Nevada same-sex marriage bill amended to protect churches

 | LGBTQ Nation | April 19, 2013

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A proposal seeking to clear the way for same-sex marriage in Nevada was amended Friday by the state Senate in a move designed to make it more acceptable to some lawmakers who struggled with their religious convictions.

The amendment offered by Sen. Pat Spearman, a lesbian minister, states: “Religious organizations and clergy have the right to refuse to solemnize a marriage and no person has the right to make any claim against a religious organization or clergy for such a refusal.”

Nevada state capitol in Carson City.Source

Spearman (D-North Las Vegas), said she hoped the amendment would ease concerns and ensure colleagues that religious protections “would not be denied.”

The amendment was approved on an 11-10 party-line vote with Democrats in favor. Senate Joint Resolution 13 now goes to the Senate floor for a vote early next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis (D-Las Vegas), was one lawmaker who grappled with the proposal. Denis is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Should We Legalize Marijuana?

| Forward Progressives | April 19, 2013

You know, I’m really not sure.

I’ve gone back and forth with this for a while.

On one hand I get some of the arguments those who support its legalization use, such as it’s medicinal purposes.  And honestly for medical purposes I fully support its legalization—but then that opens the door to my first problem with it being legal.

In this country we have a huge problem with people abusing prescription pills, many of which are obtained legally from a doctor.  What many of these individuals do is network with people that share a similar addiction, locate doctors who they know hand out prescriptions like candy, then they continue to use that doctor to feed their habit.  Many of these individuals also learn what to say to doctors to get the certain kinds of pills they’re after.

So, with the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, I see the same thing happening.

Continuing with the medical argument, what if people take it for anxiety?  Do we allow people to smoke whenever they feel anxious?  Then if that’s the case, what’s to stop people who want to smoke from simply claiming they “felt an anxiety attack coming on” just to get high?

Wouldn’t that mean people could possibly have a reason to be high at work?  School?  Isn’t that a little dangerous?  It’s illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence–wouldn’t smoking weed constitute being “under the influence?”

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UK: ‘Gay cure’ doctor’s hearing to be held in secret

Janey Street Thornton | Gay Star News | April 19, 2013

The hearing of Paul Miller, who attempted to 'cure' gay people using conversion therapy, will be held in secret.

The hearing of a ‘gay cure’ therapist scheduled later this month is to deviate from convention and be held in secret.

A number of complaints have been made to the General Medical Council (GMC) regarding the ‘gay conversion therapy’ techniques practiced by the Belfast-based Dr Paul Miller.

In May 2011, London-based journalist Patrick Strudwick complained to the GMC after receiving what he deemed to be ‘inappropriate’ treatment’ from Miller.

In an article written for the Guardian, he said: ‘His advice was for me to have massages with male masseurs and to stand in front of the mirror naked, touching myself, thus somehow affirming my masculinity.’

Strudwick was also made to feel decidedly uncomfortable when Miller began to discuss with him his own relationships.

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MN: Fail: Anti-gay marriage protest goes wrong

Joe Morgan | Gay Star News | April 19, 2013

An anti-gay marriage rally went wrong in Minnesota after hardly anybody turned up to protest.

As hundreds and thousands of people protest for and against marriage equality in France, the organizers of a rally in Minnesota must have been hoping for a similar turnout.

Sadly for them, hardly anybody did.

As local news coverage estimates, only about 35 people turned up to protest against same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

The speakers, which included a priest and a member of designated hate group Focus On The Family, suggested the cold and rain stopped people from attending.

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Archbishop Welby in more secret talks with gay Christians

Tris Reid-Smith | Gay Star News | April 19, 2013

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has been meeting with LGBT people.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has had a second secret meeting with gay rights campaigners as he re-thinks the Anglican Church’s attitude to LGBT people.

And it has emerged that Anglican bishops in Africa – where the church has been criticized for promoting LGBT persecution in some places – have also started to meet with gay Christians.

