Earlier this summer, Exodus International, long the standard-bearer for so-called "conversion" or "ex-gay" therapy that demonized homosexuality and evangelized a purported ability of gay individuals to change their sexual orientation, closed its doors.
In his signoff, Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus and a poster boy for the ex-gay movement, delivered a lengthy apology that included a litany of remorse and an acknowledgement of the harm he caused. For Chambers, the writing was on the wall: The ex-gay movement had lost credibility, momentum, and-most important-support. Not surprising, then, that last month, when a bill to ban "ex-gay" therapy for minors in New Jersey landed on Chris Christie's desk, the Republican Governor added his signature-without apology.
With its law, New Jersey joined California to become the second state to formalize a ban on pseudoscience that has been debunked and derided by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and more. Even Robert Spitzer, a godfather of sorts of the ex-gay movement as a leading psychiatric proponent of "sexual reorientation," retracted his widely cited 2001 study, Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation? stating it was poisoned with a "fatal flaw" and made "unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy." more >>
A Christian academic institute based in South Carolina is hosting an apologetics conference that will feature Christian writers Eric Metaxas, Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell.
The annual Truth for a New Generation, presented by Alex McFarland and North Greenville University, is a two-day apologetics conference being held at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.
Exhibitors for the conference checked in on Thursday and sessions at the conference began Friday and will continue through Saturday evening. more >>
The International Olympic Committee [IOC] released a statement Thursday saying Russia's ban against "homosexuality propaganda for minors" does not breach the Olympic charter, adding that it is "fully satisfied" that Russia will not apply the law at the upcoming Sochi winter Olympic games in February.
Russia has come under fire from some athletes for its ban against "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors." After it was announced that Russia would host the Winter Olympic Games this upcoming February, several openly gay athletes expressed concern that the law would affect them. However, Russia argued that the law is only meant to protect children and would not infringe on an adult homosexual's life.
"The Olympic Charter states that all segregation is completely prohibited, whether it be on the grounds of race, religion, color or other, on the Olympic territory," Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC's Co-ordination Commission, said in a statement after visiting Sochi, the site of the winter games, earlier this week. more >>
Last month, a professor and former dean of theology who changed gender identities argued that the Bible defends those who renounce their birth gender, while a leading biblical expert on homosexuality said it condemns them as an "abomination."
"I was dying last year because I couldn't live that way anymore. .. I tried to be the best Christian woman I could be and today I get to be the best Christian I can be and the best person I can be," Heather Ann Clements, former head of the theology department at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in Los Angeles, Calif., said in a sermon proposing a biblical defense of transgender identity. During that sermon, he came out as a transgender man, Heath Adam Ackley. Embracing his identity as a man, he claimed it empowered him to love God and others more.
"The writers of Scripture viewed any attempts at overriding one's birth-sex as abhorrent, a sacrilege against the structures of maleness or femaleness created by God, and ultimately a rebellion against the Creator who made our bodies," retorted Robert A. J. Gagnon, an associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary who is considered the foremost expert on the Bible and homosexuality. Gagnon addressed Ackley's arguments head on. more >>
The excommunication of an Australian priest known for being outspoken on his support of same-sex marriage and ordaining women for priesthood is keeping the discussion about where Pope Francis stands on moral and social issues at the forefront.
Earlier this year, Greg Reynolds was defrocked and excommunicated for his views via a direct order from the Vatican, according to the Australian publication The Age. Reportedly the first excommunicate in Melbourne, Reynolds had already resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and had founded a progressive Catholic group known as Inclusive Catholics.
Negotiations are still in the process regarding benefits for Reynolds in light of his 32 years of service to the Roman Catholic Church as a priest, according to The Age. more >>
An evangelical couple whose gay son died of a drug overdose in 2009 partnered with a Christian, pro-gay, campaign in which they addressed the LGBT community, through a video released online last week, to affirm that their beliefs and convictions in being gay are not anti-biblical.
Seattle-based Rob and Linda Robertson contributed their video for the "Not All Like That" campaign (NALT), which is the faith-based version of the "It Gets Better" project. The campaign is spearheaded for Christians who say "we are not all anti-gay," while giving them a platform to tell gay people that they can be a Christian and still support equal rights for gays.
"The NALT project is an attempt to communicate to LGBT individuals, especially teenagers and young adults that the loudest, most widely heard Christian voices that proclaim condemnation of the gay community are not speaking for all those who follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior," Linda told The Christian Post. "We are not all like that. There are millions of us who see it differently, but for many reasons, we aren't the voices that are heard." more >>