A majority of Americans view same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue, according to a new poll by LifeWay Research. Most also believe its legalization in the United States is inevitable.
The findings showed that 58 percent of respondents believe that homosexuality is a civil rights issue like age, race and gender, while 29 percent disagreed with that statement. Sixty-four percent believe same-sex marriage will inevitably become legalized throughout the U.S., while 24 percent disagreed.
"Clearly, Americans believe the prerogative exists for individuals such as clergy or photographers to deny services for same-sex marriage," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. "However, the level of agreement changes with scenarios that could be interpreted as more basic rights such as housing and employment." more >>
A Mennonite pastor from Virginia who helped a woman flee the United States with her daughter to prevent the woman's former lesbian partner from getting custody of the child, was sentenced to 21 to 27 months in prison by a federal judge in Vermont last Monday.
But according to a News Channel 5 report, the judge, William Sessions, also decided to release the pastor, Kenneth Miller, pending an appeal of the sentence, which could take several years.
In the News Channel 5 report, Miller's supporters sang hymns and spiritual songs of praise in celebration outside the federal courthouse as it snowed lightly around them. Miller had been in custody for about a month before the sentencing for refusing to testify in the case of another man that allegedly helped Lisa Miller and her daughter escape. Miller told the court that his faith prevented him from testifying. more >>
Ahead of International Women's Day on Friday, Christian relief organization World Vision hosted Humaiya Akhter, a 16-year-old girl from Bangladesh, at a United Nations event in New York City addressing child marriage.
Akhter, who hails from the village of Tajpur, located in the Joypurat district of Bangladesh, has become an outspoken advocate against child marriage, as her native country sees 66 percent of females married before they turn 18.
Akhter spoke with The Christian Post regarding her fight to end child marriage while attending the United Nations event for the World Vision report "Untying the Knot: Preventing Violence Against Girls by Ending Early Marriage." more >>
Former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, expressed strong opposition to the federal marriage law this week, asserting that it is time for it to be overturned.
The 42nd president of the Unites States explained his reasoning in a letter to The Washington Post, saying that back when he signed the bill, the country was living in very different times.
"As the president who signed the act into law, I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution," Clinton wrote. more >>
President Barack Obama Thursday signed a re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The law expands the previous version to include Native Americans, lesbians and immigrants.
At the Thursday signing ceremony, Obama said he was signing the bill "because this is a country where everybody should be able to pursue their own measure of happiness and live their lives free from fear, no matter who you are, no matter who you love. That's got to be our priority. That's what today is about."
The new version of the VAWA will allow tribal courts to prosecute domestic abusers who are not Native Americans but live on tribal lands or are married to Native Americans. Some Republicans voted against the bill, arguing that it was unconstitutional to give tribal courts jurisdiction over non-tribal U.S. citizens. more >>
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund recently filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to declare the Defense of Marriage Act, which federally defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, unconstitutional.
The amicus brief by the LDF argues that DOMA treats homosexuals unequally because it prohibits same-sex couples from receiving the same marital benefits as heterosexual couples, such as joint tax returns or health care benefits.
"DOMA's denial of marital benefits under federal law to gays and lesbians subordinates them within the institution of marriage. And like early laws that were designed to oppress African Americans, DOMA relegates gays and lesbians to an unequal and inferior status as a group," the brief states. more >>