwest rail wrote, "Maintain whatever you wish. Opposition to equal rights labels you a dinosaur."

      The equalities you seem wanting to partake of is likened to a bull mistaking another bull for a cow! Dumb futzes are stupid bulls! All any bull wants is the feeling not the dealing! Truth of the matters are h o m o genous are stupid no nothings wanting to be highlighted within the next newspaper just so they can feel a public awareness in their own minds! Pasha!

      November 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Akira

      Pogojoe, which is exactly why they are fighting for that right...all citizens deserve the same civil rights.
      All of them!

      November 30, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Akira

      Ll's true colors are revealed: against civil rights for a segment of the population.
      Well done.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      Civilities of one wantonly willing to prod another of sameness does wreak of sh!ttiness spewing about upon one's doodler doing the nastiness deed wherein many of the hetero crowds do seldom seek such frivolities of benign impingent copulations! Where truly is the civility of h o m o s e x I s t s to be found rightly wholesome and without bitterness fruits?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Akira

      Ll, nobody is telling you that you have to engage in gay acts, and no matter how personally repugnant you find it, denying the civil rights of others because you don't like it is just wrong, whether you personally find it sh!tty or not.
      It is really that simple: it doesn't affect you or your belief in God in any way, shape, or form, but it does infringe on the rights of others.
      Bet if the Bible was outlawed tomorrow, you'd read it in the closet, wouldn't you?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • uoıƃılǝɹ ɟo plɹoʍ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɥʇ

      sʇoƃıq sn ƃuıllɐɔ ɹoɟ sʇoƃıq ǝɥʇ ǝɹɐ noʎ ؛sʇoƃıq ǝɥʇ ʇou ǝɹ,ǝʍ

      December 1, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • End Religion

      "Bet if the Bible was outlawed tomorrow, you'd read it in the closet, wouldn't you?"
      excellent akira!

      December 1, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • the AnViL


      yes – i suppose it has been a tradition within xianity to deny equality towards other americans...

      it used to be cool to take your slaves to church... right?

      some traditions need to die – namely the ones that perpetuate bigotry.


      December 1, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • the AnViL

      it is fitting that those who have thrived on bigotry could become the object of ridicule, prejudice, or discrimination.

      live by the sword – etc


      December 1, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • lionlylamb


      I know well that the civilities of h o m o erectors will someday be recognized within the USA in all states. Frown though I must.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Earthling

      I am continually amazed at the lack of intelligence shown by the gay-bashers. Almost universally, they cannot spell, cannot compose a simple sentence, and cannot articulate a coherent thought. And they cannot grasp the concept of live and let live. How does a loving relationship between consenting adults impact your life, if neither of those adults is you? Hint: It doesn't.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:52 am |
  6. lionlylamb

    The Universally-Formed Cosmos of Triune Manifestation

    We all live amid two chasms of cosmological orders. We have the inner-cosmos and the outer-cosmos. The inner-cosmos is atomically made and is the universal construct of the outer-cosmos. One could not have an outer without an inner. Both are synonymously of the same natures. It stands to reason the inner-cosmos was made first and the outer-cosmos came into being only after the passive finalization of the inner-cosmos was made near complete. The inner-cosmos is transcendent and fixed while the outer-cosmos is ascendant and malleable in their dualities natures.

    The third cosmos is of life itself made from the inner-cosmos decidedly living upon the terrestrial faces of the celestial outer-cosmos. This third cosmos is the celled cosmos or the cellular cosmologic orders of all life forms made anywhere cellular life can gain a foothold to evolve and gain in the abundant natures toward the evolution of its structures ever evolving. Without the two main Cosmos coming into existence; living cellular cosmologies could not exist.

    The triune or threefold nature of chasm cosmologies is being one of the greatest and grandest gestures ever to have been formulated! To say God had nothing to do with such a feat of cosmologic inter-dependencies seems an infallible congruency inconsistent for one to say or think otherwise. To say the nature of God is to keep inflating the physical elements of the outer cosmos while deflating the essence needs for the inner-cosmos leaves one to wonder about the third cosmological construct’s real nature for having been created. Why then is there cellular cosmos of living cosmologies and when did such life become established?

    The history of multifaceted cosmological expansionism within celestial symmetries comes from the terrestrial complacencies of planetary regularities and solarized objectivism wherever the abundance of inner cosmologies coalesces to form stars, planets and moons among many other fragmented structures within the spatial confines of a universally formed Cosmos.

