Topic: Religion

The new items published under this topic are as follows.
Feb 14, 2008# Quickie Link: Uganda Boycotts Anglican Meeting
Religion (Uganda) - The Anglican Church in Uganda is to boycott the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of the world's Anglican bishops held once every 10 years. The move is in protest at invitations being sent to bishops who condone "active homosexuality." The extent of the boycott was unclear but a significant number of bishops would be absent, said BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott. They object to bishops with a liberal approach to homosexuality from the American wing of the communion being invited. The Ugandan Church cited the American Church's ordination of Gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003 and continued blessing of same-sex relationships as reasons for the boycott.
# Note: Read more on BBC

Feb 08, 2008# Quickie Link: Bishop Fined for Job Discrimination
Religion (UK) - A bishop has been ordered to undergo equal opportunities training and to pay a Gay youth worker nearly £50,000 for refusing him a job because of his sexuality. John Reaney, 42, had his appointment at the diocese of Hereford blocked by the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, despite being told by his interviewers that he was the outstanding candidate for the post. During a two-hour interview with Bishop Priddis, Mr Reaney claimed he asked intrusive questions about his sexuality which had left him feeling embarrassed, upset and "a total waste of space". He took the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance to an employment tribunal and said today he was "delighted" with the payout. He added: "Lesbian and Gay Christians working within the Church of England are entitled to be treated with humanity."
# Note: Read more on Telegraph

Jan 29, 2008# News: First They Came for the Gays
Religion (EU) - One day last month, I gave a talk in Rome about how the supposedly liberal ideology of multiculturalism has made possible the spread in Europe of the highly illiberal ideology of fundamentalist Islam, with all its brutality and – among other things – violent homophobia. When I returned to my hotel, I phoned my partner back home in Oslo only to learn that moments earlier he had been confronted at a bus stop by two Muslim youths, one of whom had asked if he was Gay, started to pull out a knife, then kicked him as he got on the bus, which had pulled up at just the right moment. If the bus hadn’t come when it did, the encounter could have been much worse.
# Note: Read more on Pajamas Media

Jan 18, 2008# Quickie Link: Marriage Jihad
Religion (USA) - According to the Catholic Church, I'm more dangerous than al-Qaeda. My daughter belongs in a madrasa and I commit acts of social terrorism every time I introduce my husband Gary as my "husband Gary." Pope Benedict XVI believes that Gay people are a greater threat to the family than global violence or nuclear proliferation. In his January 1, 2008 World Peace Day address, the pontiff stated that deviation from the "one man, one woman" family structure was against the moral norm, and prioritized it in his speech as a more dire concern than the conflict in the Middle East or global warming. I guess that makes me a marriage terrorist.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Jan 17, 2008# Quickie Link: Tenerife Bishop Attacks Gays
Religion (Spain) - Tenerife's Bishop Bernardo Álvarez also had a lot to say regarding homosexuality in general. “One has to be very careful these days,” he said, “because one cannot infer that homosexuality is an illness. It’s not politically correct to do so or say it is a lack or a deviation from nature … Things which were commonplace in any psychiatrist’s dictionary just ten years ago cannot be said today,” he said.
The Bishop added that he firmly believes homosexuality is harmful to society and that ours will have to pay the consequences, “as other civilizations before us have had to do.” Following the publication of the controversial interview the president of Spain’s Federation of Gays, Lesbians, Transexuals and Bisexuals issued an ultimatum, warning Bishop Álvarez that if he did not retract the federation would bring legal proceedings against him.
# Note: Read more on Tenerife News

Jan 11, 2008# Quickie Link: The Church's True Colours
Religion (UK) -Reverend Richard Kirker is about to step down after nearly 30 years as head of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM). For the first half of that time, he fought a lonely battle to get church leaders to discuss sexuality. Now it's hard to get them to talk about anything else, but not in the way he had in mind. Homosexuality is at the centre of a global struggle for the soul of the Anglican Communion, and as Gay people are accused of bestiality and demonic possession, the Church seems to have become a repository for the homophobia unacceptable in the rest of society.
# Note: Read more on New Statesman

Jan 10, 2008# Quickie Link: 'Ex-Gays' Launch Effort to Recruit 10,000 Churches
Religion (USA) - Prominent 'Ex-Gay' organization Exodus International has set up an outreach network for people "struggling with same-sex attractions," Family News in Focus reports. Exodus' Randy Thomas seeks to reach those from religious backgrounds who fear opening up to the church or their families about their "unwanted feelings for someone of the same sex." The plan includes a liaison in each participating branch. "The vision," says Thomas, "is that there would be churches that people struggling with same-sex attraction could go to where they could learn how to be Disciples of Christ.”
# Note: Read more on Page OneQ

Jan 06, 2008# Quickie Link: Woman Artist Gets Death Threats over Gay Muslim Photos
Religion (Netherlands) - The Dutch were debating the limits of freedom of expression last week after an artist who photographed Gay men wearing masks of the prophet Muhammad was forced into hiding and her work removed from a museum exhibit. Speaking on the telephone from an unspecified location in the Netherlands last week, the artist, an Iranian exile who goes by the pseudonym of Sooreh Hera, said she had been threatened with “execution”. For her part, Hera, who fled Iran seven years ago, says she has “no regrets”, particularly when she thinks about the young men and women being hanged there for offending the country’s code of sexuality. “I do it for them,” she said, “for the boys and girls with no freedom in Iran.”
# Note: Read more on Times Online

Jan 04, 2008# Quickie Link: Christian Extremism Raises Alarm
Religion (USA) - A hate-crime trial reconvenes Friday in a case that's dividing Sacramento and drawing attention from organizations that monitor extremists. Alex Shevchenko has been arraigned for a hate crime tied to the assault and eventual death of Satender Singh in July. According to prosecutors, Mr. Shevchenko and Andrey Vusik taunted Mr. Singh in a park because they thought he was Gay. Mr. Vusik eventually threw a punch that toppled Singh, dashing his head, they charge. Gay leaders in Sacramento say the incident followed several years of escalating tensions with some Slavic immigrants. "The gut feeling of the [Gay] community is that preaching among the local Russian evangelical community is breeding hate and that something would happen. And Satender was the something that happened," says Ed Bennett, a Gay Democratic activist.
# Note: Read more on CSMonitor

Jan 03, 2008# Quickie Link: Sikh Leader's Anti-Gay Remarks Ignite Furore
Religion (Canada) - Homophobic remarks attributed to Sikh leader Balwant Singh Gill in The Vancouver Sun have unleashed a firestorm within the queer community, spotlighting divisions between those who say homophobia is the primary issue and others more focused on what they consider the racist response to Gill's comments. The Sun's Dec 15 story, "Canada's Changing Moral Landscape," quotes Gill as saying: "I hate homosexuality. Most Sikhs believe homosexuality is unnatural and you can't produce kids through it. And, secondarily, no major religion allows it." In an email circulated on the same day the Sun article ran, queer activist Jamie Lee Hamilton says Gill's comments are "truly offensive and must be rejected." She calls for him to step down as a Sikh temple spokesperson.
# Note: Read more on Xtra.com

Jan 02, 2008# Quickie Link: US Anglican Church 'Unfairly Criticised'
Religion (USA) - The head of the Anglicans in the United States has accused other churches, including the Church of England, of double standards over sexuality. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, told the BBC her church is paying the price for its honesty over sexuality. The threat of schism in the Anglican Communion was prompted by the appointment of a Gay bishop. The US church elected an openly Gay man Gene Robinson as a bishop in 2003. Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori defended her ministry. "He is certainly not alone in being a Gay bishop, he's certainly not alone in being a Gay partnered bishop," she said. "He is alone in being the only Gay partnered bishop who's open about that status."
# Note: Read more on BBC

