A Roman Catholic Church cardinal has criticized the Ugandan anti-gay law that expanded punishment for gay people and threatened life in prison for certain offenders, arguing that gay people "are not criminals."
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the comments Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia, during a church and human rights conference, according to CatholicHearald.co.uk. He urged the international community, however, to keep sending much needed aid to Uganda, which is now facing cuts and sanctions because of the law.
Uganda's decision to expand the legal punishment for homosexuality has been criticized by some world leaders, though the nation's political and church leaders have insisted that it is their right to manage the country according to their ways. more >>
A group of former and current Republicans are filing an amicus brief, encouraging a federal court of appeals to overturn same-sex marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah. They argue that the conservative values of freedom and liberty fall in line with gay marriage support.
It remains unclear which current Republican lawmakers have signed the 30-page argument but The Associated Press, which received a draft of the brief, named former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who has been known to be socially liberal and once described himself as a "RINO," or "Republic In Name Only," as part of the group. Simpson has also stated his support for same-sex marriage, telling MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2011, ahead of the GOP presidential primaries, that he wouldn't stand behind pro-traditional marriage candidates like Rick Santorum "who are homophobic."
Another Republican named on Tuesday's brief is former Rep. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, who changed her opposition to same-sex marriage last year. more >>
The Anglican Church of Uganda warned that it may consider leaving the Anglican Communion if it faces pressure from western bodies to resist the government's new anti-gay laws, which have been condemned around the world.
"The issue here is respect for our views on homosexuality, same-sex marriage as a country and church. If they are not willing to listen to us, we shall consider being on our own," top Uganda Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali told AFP on Monday.
"Homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture, and no one in the leadership of the church can say legitimize same-sex unions or homosexuality," he continued, and called on the "governing bodies of the Church of England to not take the path advocated by the West." more >>
Hundreds of University of Missouri students showed up at the school's Mizzou Arena Saturday to block members of Westboro Baptist Church from protesting Michael Sam, who played defensive end for the school during his college career and who recently announced he is gay ahead of the 2014 NFL draft.
Photos on social media show the students forming a line around the Mizzou Arena Saturday before their university tipped off their home game against Tennessee. Sam and the rest of the Mizzou team were being honored during the game's halftime for their Cotton Bowl Championship win against Oklahoma State.
After the students formed a line around the arena, they reportedly linked arms, turned their backs to the Westboro Baptist protesters, and sang the school's Alma Mater until the protesters eventually dispersed before the game began. Westboro had previously announced its plans for protesting the game due to Sam's sexuality. The controversial and extreme religious group is known for its aggressive protesting style that often involves picketing funerals of soldiers and includes vulgarity and name-calling. more >>
A gay rights activist was detained allegedly in Sochi Russia near the Olympic Park for protesting the country's law against homosexual propaganda towards minors Monday. The transgender woman was wearing a rainbow flag and clothing and was shouting, so authorities did not let her into the hockey game even though she had a ticket.
The gay rights activist that was detained is former Italian politician and transgender activist Vladmimir Luxuria, who claims a female gender despite not having had any reassignment surgery. Luxuria was at the Shayba Arean in the Sochi Olympic Park for about two hours shouting, "gay is OK!" and "It's OK to be gay!" before four men approached and detained her, according to the Associated Press.
U.S. President Barack Obama is placing pressure on Uganda President Yoweri Museveni not to sign a controversial anti-gay bill that could make "aggravated homosexuality" punishable by life imprisonment, warning that such a law could strain relationships between the two countries.
Obama said in a statement on Sunday that as a people, the U.S. stands for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights, and that is why he is so "deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality."
"The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda. It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people," Obama warned. "It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights." more >>