Theocratic Horror in Uganda

Back in January, I alluded briefly to the events in Uganda, where Christian abstinence-only programs have reversed the success of comprehensive sex ed and led to a rise in HIV infection rates. At the time, I mentioned Martin Ssempa, a pastor in the country's booming Pentecostal Christian movement, and his involvement in a campaign to criminalize homosexuality.But this news has taken an even more ominous turn. Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, but a bill currently being discussed in … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

I've got plenty of goodies in the bag for this post. Frankly, more has been happening lately than I can write about - but that's okay, because there are lots of other fantastic atheist bloggers who've said it all!• First, there's this outrageous story out of Washington, D.C., where the Catholic church has threatened to completely shut down all the social services they provide to local homeless people if they're forced to obey laws forbidding discrimination against same-sex couples.I may … [Read more...]

Lighting the Way for Equality (Photos)

LightingTheWayForEquality01

If you encountered any technical difficulties with the site earlier today, my apologies. There was a database issue I had to work with my host to clear up. It should be fixed now, so send me an e-mail if you're still having any problems (or if you can't see this message).In the meantime, I wanted to post some photos I took at a rally I attended in Union Square last night: Lighting the Way to Equality, a candlelight vigil on behalf of same-sex marriage rights sponsored by Marriage Equality … [Read more...]

How Long the Arc

This past Tuesday, marriage equality suffered another setback at the hands of bigotry in the state of Maine. This defeat is especially disappointing because, from all accounts, the No on 1 campaign did everything right: running a well-organized, well-financed campaign with powerful advertising and a dedicated get-out-the-vote effort. But even the smartest and most well-crafted effort of persuasion can't succeed if people aren't willing to be persuaded, and this was evidently one of those times. … [Read more...]

Take Action: Defend Marriage Equality in Maine

The last few months have been a rollercoaster ride for advocates of marriage equality in the United States. There was the bitter disappointment of Prop 8 passing in California in the 2008 elections, but soon after, it was assuaged in part by victories for marriage equality in Iowa and Vermont. Soon thereafter, Maine and New Hampshire joined the ranks of the states that offer full civil marriage rights to same-sex couples.The momentum is unquestionably on our side. Every poll ever conducted has … [Read more...]

Freedom to Dress

It's a sad day when you read stories like this from the city where the renowned Library of Alexandria once stood:Along the miles of crowded beachfront in Egypt's second city, women in bathing suits are nowhere in sight.On Alexandria's breeze-blown shores, they all wear long-sleeve shirts and ankle-length black caftans topped by head scarves. Awkwardly afloat in the rough seas, the bathers look like wads of kelp loosened from the sandy bottom.In Alexandria, a city once renowned for its … [Read more...]

A Brief Saturday Morning Thought

Shorter John Ensign: Gay marriage is going to take away my sacred, God-given right to cheat on my wife. … [Read more...]

The Contributions of Freethinkers: Abner Kneeland

While some freethinkers have made contributions to science, the arts or the humanities, others are best known for exemplifying a sea change in human history - showing, by their lives, that one age was passing and another would soon dawn. Just so is today's post on the life of an American freethinker who has the unique distinction of being the last man imprisoned in America for blasphemy: a courageous reformer and patriot by the name of Abner Kneeland.Kneeland was born in Massachusetts in 1774, … [Read more...]

Anti-Gay Bigotry is Anti-American

The past few weeks haven't been good ones for religious bigots. First Iowa and Vermont legalized same-sex marriage in rapid succession; soon afterwards, the state legislatures of New Hampshire and Maine passed marriage-equality bills. (If you live in either state, contact your governor and tell him to sign them!) And now, this stunning poll result from Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com, Two National Polls, for First Time, Show Plurality Support for Gay Marriage:...a new poll from ABC News and … [Read more...]

Hate-Crime Laws and Loving the Sinner

One of the benefits of a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress is that we can expect action on good, progressive legislation. One such bill is H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which was recently approved by the House Judiciary Committee. As noted by Americans United, this billwould allow the U.S. Justice Department to offer assistance when a crime that results in death or serious injury is committed against any American because of the … [Read more...]


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