Jan 01, 2008# Quickie Link: Catholic Church In Search of Peace?
Religion (Vatican) - On World Peace Day, Jan. 1, most of the world's citizens will be too poor, too hungry, too surrounded by violence or too worried by this century's other basic challenges to pay attention. Those who do pay attention likely will think first of war in places like Iraq and Eastern Congo, genocide in Sudan, a looming crisis in nuclear Pakistan and widespread poverty all over. The spiritual leader of more than a billion of the world's people will be thinking about homosexuality. Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI issued his message for World Peace Day. Entitled "The Human Family, A Community of Peace," the message argues that peace begins with the family. That's a reasonable point. But then the pope writes, "Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and woman ... constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace."
# Note: Read more on Post Gazette

Dec 30, 2007# Quickie Link: Huge "Family Values" Rally Held in Madrid
Religion (Spain) - Hundreds of thousands of people from all over Spain have converged on Madrid for a rally called to "defend traditional family values". On the face of it, it was a religious gathering, complete with an open-air mass but, with a general election approaching, many have seen it in a broader context. Social changes made by the Socialist government, such as legalising Gay marriage, have been a constant source of friction with the Roman Catholic Church. The Archbishop of Madrid denies organising a political demonstration. But Antonio Maria Rouco Varela called for the family, founded on what he said was "real marriage", to be once again seen as the core of society.
# Note: Read more on EuroNews

Dec 28, 2007# Quickie Link: Priest Sued Over Seminar 'Curing' Homosexuality
Religion (Spain) - A Spanish clergyman is to be investigated after complaints that he is holding seminars which aim to "rehabilitate homosexuals". Protestant minister Marcos Zapata, head of an organisation running youth centres for troubled children in Galicia, prompted the row after reports surfaced of a recent seminar he led entitled "How to Raise Heterosexual Children". Yesterday the Galician regional government said it would investigate Zapata to make sure the youth centres his organisation runs do not employ "any type of proselytising or homophobic attitudes" when dealing with minors. Spain's Gay and Lesbian groups are planning legal action.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Dec 17, 2007# Quickie Link: Tutu Apologises for Persecution of Gays by the Church
Religion (UK) - Archbishop Desmond Tutu has apologised to gay people all around the world for the way they have been treated by the Church. The Archbishop recently criticised the church for being ‘obsessed’ with homosexuality but speaking on the only gay programme on the BBC he goes further and says he’s ‘sorry’. “I want to apologise to you and to all those who we in the church have persecuted,” Archbishop Tutu says in the interview. “I’m sorry that we have been part of the persecution of a particular group. For me that is quite un-Christ like and, for that reason, it is unacceptable. May be, even as a retired Archbishop, I probably have, to some extent, a kind of authority but apart from anything let me say for myself and anyone who might want to align themselves with me, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the hurt, for the rejection, for the anguish that we have caused to such as yourselves.”
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Dec 15, 2007# Quickie Link: New Turns in Anglican Division
Religion (UK) - The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, asserted his authority over Anglican leaders yesterday in a document sent to all archbishops that said that those who went against the 'mind' of the Church risked being excluded from its councils. The warning, spelt out in his long-awaited Advent Letter to the Church’s 38 Primates and other leaders, could lead to The Episcopal Church of the US and the Anglican Church of Canada forfeiting their seats at the top tables of the Anglican Church if they do not curtail their 'liberal pro-Gay agenda.' The Rev Giles Fraser, Vicar of St Mary’s, Putney, and founder of the liberal Inclusive Church, criticised Dr Williams for planning yet more meetings and bureaucracy in an attempt to resolve the crisis. “We do not want an Anglican Pope,” he said.
# Note: Read more on Times Online

Dec 14, 2007# Quickie Link: No Change Over Gay Bishop
Religion (UK) - The archbishop of Canterbury said Friday he will not reverse his decision to exclude a Gay U.S. bishop from joining other bishops at a global Anglican gathering next year. The office of Archbishop Rowan Williams said he also had not changed his mind about refusing an invitation to Martyn Minns, a traditionalist U.S. priest who was consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican Church of Nigeria to minister to disaffected Episcopalians in the U.S. Anglicans are now on the brink of schism, and attendance at next year's assembly, called the Lambeth Conference, has become a focus of the tension. Theological conservatives and liberals have separately threatened to boycott the meeting because of who was and wasn't invited.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Dec 12, 2007# Quickie Link: Pope's Message - Gay Weddings Threaten Peace
Religion (Vatican) - The annual message from the head of the Roman Catholic Church to the world has been unveiled. It is entitled The Human Family, A Community of Peace, and in it he calls for the dismantling of nuclear weapons and environmental co-operation and describes Gay marriage as "an obstacle on the road to peace." "Whoever, even unknowingly, circumvents the institution of the family undermines peace in the entire community, national and international, since he weakens what is in effect the primary agency of peace. This point merits special reflection: everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of a new life, everything that obstructs its right to be primarily responsible for the education of its children, constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace."
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Dec 11, 2007# Quickie Link: Cardinal Wants Gays Banned From Public Office
Religion (Latvia) - The leader of Latvia's Roman Catholics has called on political parties to ban Gays from seeking public office. As the country prepares to go to the polls to elect a new Parliament Cardinal Janis Pujats issued a letter demanding the three major parties pledge not to endorse the candidacy of anyone who is Gay and not to appoint anyone Gay to non-elected office. The letter tells party leaders they must be "ready to defend the Latvian nation against the invasion of homosexuality in public life," the Baltic News Service reported on Tuesday. Pujats later said that European laws barring discrimination against Gays "irrelevant" if they run counter to the morals of Latvia.
# Note: Read more on 365Gay.com

Dec 05, 2007# Quickie Link: Fight Homosexuality, Kolini Tells Churches
Religion (Rwanda) - Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini has called on churches in the East African region to fight against homosexuality for the 'good of the society.' The leader of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda insisted that Anglican churches in East Africa will not mingle with the homosexuals in the affairs of the church for the good of the community. "We are reformed Anglicans who want to adhere to the original creeds of the Bible, and that’s why our church has decided to ignore the 2008 Lambeth Conference because it has not done much to fight homosexuality in the communion," he said on Sunday. He was addressing a big congregation gathered for a three-day 'peace crusade' at Remera St. Peter’s Church. The crusade, which was organised by the Anglican Church of Rwanda, brought together Christians from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and hosts Rwanda.
# Note: Read more on New Times

Dec 04, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay Muslim Outs Himself to Muslim Scholars
Religion (South Africa) - Suhail AbualSameed looked calm, yet he was shaking inside. He was seated before a row of ulama, distinguished Islamic scholars, from Afghanistan to Yemen at the International Consultation on Islam and HIV/AIDS, organised by the charity, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), in Johannesburg, South Africa, last week. The previous day, several of them had denounced homosexuality as un-Islamic and evil. Today, AbualSameed had something to tell them. “As a Gay Muslim, I feel unsafe, unloved and unrespected in this space,” he said. “Were I to become HIV-positive, the first thing I would lose is my Muslim community. I couldn’t come to you guys for support.”
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Nov 25, 2007# Quickie Link: Ugandan Christian Clergy Wants Gays Be Imprisoned
Religion (Uganda) - The Uganda Joint Christian Council has condemned the Commonwealth for "attempting to forcefully impose homosexuality on developing nations." During anti-homosexuality inter-faith prayers at the Commonwealth Peoples Open Space on Friday, the council said the act constituted a threat to the unity of the bloc. Rev. Canon Grace Kaiso, the executive secretary of the council, said: “We are ready for CHOGM but we are not ready for homosexuality.”
# Note: Read more on New Vision

