The Boston Beer Company, the brewery that makes Samuel Adams beer, has pulled its sponsorship of Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade amid concerns that parade organizers will not let groups express their homosexuality while marching in the event.
"We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick's Day breakfast year after year," the company said in a statement Friday. "We've done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country."
The company went on to say that it was hoping the pro-LGBT group MassEquality and the organizers of this year's parade, Allied Veterans War Council, would have come to an agreement and let veterans express their gay orientation while marching in the parade. Parade organizers previously said that all veterans are welcome to march, but in order to maintain the true St. Patrick's Day spirit of the parade, they cannot express their homosexuality by wearing rainbow colors or carrying gay pride flags. more >>
Bishop Martin D. McLee, who heads The United Methodist Church in the New York Area, announced on Monday that he will be seeking to stop church trials of clergy who have officiated same-sex marriages, though some critics have said this could lead to a split in the denomination.
"I am grateful to report that the matter concerning the Reverend Dr. Thomas W. Ogletree will not result in a church trial as a just resolution has been achieved," McLee said in a statement, according to NBC News. "I call for and commit to a cessation of church trials for conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions or performing same-gender wedding ceremonies and instead offer a process of theological, spiritual, and ecclesiastical conversation."
Ogletree, a Frederick Marquand Professor Emeritus of Theological Ethics and one of the authors of United Methodist's Book of Discipline, was facing a canonical trial after it was revealed in 2013 that he officiated his son's same-sex wedding, which goes against church teachings. more >>
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in an interview that he has "no sense of judgment" on NFL prospect Michael Sam who announced in February that he is gay, and also commented on Pope Francis' recent remarks that he could be open to civil unions.
"Good for him. I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya … Look, the same Bible that … teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, 'Bravo,'" Dolan said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, when asked for his views on the issue.
Kenya churches are speaking out against western criticism of anti-gay laws and attitudes in African countries, with some comparing homosexuality to colonialism and slavery.
A news conference last week led by Bishop Arthur Gitonga of the Redeemed Church in Kenya apparently included comments such as "homosexuality is equivalent to colonialism and slavery," "we feel it's like a weapon of mass destruction" and "it is not biblical and cannot bring blessing to Christians," Religion News Service reported on Thursday.
A Roman Catholic Church cardinal has criticized the Ugandan anti-gay law that expanded punishment for gay people and threatened life in prison for certain offenders, arguing that gay people "are not criminals."
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the comments Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia, during a church and human rights conference, according to CatholicHearald.co.uk. He urged the international community, however, to keep sending much needed aid to Uganda, which is now facing cuts and sanctions because of the law.
Uganda's decision to expand the legal punishment for homosexuality has been criticized by some world leaders, though the nation's political and church leaders have insisted that it is their right to manage the country according to their ways. more >>
A group of former and current Republicans are filing an amicus brief, encouraging a federal court of appeals to overturn same-sex marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah. They argue that the conservative values of freedom and liberty fall in line with gay marriage support.
It remains unclear which current Republican lawmakers have signed the 30-page argument but The Associated Press, which received a draft of the brief, named former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who has been known to be socially liberal and once described himself as a "RINO," or "Republic In Name Only," as part of the group. Simpson has also stated his support for same-sex marriage, telling MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2011, ahead of the GOP presidential primaries, that he wouldn't stand behind pro-traditional marriage candidates like Rick Santorum "who are homophobic."
Another Republican named on Tuesday's brief is former Rep. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, who changed her opposition to same-sex marriage last year. more >>