Christian writer and intellectual Wesley Hill, who identifies as gay, has entered the fray of an increasingly meshed LGBT and church climate through his decision to pursue chastity.
The author of "Washed and Waiting" and professor at Trinity School of Ministry spoke about his decision and how his fellow unmarried straight and LGBT Christians ought to set boundaries at S1NGLE, a conference organized by Pastor Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church's Family Ministries on Saturday.
Hill said that during adolesence, he first realized he would be forced to make some serious decisions about his sexuality and faith. more >>
An important and historically uncontroversial religious freedom bill died in the Georgia state legislature yesterday, the latest such bill from around the country to become a tragic victim of rush to judgment and colossal misunderstanding.
In an all-out effort to kill the legislation, opponents performed impressive feats of logical jujitsu to label Georgia's Preservation of Religious Freedom Act-and its supporters-as un-American, pro-discrimination and anti-gay: first, by suggesting that the bill was akin to controversial proposals levied in Kansas and Arizona (it's not); then, by peddling wild and unsubstantiated claims about the bill to any and all who would take them at face value.
Ardent voices in national media outlets declared the legislation would allow "restaurateurs and hoteliers [to] turn away same-sex couples" or permit pharmacists to deny therapy to HIV/AIDS patients. Others said it would "open the door to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians." Prominent Georgia businesses also played along, asserting that the law, if passed, would "cause significant harm to many people" and even "result in job losses." more >>
A bill introduced to the Georgia legislature regarding religious freedom has apparently been derailed due to a controversy over a similar bill in Arizona.
House Bill 1023, also called the "Preservation of Religious Freedom Act," would essentially provide citizens of Georgia with the same religious freedom protections provided by the federal Religious Freedom Protection Act. RFRA was passed in 1993 with a unanimous vote in the House and a 97-3 vote in the Senate and was signed by President Bill Clinton.
RFRA says that for the government to deny religious freedom, the government must show that it has a good reason for doing so and there is no way to avoid doing so. Plus, laws that are generally applicable (apply to all faiths) must provide religious exemptions when that can be done without placing too great a burden on the state. The Supreme Court ruled, however, that RFRA does not apply to state law, so many states have passed their own RFRA laws. H.B. 1023 would do that for Georgia. more >>
A Roman Catholic Church cardinal has criticized the Ugandan anti-gay law that expanded punishment for gay people and threatened life in prison for certain offenders, arguing that gay people "are not criminals."
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the comments Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia, during a church and human rights conference, according to CatholicHearald.co.uk. He urged the international community, however, to keep sending much needed aid to Uganda, which is now facing cuts and sanctions because of the law.
Uganda's decision to expand the legal punishment for homosexuality has been criticized by some world leaders, though the nation's political and church leaders have insisted that it is their right to manage the country according to their ways. more >>
A group of former and current Republicans are filing an amicus brief, encouraging a federal court of appeals to overturn same-sex marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah. They argue that the conservative values of freedom and liberty fall in line with gay marriage support.
It remains unclear which current Republican lawmakers have signed the 30-page argument but The Associated Press, which received a draft of the brief, named former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who has been known to be socially liberal and once described himself as a "RINO," or "Republic In Name Only," as part of the group. Simpson has also stated his support for same-sex marriage, telling MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2011, ahead of the GOP presidential primaries, that he wouldn't stand behind pro-traditional marriage candidates like Rick Santorum "who are homophobic."
Another Republican named on Tuesday's brief is former Rep. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, who changed her opposition to same-sex marriage last year. more >>
An LGBT advocacy group has expressed its concern that several "Duck Dynasty" cast members will attend the Iowa State Fair later this summer.
Willie, Korie and Si Robertson are scheduled to speak about their television show and family on Aug. 10. However, despite the fact that family patriarch, Phil Robertson, who was criticized in December for his remarks about homosexuality and temporarily suspended from the show, has not been invited, an LGBT activist group said it was "disheartened" with the fair organizers' decision.
"At this time, however, Willie, Korie, and Si Robertson are the only scheduled presenters," Donna Red Wing, the executive director of One Iowa said in a statement. "Patriarch Phil Robertson was quoted in an interview with GQ for his hurtful remarks regarding LGBT people, in addition to comments made about the Jim Crow South." more >>