Nov 23, 2007# Quickie Link: Hate Preacher Sempa Heads Anti-Gay Protests in Uganda
Religion (Uganda) - Anti-Gay activists, under the "Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality," held a demonstration at Kololo Airstrip yesterday, asking the Government to spearhead the fight against homosexuality in Commonwealth countries. Pastor Martin Sempa, an anti-Gay activist said: “If Uganda is leading in the fight against HIV/AIDS, it should do the same to fight homosexuality.” He accused the organisers of the Commonwealth People’s Space at Hotel Africana, for secretly creating a platform for homosexual groups. Several participants waved placards and chanted slogans condemning homosexuality as an "unnatural sexual practice."
# Note: Read more on New Vision

Nov 22, 2007# Quickie Link: Quebec Cardinal Seeks Forgiveness For His Church
Religion (Canada) - Canada's senior Roman Catholic clergyman has issued an extraordinary mea culpa for a host of historical misdeeds. In an open letter to media, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec and Roman Catholic primate for Canada, wrote: "Errors have been committed that tarnished the church's image, and for which we must humbly ask forgiveness. "I recognize that the narrow attitudes of certain Catholics prior to the 1960s favoured anti-Semitism, racism, indifference towards the First Nations and discrimination in regards to women and homosexuals," he wrote. His unusual public sortie raised eyebrows among Catholics. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Quebec Assembly of Catholic Bishops quickly noted Ouellet was speaking for himself.
# Note: Read more on The Star

Nov 20, 2007# Quickie Link: C4 Cleared over Muslim Gay-Hate Documentary
Religion (UK) - The broadcasting watchdog has cleared Channel 4 over a documentary broadcast in January exposing homophobic preaching in UK mosques. The Dispatches programme portrayed a Birmingham mosque as a haven for extreme views. Today Ofcom ruled that Undercover Mosque had not misled viewers or offended Muslims. Undercover footage showed preacher Abu Usamah at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham calling for Gay people to be executed. "If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that's my freedom of speech, isn't it?" he told followers. A scene in the advertising for the documentary also showed a preacher calling for people to “take that homosexual and throw him off a mountain.”
# Note: Read more on Pink News

Nov 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Tutu Blasts Anglican Church for Gay 'Obsession'
Religion (South Africa) - Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu has slammed the church for being "obsessed" with homosexuality, in a BBC radio programme to be broadcast Tuesday. The South African 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, 76, said he felt ashamed of his church for its attitude towards Gays. He said the Anglican church had appeared "extraordinarily homophobic" during the row over whether the openly Gay priest Gene Robinson should be allowed to become the Bishop of New Hampshire. "If God as they say is homophobic I wouldn't worship that God."
# Note: Read more on AFP

Nov 16, 2007# Quickie Link: Hate Preacher Targets Microsoft over Gay Rights
Religion (USA) - A black conservative Christian pastor of an evangelical megachurch has vowed to take over Microsoft by packing it with new shareholders who will vote against the company's policy of championing Gay rights. The Reverend Ken Hutcherson, a former Dallas Cowboys linebacker, heads the Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, home of Microsoft. He told Microsoft executives at a shareholders' meeting last week that he would be their "worst nightmare" if they continued to defy him. An advocate of a "biblical stance" against divorce and homosexuality, Mr Hutcherson, 55, is asking millions of evangelical activists, as well as Orthodox Jewish and other allies, to buy up Microsoft shares and demand a return to traditional values.
# Note: Read more on Telegraph

Nov 15, 2007# Quickie Link: Watchmen on the Walls "Do not Hate Gays"
Religion (Latvia) - Watchmen on the Walls is not a hate group, Scott Lively declared during the group’s conference which opened yesterday in the Latvian capital. The anti-Gay American author of the notorious The Pink Swastika was introduced to delegates as “the prominent human rights activist and public figure”. Mr. Lively claimed to be speaking on behalf of the vast majority of people on earth. “We do not want to inflict evil on those who choose for themselves an immoral way of life – we do not feel hatred towards [Gays],” he said. “We want to save them – we are opposed to homosexual advocacy and other sexual perversion.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Nov 14, 2007# Quickie Link: School Slammed for Gay Slur
Religion (Sweden) - A school in Stockholm with a Christian profile has received a rap on the knuckles from school authorities for teaching children that homosexuality is sinful. The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) directed its criticism at the privately run Andreas Gymnasium School following a news item broadcast by SVT during the summer. Having heard the headmaster say that homosexual activity was sinful, the youth wing of RFSL - the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights - reported the school to the education agency.
# Note: Read more on The Lokal

Nov 07, 2007# Quickie Link: Anti-Gay Evangelical Leader Appointed to Human Rights Body
Religion (UK) - The appointment earlier this week of Rev. Joel Edwards, leader of the Evangelical Alliance, as a commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission will distort the concept of Human Rights and put Gay rights in danger, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association said last night. “Joel Edwards leads one of the most homophobic organisations in Britain,” GHALA chairman Jim Herrick said. “The Evangelical Alliance is an umbrella group that shelters some of the most extreme anti-Gay groups and churches in the country. “How does the Government imagine that this man can participate in decisions about the rights of Gay people in a fair and balanced way when he believes that we are all sinners who should live without sexual expression,” Mr. Herrick asked.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Nov 07, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay Muslims Find Freedom, of a Sort, in the U.S.
Religion (USA) - About 15 people marched alongside the Muslim float in this city’s notoriously fleshy Gay Pride Parade earlier this year, with various men carrying the flags of Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Turkey and even Iran’s old imperial banner. While other floats featured men dancing in leather Speedos or women with scant duct tape over their nipples, many Muslims were disguised behind big sunglasses, fezzes or kaffiyehs wrapped around their heads. Even as they reveled in newfound freedom compared with the Muslim world, they remained closeted, worried about being ostracized at the mosque or at their local falafel stand.
# Note: Read more on NY Times

Nov 05, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay Rabby Struggles To Re-Interpret Bible
Religion (USA) - With a bit of characterization and Jewish witticism, Rabbi Steven Greenberg made his point clear: You shouldn't use the Bible to pass judgment on others. He wasn't saying that the Bible is not the revealed word of God. But according to Jewish tradition, he said, God gave that word to man and entrusted him to decipher it. He acknowledges that his most thorny opponent is the admonishment of Leviticus 18:22: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is detestable." But, he said, what is expressed today as lying with a man is not what the Bible was talking about. What Leviticus is describing are acts of violence meant to humiliate another man, Greenberg said.
# Note: Read more on Columbus Dispatch

Oct 31, 2007# Quickie Link: Kansas Church Liable in Marine Funeral Protest
Religion (USA) - The brokenhearted father of a Marine killed in Iraq won a long-shot legal fight today after a federal jury in Baltimore awarded him nearly $11 million in a verdict against members of a Kansas church who hoisted anti-Gay placards at his son's Westminster funeral. The jury's announcement 24 hours after deliberations first began was met with tears and hugs from the family and supporters of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose March 2006 funeral was protested by members of the Westboro Baptist Church with signs including "Thank God for dead soldiers." Snyder's father, Albert, won on every count of his complaint, as well as $2.9 million for compensatory damages and $8 million for punitive damages.
# Note: Read more on Baltimore Sun

