Hawaii is well on its way to approving same-sex marriage after the state's Senate voted this week to repeal a voter-approved constitutional amendment specifically defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The vote came after the state's governor introduced a special session to have same-sex marriage legislation addressed, and although the legislation is expected to pass the House of Representatives' vote, Hawaii residents still remain greatly divided on the issue of redefining the meaning of marriage.
Hawaii's Senate voted 20-4 on Wednesday to have same-sex marriage legalized in the state. The state's lone Republican Senator joined three Democrats in opposing the legislation, which seeks to repeal a 1998 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Hawaii's Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie has voiced his interest in expediting legislation to redefine marriage in his state. He told Al-Jazeera America news on Monday that he believes the gay marriage legislation will be passed in the state "within a week or so." Abercrombie added that the bill was drawn up primarily in response to the Supreme Court's June rulings regarding gay marriage and subsequent legal action taken in Hawaii by same-sex couples hoping to have the state recognize marriage between same-sex couples. "The bill primarily is in response to the recent Supreme Court decisions and legal action that was taken in our state with regard to equality issues that we think the bill will resolve," Abercrombie said. more >>
"Love! Valour! Compassion!" a play about a group of gay men and their journey with AIDS has stirred up controversy in Grand Rapids, Mich., where some Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Trustees are calling for the school to defund the theater that hosted the play.
"There have been several members of the board who feel that the Actor's Theater is inappropriate," Bert Bleke, GRCC Board of Trustees chairman, told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday. "Historically, the college provides a small amount of money to the theater," Bleke explained, and some members ask for even that to be removed. According to reports, GRCC gave the theater $19,000 last year.
Some residents believe that through the play – which includes a scene of male nudity – GRCC is endorsing nudity "as entertainment or education and is using our tax dollars to do this, resident Joan Ridderbos told MLive last week. Ridderbos, who did not see the play, learned about it from friends at her church. more >>
Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates has been nominated to become the next president of the Boy Scouts of America, pending his approval by voting members of the National Council. If elected, Gates would assume his new role in May 2014.
The BSA announced Wednesday that Gates, an Eagle Scout, was elected to the National Executive Board, and if his nomination is approved, he would serve a two-year term as the organization's president.
"Gates' appointment was made upon the recommendation of national volunteer and professional leaders including the BSA national nominating committee," the organization said in the statement. more >>
Orson Scott Card, the author of the well-known science fiction classic Ender's Game that is soon to be released as a Hollywood movie, said in a recent interview that the backlash he has received from those who describe him as "homophobic" is a "savage, lying, deceptive personal" attack on him.
Card's classic science fiction novel, which describes the plight of a futuristic boy hired to kill an alien species, will be debuted as a film starring big names such as Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley in early November. Some groups have vowed to boycott the film due to Card's stance supporting traditional marriage; the 62-year-old author is a board member of the National Organization for Marriage and has previously said the legalization of gay marriage in California against voter wishes had marked "the end of democracy in America."
Card said in a recent interview with Deseret News that he believes the recent attacks on the upcoming film "Ender's Game" are really not directed at his work but rather are personal attacks on his character, and he believes that he cannot debate with critics who choose to assassinate his character rather than exchange intelligent ideas on the topic of marriage. more >>
Attorneys for a Christian florist in Washington who refused to create floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding ceremony have asked a court to dismiss the state attorney general's lawsuit against her.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed the suit against Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, in April. But Stutzman's attorneys, including those from Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a motion in Benton County Superior Court last week arguing that Ferguson does not have the authority to act against her at this point.
The legal action by Ferguson was particularly inappropriate, an ADF press release states, because he received no complaint about the incident but rather learned about it through media reports. more >>
The highest court in the United Methodist Church has ruled that a Texas bishop must deliver a ruling on the eligibility of a lesbian candidate for ordination.
The United Methodist Judicial Council decided that Bishop James Dorff of the UMC Southwest Texas Conference must issue a ruling on whether the Conference's board of ordained ministry acted properly in the removal of Mary Ann Kaiser.
Dorff must respond within 60 days of being notified of the decision, the UMJC stated in its ruling of the case regarding the Southwest Texas Conference Saturday. more >>