Welby, who became head of the Church of England this year, had a well-publicized meeting with veteran gay activist Peter Tatchell yesterday (18 April) – although the Archbishop’s officials at Lambeth Palace considered it to be ‘private’.

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Trans woman arrested for exposing breasts, jailed with men

Joe Morgan | Gay Star News | April 19, 2013

A transgender woman was arrested for indecent exposure, but jailed with men.

A transgender woman may be seeking legal action after she was arrested for exposing her breasts and being jailed with men in Georgia.

Ashley Del Valle, 38, from New Yorkm was arrested by Savannah police for indecent exposure on 14 April.

She was placed in a various cells in the men’s prison ward for four days before her family posted her $3,500 (€2,680) bail.

Speaking to WSAV, Del Valle said she felt unsafe and claims deputies repeatedly referred to her as ‘thing’, ‘brother’ and the ‘N’ word.

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Francois Hollande warns anti-gay violence will be punished

Joe Morgan | Gay Star News | April 19, 2013

French president Francois Hollande has condemned the recent rise in homophobic attacks.

French President Francois Hollande has warned those behind a rise in homophobic violence will be punished.

As the National Assembly prepares for a final vote on the ‘Marriage for All’ law, the once peaceful protests have become more violent.

In one attack, four men broke into a gay bar in the northern city of Lille and three employees were assaulted.

‘I cannot accept homophobic acts and violence against property in the midst of protests, or any defiance of law enforcement officials,’ Hollande said, as reported by Reuters.

‘Procedures must be respected, sensibilities must be respected, and everyone must be heard…But the law and parliament also need to be respected,’ he added.

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Comment: Don’t forget the rest of Europe in the fight for equal marriage

 | PinkNews | April 18, 2013

Writing for PinkNews, Chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats Adrian Trett says although equal marriage campaigners are scoring big victories in France and Britain, activists in other European nations need greater support in achieving the goal.  

During the past few years, rights for the LGBT community have been uppermost on the political agenda, and the debate in many countries for equal marriage has hit epidemic proportions, especially in our own.

Yet, closer to home Liberal parties across Europe can and should be giving a far greater voice and encouragement to push for LGBT rights as is currently happening in France and the UK particularly on equal marriage. Previously, European countries have been at the forefront of legislation, as in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden to name but a few with Liberal parties in all these countries passing LGBT policies since 2000.

Without doubt, however this is not happening for all our European neighbours. I was very honoured to be given the opportunity to speak to the Associazione Radicale di Cert Diritti Conference in Naples in April on the topic of equal marriage, and how the campaign has developed in the United Kingdom.

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Zimbabwe: Campaigners mark country’s independence with call for LGBT rights

 | PinkNews | April 19, 2013

With Zimbabwe marking 33 years of independence, campaigners are using the anniversary to remind people that the country is still a long way from securing basic rights for its LGBT citizens.

Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) said in a statement: “We remain on course in our quest to achieving equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities.”

The group added: “We are concerned that the state continues to vilify our kind and actively violates and harasses our kin. As a result our community lives in fear of violence and abuse because they have witnessed abuse or encountered violent homophobic slurs. The law facilitates harassment of LGBTI individuals because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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Holy Trinity: This church welcomes homosexuals

Faeeza Ballim | Mail & Guardian | April 19, 2013

When Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of the Roman Catholic Church in Durban denounced same-sex relationships in last week’s Mail & Guardian he was possibly unaware of the gay-friendly Holy Trinity ­Catholic Church in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Napier said: “As far as the church is concerned sexual activity is for within the confines of marriage: for procreation and the building up of the relationship between the ­couple. You can’t practice in the Catholic Church if you aren’t married and are sexually active.”

Not only is the Braamfontein church on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand gay-friendly, it advertises the fact on its website under the headline “ALL are welcome here”.

It goes into detail about its ministry to gay and lesbian Christians. “The church is not against homosexuals,” said Father Russell Pollitt, the head parish priest, this week. “Through baptism gay people have the right to participate fully in the life of the church. I know many homosexuals who are valuable and active members of the church.”

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