Oct 31, 2007# Quickie Link: Methodist Transgender Minister May Stay
Religion (USA) - A council of the United Methodist Church has decided to allow a Transgender minister to retain his job, but it stopped short of addressing whether a change of gender violates the denomination's rules. At a session over the weekend in San Francisco, the United Methodist Judicial Council considered whether to remove the Rev. Drew Phoenix from his post. The council allowed Phoenix to stay on the job, referring to a church policy stating that a clergyperson in good standing can't be terminated unless there has been administrative or judicial action, according to the ruling, posted on the church's Web site. "The adjective placed in front of the noun 'clergyperson' does not matter," the council ruled. "What matters is that clergypersons, once ordained and admitted to membership in full connection, cannot have that standing changed without being accorded fair process."
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Oct 30, 2007# Quickie Link: Thinktank Accuses Saudi Regime over Hate Literature
Religion (UK) - The controversial state visit of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, which got under way today with a lavish ceremony, has prompted new criticism over his regime's alleged role in distributing hate literature in British mosques. The Policy Exchange thinktank found extremist literature in a quarter of the 100 mosques and Islamic institutions it visited, including London Central Mosque in Regent's Park, which is funded by Saudi Arabia. Some of the literature advocated violent jihad, murdering Gay people and stoning adulterers, its researchers found.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Oct 28, 2007# Quickie Link: Catholics Call for Amendment Banning Gay Marriage
Religion (USA) - Iowa's Catholic dioceses are calling for a constitutional amendment to ban Gay marriage. The Iowa Catholic Conference Board is the latest group to oppose a Polk County judge's ruling that struck down a state law banning same-sex marriage. Some state lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Chris Rants of Sioux City also say they favor passing an amendment to ban Gay marriage. Judge Robert Hansen has stayed his ruling in August while it's under appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.
# Note: Read more on whotv.com

Oct 27, 2007# Quickie Link: Anti Gay Church Protests ILGA-Europe Conference in Vilnius
Religion (Lithuania) - Last weekend, the Latvia-based Russia-speaking New Generation Church staged a conference near Seattle under the guise of its off-shoot Watchmen on the Walls. This weekend, the New Generation Church’s Lithuanian branch took to the streets to protest the International Lesbian and Gay Association Europe annual conference in Vilnius. Yesterday, the small band of the church’s supporters gathered outside the ILGA-Europe conference venue to protest what they called “propaganda of homosexuality”. “While the participants were brainstorming and conducting discussions at the morning workshops, nine protesters gathered outside the conference venue,” said Juris Lavrikovs, communications officer at ILGA-Europe
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Oct 21, 2007# Quickie Link: "Watchmen" meet amid protesters
Religion (USA) - It wasn't all peace, love and understanding, but there were no clashes Saturday between Christian conservatives meeting in Lynnwood and protesters who accused them of promoting hate against Gay people. About 150 protesters gathered outside the Lynnwood Convention Center and waved signs such as "More love, less hate" and "Real men find Jesus sexy."
# Note: Read more on Seattle Times

Oct 19, 2007# Quickie Link: Virulent Anti-Gay Group Comes to Town
Religion (USA) - An international coalition of fiercely homophobic religious leaders, calling themselves Watchmen on the Walls — whose followers are largely Eastern European conservative evangelicals — will converge on the Lynnwood Convention Center on October 19 through 21. While members of Watchmen on the Walls — whose name is a reference to the rebuilding of a ruined Jerusalem in the Old Testament— have not been directly linked to any violent acts against Gays, their repeated rhetoric of a "war" against homosexuality, and their refusal to condemn attacks on homosexuals, has led to concern and confusion over how they're suddenly popping up in Seattle's backyard.
# Note: Read more on The Stranger

Oct 16, 2007# Quickie Link: Protests May Greet Religious Gathering
Religion (USA) - An anti-Gay religious group planning a three-day meeting at the Lynnwood Convention Center beginning Friday likely will be met by protests. People from churches and Gay and Lesbian groups are speaking out against the proposed meeting of Watchmen on the Walls, an organization identified by national watchdog groups as "virulently anti-Gay." Watchmen on the Walls, a group founded by a Latvian minister that includes mainly Russian-speaking members, is building a reputation for being an "unbelievably virulent anti-Gay organization," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a US organization that fights hate groups.
# Note: Read more on Herald Net

Oct 15, 2007# Quickie Link: Mufti Wants Gays Abandoned on Islands
Religion (Uganda) - The Mufti, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje wants Gays marooned on an island in Lake Victoria until they die. Sheikh Mubajje told journalists on Friday at Old Kampala Mosque that he sold his proposal to President Yoweri Museveni when they met last week at Hotel Africana. "I asked President Museveni to get us an island on Lake Victoria and we take these homosexuals and they die out there," Sheikh Mubajje said during a press briefing after Idd el Fitr prayers. "If they [Gays] die there then we shall have no more homosexuals in the country." The Mufti's statement correlates with recent plans by the Muslim Tabliq youth to form what they called an 'Anti-Gay Squad to fight homosexuality in the country.
# Note: Read more on Monitor

Oct 14, 2007# Quickie Link: Top 'Gay' Vatican Official Suspended After TV Interview
Religion (Vatican) - The Vatican has confirmed local newspaper reports that a high-ranking Catholic priest has been suspended. The man, who works in the department in charge of clergy around the world, appeared on Italian TV earlier this month admitting that he was gay. The prelate had been suspended pending further investigation, said Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombari. He says he was interviewed "fraudulently" with a hidden camera and now denies his earlier statement. In a letter published in an Italian online newspaper, Petrus, he writes: "I said I was homosexual in order to unmask those who really are."
# Note: Read more on BBC

Oct 11, 2007# Quickie Link: Thoughts on Criminalization of Hate Speech -- By Johann Hari
Religion If Gay people demand laws that protect us from "incitement to hatred", it's hard to object when religious people demand and receive similar group rights for themselves. Yet these parallel protections have been a disaster for Gay people. The major Western religions are all based on pre-modern hallucinatory "Holy Books" which contain calls to kill Gay people. But the legal framework protecting religion makes it increasingly difficult to call these the poisonous, repellent works of fiction that they are. I hate these texts. I call on others to hate these texts. Yes, I "incite" them to do so. Under the existing law, that is a crime. Gay people should be seeking to repeal that law – not extend it to ourselves.
# Note: Read more on Independent

Oct 08, 2007# News: Council of Europe Must Distance Itself from Patriarch Alexy
Religion (EU) - ILGA-Europe is very concerned that the Council of Europe has allowed itself to be used as a platform for an attack on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia. Responding to a question following an address to the Parliamentary Assembly on 2nd October, the Christian fundamentalist leader justified his opposition to the Moscow Gay pride march on the basis that it was "propaganda for sin". Homosexuality was "an illness and a distortion of the human personality" comparable to kleptomania. His comments were met with applause by many of the Assembly members present, although some walked out in protest.
# Read more...

