The Peace Corps, one of the largest government-run volunteer organizations in the U.S., announced on Tuesday that as of June it is changing its policy to allow same-sex couples to volunteer together in the overseas service program.
"Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who want to make a difference around the world," said Deputy Director Hessler-Radelet in a statement. "I am proud that the agency is taking this important step forward to allow same-sex domestic partners to serve overseas together."
The Peace Corps, established by former President John F. Kennedy in 1961, works in 76 different countries in various social and economic development programs, aimed at helping people better understand Americans, while at the same time offering U.S. citizens more insight into people of other cultures. more >>
The Senate's immigration reform bill was passed out of the Judiciary Committee Tuesday without the "Leahy amendment" that would have given family status to gay and lesbian partners of U.S. citizens.
Republican members of the bipartisan "gang of eight" that crafted the legislation warned that they would withdraw their support if the amendment was included.
"You've got me on immigration. You don't have me on marriage. If you want to keep me on immigration, let's stay on immigration," Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), one of the gang of eight, said during debate over the amendment, according to Roll Call. more >>
The high stakes showdown over whether or not Boy Scouts of America will lift its ban on gay youth began in Grapevine, Texas, on Wednesday as the organization dismissed recent allegations that the fix is in.
Deron Smith, national spokesman for the BSA, called allegations of vote tampering "absolutely incorrect" and assured the public that the voting will be managed by independent election services company TrueBallot, Inc.
"The voters of the national council are defined by our bylaws. And the BSA has hired TrueBallot to administer the vote. Voters will be issued credentials and the vote will all happen in one room and validated by TrueBallot," he noted in a recent e-mail to The Christian Post. more >>
The Boy Scouts of America does not currently ask scouts about their sexuality, and that will not change if there is a modification to their policy of not allowing gay scouts, Deron Smith, director of public relations for BSA, told The Christian Post.
BSA will announce on Thursday whether it will adopt a new resolution allowing gays to become scouts. The Christian Post asked Smith if BSA will ask members, both homosexual and heterosexual, if they are sexually active.
Smith, responding via email, answered, "we do not ask now and will not if the resolution passes." more >>
The Church of Scotland's General Assembly voted Monday to allow congregations the choice of accepting openly gay ordained ministers, while allowing other parishes to opt out if their congregants disagree with the gay lifestyle.
Although the General Assembly's 700 commissioners did vote in approval of openly gay ministers on Monday, the vote must still pass a series of hurdles and will not be finalized for at least another two years.
After a six-hour debate on Monday at the annual assembly meeting in Edinburg, the commissioners voted to maintain their "current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality," meaning they still maintain their traditional view on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, but they compromised in providing more liberal congregations to allow gay ministers to lead their parish. more >>
Nearly 19,000 Americans, most of whom are past or current members of Boy Scouts families or are former Scouts, have signed a petition, which was delivered to the Boy Scouts of America, urging the organization to keep its century-old policies and not allow gay members to serve as members or leaders.
"The Boy Scouts should once again stand firm on moral principles that have successfully shaped our nation's boys into leaders for generations," said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman, whose group delivered the petition.
"This is the expressed desire of thousands of Scouts and their families who have signed this petition. The Constitution protects the Boy Scouts' freedom to promote the values that have defined the organization and to ensure that its leaders and members adhere to those values." more >>