The United States Navy will require all sailors to undergo training on the service's new transgender policies being put in place as a result of the Pentagon lifting a ban on transgender service members openly serving in June.
According to Military.com, an all-Navy message was sent out last Tuesday by Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke. Burke's message explained the new three-pronged training approach will prepare not only senior Navy leaders but also rank-and-file sailors for when the service begins accepting transgender recruits on July 1, 2017.
"This training will emphasize policies and expectations of personal behavior," the message states. more >>
Yanicka Parker, a Christian minister and former court specialist, has filed a lawsuit against Broward Clerk of Courts Howard Forman in Florida for allegedly firing her because she refused to perform same-sex marriages due to her religious beliefs.
Parker, who filed the lawsuit earlier this month, is a member of the Faith Deliverance Tabernacle church in Fort Lauderdale, where she also serves as a minister of the Gospel.
According to the lawsuit: "Ms. Parker has a sincerely held religious belief, based upon the tenants of her faith and biblical teaching, such as Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27, I Cor. 6:9-10; and I Tim 1:9-10, that it is a sin for persons of the same sex to engage in sexual relations and, based upon Genesis 2:18-25, and other biblical authority, that persons of the same sex cannot and should not be morally or legally recognized as husband and wife, and that God will judge individual Christians, as well as the society of which they are a part, who condone or institute same sex marriages." more >>
The Church of England announced last week that it is establishing a panel to review the ever increasing controversies surrounding gay marriage and the Church, though some liberal Anglicans have criticized it for only including members who adhere to the biblical definition of marriage.
The CofE explained last week that the "Bishops' Reflection Group on Human Sexuality," as the panel is called, will take a look at "theological, biblical, ecumenical, Anglican Communion, pastoral, missiological, historical and societal considerations" that the church is facing, especially in regard to same-sex relationships.
"A wide ranging agenda included presentations and discussions on Safeguarding, the Renewal and Reform program, the post-Brexit political landscape, clergywomen in leadership, clergy wellbeing and issues of sexuality," read a statement from the College of Bishops about discussions in the wake of the formation of the panel. more >>
The United Methodist Church's highest court will be reviewing a decision to overrule a regional body's resolution calling for churches to defy the denomination's rules that bar clergy from performing same-sex marriages and being in a same-sex relationship.
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar of the New England Conference overruled most of the regional body's resolution, passed during the summer, calling for a refusal to enforce rules regarding homosexuality as outlined in the Book of Discipline.
The United Methodist Judicial Council, the highest legal authority for the Mainline denomination, is scheduled to review Bishop Devadhar's ruling of law. more >>
The Christian owners of an Oregon bakery who were fined over $135,000 by a state government agency for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding are continuing to fight for their First Amendment rights.
After Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa were fined by the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries $135,000 last year for declining to bake a cake for the wedding of Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer in 2013 on the grounds that it would have violated their religious convictions, the Kleins paid their fine last December and filed an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals in April in hopes the court would rule that the government agency violated their religious freedom rights.
In response to a brief defending the government's actions against the Kleins filed to the Oregon Court of Appeals last month by state lawyers, the Kleins filed a reply brief to the court earlier this month. more >>
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says that the core American principle of religious freedom should not be "denigrated" even though many liberals today claim that the First Amendment right has become "code words" for the right to discriminate against the LGBT community.
In an interview with CNS News, Hoyer was questioned about a recent report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which states that "religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights."
In the 307-page report, the chairman of the commission, Martin R. Castro, who was appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2011, argued that "the phrases 'religious liberty' and 'religious freedom' will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance." more >>