President Obama is expected to commemorate the United States' first national monument for the gay rights movement in New York City near a tavern that many claim is the birthplace of the American LGBT rights movement.
According to The Washington Post, sources close to the Obama administration say they envision building a monument on a piece of parkland that lies across the street from the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a place that many believe is where the gay rights movement in America began with an uprising in 1969.
The Post reports that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., will hold a public hearing on May 9 in New York City in order to get feedback on the proposal. more >>
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has found that religious minorities in Iran, including Christians, continue experiencing severe human rights abuses, closing in on one year on the historical nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and Western nations.
The major report, released only a couple months shy from the one year anniversary of the nuclear deal reached in July 2015, found that religious freedom conditions "continued to deteriorate" over the past year, with Christians, Baha'is, and the minority Sunni Muslims facing the most persecution at the form of harassment, arrests, and imprisonment.
The key findings noted that under President Hassan Rouhani's administration, the number of religious-based arrests has increased, despite Iran's continuous denial that it is violating people's human and religious freedom rights. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham has denounced a $36 million anti-smoking government campaign aimed at 18- to 24-year-olds that features coming out stories and drag queens called "This Free Life."
In a message posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Graham took issue with the Food and Drug Administration's initiative, arguing that it's an example of preferential treatment.
"Our Federal Food and Drug Administration is spending $36 million of taxpayer money on an advertising campaign featuring lesbians, drag queens, and transgender individuals to encourage the LGBT community to quit smoking," wrote Graham. "Doesn't everyone need to quit smoking, not just this group?" more >>
The annual National Day of Prayer is expected to be larger than ever, with an estimated 47,000 local events taking place across the United States.
For the 65th year in a row Americans will observe the National Day of Prayer, which is held on the first Thursday of May and is centered on praying for the wellbeing of the country.
Dion Elmore, chief communications officer for the National Day of Prayer Task Force, told The Christian Post that the theme this year is "Wake Up America." more >>
MIAMI BEACH — Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump use overly-simplistic rhetoric about Islamic extremism that is harmful, Imam Abdullah Antepli argued at Faith Angle Forum.
"There are two very unhelpful, extremely reductionist, simplistic forces dominating this conversation about Muslim terrorism [from which] I ... invite us to distance ourselves," Antepli began his remarks to 20 journalists plus other attendees at the March 14 Faith Angle Forum.
Those two positions, at opposite extremes, argue either that 1) Islam is a religion of peace and Islamic extremism has nothing to do with Islam (Obama's position), or 2) Islamic extremists represent the truest form of Islam (Trump's position). more >>
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday ordered the arrest of hundreds of supporters of Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who stormed Iraq's parliament Saturday evening and camped out, demanding reforms in the political quota system that was introduced after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
A United Nations spokesman and western diplomats said their compounds inside the Green Zone were locked down, according to Reuters, which also said some of the demonstrators set up tents at a nearby parade ground.
The Green Zone houses the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and many embassies, including the U.S. Embassy. more >>