The United Church of Christ made history on Monday when it filed a federal lawsuit challenging Amendment One, the voter-approved measure that banned same-sex marriage in North Carolina. A component of Amendment One bars clergy from performing wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples because they don’t have a legal marriage license, a policy UCC clergy say violates their right to religious freedom.
These Church Leaders Can’t Officiate Gay Weddings Because Those Church Leaders Want “Religious Freedom”
Dan Savage is not the face of the LGBT rights movement, nor should he be (more on that in a moment). But Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute has much harsher words than that for Savage, comparing his views on homosexuality in society to lynching, the Holocaust, clubbed baby seals, and “napalmed Vietnamese girls.”
About a year ago, shortly after the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, Savage appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher to discuss the ruling, his It Gets Better Project, and some of his widely-known perspectives on LGBT life. Just two weeks ago, Higgins was oddly inspired to encourage IFI members to watch the video. She warned them of how “repugnant” it was, but affirmed nonetheless that true Christians needed to know just what they were dealing with:
The Boy Scouts of America have blocked a Seattle church from sponsoring a scouting troop after it refused to fire the openly gay Scout leader, proving once again that its discriminatory policies are more important to the organization than the actual people it serves.
Last May, the Boy Scouts of America rescinded its ages-old policy barring openly gay scouts from the organization, but firmly upheld its ban on gay adult volunteers. While that decision made a world of difference for LGBT youth, it’s a bittersweet underachievement for the adults who first launched the campaign to remove the policy.
When it comes to trans women in the media, religious pundits’ ignorance and willful bigotry truly know no bounds.
It hardly matters what news story Matt Barber and Mat Staver were discussing on the radio broadcast “Faith and Freedom” this week. It could have been the debate over whether RuPaul’s Drag Race creators used transphobic language; it could have been the recent explosion of fame for trans women like Laverne Cox or Janet Mock; it could have been a discussion of one of many “bathroom bills” like a recently-signed law in California, which allows trans students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity.
This time, the gentlemen were riled up about long-standing guidelines on respecting transgender people in the federal workplace, and they stated outright that transgender equality is a form of sexual harassment.
Have a listen:
After a long history of anti-LGBT activism, World Vision, one of the largest Christian charities in the world, announced a change to its employment policy Monday that has some fellow Christians up in arms. World Vision’s American branch will now permit Christians who are in legal same-sex marriages to be employed with the organization, a decision they say aligns with the charity’s mission.
World Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns told Christianity Today that while the policy change wasn’t unanimous among board members, the group was “overwhelmingly in favor” of the change. (The decision applies only to World Vision U.S., not its international branches.)