The Church of Scotland's general assembly has voted to allow its ministers to be in same-sex marriages by making a provision for individual congregations to "opt out" of the Church's traditional view of marriage as between a man and woman.
Commissioners voted by 339 votes to 215 in favor of the move on the first day of the annual general assembly meeting in Edinburg on Saturday, according to BBC.
"We had a debate which made very clear that we were not interfering with our theological definition of marriage and were not going to the place where ministers or deacons could themselves be conducting same-sex marriages," the Very Rev. John Chalmers, principal clerk to the general assembly, was quoted as saying. "It is an entirely different discussion." more >>
Canada's Liberal Party government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced a bill that would ban transgender discrimination, including both gender identity and gender expression, with up to two years in prison for violators.
The bill seeks to amend the Canadian Criminal Code to expand existing "hate speech" prohibitions to include any public speech or communication that "promotes hatred" on the basis of "gender identity" or "gender expression," and also the Canadian Human Rights Act, to cover transgender people.
"As a society, we have taken many important steps toward recognizing and protecting the legal rights for the LGBTQ2 community – from enshrining equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the passage of the Civil Marriage Act," Trudeau said in a speech, announcing the bill on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17. "There remains much to be done, though. Far too many people still face harassment, discrimination, and violence for being who they are. This is unacceptable." more >>
Controversial author and former megachurch Pastor Rob Bell says he rarely uses the term "Christian," claiming that Jesus would oppose it.
In an interview with Uproxx published last week, the former Mars Hill Bible Church pastor explained that he does not like to use the term "Christian" to describe himself.
"I don't actually use the word 'Christian' much, because I think Jesus would be mortified that a religion with very strong codes of in-and-out had started in his name," said Bell said in the interview. more >>
The United Methodist Church will put a moratorium on its homosexuality debate, delaying at least for the time being efforts to allow for the ordination of non-celibate clergy.
Delegates at the UMC General Conference in Portland, Oregon, voted 428-405 Wednesday evening to adopt a proposal from the Council of Bishops halting Church legislation on human sexuality issues.
Titled "An Offering for a Way Forward," the Council of Bishops' recommendation will involve church leadership appointing a "special commission" to analyze the denomination's official stance on homosexuality, gay marriage, and gay ordination. more >>
An openly gay Texas pastor who fabricated a story last month accusing Whole Foods of making him a cake with a homophobic slur on it has withdrawn his lawsuit.
Pastor Jordan Brown of Austin's Church of Open Doors admitted "The company did nothing wrong. I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story," the Statesman reported on Monday.
Brown has officially apologized to the store, its employees, his church, and the LGBT community for "diverting attention from real issues." more >>
Experts believe that if the Obama administration successfully forces public schools across the country to grant transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms designated for the opposite biological sex, it could lead to an increase in the number of students who are homeschooled or attend private schools.
Last Friday, the departments of Education and Justice sent a directive to all public school districts in the United States telling them that they must allow transgender students into bathrooms, locker rooms and showers that are consistent with their gender identity. If school districts refuse, they could be at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal education funding.
A number of conservative states and school districts have already indicated that they won't obey the edict and will contest in court if the federal government tries to enforce it. Meanwhile, other school districts will obey the order and let biological boys into girls bathrooms, showers and locker rooms, and vice versa. more >>