The United Methodist Church will put a moratorium on its homosexuality debate, delaying at least for the time being efforts to allow for the ordination of non-celibate clergy.
Delegates at the UMC General Conference in Portland, Oregon, voted 428-405 Wednesday evening to adopt a proposal from the Council of Bishops halting Church legislation on human sexuality issues.
Titled "An Offering for a Way Forward," the Council of Bishops' recommendation will involve church leadership appointing a "special commission" to analyze the denomination's official stance on homosexuality, gay marriage, and gay ordination. more >>
An openly gay Texas pastor who fabricated a story last month accusing Whole Foods of making him a cake with a homophobic slur on it has withdrawn his lawsuit.
Pastor Jordan Brown of Austin's Church of Open Doors admitted "The company did nothing wrong. I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story," the Statesman reported on Monday.
Brown has officially apologized to the store, its employees, his church, and the LGBT community for "diverting attention from real issues." more >>
Experts believe that if the Obama administration successfully forces public schools across the country to grant transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms designated for the opposite biological sex, it could lead to an increase in the number of students who are homeschooled or attend private schools.
Last Friday, the departments of Education and Justice sent a directive to all public school districts in the United States telling them that they must allow transgender students into bathrooms, locker rooms and showers that are consistent with their gender identity. If school districts refuse, they could be at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal education funding.
A number of conservative states and school districts have already indicated that they won't obey the edict and will contest in court if the federal government tries to enforce it. Meanwhile, other school districts will obey the order and let biological boys into girls bathrooms, showers and locker rooms, and vice versa. more >>
A group of United Methodist clergy who support ending the Church's ban on ordaining non-celibate homosexuals performed an unofficial ordination service for a lesbian.
Sue Laurie, a longtime LGBT activist, was ordained in an unofficial ceremony held at the United Methodist Church's General Conference in Portland, Oregon, last Tuesday.
According to Barton Dempsey of the theologically conservative Institute on Religion & Democracy, this ceremony "has no standing" even though several UMC clergy took part. more >>
Theologian John Piper is weighing in on Target's controversial bathroom policy that allows customers to use restrooms and fitting rooms based on their gender identity rather than birth sex, saying he would avoid using a gender-open restroom even if it were marked for men.
In a podcast posted Monday on his website DesiringGod.org, the pastor elaborated on his position, saying he would avoid gender neutral restrooms, if he could.
"If I were there and if I had to [use a gender-open restroom], I would — just like I would stop on the highway if I had to," Piper said. "But I wouldn't if I didn't have to." The Bible scholar explained that he wouldn't use such a restroom in order to maintain a clear conscience, and to acknowledge God. more >>
Online search data has revealed that there are many Americans who wish to understand just what the term "transgender" means.
LGBT issues have become a main conversation topic nationwide since North Carolina passed its much-criticized "bathroom bill" in March. The topic was further emphasized last week when the Obama administration released a directive to public schools about accommodating transgender students in bathrooms that align with their transgender identities.
While the conversation on transgender and LGBT rights have been building for many years, even decades, the recent directive from the U.S. government, signed by the Justice and Education Departments, has caused a surge in public interest on transgenders. more >>