The Constitutional Council in France has ruled that mayors who are not in favor of same-sex marriage will still have to hold such ceremonies despite their beliefs, following the legalization of the practice earlier this year.
"Freedom of conscience is not violated by officiating at weddings," the court said, according to BBC News. It also added that the government did not create an exemption for officials not in favor of same-sex marriage "to assure the law is applied by its agents and to guarantee the proper functioning and neutrality of public service."
France became the 14th country in the world to officially legalize same-sex marriage in May after President Francois Hollande signed the Assembly-approved bill into law, which also allowed gay couples to adopt children. The law has been met with heavy opposition from supporters of traditional marriage, who have staged a number of mass rallies drawing hundreds of thousands of people. more >>
An ex-gay organization has demanded that public universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia that have LGBTQ resource offices provide a more balanced view on homosexuality.
Voice of the Voiceless (VoV) has stated that several universities must provide resources for homosexuals seeking to change their sexual orientation or face possible legal action.
When Shawn Harrison was nine-years-old, he realized he was more attracted to his guy friends than his girl friends. After he came out of the closet in high school he was severely attacked by Christians, he says, but a powerful encounter with God a few years later launched him on an unexpected journey with Christ.
"I wasn't the typical boy," says Harrison, founder of Six:11 Ministries and the author of Ministering to Gay Teenagers (Group Publishing & Simply Youth Ministry). "I wasn't very athletic; I was more reserved and creative."
His parents divorced twice: once when he was three-years-old and the second time when he was in ninth grade. When he started middle school, other students began pointing fingers at him. "I was labeled gay and I didn't really understand what that was." more >>
After operating at a Pennsylvania church for 93 years, a Boy Scouts troop has been informed that its members are no longer welcome to use the church location for its meetings because of the organization's recent change in policy to allow gay members.
Aldan Union Church pastor denied that the church's decision was based on "homophobia" but instead asserted that it was simply acting in accordance with its faith and biblical beliefs.
A man dressed up as Jesus Christ attended the AIDS Walk in Los Angeles, Calif. over the weekend, standing next to protesters of the walk while holding a bundle of red balloons. Photos of the man have since gone viral on the internet, including user sharing websites such as Reddit and Facebook.
The photo shows a man dressed like Jesus, wearing a long white robe and having long, brown hair past his shoulders. The "Jesus Christ" impersonator stood on the sidewalk next to protesters who held signs that read, in part: "homo sex is sin." The impersonator carried along with him over one dozen red balloons that were reportedly meant to block the protesters from the view of those participating in the event.
The protesters reportedly attend the event every year to show their opposition to the homosexual lifestyle. As Los Angeles-based journalist Brody Brown told The Huffington Post, the event's organizers usually try to find a way to position them off of the main walk so they don't distract participants. "It was kind of amazing seeing Jesus posing with a cluster of red balloons, early on in the L.A. AIDS Walk, just after the masses turned off Santa Monica down La Cienega," Brown told The Huffington Post. more >>
The state of Utah defended its ban on same-sex marriage in court on Friday, arguing that the 2004 constitutional amendment recognizing only traditional marriage proves the state's interest in promoting "responsible procreation." The state also argued that its "child-centric" culture grants it the right to assert the "age-old and still predominant" traditional definition of marriage.
The comments were made Friday by lawyers for the state to U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby of Salt Lake City. The state is requesting that Shelby grant a summary judgment in the federal court case Kitchen vs. Herbert, in which three same-sex couples are charging that the state's 2004, voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.
The plaintiffs, including Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity; Karen Archer and Kate Call; and Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge, argue that the ban, known as Amendment 3, practices discrimination against same-sex couples in the state as it denies what they see to be the basic, fundamental right to marriage. The state's Amendment 3 not only constitutionally bans same-sex marriage in the state but also refuses to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Supporters of the Amendment have argued it does not discriminate against anyone as all people have the "right to marry," but simply that marriage, by definition, is a union between one man and one woman. more >>