The Church of Scotland's General Assembly voted Monday to allow congregations the choice of accepting openly gay ordained ministers, while allowing other parishes to opt out if their congregants disagree with the gay lifestyle.
Although the General Assembly's 700 commissioners did vote in approval of openly gay ministers on Monday, the vote must still pass a series of hurdles and will not be finalized for at least another two years.
After a six-hour debate on Monday at the annual assembly meeting in Edinburg, the commissioners voted to maintain their "current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality," meaning they still maintain their traditional view on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, but they compromised in providing more liberal congregations to allow gay ministers to lead their parish. more >>
Nearly 19,000 Americans, most of whom are past or current members of Boy Scouts families or are former Scouts, have signed a petition, which was delivered to the Boy Scouts of America, urging the organization to keep its century-old policies and not allow gay members to serve as members or leaders.
"The Boy Scouts should once again stand firm on moral principles that have successfully shaped our nation's boys into leaders for generations," said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman, whose group delivered the petition.
"This is the expressed desire of thousands of Scouts and their families who have signed this petition. The Constitution protects the Boy Scouts' freedom to promote the values that have defined the organization and to ensure that its leaders and members adhere to those values." more >>
As America waits with bated breath for the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, one Ohio church became the target of gay marriage supporters after it advertised an event celebrating biblical marriages that promised to reward husband and wife couples with free $25 Chick-fil-A gift cards.
In the advertisement of the event hosted by the Cornerstone Baptist Temple in Dayton, Ohio, and boasting Chick-fil-A's logo, the church noted: "We have been given a donation to provide a $25 Chick-fil-A gift card to honor every visiting husband and wife." The ad also listed the church's pastor, Jerry Siler, and Tom Raper as special speaker.
But the ad which was shared on Reddit before the event took place, elicited a barrage of snarky comments ridiculing Raper's last name, biblical marriage and Chick-fil-A's assumed association with the event. They even contacted the church directly using what Siler sums up as "hate speech." more >>
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is set to officiate a mass same-sex wedding ceremony at the annual Baltimore Pride Celebration on June 16, celebrating November's legalization of same-sex marriage in Maryland.
"After doing so much work on this – on the ballot initiative – we thought, how do we really celebrate this?" said Pride organizer Carrietta Hiers, who is set marry her partner of nearly 13 years at the ceremony, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Rawlings-Blake's involvement with the event was confirmed by Ryan O'Doherty, a spokesman for the mayor. This is not the first time Rawlings-Blake will be officiating gay marriages – she presided over several ceremonies after midnight on Jan. 1 when the law went into effect. more >>
Ahead of a same-sex marriage debate in parliament on Monday, a group of Christian leaders in the U.K. said that changing the definition of marriage can have a "chilling effect" on young people seeking careers as teachers and doctors.
"These young people, from teenagers to 30-year-olds, will suffer discrimination, and will face new risks to their career and future," the group writes in a letter, signed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev. Peter Smith.
"If the Bill passes into law without much clearer protections for freedom of speech and freedom of belief, teachers, and public sector workers will have to choose between their conscience and their career; many will be deterred from a public service career and from charity involvement." more >>
Those supporting the continued ban on openly gay members in the Boy Scouts are gathering in over 50 locations throughout America Friday to express their concern, as the youth organization will vote next week on whether to lift the ban.
Friday's nationwide rallies, held at noon in several U.S. cities, were organized by OnMyHonor.net, an online coalition of parents, Boy Scouts, and Scout leaders in favor of maintaining current membership policies.
One rally in the Silver Spring Township of Pennsylvania reportedly attracted two dozen attendees and included speeches from an Eagle Scout, a scoutmaster and the mother of eagle scout who encouraged those in attendance to not "compromise their values" and encouraged their delegates attending the Boy Scouts national meeting in Texas next week to cast their vote against lifting the gay ban. more >>