Scotland's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage in the country in a 105 to 18 vote, despite objections from Scotland's main churches and Christian representatives in the government.
Scotland Health Secretary Alex Neil praised the vote and said that it was "right that same-sex couples should be able to freely express their love and commitment to each other through getting married," Reuters reported. "Marriage is about love, and that has always been at the heart of this issue."
Both the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Scottish Roman Catholic Church have opposed the legal change of the definition of marriage, according to The Guardian. Over 50 ministers and church officials had written to the government expressing "deep concern" before the vote took place. more >>
Humanitarian groups and bloggers are speaking out against the controversial "Lunacek Report," which was approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday. While supporters say the report creates a "roadmap" for eliminating homophobia and discrimination against LGBT people in Europe, opponents argue that it creates "special rights and privileges" for some rather than equality for all.
"By adopting this report, which advocates legal privileges for homosexuals, and at the same time rejecting an alternative motion that called on the EU and its Member States to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by all citizens, the Parliament has put a thick question mark behind its claim to be an institution that protects human rights," wrote J.C. von Krempach for Turtle Bay and Beyond, a blog focused on international law, policy and institutions.
"In other words, the European Parliament has with today's vote rejected the principle of universality of human rights. This is a day of shame." more >>
The World Evangelical Alliance said it is "extremely disappointed" that the major U.N. talks on the Syrian civil war failed to make any significant progress last week, and called on an immediate end to the violence as scores of people continue dying.
"We are extremely disappointed that very little progress was made in the recent peace talks. No one believed it was going to be easy to get agreement. We urge on all sides to return to the table on February 10 with the intention of ending the civil war," Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO and secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance, shared in an email with The Christian Post on Sunday.
The major Geneva II conference on the Syrian civil war that began on Jan. 22 and lasted for a week was hosted by the U.N., the U.S. and Russia, and sought to bring together representatives from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and some of the opposition forces looking to topple his administration. more >>
In response to recent scientific research seeking to trace back the genetic tree of humans and identify the first people, a top Vatican official said identifying the historical Adam and Eve remains a matter of religious belief.
"Scientific investigations have no means to identify Adam and Eve and to sequence their genomes. Therefore, identification of Adam and Eve remains a matter of religious belief," Werner Arber, a Nobel prize winner and the current president of The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, told FoxNews.com on Thursday.
The comments come in response to contrasting scientific studies seeking to find just how old the first humans on Earth were. Some, like a recent study by Eran Elhaik from the University of Sheffield, have argued that modern humans emerged from Africa close to 200,000 years ago. While others, like a 2013 study from the Arizona Research Labs at the University of Arizona, insisted that the human Y chromosome came about much earlier than that. more >>
The North Korean ambassador to the U.K. said in an interview that imprisoned Christian missionary Kenneth Bae should serve the full 15 years of his prison sentence, and argued that North Korea has no labor camps but "education places" instead.
Ambassador Hyun Hak-bong sat down on Thursday for a rare English-language interview with Sky News, and was asked a series of questions about the North's relationship with South Korea, Japan, the U.S. and the western world. When asked about the fate of Bae, who was arrested in 2012 while leading a tour from China to North Korea and accused of making plots against the government, Hyun said that he was not sure if the U.S. citizen will be pardoned or not, but said that he should serve the full 15 years of his sentence.
"He's now receiving fair treatment, though he spent 15 months in Pyongyang, when sick he has received medical treatment. He will be released when he finishes his sentence," the diplomat said. more >>
A British Muslim lawmaker has defended posting a picture of Jesus and Mohammed on his Twitter account after becoming the subject of death threats and a petition by conservative Muslims to have him removed from his Parliamentary seat.
On Jan. 12, Liberal Democrat Maajid Nawaz posted a cartoon of Jesus and Mohammed greeting one another with the caption "This is not offensive and I'm sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it" on his Twitter account.
Because any type of visual depiction of the Prophet Mohammed is generally forbidden under Islam, Nawaz immediately drew the ire of many conservative British Muslims, who started a petition to have him removed. more >>