The law change approved by the Church of England at the turn of the year that allows gay clergy to be considered for consecration will be put to a test by a legal briefing sent out to General Synod members that says priests in civil partnerships will have to prove to archbishops that they are not in a sexually active relationship.
"To be admitted to Holy Orders a person must be 'of virtuous conversation and good repute and such as to be a wholesome example and pattern to the flock of Christ,' the Legal Office document sent in June reads. "Once in Holy Orders a cleric must be diligent to frame and fashion his life and that of his family according to the doctrine of Christ and to make himself and them, as much as in him lies, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ."
The legal briefing reminds Church of England members that a clergy's sexual orientation is "irrelevant to their suitability for episcopal office" and that it should not be taken into account when considering nominations for the position. more >>
New research by the Pew Research Center has found that U.S. media largely focused on publishing stories with more supportive views of same-sex marriage than the opposing position, between the period of March 18 to May 12.
"The findings show how same-sex marriage supporters have had a clear message and succeeded in getting that message across all sectors of mainstream media," Pew summarized in its report, published on Monday.
The results determined that as many as 47 percent of the 500 stories examined from March, which was a week prior to the Supreme Court hearings on the issue, had more supportive statements on same-sex marriage than opposing views by at least a 2-to-1 margin. Another 44 percent had roughly an equal mix of both viewpoints, while only 9 percent focused more on statements supporting traditional marriage. more >>
The percentage of LGBT Americans who are religiously unaffiliated is over twice the percentage of the general population, according to a recently released study.
Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends released the findings Thursday, which stated that of those surveyed, 48 percent of LGBT Americans considered themselves without a religious affiliation; this compares to 20 percent of the general public.
"Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender adults are, on the whole, less religious than the general public," reads Pew press release in part. "LGBT adults who do have a religious affiliation generally attend worship services less frequently and attach less importance to religion in their lives than do religiously affiliated adults in the general public." more >>
U.S. corporation Caterpillar Inc. has decided to stop funding the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for its policy banning gay adults from serving as scout leaders, though it insists the decision is not tied to the youth organization's vote on the policy in May.
"We have inclusive policies here at Caterpillar Inc., and the foundation abides by those," said spokeswoman Rachel Potts on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. "We just don't feel that our two organizations align."
"However, if there's a change in the Boy Scouts' policies, we would certainly consider a change in the future grants – if there was a change that aligned with what our non-discrimination policies are." more >>
Media reports are circling around comments Pope Francis reportedy made during a private meeting concerning a "gay lobby" that exists inside the Vatican, though the Roman Catholic Church has refused to provide further clarification so far.
"In the Curia, there are holy people. But there is also a stream of corruption," the Vatican leader reportedly said during a meeting with representatives of CLAR, the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women, over the weekend.
The Russian Duma, or the lower house of parliament, passed a law banning homosexual propaganda by an overwhelming 436-0 vote on Tuesday, leading to clashes between gay activists and their opponents.
"Traditional sexual relations are relations between a man and a woman, which ... are a condition for the preservation and development of the multi-ethnic Russian people," lawmaker Yelena Mizulina said on Tuesday before the Duma. "It is precisely these relations that need special protection by the state."
The bill, which must still pass the upper parliament and be signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, reflects the country's strong stance when it comes to issues of sexuality. Public displays of homosexuality have been banned in some of Russia's largest cities, including Saint Petersburg, and the Duma-approved bill now seeks to ban the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," The Associated Press reported. more >>