Oct 06, 2007# Quickie Link: Fundamentalist Christians Threaten Gays in USA
Religion (USA) - In recent months, as energetic Russian-speaking "Russian Baptists" and Pentecostals in these states have organized to bring thousands to anti-Gay protests, Gay rights activists in Sacramento have picketed Slavic anti-Gay churches, requested more police patrols in Gay neighborhoods and distributed information cards warning Gays and Lesbians about the hostile Slavic evangelicals who they say have roughed up participants at Gay pride events. Singh's death was the realization of their worst fears. "After a couple years of fundamentalist and Slavic Christian virulent anti-Gay protests at almost every Sacramento Gay event in the region," said local Gay rights activist Michael Gorman, "what the Gay community has feared for some time has finally happened."
# Note: Read more on AlterNet

Oct 04, 2007# Quickie Link: EU Parliamentarians Condemn Russian Patriarch
Religion (EU) - Former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and several dozen other European parliamentarians protested Thursday comments by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church assailing Gay people. In an address to the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly earlier this week, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II branded homosexuality an "illness" and attacked what he called "homosexual propaganda" influencing young people. Parliamentarians from all major political groups in the assembly said a dialogue between cultures and religions must be based on mutual respect and tolerance.
# Note: Read more on International Herald Tribune

Oct 02, 2007# Quickie Link: Russian Patriarch Assaults Gays Before PACE
Religion (Russia) - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexiy II said on Tuesday European civilisation was "threatened by a divorce of human rights from Christian ethics that opened the way to immoral behaviour". Talking at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe at the start of a visit to France, he told a questioner after his speech he had compassion for homosexuals, but Gay sex was a sin and Gay parades were "propaganda for homosexuality". Alexiy's speech echoed similar "defences of Christianity" in Europe by Roman Catholicism's Pope Benedict. The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest in Orthodox Christianity, which claims about 220 million followers. The Vatican, representing 1.1 billion Catholics, wants to work more closely with it to impose Christianity on Europe.
# Note: Read more on Reuters

Sep 28, 2007# Quickie Link: Christian Activists in the Bahamas Oppose Gay Channel LOGO
Religion (Bahamas) - This week, Gay activists in the Bahamas meet with powerful social conservative groups to resolve the latest wedge issue between Gays and the Church: The proposed inclusion of the Gay-themed LOGO network to the Cable Bahamas channel lineup. Bishop John Humes of the Bahamas Christian Council claims the island's cable provider is being forced to participate in the vast, so-called "Gay-agenda." Erin Greene, the president of the LGBT activist group Rainbow Alliance, says the Council's logic is "ridiculous" and if churches genuinely believed a Gay-themed channel "promoted homosexuality in the country, then we need to cut off every network channel that runs a show about cops and robbers." Cable Bahamas offers at least ten adult channels and their inclusion was never opposed by the Christian Council.
# Note: RODONLINE

Sep 26, 2007# Quickie Link: US Anglican Bishops Surrender to the Anti-Gay Lobby
Religion (USA) - The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) in the UK has expressed "disappointment" at the compromise on the Anglican gay row agreed by the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church in the United States - saying it will not halt division or stop the ministry of LGBT people. After nearly a full day of deliberations, the Episcopal House of Bishops agreed overwhelmingly by voice vote to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion." They also pledged not to authorize public rites for same-gender blessings "until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action."
# Note: Read more on Ekklesia

Sep 23, 2007# Editorial: Anglican Split And Consequences For Gays
Religion (USA) - Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola is visiting the US congregations, and Gay rights activists do good to let him know he is not welcome. Some 30 protesters expressed their anger outside the Wheaton College chapel, where Akinola was spreading his hateful insights to a willing auditory of several hundred Christian believers. The protesters, who were mostly Christians themselves, accused Akinola of attempts to lure singular Anglican churches away from the official US congregation.
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Sep 19, 2007# Quickie Link: Anti-Gay Drive in Anglican Churches
Religion (USA) - In increasingly bizarre moves, African archbishops in Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya have been busily appointing American conservatives mainly men who have previously failed to secure election to American dioceses to African bishoprics in recent weeks ostensibly to minister to disaffected Africans and Americans back in US churches. There are now nearly as many American bishops belonging to the Rwandan church as Rwandans. The Anglican communion is nominally headed by Rowan Williams, a theologian who has previously spoken in favour of a more receptive attitude towards Gays. He is distrusted by some conservatives and despised by liberals who feel he has betrayed them.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Sep 10, 2007# News: US Homophobe Scott Lively Tours Russia
Religion (Russia) - Scott Lively, president of "Defend the Family," arrived in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk today. Lively will speak in the Sverdlovsky Palace of Culture in Krasnoyarsk on September 13, presumably promoting his anti-Gay bias to a willing auditory. Lively is author of the pseudo-historian book "The Pink Swastika," which is suggesting that homosexuals are the ones to be blamed for the Nazi regime in Germany. In Krasnoyarsk Lively, who was referred by the Russian media as an “American human rights activist” representing a “human rights organization,” will keep a few lectures for students, probably on applied homophobia. He himself reportedly intends "to inform young people about real reasons of homosexuality" and the results of “medical research” in this field.
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Sep 09, 2007# Quickie Link: 'We Will Not Indulge Gays'
Religion (Zimbabwe) - The Anglican church in Zimbabwe on Saturday said it will not "stand with homosexuals" at a synod of four southern African Anglican churches in Malawi which is set to revive the issue of gay clerics. Referring to a diocesan act, a cleric at Harare diocese told AFP that three of the four dioceses in Zimbabwe had "unanimously agreed" to sever ties with dioceses in the Central African province which were in favour of homosexuals. According to the diocesan act, the Zimbabwe church will "dissociate and sever relationship with any individual, group of people, organisation, institution, diocese, province or people who indulge in or sympathise or compromises with homosexuality".
# Note: Read more on News24.com

Sep 08, 2007# Editorial: The Freedom to Hate
Religion Officials of the Church of England have staged a campaign against a proposed legislation. All because the British government is intended to introduce new anti-discrimination laws to protect individuals from humiliation and hostilities. The clergymen are telling us now they are in fear that Christians could be sued under the proposed legislation -- for hatred and harassment of Gays. Why on earth should an assumingly loving and tolerant religion be afraid of implementation of laws against hatred and harassment?
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Sep 07, 2007# News: Gay Christians Condemn Anti-Gay Nigerian Bishop Orama
Religion (UK) - The report by the News Agency of Nigeria quotes Bishop Orama of Uyo as saying that persons involved in same sex behaviour "are insane, satanic and are not fit to live." It is known that "Life unworthy of life" is the phrase used by the Nazis to describe various "deviants", among them homosexuals. If the quotation is not an accurate record of what the bishop said, then Changing Attitude Nigeria and England call upon the Venerable AkinTunde Popoola, the Director of Communications for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to issue a statement immediately clarifying what the bishop said or correcting the report.
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Sep 05, 2007# News: Anglican Bishop Attacks Gay People
Religion (Nigeria) - The Anglican Bishop of Uyo, Nigeria, Isaac Orama, has publicly assaulted the "activities of homosexuals and Lesbians", and described those engaged in them as "insane people''. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) given on 2 September 2007 he said: "Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God's purpose for man." The statement revealed the criminal nature of the policy of Churh of Nigeria to dehumanize and demonize Gay people and instigate hatred and violence against them.
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Sep 04, 2007# Quickie Link: Mexican Church Attempts to Lure Gays into Celibacy
Religion (Mexico) - Catholic Church and its various organizations are attempting to lure Gay people into religious trap by telling they "love" the homosexuals and are ready to "assist" them. In Mexica, a homophobic catholic group "Courage" is launching programs for Gay individuals to convert them into celibacy. Heber Sosa Beltran, who leads an organization that combats sexual violence in Leon, recejts the move: "The idea behind these types of retreats is to change a person's sexual orientation through the will of force. We do not suffer because we are homosexuals, we suffer due to rejection from our loved ones, friends, family members." He stated that the practice of one's sexuality was a human right and that it was wrong for anyone to connect homosexuality to a host of social problems.
# Note: Read more on Blabbeando

