LGBT groups and their allies in Congress are pushing for a sweeping piece of legislation that if enacted would, according to critics, limit religious freedom in the United States.
Known as the Equality Act, the bill would add the classifications of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as well as expand the level of businesses that must adhere to the Act.
Congressman David N. Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat who is an openly gay member of Congress, introduced the anti-discrimination legislation last Thursday. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham, who is also CEO of humanitarian relief group Samaritan's Purse, has backed the position of many Kenyan churches on homosexuality being a sin, and accused American President Barack Obama of promoting the "gay and lesbian agenda" to other nations.
"I didn't know that we were sending our president halfway around the world to promote the gay and lesbian agenda! Samaritan's Purse has an office in Kenya and has worked there many years, and I can tell you that the churches in Kenya know what the Bible says about homosexuality — it is a sin. Sin should not be embraced, but recognized truthfully for what it is and for its serious consequences," Graham wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
"As a world leader, the United States of America is now exporting the acceptance of immorality via our president. What will the cost of that be?" he asked. more >>
A congregation in Pennsylvania has voted overwhelmingly to leave the United Methodist Church over the growing debate that the mainline denomination is having regarding its position on homosexuality.
Wesley Church, a congregation in Quarryville that has an average weekly worship attendance of about 650, voted to leave the UMC after months of discernment.
Chris Lenhart, associate pastor at Wesley Church, told The Christian Post that leadership for the congregation saw a "considerable chasm forming between what Wesley believed and affirmed about the nature of God's word and what the denomination believed and affirmed about the nature of God's Word. more >>
The Supreme Court's recent decision to make gay marriage legal nationwide was a significant victory for liberals. In next year's election, however, the decision will hurt Democrats. Success, after all, presents it own set of challenges.
As sociologists Mayer Zald and Roberta Ash pointed out in their classic 1966 study of social movement organizations, the two biggest challenges of a social movement are complete success and complete failure (Social Forces 44 (March)).
The ideal situation for maintaining a social movement, they wrote, would be to "over time always [seem] to be getting closer to its goal without quite attaining it." more >>
Two recent research papers have introduced me to a body of scientific literature that is highly pertinent to questions surrounding the development of non-heterosexuality. This research appears to offer confirmation and theoretical justification for what many therapists see clinically and what many people intuitively suspect, i.e., that childhood sexual abuse may play a formative role in the development of non-heterosexuality for many individuals.
The research: O'Keefe, Beard and colleagues (O'Keefe et al., 2014; Beard et al., 2013) procured retrospective data from 1,178 anonymous adult men who were students, faculty, and staff at two West Virginia universities as well as other men from the same area who had completed their educations. The sample was young (mean age of 21) and generally well-educated. Participants in the study anonymously responded via computer measures of depression, intimacy, sexual satisfaction, conflict between sexual partners, hyper-sexuality and risky sexual behavior, and same-sex and opposite-sex orientation. I will focus on the findings relevant to the origins of same-sex attractions and behaviors, but readers interested in the other findings are encouraged to consult the sources directly.
Results and Interpretation: These researchers focused on brother-brother incest (BBI) and sister-brother incest (SBI), but also assessed participants' experiences of child sexual abuse from an adult male (CSA-AM) and child sexual abuse from an adult female (CSA-AF). O'Keefe et al. (2014) provide a clear and helpful summary of the findings and their significance. I will quote the authors at length below to establish that I am not taking the researchers out of context and because I believe they state their case very well. However, I will omit the multitude of scholarly journal citations they provide to buttress their viewpoint. more >>
Editor's Note: The following is a response to Julie Rodgers, who recently resigned as ministry associate for Spiritual Care at Wheaton College, after changing her views about homosexuality. You can read part of the back story in Part 1, "What I Knew About Julie Rodgers Before She Resigned From Wheaton," here.
So how did Julie Rodgers justify her change of views about homosexuality? She begins:
"While I struggle to understand how to apply Scripture to the marriage debate today (just like we all struggle to know how to interpret Scripture on countless controversial topics), I've become increasingly troubled by the unintended consequences of messages that insist all LGBT people commit to lifelong celibacy." more >>