The advocacy group "Evangelicals for Marriage Equality" responded to recent criticism from Christians arguing against the recognition of same-sex marriage by saying supporters of EME are not compromising Christian beliefs and are instead focused specifically on gay unions receiving the same government recognition and rights as traditional married couples do.
"We've been very clear in our Statement of Belief that it's not our intent to water down our faith or compromise our deeply-held Christian beliefs," EME spokesman Brandan Robertson told The Christian Post. "That's why we've focused specifically on government recognition of same-sex relationships — bestowing the same rights (e.g. hospital visitation, funeral preparation) and tax treatments on a committed same-sex relationship as we do on opposite sex relationships."
Asked to respond to an op-ed by Andrew T. Walker, director of Policy Studies for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in which he wrote that no "real arguments" were made to support same-sex marriages, Robertson said Walker was misinformed. more >>
The willingness of religious congregations to accept gays and lesbians as members, and even volunteer leaders, increased significantly between 2006 and 2012, except in the case of Catholic churches, a new study shows.
The overall acceptance of gay and lesbian members increased from 37.4 percent to 48 percent, but decreased from 74 percent to 53 percent in Catholic churches, over the six years, according to Duke University's National Congregations Study, which involved interviews with representatives of 1,331 American congregations.
The number of congregations open to gays and lesbians in volunteer leadership roles also increased from about 18 percent to 26.4 percent, the study says. more >>
A federal appeals court panel has upheld New Jersey's law banning sexual orientation change therapy for minors, in agreement with a lower court decision.
Three judges from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in King v. Christie that while they held some disagreement with an earlier district court decision, they still affirmed the decision against the plaintiffs.
At issue was New Jersey's A3371, a law passed in 2013 with strong bipartisan support, which bans conversion therapy for LGBT minors. more >>
Reaction to the launch earlier this week of a group calling itself "Evangelicals for Marriage Equality" heralded by an op-ed in TIME by its spokesman, was met with harsh criticism from some Christians, including the assertion that no "real arguments" were made to support same-sex marriages.
"I eagerly await the young evangelical that finally convinces me that the Bible and human history are wrong on marriage and that justice requires that both Christianity and society bestow marriage on same-sex relationships," wrote Andrew T. Walker, director of Policy Studies for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Walker responded to EME spokesman Brandan Robertson's piece in which he explains why the initiative for evangelicals to support "civil marriage equality" was launched, with his own op-ed the next day in TIME, "An Evangelical Defense of Traditional Marriage." more >>
In this story from New Zealand, two male friends (who are not gay, by the way) are about to marry each other.
Part of their motive:
Engineering student Travis McIntosh, 23, and teacher Matt McCormick, 24, will tie the knot to win a "The Edge" radio station competition and a trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. more >>
Gambia is on the verge of enacting a law that would sentence its citizens to life in prison if convicted of aggravated homosexuality. Leading human rights groups have urged Gambian President Yahya Jammeh not to sign the legislation into law, though Amnesty International says it is unlikely he will be persuaded against it.
The country's current law imposes jail terms of up to 14 years for people charged with engaging in hoomosexual acts. The new law, passed by the National Assembly in August, would impose life in prison for those who break its aggravated homosexuality laws, and pertains to repeat offenders, people who are HIV-positive and those who sexually assault a minor.
"Gambia's bill is a copycat of the Ugandan legislation," Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International's managing director of government relations, claimed in an interview with MSNBC. "We expect [Jammeh] to sign it into law. He's never held back on a threat he's made." more >>