Sep 03, 2007# Quickie Link: Anti-Gay Fundamentalists Annoy Fellow Christians
Religion (USA) - A fundamentalist Christian group is regularly interrupting services of a baptist church which deems itself Gay-friendly. Initially the group - whose members wore T-shirts with the words "homosexuality is a sin" - remained on the sidewalk in front of the church, said Pastor Kathy Hurt. But on two occasions, their members attended the service, she said. On one of those occasions in late July, one of their members, who identified himself as a pastor, made remarks condemning homosexuality as anti-Christian during the "joys and concerns" part of the service.
# Note: Read more on Granvillesentinel

Sep 02, 2007# Quickie Link: African Churches Welcome US Homophobes
Religion (Kenia) - Bernard Nzimbi, head of the Anglican Church in Kenya, entrenched his anti-gay position by consecrating Anglican clerics Bill Atwood and Bill Murdoch as bishops last Thursday in Kenya. Atwood and Murdoch, from the United States, oppose gay unions, which have been authorised by certain Anglican dioceses in North America. Trevor Mwamba, the Anglican bishop of Botswana, described the decisions by Nzimba and others to consecrate clergymen from the US as “highly regrettable” as it violated the “ancient principle of provincial autonomy by intervening in dioceses and provinces other than their own”. Mwamba likened such actions to “pouring fuel on a fire” and called for “space to cool down”.
# Note: Read more on Mal & Guardian

Sep 01, 2007# News: Singapore Bans Speech by Gay Priest Rev. Troy Perry
Religion (Singapore) - Gay activist Rev. Troy Perry of the Metropolitan Community Church was banned from public speaking engagements in Singapore. "I've had enough experiences for three lifetimes," said Perry, "but this was the first time an entire country banned me from public speaking. I was allowed to enter the country and told that I could speak one-on-one with individuals, but I was banned from delivering my public speech." Perry was scheduled to deliver a speech, "Metropolitan Community Churches and the Gay Christian Witness" before a coalition of LGBT rights and LGBT pride groups.
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Aug 24, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson Takes a Stand
Religion (USA) - The Anglican Communion’s only openly gay bishop, the Rt Revd Gene Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire, will use a BBC broadcast next week to undermine the Communion’s carefully crafted compromise that distinguishes between homosexual orientation and practice. The Bishop says that the distinction is dishonest. He will also accuse his African critics of being like old-style US racists in their attack on lesbians and gays. He takes issue with “people who would say its OK to be gay as long as you don’t practise it. First, I would question the honesty of their statement that it is OK to be gay in their eyes, because their other actions do not indicate that to me. Second of all, very few people are called to celibacy, certainly not a whole category of people.”
# Note: Read full article on Church Times

Aug 22, 2007# News: Warning of New 'Ex-Gay' Pseudo-Scientific "Study"
Religion (USA) -Truth Wins Out issued a warning that a biased new politically motivated "ex-Gay" sham study will reportedly surface later this year. A controversial "researcher" at a right wing religious university will release it and the goal of the study, known as "The Thomas Project," is to show that ex-gay therapy is often successful. An early report by the website Ex-Gay Watch indicates that the research likely consists of calling handpicked ex-Gay lobbyists and ministry leaders on the telephone and asking if they had "changed." There is no indication that key physical measures or tests were included, such as a "No Lie MRI," which is a scientific truth-detecting brain scan.
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Aug 21, 2007# Quickie Link: Christian Groups Hold Anti-Gay Protest in Uganda
Religion (Uganda) - Christian groups in Uganda held a protest rally on Tuesday against what they called an orchestrated promotion of Gays and Lesbians in the country. Police denied the demonstrators from the "Inter-faith Coalition against Homosexuality" permission to march through the capital Kampala for security reasons. Gathered on a rugby field outside the east African nation's capital Kampala, the roughly 100 anti-Gay activists displayed dozens of placards calling for the arrest of Gays and Lesbians. "We are fighting against the fresh campaign for homosexuality and lesbianism in this country," said organiser and pastor Martin Sempa. "Homosexuality and lesbianism break three laws; the laws in the Bible and the Koran, the laws of nature and the laws of the land, the Ugandan Constitution." Ugandan law punishes homosexuality with life imprisonment.
# Note: Read full article on Reuters

Aug 19, 2007# Quickie Link: God, Gays, Plugs and Sockets -- By Daphne Caruana Galizia
Religion In the correspondence pages of another newspaper, a debate is going on about whether God loves gays and whether homosexuality is ‘allowed’ (apparently, it isn’t). I suppose they are the sort of people who have never recovered from the decriminalisation of sexual acts between people of the same gender. While they might not actually approve of the execution of homosexuals in Iran, they sympathise with the spirit of that thinking. Whip away the moral framework of Catholic teaching, and these people founder. Without clear instructions from their books of doctrine, they don’t know the difference between wrong and right. They have no parameters for decent behaviour. The teaching of morality within an exclusively religious context is one of the main reasons why so many people here are sleazy, untrustworthy, prone to sharp behaviour which they interpret as cleverness, disloyal, corrupt, and generally lacking those qualities which an older generation describes as irgulija. When they drop their religion, or more precisely their religious fear of divine retribution, they are unconfined by any standards of behaviour.
# Note: Read full article on The Malta Independent

Aug 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Homophobes Intrude Worship Services
Religion (USA) - A homophobic "Christian" group has been disturbing services at two central Ohio churches to protest their support for Gays. The group started its crusade when First Baptist Church in Granville hosted "Love Makes a Family," a traveling exhibit by the Family Diversity Project showing photos of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families. The night the exhibit opened in July, members of Minutemen United stood outside and protested the exhibit and the church's open attitude toward Gays, said the Rev. Kathy Hurt, senior pastor at the Granville church. Hurt said a man, who introduced himself as a minister from the New Beginnings Church in Warsaw, Ohio, started to give a sermon about how the church was acting against God's word by accepting Gays.
# Note: Read full article on Columbus Dispatch

Aug 16, 2007# News: Church Reached New Low Point On Basic Human Decency
Religion (USA) - Truth Wins Out expressed outrage on August 13 over a Texas Church that reneged on a promise to hold a memorial service for a Navy veteran once it learned he was Gay. "This is not a church, but a 'hate house' that has elevated prejudice above principle and discrimination above basic human decency," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen, who is of the opinion that High Point Church's pastor, Rev. Gary Simons, should immediately resign for gross insensitivity of a family in mourning, substituting bad manners for good morals and a dereliction of duty for failing to provide basic pastoral care.
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Aug 16, 2007# Quickie Link: Extremists Blamed for 'Gay Jesus' Attack
Religion (Sweden) - Fingers were being pointed at religious extremists on Sunday after a fight outside an exhibition that portrays Jesus as gay. The Ecce Homo photo exhibition, by Swedish artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin, has been causing controversy ever since it was first unveiled a decade ago. In Jönköping on Sunday, protests against the exhibition turned violent. A group of young thugs tried to set fire to a poster on the wall of Jönköping Kulturhuset, where the exhibition was being held. When staff tried to stop them a fight broke out. Tony el Zouki, chairman of Kulturhuset, said around 30 people were involved in the fracas. The attempt to vandalize the exhibition appeared to have religious motivations, he said.
# Note: Read full article on The Local