    Life, upon the celestial shorelines of the terrestrially compliant are as a biologically ‘cellularistic’ cosmological constant, and were ever formed and are continually forming seemingly unto forever as well placed living conglomerations in naturalisms arcades of wondrous cavalcades marching in steps of melancholy tributes to God upon the most high cosmos of universally formidable formations on the highest of unimaginable grounds!

    Lettuce Love
    Let Us Love
    Lettuce Knot
    Let Us Not

    God's Oldest Dreamer

    November 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Earthling

      Guess what. Making stuff up (or copying and pasting someone else's made-up stuff) and stating it as though it was factual, does not make it factual. There's this concept called "proof", which is based on "evidence". Come back when you understand these simple ideas and can back up your magical nonsense.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:54 am |
  7. John Thomas Tolbert

    People of faith, pray that God will remove this blight from our nation.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Answer

      Removing yourselves.. a splendid idea.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Answer

      I suggest your kind moving to Iran. Great place for you zealot christians.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I expect it's a bit like Mitt Rmoney's "self deportation" / auto deportación.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • mama k

      I'm not religious, but hey – if someone's looking for a church that fully accepts gays, check out this association here:


      (I just wanted to show the contrast between some accepting Christians and then the bigots like JTT, here.) This is the same kind of disparity that drove the chief author of our Constitution to say this:

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      (James Madison – A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785)

      November 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Clyde M

      I assume the blight you are referring to are the bigots who use faith as an excuse to deny rights to others?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • the AnViL

      there is absolutely no evidence of prayer working at all. there is – in fact – evidence to disprove the veracity of the practice.

      in numerous scientific studies done numerous times – each and every one concluded the exact same thing:

      prayer does not work.

      and there's a very good reason for this: there are no gods.

      gods DO exist – but ONLY between the ears of delusional people who believe in them.

      so – to sum things up – there's no gods – and your prayers are useless.


      November 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      John Thomas Tolbert,

      I hear you John Thomas Tolbert I do!

      God's Oldest Dreamer

      November 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm afraid that the AnViL's assertions are correct, John Thomas Tolbert. God is an element of mythology and prayer does nothing.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Akira

      What blight is that?
      Bigotry and intolerace?

      November 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • RJW

      I pray that they pray to remove the blight on this nation of bigots and haters like you.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • joey

      Hey Johnny TT, you should head down to Gulfport. You could score some quick $$ -they're shooting "Bigots Gone Wild" I hear.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      You think the gods don't know what they want to do ?
      If they are omniscient, your prayer isn't going to change what they already know what they will already do, now will it.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Earthling

      Pray all you want. It will have exactly the same effect as not praying.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  8. Manonfire

    So I post a philosophical series of legitimate statements and censors won't post it but yet post other pro-gay posts? How biased can you be CNN!!!

    November 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • the AnViL

      you're only being thwarted by a word filter.

      there is no conspiracy.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Answer

      They hate you. So it's perfectly fine.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • mama k

      typical culprites are words like const itution, where it has that "t it" word in the middle – just embed a space

      November 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Here ya' go...

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • mama k

      golly – culprits, not culprites.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @helpful hints,

      my you've left off a lot besides the 'n' word


      November 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      I'm not a GOPer,

      Yeh, I tried to make the list a bit shorter by leaving off the usual no-brainer offenders...

      November 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Fair enough. Most of the left out words don't belong as fragments in other words.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Snake Oil Salesman

      It's the fvcking Communists.
      They took a speed reading course, and very rapidly read posts, and block certain ones.
      Oh. Oh. Oh. It's a conspiracy.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Dippy

      Fucking communists, not fvcking.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Akira

      Dippy, I can't get the word to go through, so as you can, want to share the secret?
      If you don't, that's okay, but then you really can't complain when one has to write it 'fvck'.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Dippy

      I didn't complain.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Helpful Hints


      If you right click your mouse and click on "view page source", you can scan the page and see the html tricks that Dippy (and others use). More power to them.... it's too much work for me!

