Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban was struck down Tuesday by a federal judge who ruled that it is a violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.
"In America even sincere and long-held religious views do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," U.S. District Judge John Heyburn in Louisville argued.
British musician Sir Elton John has said in an interview that he believes Jesus Christ would approve of gay marriages, and shared his admiration for the work Pope Francis has done so far, calling him "wonderful."
John's comments come days after the Vatican released a major new document speaking out against unjust discrimination against gay people but affirming traditional teachings on marriage, a viewpoint that Francis has supported.
"These are old and stupid things. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen," John told Sky News on Sunday, speaking out against Church of England rules banning gay clergy from getting married. more >>
A major document by the Vatican has said that unjust discrimination against gay people needs to be avoided and that children of same-sex unions must be cared for as any other, but it still maintains opposition to same-sex couples adopting children and has affirmed traditional teachings on marriage.
The Instrumentum Laboris is a result of Pope Francis' call in October 2013 for Roman Catholic bishops around the world to convene and discuss matters of family and the Christian faith.
"On unions of persons of the same sex, the responses of the bishops' conferences refer to Church teaching. 'There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. [...] Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies 'must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided,'" the lengthy document reads. more >>
Utah and Indiana became the latest U.S. states to see their bans on same-sex marriage struck down following separate rulings in federal court on Wednesday.
"It is wholly illogical to believe that state recognition of love and commitment of same-sex couples will alter the most intimate and personal decisions of opposite-sex couples," a three-judge panel in the Utah case said while upholding a lower court ruling, NPR reported.
Back in December, Utah briefly became the 18th state where gay couples received the right to marry, after a federal district judge ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. The decision was then put on hold pending appeals, though more than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples managed to get married before that. more >>
Vice President Joe Biden said during a speech on Tuesday that protecting gay rights trumps national cultures and social traditions, as President Barack Obama's administration continues promoting LGBT rights around the world.
"I don't care what your culture is," Biden told about 100 guests at the Naval Observatory's vice presidential mansion, The Associated Press reported. "Inhumanity is inhumanity is inhumanity. Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice."
He added that the cause is a "defining mark of a civilized nation" and met with a number of religious, human rights and HIV health care advocates in a forum dedicated to promoting gay rights internationally. more >>
"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson has defended his views on homosexuality, which stirred great controversy when they were posted in a GQ magazine article earlier this year, and said that he simply wants to help "those poor souls" and "turn them to Jesus."
Al.com reported that Robertson made the comments during a Q&A at an appearance at the Rock the South festival in Cullman, Alabama, over the weekend.
"I'm actually a nice man. … I'm trying to help those poor souls and turn them to Jesus," Robertson reportedly said. more >>