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Church and State: Religious Leaders Debate Same-Sex Marriage

Watch politics editor Christina Bellantoni moderate a Google Hangout debate between religious leaders that take opposing sides on same-sex marriage.

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two major cases addressing gay rights — California’s Prop 8 law and the Defense of Marriage Act. While the focus of the discussion has centered mostly on politics, PBS NewsHour got a different, non-legal perspective on the same-sex marriage debate and look at how it has played out in the world of religion.

Politics editor Christina Bellantoni hosted a Google hangout Friday with religious leaders from both sides of the argument. They addressed how each of their faith communities view same-sex marriage, and how and why they’ve gotten involved with the political discourse.

Joining her were:

  • Father Paulinus Odozor, professor of Christian ethics and moral theology at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Rabbi Jan Uhrbach, rabbi of a conservative-movement synagogue on Long Island and a member of the Rabbinical Assembly. She wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post on the subject this week.
  • Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, minister for LGBT concerns at the national office of United Church of Christ, the first Protestant church to endorse gay marriage.
  • And Erik Thoennes, professor and department chair of Biblical and theological studies at Biola University and a pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Southern California.

Watch the hangout above and chime in with your thoughts and questions in the comments below and on on twitter with @NewsHour using #churchandstate.

The NewsHour will continue its coverage of the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act legal challenges on March 26 and March 27. For more information on the cases, watch National Law Journal Washington bureau chief Marcia Coyle on the NewsHour late last year after the high court decided to take the cases:

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