      December 1, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  9. Michael

    The theocrats have have lost all credibility in their threats and hate mongering at this point. Gay marriage has been legal in many countries for many years by this point, and none of those countries have all turned gay or been attacked by God or have people marrying horses, etc. What has happened in those countries with gay marriages? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. In other words, the theocrats have been proven to be the liars we've all known them to be all along.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • John Thomas Tolbert

      In the entire world, h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l marriage is legal in just 11 countries.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Answer

      And back in the stones ages the figure was 0 countries. XD

      HAHAHAAHAH.. losing all your precious babble control.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Clausen

      I'm pretty sure there were no unified countries at all in the stone ages. So whats your point Answer?

      November 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting

      Post by John Thomas Tolbert is an example of the ad populum fallacy.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      John Thomas Tolbert how does it feel to have your religion slipping away in your lifetime?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  10. John Thomas Tolbert

    Man, the h-o-m-o-s on this board are full of hate.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Manonfire

      Indeed! They are angry people without fail.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Answer


      @ Answer: I don't hate g.ay people. Why does disagreeing have to be considered hatred?
      that's an awfully broad brush you're painting with...


      Look at the Russ – the christian .. look at the response. XD

      November 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Answer

      Do you christians hate each other now? Does that one christian telling you that message make any sense to you?


      Funny christians and their hate.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      the abbreviation for the species H0mo sapiens, is H. sapiens, *not* H0mo S.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • the AnViL

      what isn't to hate? ignorance? bigotry? the un-american concept that it's OK to restrict the rights, liberty, freedom and equality that's const itutionallly guaranteed to ALL americans?

      those of you who seek to limit the equality, rights, liberty and freedom of those who do not share your delusional religious ideology – do not deserve those very things you'd deprive others.

      you should be ashamed but you're too ignorant to know it.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • John Thomas Tolbert

      I have never directed my comments toward any particular individual (except angie above) even though their behavior is vile and disgusting.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • mama k

      Usually when someone is this bigoted towards homosexuality, there is a reason behind it. Often it is someone in the closet.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting

      JT Tolbert,
      You do know, (you idiot), that straight people "do that" as much as gay people I hope.
      Since when is what you think is "disgusting" a basis for law ? That really is what it's about isn't it. There is a researcher who has discovered a link between "disgust", *bitterness* (taste), and conservative values.
      You fit the findings to a tee.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting

      The NIH has a study which proves ho'mophobes are closeted, latent gays.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Earthling

      Funny – it sure looks to me like the ones trying to oppress people and make illegal a way of life are the biblethumpers. Oppression and deligitimization are pretty hateful, wouldn't you agree?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • LinCA

      See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014

      December 1, 2012 at 2:04 am |
  11. Daryl

    Come and get married in Canada! You will be welcome! There is no residency requirement, so can get married on the weekend. While you are here, spend lots of money on food, accommodation etc. Thanks for coming!

    November 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      You Canadians are so nice. Let me know when you start importing the sun. I'll consider moving.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  12. poopmeister

    Teavangelist, I think your still missing the point. The guy was gay, that's it. Anything past that is everyone elses fears of what they don't comprehend. His loved ones should have figured out how to support him with the notion that....he is gay. He's gay, let's say it together...the guy was gay. All the counseling in the world would not change that fact. That's like saying (I'll assume you are white and probably from the south), well you say you are white and from the south but I truly think that you are confused and are actually black and from the Bronx....kinda like that, you know. The guy is gay, let's say it again....the guy is gay.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      We, as being but microbiology’s buildings do labor together and in equal measures; find struggles with God and all his generations, his family members and servants and other Godly brethren living inside our body-like buildings of cosmological wonders! 1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

      We or rather our wills were literally there in the very beginning moments of Creation itself. We lived throughout timeliness upon the inner cosmos within a scale so minutely small that the immensity of many things could be thought of as being but upon the head of a pin! We were and still are mostly made of Nothingness! Nothingness puts vast distances between what we know of as being neutrons, electrons and protons!

      Ask any science major and they would tell you matter of factually that nothing makes up more space within the atomic cosmos then does the atoms themselves! The Seas of Nothingness reach from the innermost to the outermost ranges of cosmological aberrations! Our bodies themselves are cosmologically ordained cellular cosmologies of biogenetic wonders and marvels!

      The history of multifaceted cosmological expansionism within celestial symmetries comes from the terrestrial complacencies of planetary regularities and solarized objectivism wherever the abundance of inner cosmologies coalesces to form stars, planets and moons among many other fragmented structures within the spatial confines of a universally formed Cosmos.

