Former National Basketball Association star Magic Johnson recently told Anderson Cooper that he is Christian but that he also supports his openly gay son.
In an interview on "Anderson Cooper 360" that aired Monday, Johnson talked about many issues including how being a Christian and having a gay son is "reality."
"I go to church, I'm a Christian, but the reality is, my son is gay. That is the reality. And I tell pastors that, I tell other pastors that," said Johnson. more >>
Last month, the United States Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation that codifies federal anti-discrimination laws for workers to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Some opponents of the bill declared the bill's passage would be a slap in the face to religious liberty-Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council even went so far as to prognosticate that ENDA's passage would lead to an America in which "the homosexuals are brought out of the closet and Christians are driven into the closet." Nothing could be further from the truth. And regardless of one's beliefs about homosexuality (however removed from scientific truth that they may be), the message of Christ and His Golden Rule should compel all Americans to support employment protections for LGBT individuals.
Most Americans already do: a survey released in May by the Public Religion Research Institute revealed 73 percent of Americans favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian workers from employment discrimination. Running cross-tabs on the same poll shows 60 percent of Republicans support such protections, as well as majorities of every major religious group including white evangelical Protestants (59 percent), minority Protestants (61 percent), white mainline Protestants (75 percent), and Catholics (76 percent).
There's a reason 10 Republicans in the U.S. Senate stood up to support ENDA with their votes-and it wasn't because religious protections were absent. The religious protections as they exist in the bill are clear, clean, and strong, covering any faith-based non-profit institution exempted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And just to be sure liberals or those who disdain religion could not use ENDA as a litigious cudgel, GOP Senator Rob Portman introduced an amendment to ENDA preventing the federal government from taking punitive action against any faith-based institution exempted under the law. Chicken Little agitators prophesying churches stripped of tax-exempt status under ENDA are nothing more than fear-mongers. more >>
Croatians voted against same-sex marriage in a national referendum Sunday, breaking the recent trend of European countries moving away from traditional marriage, and going against the views of their president and prime minister.
"Marriage is the only union enabling procreation. This is the key difference between a marriage and other unions," proclaimed Croatian Cardinal Josip Bozanic in a message to followers, according to the Associated Press.
Sixty-five percent of those who participated in the electoral commission voted "yes" on the referendum question "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?" while 34 percent said "no." As a result, Croatia's constitution will be amended to specifically ban gay marriage. It was the country's first citizen-initiated referendum since it gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. more >>
The Church of England said it would "repent" for its previous homophobia in a major new report on human sexuality, but rejected the idea that traditional teachings on marriage should be seen as homophobic.
The Anglican Communion also rejected notions that the report, which recommends that clergy be allowed to "accommodate" same-sex relationships, contradicts traditional teachings, as some news headlines have suggested that clergy can start "blessing" gay marriage.
"The recommendations do not propose any change in the church's teaching on sexual conduct. They do propose that clergy, with the agreement of their Church Council, should be able to offer appropriate services to mark a faithful same sex relationship," a statement on the Church of England's website explains. more >>
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a rise in unprotected sex by gay men, leading to fears of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among the population.
The report classifies men who have sex with men (MSM) as a small proportion of the U.S. population, but notes that they represent the majority of persons diagnosed with HIV in nearly every state. While statistics show that unprotected anal sex among MSM increased nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2011, only 67 percent of MSM went for an HIV test in the past 12 months.
"Unprotected anal sex is a high-risk practice for HIV infection, with receptive anal sex having the highest risk," CDC's Editorial Note wrote. "Unprotected anal sex also places MSM at risk for other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Although condoms can reduce the risk for HIV transmission, they do not eliminate risk and often are not used consistently." more >>
The 2014 People's Choice Awards may be the scene of a minor skirmish in the United States' culture wars, as a miniseries based on the Holy Bible will go up against an LGBT-themed television movie.
In the "Favorite TV Movie/Miniseries" category, the hit History Channel miniseries "The Bible" has as one of its competitors the HBO movie "Behind the Candelabra."