While speaking at the Jewish American Heritage Month reception in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday evening, Vice President Joe Biden commended Jewish Americans for playing what he believes to be an influential role in the progression of same-sex marriage in the country over the past few years.
At the event, which was hosted by the Democratic National Committee, Biden pointed particularly to Jewish leaders in the entertainment business who, according to him, helped America become more accustomed to same-sex marriage through shows exploring homosexual relationships, such as NBC's "Will and Grace."
"It wasn't anything we legislatively did. It was 'Will and Grace,' it was the social media. Literally. That's what changed peoples' attitudes. That's why I was so certain that the vast majority of people would embrace and rapidly embrace [gay marriage]," Biden said during his 20-minute speech at Tuesday's event, which was held in the American Institute of Architects building. more >>
The Peace Corps, one of the largest government-run volunteer organizations in the U.S., announced on Tuesday that as of June it is changing its policy to allow same-sex couples to volunteer together in the overseas service program.
"Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who want to make a difference around the world," said Deputy Director Hessler-Radelet in a statement. "I am proud that the agency is taking this important step forward to allow same-sex domestic partners to serve overseas together."
The Peace Corps, established by former President John F. Kennedy in 1961, works in 76 different countries in various social and economic development programs, aimed at helping people better understand Americans, while at the same time offering U.S. citizens more insight into people of other cultures. more >>
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 >>