      Lives, upon the celestial shorelines of the terrestrially compliant are biologic cellular cosmological constants, and were ever formed and are continually forming seemingly forever as well placed living conglomerations in naturalisms arcades of wondrous cavalcades marching in steps of melancholy tributes to God upon the most high Cosmos of universalism’s formidable formation on highest of grounds.

      If one diatribes fetal modernism, one is locked within a promiscuous choice: either make acceptable a proponent’s rationalism or declare the other has a ranking significance, but only if artistic leverage is interchangeable with the narratively orientated and therefore an unattainable languishing of a higher order. Many quatrain narratives concerning rationalism do so exist. Therefore, the subject “God” does endure to be a relative diagnostic embolism.

      Any number of discourses concerning sub-textual conceptualism exists. Thus, the premise of deconstructive rationalism suggests that society, paradoxically, has intrinsic meaning. Lycanthropic obscurity properties propose that unobstructed reality is fundamentally a legal fiction. Thusly, I do concur that the premise of the cultural paradigm of expressionism holds that art is capable of social comment, but only if the cultural paradigm of the narrative is invalid; if that is not the case, Truth is used to reinforce the status quotient.

      God, whether he is or isn’t will ever be the celestial beings’ raiment. God forbade no one their only will; to be constrained by leavened breadths and widening clusters within fragmented minds of tribunal conclaves. We biologic clusters of cellular cosmologies do laminate the celestial shorelines of outward cosmological sanctimonies; either as an inerrancy faultless or as being a blunder of inclemency found full of faults. Ones will might never become another’s willingness way. We are physically and psychically alone and never shall be a will of togetherness bearings upon these golden oldies shorelines upon celestial avenues of sciatica bitterness and shallow conceits.

      As flesh-carnage beings in bitterness bemoaned sanctions of seldom issued righteousness acts, do we dare to conjure up ideologies wherefrom others might find agreements to lavishly allure upon? Where then do the wrongfulness ways end and the righteousness values daringly begin? We are, therefore we shall be and yet others might not; so where do the differences defeat the ilk and doubtfulness reckoned from others who dare to invoke pleasantries to subvert the potentially righteous orientated ones who dare speak up? Who are those tenured to subvert mankind’s potentials?

      The slow-to-change atmosphere of leavening societal augmentations regarding right or wrong conclaves of diatribe animosities unregulated ambivalences will linger onward unto the ages of future societies all clamoring to be the first ones augmented. We are our own chalices and do drink of our own blood. “I am therefore others should be also!” What quackery is such a thought? We are all different in so many ways and left to another one our will, is to tender resignation of willful intentions regarding the self!

      The abundances measure not yet always is secure in one's knowing where the lights do ever burn true to shallower seasons amber waves. The shells of disparagements do clamor of loudness while the willowed brooks do lay upon its banks the grief riddled fomentations truths to ever be as unlabeled victims foreshadowed in the datedness of peace to the wary minded. Let one go and keep as many are to be so had. Lay upon the emotion's lame their just treats. Keep harmonies in stepped progressives while taking the bitterness of revolt to gaily be just what? Sigh therefore heavily and breathe ever in abundant measure the signatures well mentioned. Die one as naturally as is so needed and never take such for undue clemencies as being an unworthy sanctum. Leave straight and don't weave upon the narrowness minds!

      Seek in humbled traces the shoddy and lame for there I am also. Find at ones edges the meek and on other corners the very so proud. Nothing is of more importance then to by hustle along teachings with the tramps and the ladies in evening wares. God is my judge and no other shall condemn as God so will come one ending or the other. Those who are knowing of sweetness the dreams longing to be dreamt by one or another dreamer of deeds to be so done is truly where hearts do so beat!

      Thusly does righteousness abbreviate upon long forgotten issues of fatherly intensions meant to be applauded then and forgotten of nowadays! We are living amid a day and age of once bitten frugally rent harborages of long ago lavishness. Alas do we ever tender to forget our elder generations once gleamed garnished essences! We live therefore to die an aloneness ever to be content in our mind’s eyes that the great seas of nothingness will be our ever unending rewards for a journey of abrupt lividness living was to be our only physical rewards! Are individual rights based on societal righteousness within the parameters of cultural soundness being the kindled line drawn and distanced by religious austerities? How far away from religious agendas will the leveraging hierarchies be twined and marked in being and becoming mere factors of the mythological?

