Thursday, January 05, 2012

My Top 10 Predictions for 2012 on Sexuality, Religion,and Public Life

Happy New Year to you all.

Here are my top 10 predictions on sexuality, religion, and public life for 2012. Tell me what you think!

10. The Republican candidate for President will run on an unambiguous anti-choice platform.
Regardless of who the candidate is, this isn't too much of a stretch. All of the candidates in the Republican race are anti-choice; the only question is HOW anti-choice the candidate will be. Rick Santorum, who came in second in the Iowa Caucuses, even would be willing to let availability of contraception become a state issue.

The White House will disappoint pro-choice supporters, again. We will see a return to more pronouncements about reducing the numbers of abortions rather than the NEED for abortion.
Despite assurances from the White House that they are pro-choice, in 2011, the Secretary of DHHS stopped Plan B from being available without a prescription to adolescents and access to abortion was stripped from health care reform. The White House will continue to reach out to conservative voters by not standing strong on access to abortion services.

The Republican candidate for President will be anti-full equality for LGBT persons and will speak out against same sex marriage. See my comments under #10. It is only a matter of degree.

7. The President will NOT support same sex marriage in 2012. Despite being the most pro-lgbt President in history, the President in courting conservative voters will not speak out for marriage equality -- despite what I believe must be his support in his heart.

Several major political and/or religious figures will be involved in extramarital sex that will be exposed publicly. In 2011, we learned about Anthony Weiner and Herman Cain and more than we cared to about John Edward's bad decisions and actions. It will keep happening in 2012.

Child sexual abuse in faith communities, universities, and schools will continue to be exposed -- and continue to happen. Despite -- or maybe because of - - the national teachable moment on Penn State, more allegations of child sexual abuse by people in authority will be revealed. I hope that more attention will be paid to child sexual abuse PREVENTION in 2012.

The issue of full inclusion of lesbian and gays will continue to be debated in mainstream denominations, and The United Methodist Church General Assembly will be focused on this issue. I fear that once again The United Methodist Church will narrowly defeat changing its position on homosexuality to one of greater inclusion and welcome.

Marriage equality will continue to move forward in 2012. The American electorate will continue to support marriage equality in increasing numbers. Washington State will pass marriage equality, following yesterday's support by its governor. Attempts to roll back marriage equality will not be successful.

The teenage birth rate, which reached its lowest level in 2011 in 70 years, will continue to decrease. Teenagers will continue to act more responsibly about their sexuality, as they have increasingly done in the past decade.

Progressive religious voices that support sexual justice will continue to grow in the public debate. More and more religious leaders will speak out for sexual health, sexuality education, and full inclusion of women and LGBT people in 2012 -- at least if the Religious Institute has anything to do about it. More seminaries will meet the criteria of a sexually healthy seminary, more denominations will require sexuality education of their clergy candidates, and more congregations will address sexual health. Stay tuned for progress on this one.

Happy New Year!!

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