Updates

The Religious Institute offers its prophetic moral voice to the public discourse at the intersection of religion, sexuality, gender, and reproductive health. Below you will find all of our updates. 

Celebrating Women’s Ordination in the Episcopal Church

On July 29, 1974, eleven women were “irregularly” ordained as priests in The Episcopal Church. There was no church law against ordaining women, but no woman had ever been ordained an Episcopal priest, and the controversy had been brewing for years. Finally, these courageous women decided not to wait any longer to take their place […]

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Women Now Can Become Bishops in Church of England

Twenty years after ordaining their first female priests, the Church of England voted on July 14 to allow women to become bishops. The vote had been contested for several years by more conservative elements within the Church, but after pressure from Church leaders, Parliament and the wider society, enough members of tricameral governing body of […]

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Religious Institute Joins Anti-Discrimination Letter

Religious Institute president Rev. Debra Haffner joined 99 other faith leaders in calling President Obama to refrain from including a religious exemption in an executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people. “An exception would set a terrible precedent by denying true equality for LGBT people,” the letter reads. Other signers of […]

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Religious Institute Decries Hobby Lobby Ruling

The Religious Institute decries today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, which undermines true religious freedom–the right of individuals to make their own moral choices. In March, 45 religious leaders signed a statement in support of universal access to contraception through insurance coverage. Read the statement here. Read more about […]

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Southern Baptist Convention Denies Transgender Reality

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) voted on June 10 to deny the experience of transgender people and block efforts for transgender rights. In the process, the SBC voiced its continued support for patriarchal and heteronormative gender norms, calling “distinctions in masculine and feminine roles…ordained by God as part of the created order.” Read more

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#BringBackOurGirls

On Sunday, May 25, Religious Institute President Rev. Debra W. Haffner joined ministerial colleagues to help plant 300 Nigerian flags in the front lawn at Saugatuck Congregational Church in Westport. The flags are meant to be a public witness to the plight of the 300 kidnapped Nigerian girls whose fate still remains uncertain. We continue […]

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Oregon Makes 18!

On May 19, a Federal judge in Oregon struck down that state’s ban on same sex marriages, making Oregon the 18th state (counting the District of Columbia) to recognize same sex marriage. The order is effective immediately. Freedom to Marry coverage is here. The decision is here.

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