Religious leaders object to religious objections law

Associated Press | Mississippi Business Journal | April 28, 2016

Dozens of Methodist leaders are objecting to Mississippi’s new religious objections law, saying it violates their religious principles.

More than 30 ministers from around the state and nation published an open letter Monday saying the so-called “religious freedom” law goes against Christian teachings to love and respect all people. The group joins major businesses, human rights groups and legal experts in opposing the incoming law, which they say discriminates against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The law lets churches and some private businesses deny services to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people because of religious beliefs. It’s similar to one vetoed by Georgia’s governor in late March. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the measure into law earlier this month.

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What is Pope Francis’ intent for divorced and LGBT Catholics? We may be about to find out.

Michelle Boorstein | Washington Post | March 18, 2016

Pope Francis leaves at the end of a mass to mark the closure of the synod on the family in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, October 25, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


Pope Francis has a reputation for opening the Catholic Church’s doors when it comes to concepts of family. The next few weeks may clarify just how far he intends to open them.

On Saturday, the Vatican says, Francis will finalize a highly-anticipated teaching document on family issues that has been 1 ½ years in the making — including two closely-watched meetings of top bishops. The document isn’t expected to be released to the public for a few weeks, but pundits, priests and laypeople will be flipping through furiously as soon as possible to see how Francis proposes bringing more fully into church life Catholics who are LBGT, divorced-and-remarried, and cohabiting outside marriage.

Based on recent hints dropped by the pope and other top advisers, expert church-watchers believe Francis will attempt the papal version of skating’s triple-axle: not changing orthodox doctrine on anything but altering practice and rules enough to give different types of Catholic families new affirmation that they are a legitimate part of the Church.

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This Pastor Is Sleeping Outside Until His Church Accepts LGBT People

Jack Jenkins | ThinkProgress | February 22, 2016

CREDIT: Michael Tupper


A Methodist minister has cast himself out into the cold to show his support LGBT people, vowing to sleep in a tent outside his Michigan home for 175 days to protest his church’s opposition to same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBT members.

Rev. Michael Tupper, pastor of Parchment United Methodist Church in Parchment, Michigan, first engaged with LGBT issues six years ago when his daughter Sarah came out to him as a lesbian. But his entry into outright pro-LGBT activism began last year, when Sarah asked him to officiate her wedding to another woman she met while attending Wheaton College, a hardline conservative evangelical Christian school.

Pastors are prohibited from officiating same-sex weddings in Tupper’s denomination, the United Methodist Church (UMC), and those that do are often put on trial within the church. But Tupper did it anyway, explaining to ThinkProgress that he simply couldn’t tell his daughter no.

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Pope Francis, Head Of Russian Orthodox Church Denounce Gay Marriage In Joint Statement

On Top Magazine | February 13, 2016

Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, on Friday met with Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Havana, Cuba.

According to The New York Times, President Vladimir Putin had a hand in arranging the historic meeting.

“For Francis, the meeting was an ecumenical and diplomatic coup that eluded his predecessors but that also opened him to criticism that his embrace of the Russian patriarch would indirectly give a boost to Mr. Putin as he wages a war in Syria and continues to meddle in Ukraine,” the paper wrote.

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My trans coming out story shows how much the Jewish world has changed

Surat-Shaan Knan | Gay Star News | February 12, 2016

I grew up in the 80s on a small Mediterranean Island as the lone child of a secular and rather dispersed Jewish family of mixed ethnic heritage.

I didn’t know much about being queer.

I didn’t know it was possible to be Jewish and LGBTI. In fact, I didn’t know much of anything past the infamous pink triangle gay men were forced to wear in Nazi Germany. My grandpa was a concentration camp survivor and he would often tell me about the horrors he witnessed.

We moved to a bigger city in my teens, and I eventually came out as gay.

A gay woman.

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Pope Francis Reiterates Church’s Opposition To Gay Marriage As Italy Debates Civil Unions

Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | January 23, 2016

Pope Francis on Friday reiterated the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage as Italian lawmakers debate a gay-inclusive civil unions bill.

The Italian Senate is expected next week to vote on a bill that would recognize the unions of gay couples. Opponents claim that civil partnerships will open the door to marriage and adoption for gay couples.

“There can be no confusion between the family God wants and any other type of union,” Pope Francis is quoted by Reuters as telling members of the Vatican court that rules on marriage annulments.

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Australian archbishop says he’s OK with gay couples attending Catholic school dances

Andrew Potts | Gay Star News | January 22, 2016
One of Australia’s leading Catholic figures has said he is happy for gay and lesbian teens to take same-sex partners to school dances after a Melbourne Catholic school stopped a female student from taking another girl to her school formal but then relented after 1250 people signed a petition in support of the student.

The anonymous student had complained that the decision seemed to go against the Academy of Mary Immaculate school’s stated ethos of fairness to all.

‘I see no logical, just reason for this ban,’ the student had written.

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Franklin Graham Calls On Christians To Take Over School Boards To Reverse Gay-Inclusive Programs

On Top Magazine | January 20, 2016

Evangelist Franklin Graham is calling on Christians to take over school boards to reverse gay-inclusive programs.

Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham and head of the Billy Graham Evangelist Association, made his comments last year at an event in Colorado hosted by James Dobson.

On Tuesday, Dobson played excerpts from their conversation on his radio program.

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There Are More LGBT People Of Faith Out There Than You Think

Editors | Queerty | January 18, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 5.14.49 PM

Photographer Eliel Cruz was looking to put a face to LGBT communities of faith and humanize them. Though you certainly wouldn’t know it by reading Queerty, the last pew religion report shows there are more LGBT people of faith than none believers.

His first batch of shots features Christians, mostly in the millennial range, drawing from across gender and race spectrums.

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Tennessee former Southern Baptist church members vote to marry gay couples in their church

Andrew Potts | Gay Star News | January 15, 2016

A progressive Baptist church in Tennessee has announced its intention to provide religious marriage services to same-sex couples in a further move away from the position of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention it once belonged to.

First Baptist Church Memphis members approved the change on Sunday and almost 70 percent of the congregation voted in favor of it.

‘As Christ’s church, First Baptist Memphis is called to minister equally to all persons, extending to them the privileges afforded to any follower of Christ, including, but not limited to, baptism, membership, leadership, ordination, and marriage, and will not discriminate based on race, gender, age, marital status, or sexual orientation,’ the motion passed by the church members reads.

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