Aug 13, 2007# Quickie Link: UK Laws Protect Gay School Director From Catholic Church
Religion (UK) - The Archdiocese of Liverpool has been unable to take action against Charles Coyne, the head of St Cecilia's primary school, who has registered a partnership with Richard Jones, who is believed to work at a nearby school. Lawyers advised the Catholic Church that it cannot fire a Catholic headmaster who has entered a civil partnership. Local Catholics and other homophobic campaigners have urged the authorities to take action over the "scandal". One bishop, the Rt Rev John Jukes, said that it was possible for male friends to share a house together without breaching Catholic moral teaching. The UK laws protect Gay employees from firing by homophobic employers.
# Note: Read full article on Telegraph

Aug 13, 2007# News: Malaysia's Government Dislikes MCC Plans
Religion (Malaysia) - Malaysia will prevent realization of a plan to establish a first Metropolitain Community Church in the moslem-majourity country, a government minister said today. Reverend Ouyang Wen Feng, the country's first and only openly gay pastor ordained in the US, said he wanted to set up the church by 2010 and caused an outrage in the homophobic Christians and Moslem communities. Adnan Tengku Mansor, Malayia’s Tourism Minister told AFP that the country had always sought to portray itself as a "family-oriented" holiday destination and thus the government would block the plan.
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Aug 12, 2007# Quickie Link: Baptists "Embrace" Gays For Conversion
Religion (USA) - There is a growing number of ministries that seek to turn Gays into "ex-Gays." One such ministry is the mission of Bob Stith, the Texas pastor who this summer became the Southern Baptist Convention's first US strategist for gender issues. Rather than condemn those who "struggle with same-sex attraction," Stith wants churches to welcome Gays in and then work with them to change their sexual orientation. For him, ex-gay ministries are a compassionate middle ground between accepting the gay lifestyle wholeheartedly and rejecting Gays entirely.
# Note: Read full article on Tennessean

Aug 10, 2007# Quickie Link: MCC Pastor Sparks Uproar among Fellow "Christians"
Religion (Malaysia) - A controversy has erupted among the "Christian" community over what they claim is an attempt by a self-confessed gay pastor to set up a church here. For the past week, protest e-mail and SMSes have been sent to Rev Ou Yang Wen Feng, a Malaysian pastor who serves at the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in New York. He has been back here for about a week. According to the MCC homepage, the church is part of an international movement of Christian churches reaching out to all, including homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals. Ou Yang, 37, has drawn much flak from Christians for his plan to hold a Sunday service at a hotel this week. He came out of the closet about his homosexuality last year and is said to be the first pastor in Malaysia to do so.
# Note: Read full article on The Star

Aug 09, 2007# Quickie Link: Lawyers grill top Mexico cardinal in abuse case
Religion (Mexico) - Mexico's top clergyman, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, was questioned by US lawyers on Wednesday in a child sex abuse case that is a new blow to the Roman Catholic Church in its second-largest stronghold. The lawyers met Rivera at the capital's archdiocese building to ask about charges in a US civil case that he colluded with Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony to protect a Mexican priest wanted for multiple child rapes. Abuse scandals have rocked the Catholic Church around the world recently and the Los Angeles diocese this year agreed to pay $US660 million ($NZ877.30 million) settlement.
# Note: Read story at stuff.co.nz

Aug 08, 2007# Quickie Link: Opus Dei Agitated by Spanish Artistic Festival
Religion (Spain) - A Catholic group has reportedly triggered an investigation by the District Attorney´s office in relation to one of the artistic creations exhibited within the context of the artistic festival TransMarikaBollo (TransFagDyke) in Barcelona in September 2006, on grounds its its supposed offense to religious sentiments. The group Front D´Alliberament Gai de Catalunya considers this accusation to represent an assault against the right of freedom of expression and a threat to artistic and cultural creation and is protesting the investigation.
# Note: Read full article on Spartakus

Jul 28, 2007# Quickie Link: Without Gay Priests Church Would Be Lost Claims Bishop Gene
Religion (Canada) - The openly gay bishop whose ordination sparked the crisis in the Anglican Communion has claimed the Church of England would be close to shutting down if it was forced to manage without its gay clergy. He said many of the English church's clergy lived openly in their rectories with gay partners, with the full knowledge of their bishops. But he criticised the stance of bishops who threaten the clergy with emnity should their relationships become public. Speaking in an interview in London, Bishop Gene said: "I have met so many gay partnered clergy here and it is so troubling to hear them tell me that their bishop comes to their house for dinner, knows fully about their relationship, is wonderfully supportive but has also said if this ever becomes public then I’m your worst enemy."
# Note: Read full article on Times Online

Jul 17, 2007# Quickie Link: Blind At The Holy See
Religion (USA) - In the wake of sex scandals involving children, the Roman Catholic Church should either change its mores or close its doors. Since 1950, the United States arm of the church has paid an astounding $2 billion to settle claims of childhood sexual abuse. Yes, that is billions with a capital "B" that could have gone towards raising orphans, housing the homeless and feeding the "foodless." Instead, the church has had to reach deep inside its pockets, because some priests can't keep their hands out of the pants of others. About a quarter of the fortune paid to the unfortunate victims has come from the Los Angeles archdiocese. Its leader, Cardinal Roger Mahony, apologized Sunday to the hundreds of abused who will be compensated, as if you can put a price on the church's vice.
# Note: Read full article on Wayne Besen

Jul 14, 2007# Quickie Link: MCC Opens Doors in Worcester
Religion (UK) - A Metropolitan Community Church has been set up in Worcester - the first in the city's history. The church, based at the Friends Meeting House in Sansome Place, Worcester, is for gay people to celebrate both their faith and sexuality, says the minister who will lead the services. The church has been set up by the Birmingham-based Journey Metropolitan Community Church to serve the "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered" Christians of the two counties. Rev Chris Dowd, an Australian who came to the UK 12 years ago and who is leading the services, said: "It's appalling that there simply isn't a place where openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people can come to church and be accepted for who they are. For a substantial number of gay and lesbian people spirituality is very important."
# Note: Read full article on www.worcesternews.co.uk

Jul 05, 2007# Quickie Link: African Bishops Ready to Boycott Conference over Gay Clergy
Religion (Nigeria) - The head of the Anglican Church in Nigeria says that his 120-plus bishops will boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference unless the US Church halts its liberal agenda. The Archbishop’s stance has been condemned by lesbian and gay activists, who say that he is putting their lives at risk. Davis MacIyalla, director of the Anglican gay lobby group Changing Attitude Nigeria, said: “Archbishop Akinola is exposing gays and lesbians in Nigeria to danger.” Speaking to The Advocate, he said: “He’s constantly saying that homosexuality is evil, thereby making some people take the law into their hands.”
# Note: Read full article on Times Online

Jul 04, 2007# Quickie Link: The Pious Publishers Are Already In Heaven
Religion (USA) - Charlene Cothran (Venus magazine) and Michael Glatze (Young Gay America magazine editor) were gay niche publishers who discovered that peddling fiction is much juicer (and potentially more profitable) than selling straight news on gay life. The newly minted “ex-gay” stars tell us they have seen the light. Interestingly, both Cothran and Glatze found God and renounced homosexuality shortly after they split up from what they once considered their spouses. Instead of checking out potential new dates, Cothran and Glatze simply checked out, found Jesus, and blamed their personal failures on homosexuality. Unfortunately, the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality for ex-gays – it is a lifetime of loneliness, despair and celibacy.
# Note: Read full article on TruthWinsOut

