Methodist pastor the Rev. Frank Schaefer is facing a church trial on Nov. 18 in Pennsylvania for violating his pastoral vows by performing his son's marriage to another man at a 2007 ceremony in Massachusetts.
The pastor has argued that he went against church law "because I love him so much and didn't want to deny him that joy," but his credentials as a pastor are on the line because of this decision, The Associated Press reported. The 51-year-old pastor said that he is "charged to minister to all people, regardless of who they are and what they are, then it should be just so," even though performing same-sex marriage weddings goes against United Methodist Church teaching, which says homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity.
In 2012, the 1,000-member General Conference reaffirmed the church's 40-year-old policy on the issue. more >>
WASHINGTON – Advocates for divorce reform attacked the current legal system as incentivizing family break-up, and encouraged methods to combat divorce across the United States at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
"Nowhere is government more in the bedroom than in divorce," Beverly Willett, co-chairman of the Coalition for Divorce Reform, declared. Willett argued that rather than making the system more invasive in people's private sex lives, reforms to the legal system involving family break-up would encourage more freedom. "If you want government out of the bedroom, push divorce reform."
Willett shared her own story of divorce. "I grew up believing the words 'to death do us part' were non-negotiable," she said. With a breaking voice, she told of fighting to save her marriage after her husband told her of an affair and served her with divorce papers. more >>
A nationwide organization that advocates for marriage being defined as only between one man and one woman has denounced Illinois becoming the 15th state to legalize gay marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage released a statement in response to the Illinois House of Representatives approving a bill legalizing same-sex marriages in The Prairie State.
Brian Brown, president of NOM, said in a statement that news from the Illinois House was "disappointing but not surprising." more >>
Since the 2012 elections, the number of states sanctioning same-sex marriage has doubled, but in the rush to appease some outspoken and politically-connected citizens, are the religious liberties of others being trampled?
That's the worry in Hawaii, where the State Senate recently voted 20-4 to legalize same-sex "marriage," repealing a constitutional amendment passed by popular vote in 1998 that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Governor Neil Abercrombie called the vote in a special session, hoping to make Hawaii the 15th state to participate in this social experiment. Governor Abercrombie has already signed a law recognizing civil unions between same-sex couples, which took effect in early 2012, and grants the same rights and benefits as marriage in the state. more >>
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 >>
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 >>