Just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Sir Elton John "despite his orientation," the music icon said he wants to show the Russian leader how the country's controversial law that seeks to protect children from gay "propaganda" is dangerous to LGBT people.
Recounting his positive experiences performing in Russia since 1979, the world famous singer-songwriter posted a statement on his official website concerning the controversy around the anti-propaganda law signed by Putin last year, which makes it illegal for anyone to spread information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to minors.
"It was very clear to me that, although foreigners like myself who are visiting Russia are not affected by this new law (and President Putin has recently confirmed this), it is a very different story for those living inside the country," John wrote. more >>
Pope Francis said in a papal statement Thursday that the Internet is a "gift from God" that brings humanity closer together, thus promoting universal solidarity.
"A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive," Francis said in the papal statement released Thursday. "Media can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays, when the networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances. The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity."
The Rev. Fernando Sebastián, a Spanish cardinal newly appointed by Pope Francis, has called homosexuality a "defect" from which people can recover, and further clarified the pope's view on the controversial subject.
"Homosexuality is a defective manner of expressing sexuality, because this (sex) has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation," said 85-year-old Sebastián, who is set to take up office at the Vatican in February, according to local Spanish newspaper Diario Sur.
"A homosexual who can't achieve this (procreation) is failing." more >>
Restrictions on abortion access in France may loosen should the nation's legislature pass a recently introduced bill.
The French parliament began a debate Monday evening over a bill that if enacted will remove the requirement that a woman seeking an abortion must prove she is in serious distress.
Russian authorities have announced they are currently hunting as many as four female terrorists known as "black widows" who are possibly plotting to attack the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in early February.
Last week, police in Sochi dispersed "Wanted" flyers warning local hotels of one of the women, 22-year-old Ruzana Ibragimova, the wife of an Islamic militant killed by Russian security forces in 2013. The young widow reportedly left her home in Dagestan, located in the volatile Caucasus area, sometime last month and authorities have received information that she has been dispatched by a terrorist group to carry out an attack in Sochi.
The "Wanted" posters describe Ibragimova, who also goes by the name Salima, as having a 4-inch long scar across her left cheek, a limp in her right leg and a left arm that does not bend at the elbow. The flier adds that the woman may be part of "a terrorist act within the 2014 Olympic region." more >>
Christians in the United Kingdom challenged the idea that homosexuality is innate and immutable, opposing a ban on all Sexual Orientation Change Efforts – referred to by detractors as "gay-to-straight therapy." They organized a conference this week to discuss the issue and allowed the author of the SOCE ban bill to speak.
"Gay conversion therapy [starts with the idea] that being gay or lesbian is some sort of illness or moral disorder that requires treatment or correction – that isn't a sensible premise in my view," declared Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Swansea West and proponent of the bill to regulate psychotherapy and ban SOCE.
Mike Davidson, director of the Christian charity CORE Issues Trust, disagreed with his view and called for open debate on gay therapy. more >>