A woman is suing a national Christian ministry nonprofit group for wrongful termination, alleging she was fired from her position in 2011 because she was going through a divorce. The woman, Alyce Conlon, claims that two men at the ministry were allowed to keep their jobs after divorces and subsequent remarriages, but she was fired.
Conlon filed a federal lawsuit for wrongful termination in the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids late last week, alleging that InterVarsity Christian Fellowship [IVCF] wrongfully terminated her after she told her supervisors she and her husband were going through the process of divorce. Conlon had reportedly worked for the nonprofit since the late 1980's, and worked as a spiritual director for the ministry group at its Grand Rapids, Mich. office from 2004 to 2011, where she was then let go. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a nonprofit national Christian ministry group that establishes student-led ministries at hundreds of college campuses across the country.
According to the lawsuit, Conlon alleges that in 2011, she told one of her supervisors that she and her husband were planning on getting a divorce. She was then reportedly put on paid leave so she could try to reconcile her marriage. During this time, the lawsuit claims that the nonprofit's supervisors became "heavily involved" in Conlon's marriage, including contacting her estranged husband without the plaintiff's knowledge and suggesting she go to the marriage counselor of her husband's choice. more >>
A Mennonite couple that owns an art gallery in Iowa has filed suit against the state's Civil Rights Commission over being threatened with punitive action for refusing to host a same-sex wedding on their property.
Görtz Haus Gallery, a former church turned art gallery facility, filed a lawsuit Monday against the commission in Polk County District Court.
"The Odgaards welcome all customers into the Gallery, regardless of their race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability," reads the suit in part. more >>
Nathan Verhelst, a transgender man who was born a girl, called Nancy, decided to end his own life through euthanasia after a botched sex change surgery. The 44-year-old Belgian had been undergoing hormone therapy since 2009, but the gender assignment surgeries in 2012 did not meet his expectations, and he opted to die by a state-sanctioned lethal injection on Monday.
Nathan Verhelst had several surgeries to alter his appearance from that of a woman's to a man's. He underwent a mastectomy and had operations to construct a penis last year. However, when Nathan saw the results, he was left unsatisfied. "I was ready to celebrate my new birth. But when I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself," he told Het Laatse Nieuws in Belgium. "My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be … a monster."
Before Verhelst could die by euthanasia, he had to abide by Belgian law, which states consultations with doctors and months of counseling. Belgium and the Netherlands are the only countries that allow voluntary euthanasia, while Switzerland and two states in the U.S. allow assisted suicide. Verhelst died by lethal injection Monday at the hands of Wim Distelmans, a cancer specialist. more >>
The story from Belgium was absolutely tragic. A 44-year-old woman disappointed by her female-to male surgery decided to die by euthanasia, feeling that the surgery had left her a monster. But the story behind the story is even more tragic.
Of course, if we simply believed the glowing reports in the media, you would think that everyone who has sex-change surgery is perfectly happy with the results. In keeping with that mentality, there's a new term we are supposed to use, namely gender-realignment surgery. This replaces the previous new term, sex-reassignment surgery, which replaced the more graphic term, sex-change surgery.
And make no mistake about it: This is a radical surgery involving removing and changing perfectly healthy organs and body parts simply because the person is convinced in his or her mind that the parts shouldn't be there. more >>
The dean of one of the largest churches in the world recently declared during a sermon that homophobia is a sin, while at the same time, making no mention as to whether homosexuality may also be one.
In a sermon delivered Sunday at the Washington National Cathedral, The Very Reverend Gary Hall declared that "much of the blame belongs to our churches" in spreading hatred of gay people.
"Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin. Shaming people because their gender identity doesn't fit neatly into your sense of what it should be is a sin," said Hall, who is the Tenth Dean of The Episcopal Church's Cathedral. "Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are." more >>
The mother of an 8-year-old girl is applauding her daughter's recent outspoken objection to a set of children's books that she described as "sexist." The girl's outrage at the contents of the books ultimately led them to be removed from shelves at a local bookstore in Berkeley, Calif.
Constance Cooper, a fantasy and science fiction writer, recently detailed the story of her daughter's "recognition of sexism" on her personal blog, constancecooper.com, writing of how the two were perusing the selection at the local Half Price Books store in Berkeley, Calif. when her daughter, KC, noticed something wrong.