While most within the Southern Baptist Convention applauded the opportunity to openly discuss how Christians should respond to the growing cultural and political acceptance of gay marriage during a three-day conference hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, most in the LGBT community tracking the event were not so pleased.
Brandan Robertson, a spokesperson for Evangelicals for Marriage Equality and the director of The Revangelical Movement, attended the the conference in Nashville and told The Christian Post afterwards on Wednesday that although he felt welcome at the conference, a closing talk by Pastor J.D. Greear made him uncomfortable.
As a bit of background about his group, Robertson believes that EME is not compromising Christian beliefs and is instead focused specifically on gay unions receiving the same government recognition and rights as traditional married couples. more >>
A 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision could play a role in the outcome of a lawsuit over Houston Mayor Annise Parker's denial of a petition to revoke the city's new Equal Rights Ordinance.
Around 55,000 signatures were gathered to add to the November ballot a question on whether to repeal the ERO. Since "gender identity" is included in the list of categories that cannot be discriminated against for public accommodations, critics have dubbed the law the "bathroom bill," because males who identify as female would be allowed to use women's bathrooms and females who identify as male would be allowed to use men's bathrooms.
Even though the city secretary, Anna Russell, certified the signatures, Parker refused to add the issue to next week's ballot, arguing that most of the signatures were invalid. more >>
The Kurdish female commander in charge of leading all women fighters against Islamic State in the battle over the border town of Kobane is calling on women throughout the world to help defeat the Islamic State and end its mistreatment of women.
While numerous Kurdish women are joining the battle against the Islamic State, the commander of the Women's Protection Unit of the Kurdish peshmerga defending Kobane, Meysa Abdo, wrote in an opinion piece for Wednesday's New York Times that her forces are in dire need of better weaponry and assistance from international governments.
Abdo, who is also known by her nom de guerre Narin Afrin, urges women from across the world to bring awareness to ISIS' atrocious cruelty toward women and religious minorities so they can persuade their governments to assist the Kurdish forces in protecting "the rights of women everywhere." more >>
Day one of a three-day conference hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Commission discussing how Christians should react to the ongoing battle between those framing the homosexual lifestyle debate as a civil rights issue and those supporting what they believe to be biblical moral values, including traditional marriage, featured plenty of fireworks — most happening online through social media.
More than 1,200 are attending the ERLC conference which began on Monday. The conference, themed "The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage" is taking place in Nashville and offered by live stream over the Internet.
"Gotta be careful of making idols out of marriage and procreation when Scripture / Christ do not do so. #ERLC2014," tweeted Rachel Held Evans, author of Faith Unraveled. Evans was one of several Twitter users dishing up a steady volley of criticism over the ERLC conference. more >>
A religious freedom advocacy organization has expressed concern over the U.S. Labor Department's forthcoming new rule against LGBT discrimination among federal contractors, which was submitted for review without public comment and contains little guidance for faith-based federal contractors.
The Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance believes the Labor Department rule, meant to implement President Barack Obama's recent executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for federal contractors, does not currently clarify the rights of faith-based organizations.
The rule was sent last week to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is within the Office of Management and Budget, for review. The rule is not yet published, but IRFA has learned that the rule will offer little guidance to faith-based groups with government contracts. more >>
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards wrote an article for Elle magazine denouncing the "stigma" that abortion carries, and confessed that she had an abortion and said it was the right decision and not a difficult one for her family.
"If a woman says that she's relieved after having an abortion, she may be judged for being heartless or unfeeling. If she says that she feels regret, anti-abortion activists use this to push for laws that restrict access to abortion or laws that assume women are incapable of making their own decisions without the interference of others," Richards wrote in the piece, titled, "Ending the Silence That Fuels Abortion Stigma."
She states that stigma is behind what one third of women in the United States experience to be the focus of "intense public debate for decades, with hardly any real firsthand experiences at the center of the discussion." more >>