A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, despite its own ban on the practice, arguing that discriminating against a class of people for religious or traditional reasons is unconstitutional. Conservative groups have called the decision a "deep betrayal."
"In the end, the Court concludes that Kentucky's denial of recognition for valid same-sex marriages violates the United States Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law, even under the most deferential standard of review," said U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in his 23-page ruling.
"Once the government defines marriage and attaches benefits to that definition, it must do so constitutionally. It cannot impose a traditional or faith-based limitation upon a public right without a sufficient justification for it." more >>
While driving my children to school recently I received a critical question. My 8-year old daughter asked, "Daddy do we have any gay friends?"
A critical and important question for such a time as this. Nothing in our previous conversation that morning mentioned homosexuality. I was almost blindsided. Yes, even our young children are caught in the obvious crossfire of subliminal cultural messages. Honestly, a tremendous educational opportunity (father/parent to child) arose. Fatherly, I am "the man at the city gate."
As men at the city gates... "We ward off and defend against anything that threatens and seeks to destroy our society. The men at the city gate signify stability for our communities and society. The men at the city gate observe and know everyone that belongs within and those that don't. The men at the city gate are prepared to confront those elements that threaten to destroy us and do not belong within our walls. Because the men at the city gate rise to the occasion righteously, our society finds godly peace and rest." more >>
The archbishop of Jos and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria has accused the Western world of forcing secular values on homosexuality and condom use "down the throats" of Africans. He called on believers to stay faithful to their religious heritage.
"In Africa, whether it is about population control, use of condoms, homosexuality, etc sometimes, the views of the West are forced down the throats of Africans through financial inducement. Africans must not be copy cats, believing that whatever comes from the West is ideal," His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama said at a seminar in Jos on health care and Catholic social teachings, Agenzia Fides reported on Wednesday.
"We must not be swallowed up by the tyrannical imposition of some governments or international non-governmental organizations who wish to dictate the moral trend of the world based on their secular values" he added. more >>
On Jan. 27, The Christian Post put out an article by Nicola Menzie entitled, "Can Another 'Gay-Friendly' Faith Group Help Steer the Conversation for Christians on Homosexuality?" Menzie writes in glowing terms about the "Imago Dei Campaign" that is calling on all sides of the culture war to recognize that both "straight and gay" people are made in God's image.
I appreciate the fact that this "campaign" apparently continues to view homosexual practice as sin (though in extremely muted tones) and that it wants to promote love for those who engage in it. However, its half-orbed message that "the image of God exists in all human beings: black and white; rich and poor; straight and gay; conservative and liberal; victim and perpetrator; citizen and undocumented; believer and unbeliever" is flawed.
It lumps together very different categories. There is nothing intrinsically immoral about ethnicity, social status, party affiliation, citizen status, or even the mere experience of sexual attractions to do what God forbids. more >>
Valentine's Day, if we're honest, is an irritating holiday even for Christians. Everywhere we look there are baked-goods and candy hearts expressing their eternal love for us in pink frosting. For those of us struggling to keep up with New Year's diet resolutions, the temptations can be downright maddening. But all the talk about love and affection got me thinking. What if this year I asked my homosexual neighbor to be my valentine?
This radical thought might come as a shocker, since it's no secret I'm a die-hard conservative culture warrior. Marriage, sexuality, and family as divine institutions established by God in Genesis, affirmed by Jesus in Matthew and supported again by several Pauline texts are what I spend my days defending in the public square. But recently, I faced the fact that homosexuality is not only a public policy issue. It's also a deeply personal matter that leaves many Christians asking the question, "Can I uphold my convictions and love my homosexual friend?"
Last weekend I participated in Evangelicals for Social Action's (ESA), "Oriented to Love" retreat. The purpose of the retreat was to bring together twelve individuals who professed faith in Christ but held differing moral values, politics, and of course, sexual orientations. Despite being questioned as a "spy" and told I wanted to "bring America back to the 1950s" over lunch, I'm thankful for the experience. It was here that I saw the tough face of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community actually consists of real, broken, vulnerable, thoughtful, creative, kind, and emotional individuals struggling to navigate through this earthy life just like the rest of us. As such, they are deserving of our respect. more >>
A church trial for a prominent United Methodist theologian who officiated his son's same-sex wedding ceremony has been postponed.
Initially the trial for retired seminary dean the Reverend Thomas Ogletree was scheduled for March 10, but a postponement was announced Monday.