Jul 03, 2007# Quickie Link: Michael Glatze Falls Prey to Ex-Gay Indoctrination
Religion (USA) - An award-winning gay journalist and activist as announced he is now an ex-gay. Michael Glatze founded the Young Gay America magazine and received awards such as the National Role Model Award from leading homosexual rights organisation Equality Forum. He also produced a well-received documentary film on suicides of gay teenagers in the US. Today Mr Glatze used the WorldNetDaily website to announce that he is no longer gay. Mr. Glatze, who came out at the age of 20, claims that he now trusts in Jesus Christ and that it was God who gave him "the strength to free himself of his homosexual desires."
# Note: Read full article on Pink News

Jul 01, 2007# Quickie Link: Bishop Accuses Gays of Causing Floods in UK
Religion (UK) - The floods that have devastated swathes of the country are God's judgment on the immorality and greed of modern society, according to senior Church of England bishops. One diocesan bishop has even claimed that laws that have undermined marriage, including the introduction of pro-gay legislation, have provoked God to act by sending the storms that have left thousands of people homeless. While those who have been affected by the storms are innocent victims, the bishops argue controversially that the flooding is a result of Western civilisation's decision to ignore biblical teaching. The Rt Rev Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle, argued that the floods are not just a result of a lack of respect for the planet, but also a judgment on society's moral decadence.
# Note: Read full article on Telegraph

Jun 29, 2007# Quickie Link: Metropolitan Community Church Honors Human Rights Watch
Religion (New York) - The Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) - a fellowship of Christian churches with a special ministry to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - will present its triennial Human Rights Award to Human Rights Watch on July 4. The award recognizes Human Rights Watch's groundbreaking work defending LGBT people worldwide from violence, discrimination, and abuse. Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Church is the largest and oldest worldwide Christian denomination with a special affirming ministry to LGBT people and communities.
# Note: Read full article on Reuters

Jun 28, 2007# Quickie Link: Three Former Leaders of Ex-Gay Ministry Apologize
Religion (USA) - Three former leaders of Exodus International, often described as the US largest ex-gay ministry, publicly apologized Wednesday for the harm they said their efforts had caused many gays and lesbians who believed the group's message that sexual orientation could be changed through prayer. Speaking at a Hollywood news conference, the former leaders of the interdenominational Christian organization said they had acted sincerely in their years of work with Exodus. But they said they had all, over time, become disillusioned with the group's ideas and concerned about what they described as the wrenching human toll of such gay conversion efforts.
# Note: Read full article on LA Times

Jun 26, 2007# Quickie Link: Iraq's descent into barbarism
Religion (UK/Iraque) - For ordinary Iraqis, everyday life is now worse than under Saddam Hussein. Talking with Tatchell features Ali Hili, Iraqi human rights activist. For ordinary Iraqis, everyday life is now worse than under Saddam Hussein. The country is blighted by sectarian violence. Suicide bombings, assassinations and death squad killings are daily occurrences. Many of the killers are linked to leading parties in the western-backed Iraqi government, and are aided by Iran.
# Note: Watch on doughty.gdbtv.com, read on UK Gay News

Jun 21, 2007# Quickie Link: Shas MK Proposes 'Rehab Centers' For Gays
Religion (Israel) - Shas Knesset Member Nissim Ze'ev on Thursday proposed establishing "rehabilitation centers" to suppress the sexual tendencies of gay people. “The government should initiate this; these people are dangerous and we must keep an eye on them,” he said as the High Court discussed whether to cancel the Jerusalem gay pride parade due to the firefighters' slow-down strike. “If such a center is built, many of them will flock to it in order to help themselves." Apart from the suggestion to set up the "rehabilitation centers", Ze'ev said he would submit a bill that would ban gay sexual relations if he thought the Knesset would approve it. According to him, those who would break the law would be obligated to a two-year “rehabilitation period”.
# Note: Read full article on www.ynetnews.com

Jun 20, 2007# Quickie Link: Haredi Leaders Want Protests To Stop
Religion (Jerusalem, Israel) - In a serious blow to the anti-gay pride parade campaign, leading haredi rabbis and yeshiva heads, appalled at the property damage and violence perpetrated by religious zealots in recent days, prohibited their followers on Tuesday from holding any more street demonstrations. An announcement on the front page of Yated Ne'eman, a haredi daily and the mouthpiece of Lithuanian haredi rabbinic leadership in Israel, warned yeshiva students not to take part in the demonstrations. "We don't want our yeshiva students to get the wrong idea that the Torah permits the destruction of property" said Rabbi Nahum Eisenstein.
# Note: Read full article on Jerusalem Post

Jun 19, 2007# Quickie Link: ‘Witch-Hunt’ To Expose Catholic Gay Clergy
Religion (UK) - Patricia McKeever, a 58-year-old former secondary school teacher has co-ordinated a relentless campaign to name and shame gay Roman Catholic priests. Her newsletter , Catholic Truth, has so far confronted up to a dozen priests about their alleged homosexuality and has named at least four as being gay or allegedly associating with gay men. It claims to have privately challenged several more priests after receiving information that they attended a gay bar in Glasgow and has also, it says, confronted a seminarian, a prospective seminarian and a Catholic school teacher.
# Note: Read full article on Times Online

Jun 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Pastor Seeks Unity With Gay Pride Event
Religion (USA) - The Rev. Keith Mozingo was surprised when he moved to Baton Rouge earlier this year from Los Angeles to take over as pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Baton Rouge, which is part of an international fellowship of churches that cater to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Baton Rouge is not considered a “gay mecca,” he joked on a recent weekday morning in his office at the church on Tom Drive. “And Baton Rouge is indeed a conservative town, but I think it’s a lot more progressive than it realizes,” said Mozingo, a North Carolina native. “There are small groups (of gays and lesbians) who are regularly getting together to socialize, but there’s no unity,” he said. It’s unity he’s hoping to achieve with a Show Your PRIDE Baton Rouge gay-pride celebration on Saturday and Sunday.
# Note: Read full article on www.2theadvocate.com

Jun 17, 2007# Ex-Gay Or Just Exploited?
Religion (USA) - Dueling conferences this month in Irvine explore whether homosexuals can go straight. The annual Exodus "Freedom Conference" expects to attract about 1,000 men, women, children, parents and spouses affected by homosexuality at Concordia University June 26 to July 1. A bike ride away, at UC Irvine, co-sponsored by the university, is scheduled "The Survivor's Conference: Beyond Ex-gay." The American Psychiatric Association reported that the "potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient."
# Note: Read full article on www.ocregister.com

Jun 17, 2007# Quickie Link: Haredim Clash With Police; 8 Injured
Religion (Jerusalem, Israel) - About 10,000 haredim took to Jerusalem’s streets Sunday evening in protest of the gay pride parade scheduled to take place in the city Thursday. At least eight people, seven of them policemen, were injured in clashes between the protestors and the police; 10 people were arrested. Rabbi Yitzhak Weiss warned participants of the rally, “Anyone who helps the evil will be judged.” Another rabbi told the crowd, “If we protest with all our hearts, maybe some of the evil will be dissuaded from doing their evil.” During the demonstration, a few haredim torched a dumpster, and dozens confronted police forces after the rally ended.
# Note: Read full article on www.ynetnews.com


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