Just a few quick news items for you on this Sunday. You Really Don’t Want to Mess With Drunk Wiccans: At least, according to the police blotter in Kirkland, Washington you don’t. Quote: “Disturbance: 2:40 a.m., 200 block of Kirkland Ave. A 26-year-old woman was arrested after she walked into the Heathman Hotel intoxicated and out of control. The hotel manager reported the woman was speaking in a made-up language before she grabbed the manager’s lapel and head-butted her.
Earlier this week I reported on how the Supreme Court of the United States will be hearing a case about sectarian prayers before government meetings. Defenders of various inclusive sectarian models say that it promotes a healthy discourse in which all citizens are able to fully represent themselves. The truth is that when pluralistic-on-paper invocation models are tested, the results are usually far from ideal. “An atheist lawmaker’s decision to give the daily prayer at the Arizona House of Representatives triggered a do-over from a Christian lawmaker who said the previous day’s prayer didn’t pass muster. Republican Rep. Steve Smith on Wednesday said the prayer offered by Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe at the beginning of the previous day’s floor session wasn’t a prayer at all. So he asked other members to join him in a second daily prayer in “repentance,” and about half the 60-member body did so.
Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started! A Farewell to Therianthropy: Pagan and neo-shamanic practitioner Lupa, author of books like “New Paths to Animal Totems” and “Skin Spirits,” has announced that she’s letting her book “A Field Guide to Otherkin” go out of print.
With the landmark Supreme Court hearings this week on the issue of marriage equality, cases that could potentially make sweeping sweeping changes regarding the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, national Pagan organizations are stepping forward to reiterate their ongoing support. We’ve already seen the active involvement of Selena Fox, founder and co-executive director of Circle Sanctuary, and now two more organizations, Covenant of the Goddess and Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, have expressed their solidarity and wish for equal rights (and rites). Covenant of the Goddess (COG), one of the oldest and largest Wiccan/Witchcraft advocacy organizations in the United States, posted a short media statement to their National Public Information Officer’s blog. “The Covenant of the Goddess, a 38-year old Witch and Wiccan advocacy organization, extends its support to the entire LGBT community in its struggle for marriage equality within our country. We respect the diversity of religious thought even when it’s divergent from our own. As such, we support the legalization of civil marriages with all the associated civil benefits.
We likely won’t know until June what the outcomes of the oral arguments at the Supreme Court over California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will be, but it does seem clear that a threshold has been crossed. No matter how narrow (or broad) the decisions will ultimately be regarding the rights of same-sex couples in the United States, many will look to 2013 (and the November 2012 elections) as a time when a cultural corner was turned. When marriage equality was now backed by a majority of Americans, when politicians quickly issue statements to be on the right side of history, and when culturally conservative opponents of same-sex marriage are collapsing. “In 2004, the campaign to prevent gay marriage was in its heyday. The Bush administration had seeded an initiative banning gay marriage in Ohio to mobilize activists and peel off traditionalist Democratic voters.