NEW YORK – David Blankenhorn, who testified as an expert witness on marriage during California's Proposition 8 case (Perry v. Schwarzenegger), surprised supporters when he revealed in a New York Times op-ed last year his radical shift to affirming homosexuality and advocating for same-sex marriage. Blankenhorn discussed Monday evening at The King's College in New York City some of the factors that contributed to his change positioned.
"I said that I changed my position on the issue, and I think that it's very hard to know why one does something of that nature. You'd think it would be simple for you to know how it all came about," Blankenhorn said of his about-face on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. "I still think an awful lot about it and I'm still working through [it]."
He added, "If I had to put it simply, I would say there were two reasons. One was the question of fairness. There are … we have this relatively small number of fellow citizens who are homosexuals, they may be 4 percent of the population. What they are essentially doing, I came to see, is saying they want to be accepted into the mainstream of American life without the stigma and in some respects the criminalization that they have endured historically. They want to be accepted into the mainstream, and I believe they should be accepted because I believe homosexual conduct is benign and I don't believe criminalizing it or stigmatizing it is the right thing to do." more >>
Morality in Media has determined in its 2013 "Dirty Dozen List" of individuals and organizations that Attorney General Eric Holder is the leading facilitator of pornography, which the nonprofit says is linked directly to violence against women and sex trafficking.
"Holder's actions keep the porn industry thriving. He not only refuses to enforce obscenity laws currently on the books that prohibit the distribution of hardcore pornography, but he even disbanded the office charged with enforcement," said Patrick A. Trueman, president of Morality in Media, in a statement on the organization's Porn Harms website.
Trueman served as chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) at the U.S. Department of Justice where, until 1993, he supervised the prosecution of obscenity crimes, child sex crimes and child pornography. more >>
NEW YORK -- The UN General Assembly passed a historic Arms Trade Treaty on Tuesday in New York, aimed at regulating the $70bn conventional arms trade business, the illegal trade of which has been blamed for millions of deaths and affected lives in developing regions.
"We owe it to those millions - often the most vulnerable in society - whose lives have been overshadowed by the irresponsible and illicit international trade in arms," said Peter Woolcott Australia's ambassador to the UN.
The U.N. member-states voted overwhelmingly in favor of the agreement, with 154 votes for the regulations, three opposed, and 23 abstentions, BBC reported. Syria, Iran and North Korea were the three nations that tried to block the treaty, while Russia and China, two of the world's biggest exporters, abstained. more >>
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York recently said that the Roman Catholic Church has not done a good enough job when it comes to making sure that gay people are accepted, while still affirming the traditional definition of marriage.
In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos over Easter, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke about a wide range of topics, including how pleased he was with the appointment last month of Pope Francis, but also addressed the sensitive gay marriage issue America and many places around the world are facing today.
Stephanopoulos posed the question: "What do you say, as a minister, as a pastor, to a gay couple that comes to you and says, 'We love God. We love the Church. But we also love each other, and we want to raise a family in faith.' What do you say to them?" more >>
A federal judge has ruled that the display of an iconic cross-shaped steel beam in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum doesn't violate the constitutional and civil rights of atheists.
U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts concluded Thursday that the 17-foot-high cross, which became a spiritual symbol for workers at ground zero, does not amount to an endorsement of Christianity, according to Reuters.
New Jersey-based American Atheists Inc. filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the planned presentation of the cross-shaped beam, arguing it will impose religion "through the power of the state." more >>
Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen cited the Bible in his belief of marriage being a union between a man and a woman in a television appearance Friday, which also saw the televangelist comment on "The Bible Series" and speak about reconciling the belief in a loving God with the existence of human suffering.
Osteen, who leads Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, appeared on "The Lead With Jake Tapper" on Good Friday and the host referenced the Supreme Court taking on two cases this week involving the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, both of which have far-reaching consequences for the traditional definition of marriage.
Tapper asked Osteen if same-sex couples should be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples, and the pastor cited the Bible to explain his beliefs about marriage. more >>