      Have the vesper pottages of amassed humanisms become complacently illiterate nowadays? Where then do the root-commodities of religious socialisms truly matter and 'riotous' materialization make scalar upon spattering of regarding irrational causations? I do shudder in the crowds' 'revolting' laments, for of crowned sarcasms does lay the tutors of indemnifications' coverings leaving no more the generosities of the lividness' racial trees of multi-faceted generalists.

      Monotheisms do nowadays abound, for many variations of 'mono-isms' are but fetters, the bonds that do bind up and weigh shackled inward, towards errant subjugations upon the propensities of root cause worthiness. The godless need the ungodly and vice versa and although goodly does prevail upon and thru all aberrancy, many are plated and some are filtrations while many are mere silhouettes. No one person should be upon another's backsides but raised by the shoulders of another to such heights as deemed wise, needed and cautiously sublimated. Goodness knows no boundaries yet many do not heed the goodly in others who share unendingly their deeded austerities.

      Monotheistic self is what the gestations of ungodly and godless unwittingly portend they themself to be in their hindsight’s. They are their own gods so to profess and in their cu-mulative efforts they due themselves conjoin and gather their piecemeal subjugates forsaking all goodly 'proprietaries' relatively based in self-godly characterizations. "I will not give in!" are the ungodly and godless stands even though they tend to belittle and make small their talking spheres of jubilation's acquittals. A pig knows only how to root and make ruts searching the grounds for its nourishments. Are we all not but rooting for our source codes?

      The questions when asked about the ages of spatial nebulas, galaxy clusters and solar systems should be considered as Godly Time verses our understandings of earth based times. For God's Timeframe only a season has lapsed by and says a billion years have thusly lapsed by earth time. Within the gospel is written, Psalms 90:4 "For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night." I see nothing wrong in understandings toward our science's age theories. In fact I stand resolute and in favor of it. The theories of inward inter-cosmological paradigms and outward paradigms of cosmological comparisons is truly where sciences should consider and bible based theologians should also.

      Governing bodies are the ones that "can claim misery, suppression of knowledge and murder among other crimes as their legacy." Just on reasoning alone the simple minds of the religious blame games know little to hardly anything regarding what governing officials have done yes in the naming of religious b e a t i t u d e s. being governing's official scapegoats throughout much in histories. Oh, I forgot! Religion is all there was in past histories. Influenced by greediness may well be the gold-egg in many tragedies thru the world's history trees. If not for secularism grabbing the U.S.A.'s governing bodies, we here in the U.S.A. and in many other countries, nations would still be under the oppressions of old man fuddy duddies bellying up at the bars exercising their arms killing brain cells instead of using their brain-yards for society’s sakes and goodly concerns!

      November 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting

      Like I'm gonna read all that crap.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Fallacy Spotting,

      That seems to be many a person's problem. Too short attention spans!

      December 1, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • midwest rail

      Many a person's problem is an allergy to word salad.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Dippy

      That was the longest post I have had the pleasure of not reading.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  13. Brian

    Wonder how many ministers have been diagnosed with gay bowel syndrome.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  14. John Thomas Tolbert

    H-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-i-t-y is a disease upon this great nation and makes us a laughing stock to the world. No wonder the Muslims hate us.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Damocles

      Right, because this is the only country in which gay people exist.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Angie

      You really shouldn't talk. Not because you don't have a basic right to free speech but because what you're saying is so ridiculously stupid.

      If there is a problem to point out, I'd have to say it's your lack of common sense and the fact that you can (and probably have) procreated.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      don't you just feel bad for closeted self-loathing h.omophobes?

      November 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • John Thomas Tolbert

      Angie, why are you so full of hate?

      November 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • the AnViL

      ACTUALLY – the thing that makes us a laughingstock among civilized nations.... are people like YOU, John Thomas Tolbert.

      your backwards views are outdated – and your intent to restrict the liberty and equality of others is a n t i t h e s i s to the founding standards of this great nation. we are the laughingstock only of shut-in countries like iran, where equality, liberty, freedom and human rights barely exist.

      you're no better than any islamic extremist – and twice as repugnant.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • MiamiMikey

      Guess we have to leave Israel on it's own. They allow gays to be in the military!!!! (along with how many other western countries? – Guess you could not answer that question. You are so ignorant!!!!!

