A bill that aimed to ban sexual orientation change therapy for minors in the Commonwealth of Virginia was defeated in committee.
House Bill 1135 was recently defeated in a House of Delegates subcommittee of the Committee on Health Welfare and Institutions.
In case you missed it this past weekend, the big news in sports had nothing to do with the Winter Olympics or with athletic triumphs and defeats. Instead, it was the news that a top college football player, Michael Sam, who is expected to be drafted in the NFL, declared that he is gay. It was deemed to be such big news that it was even the lead story on some non-sports news websites.
Here are five questions to help put this event in perspective.
1. What's the big deal? In the overall scheme of things, I'm quite aware of the significance of this announcement. After all, this is the National Football League, the ultimate, testosterone driven, men's sport, where gay slurs in the locker room are still common. And if the NFL can accept an openly gay player, then "tolerance" has surely triumphed. Looked at from another angle, all the hoopla surrounding the announcement is bizarre. After all, what Sam has declared is, "I'm attracted to other men," and for this, he has become a national hero. more >>
Indiana has come one step closer to approving a resolution that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.
The Senate Rules Committee voted 8 to 4 in favor of House Joint Resolution 3 on Monday, which if approved by voters will add an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as being between one man and one woman only.
"Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized," reads the amendment in part. more >>
WASHINGTON – Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) presented his new bill to defend the religious freedom of those who believe in marriage, and experts discussed the threats religious liberty faces in the public square.
The Health and Human Services contraception mandate and cases where homosexuals sue religious florists and bakers for refusing to do business with them "are creating a climate of intolerance and intimidation for citizens who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman," Labrador declared at The Heritage Foundation on Monday. He discussed his bill, H.R. 3133, The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, "to prevent adverse treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage."
"We have a fundamental misunderstanding of religious freedom going on," said Sarah Torre, policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation's DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. Torre argued that the Obama administration is "watering down religious freedom to just freedom of worship" by insisting that faith "is not something that you bring into your workplace." Instead, the current policies presume that "faith is something that you keep in your home and place of worship." more >>
A far-reaching poll of Roman Catholics around the world commissioned by Univision has found that a large number of adherents disagree with church teachings on controversial subjects like contraception, abortion and gay marriage.
The poll was conducted on 12,048 self-identified Roman Catholics in nine languages across five continents and 12 countries, with an overall margin of error of 0.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval. It found that believers disagree especially with the Roman Catholic Church's teachings against using contraceptives.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents support the use of contraceptives. Support was highest in Latin America, at 91 percent, and the lowest in the Philippines, where only 31 percent support this method of birth control. more >>
Speaking at an event by a gay lobby group in New York on Saturday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will treat same-sex marriage on par with traditional marriage in all federal legal matters, even in states where gay marriage is not legal.
On Monday, the Justice Department will send "formal instruction" to all its employees "to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law," according to excerpts of Holder's speech.
"In every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections, and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law," Holder said at the Human Rights Campaign's New York City gala, according to Reuters. more >>