The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Rev. Geoffrey Black, General Minister and President.
On April 28, 2014, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage and other marriage statutes, arguing that they violate the First Amendment rights of clergy and the free exercise of religion. The suit is believed to be the first-ever by a religious denomination to contest a state's anti-gay marriage laws on religious grounds.
The lawsuit particularly targets a statute that makes it a criminal offense for clergy to solemnize weddings without a state-issued marriage license (which North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage prohibits from being issued to same-sex couples). The suit argues that the ban on same-sex marriage violates the equal protection clause of the constitution and that the statute criminalizing the solemnization of weddings violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.
As Michael Paulson reports in the New York Times, Donald C. Clark Jr., general counsel of the United Church of Christ, said, "We didn't bring this lawsuit to make others conform to our beliefs, but to vindicate the right of all faiths to freely exercise their religious practices."
Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, said on the denomination's website, "Amendment One and other marriage laws in North Carolina are the only laws in the country that not only limit a domestic legal union to a covenant between a man and woman, but also make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for a minister to perform a marriage ceremony for a couple that hasn't obtained a license. The UCC believes that this prohibition and penalties also apply to a minister performing a religious ceremony not intended to result in a legal marriage."
The UCC is among the most gay-friendly denominations in the United States. Its activism on behalf of gay people dates to the early 1970s, when local congregations began describing themselves as "Open and Affirming." In 1985, the denomination as a whole encouraged all its congregations to welcome persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities into the full life and ministry of the church.
The denomination began ordaining openly gay clergy in 1972 and in 2005 endorsed marriage equality. In 2006, Dallas's Cathedral of Hope, which had previously been affiliated with the Metropolitan Community Church, voted to join the United Church. It became the denomination's largest congregation in the South Central region.
In the suit filed on April 28, the United Church of Christ is joined by a Lutheran priest, a rabbi, two Unitarian Universalist ministers, a Baptist pastor, and several same-sex couples. They contend that the state's marriage law "represents an unlawful government intervention into the internal structure and practices of plaintiffs' religions."
The defendant in the case, North Carolina's attorney general, Roy Cooper, has previously said he believes his state's ban on same-sex marriage should be lifted, but nevertheless pledged to defend the state's laws "when legal arguments exist." On Monday, his spokeswoman, Noelle Talley, said her office had no comment on the United Church of Christ case.
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said this in response to the lawsuit: "In their zeal to pile on to deny the freedom to marry, North Carolina officials also put in place a measure that assaulted the religious freedom that they profess to support by penalizing and seeking to chill clergy that have different views. The extent to which North Carolina went to deny the freedom to marry wound up additionally discriminating on the basis of religion by restricting speech and the ability of clergy to do their jobs."
The video below features Rev. Geoffrey Black announcing the denomination's lawsuit.
In the video below, the denomination's communications director, Ann Poston, describes the United Church of Christ as a "Church of Firsts."