      November 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • mama k

      Backward-thinking fools like JTT, still in the dark ages are really what is a blight on this country. Not just on this issue, but on all endeavors for societal self-improvement. That's ok. You can drown in you sorrowful bigotry as the rest of the world whisks by you.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Clyde M

      Since when did we define our civil, secular laws by what Muslims in other countries do or don't think of us?

      What a lame argument.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • RJW

      The only people making this nation a laughingstock are bigots and haters like you. You are vile and disgusting.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting

      Hey OLD man. It was removed from the list of disorders by the psychiatrists 40 years ago. When did you grow up ? Like the 20's ?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting

      Isn't that funny. Anyone here who disagrees with a holy roller is a "hater".

      December 1, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • End Religion

      John Thomas Tolbert, move to Iran. I've heard they don't have any gays. Warped minds think alike!


      December 1, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  15. DJR

    Gays don't care, they ill and seeking to tell GOD whats what. I can only laugh!

    November 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • mama k

      You can only not write a sentence.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • RJW

      I'm gay and God loves me. He hates you though you bigot.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Earthling

      Because simple English is beyond your ability.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  16. Bob

    Bury KRHODES

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    November 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  17. hawaiiguest


    Does it make you feel important to post and run, and post complete and utter idiocy?

    November 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm |

    Gay marriage may not hurt my marriage, but do they know what it will do to future marriages? No they don't and no they don't care. Flame away tom tom.

    November 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Akira

      It will add marriages, as many who are unable to get married will be able to do so.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Angie

      Yes, and I hear that marriage between blacks and whites will erode our society as well. Darn those people... Expecting to be able to live quietly and in peace with the person that they love... In a consentual and loving relationship... It's literally going to tear the neighborhood apart...

      You really shouldn't fear something you don't understand. Educate yourself and it'll make you and all of us around you much happier.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Clyde M

      It will likely expand the number of marriages and grant 1100 civil and legal rights to a new group of people who currently cannot receive them or can receive only some of them through great additional burden, cost, and effort.

      How terrible...

      November 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Khruddy, we don't deny rights to others because we imagine doing so "may" have an effect on marriage. The fact is that gay marriage has been legal in a number of states for some time. It's been legal in a number of nations for some time. Can you or any other zealot find ANY credible evidence that the legalization of marriages of two consenting adults has had ANY negative effects at all? Because I've requested this from you and other idiots repeatedly and not one of you can manage to find a single thing to cite.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |

    They just want it regardless of what is does to the nation. It is always give me, give me, give me from the liberals and the heck with the consequences.

    November 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Angie

      I find you hysterical. Not your message... Just how you lack some level of understanding in what you're saying... Give them what? What is it that you think they're asking for that gives them MORE than what you have already? Equality... That's what it means... Are you so foolish that you honestly don't see that?

      This is a serious question, mind you.... I'm truly trying to understand how your brain works... It has nothing to do with being liberal. It has everything to do with having basic courtesy and respect for the people around me. You should try it some time.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Answer


      It's really all like this: they think that the bible gives them absolute authority.

      Every religious person thinks that it is their given right to be the ones to dictate their whims to other people. They always have in their mentality 'an excuse' to claim that authority. They do not realize that the claim in itself is not valid. Their bible is not any kind of authority. Anyone who disagrees with that idea is labelled an enemy.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Answer

      Time and time again – they will always make a claim. Their ministers tell them that their claim is valid. They (the sheep) repeat it to themselves constantly to that effect. And then when they go back to church – the sheep reconfirm the ministers' sermon once again. A classic self perpetuating cycle of intolerance and dis-information.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • J.W

      Explain what the consequences will be krhodes

      November 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Clyde M

      And just what, *exactly*, do you think it will "do to the nation?"

      This I gotta hear.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Cal

      First equal rights for women, then blacks, and now gays. Sorry if your special status as a white, straight man has slipped off the pedestal, but it's time to share everything equally.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Earthling

      How is it even possible to be that ignorant?

      December 1, 2012 at 2:07 am |

    secularist neither know and i doubt they care what undefining marriage will do in the future.

    November 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Akira

      And who is 'undefining' marriage?
      If anything, they are adding new meaning to the definition.
      What an absurd assertion, based on nothing more than h0m0phobia.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Clyde M

      1) No one is undefining anything.

      2) If you propose that you DO know what altering the legal definition of marriage will result in for the future, pray tell, do tell us.

      November 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Athy

      What do you mean "undefining marriage?" the definition of marriage will remain unchanged.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:04 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.