Religion Hub

Gordon Klingenschmitt Concerned Bans On 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Will Increase Demonic Possession: VIDEO


Anti-gay Colorado Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt has voiced his concern that gay people will no longer be able to rid themselves of demons if “ex-gay” conversion therapy is banned, reports Right Wing Watch.

Speaking on his “Pray In Jesus Name” program, demon-obsessed Klingenschmitt explained that judges are “cooperating with the demonic spirit inside of the homosexual addict and those judges are now reinforcing the sin and saying you cannot be delivered, you cannot cured, you cannot be healed".

In February, Klingenschmitt said the bakery owners in Oregon who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple are “a blessing” to gay people because they refuse “to participate in their acts of sodomy”.

Yesterday, it was reported that a bipartisan Illinois House majority approved House Bill 217 which aims to protect LGBT youth from “ex-gay” therapy. A federal bill banning the discredited practice has also been introduced

Listen to Klingenschmitt’s latests ramblings, AFTER THE JUMP

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Texas House Set To Pass 'Pastor Protection Act' Championed By Anti-LGBT Hate Groups


The Texas House is expected to vote today on a so-called "Pastor Protection Act" championed by anti-LGBT hate groups. Senate Bill 2065, which has already cleared the Senate, is almost certain to pass, and Gov. Greg Abbott has said he'll sign it. 

The bill would protect pastors and churches from being forced to participate in same-sex weddings. Of course, pastors and churches already enjoy those protections under the First Amendment, but LGBT advocates say the Texas bill is written too broadly and could be used by pastors who also serve as government employees as a basis for discriminating against same-sex couples. 

Pro-LGBT groups are also warning that Republicans could attempt to amend the "Pastor Protection Act" with other anti-gay legislation. The Texas Freedom Network wrote Wednesday:

Bell.Cecil"We’re down to just 12 days left in the 2015 legislative session, and attacks on LGBT equality are becoming increasingly desperate. Rumors are swirling about potential amendments to SB 2065, which is scheduled for debate by the House tomorrow.

"This could be the last gasp for mean-spirited legislation like [Rep.] Cecil Bell’s 'Defy the Supreme Court' effort to block marriage equality in Texas, or [Rep.] Scott Sanford’s proposal to permit discrimination against LGBT families in the adoption and foster care system. Either of those previously dead bills could rise tomorrow as an amendment."

Bell told The Texas Observer he doesn't intend to introduce his anti-gay marriage legislation as an amendment to the Pastor Protection Act, because such a move could jeopardize the whole bill: 

“A lot of work’s been done on that bill, and I don’t want to compromise that bill,” Bell said. “The intent is to assert the sovereignty of the state of Texas. If I can find a place to do that, then I’ll do that. But I’m not going to compromise the very structure and value system that I’m trying to affirm in that process.”

Eighty-seven of the House's 150 members were co-authors of an identical bill, so the Pastor Protection Act should easily pass. 

Even though it accomplishes virtually nothing, the bill is being championed by anti-LGBT groups including Texas Values and the Texas Pastor Council, which have latched onto it because none of their other legislation is moving. 

From the Observer

Pastor2Supporters of SB 2065 have used committee hearings on the bill to give general testimony in opposition to same-sex marriage, which some witnesses compared to bestiality and pedophilia.

“It suggests that really the goal here to increase hostility and animosity toward gay and lesbian couples who want to get married, rather than to protect pastors from having to perform their marriages, because pastors are already protected from doing that if they don’t want to,” Texas Freedom Network spokesman Dan Quinn said.

Nevertheless, if SB 2065 is the only unfavorable measure that passes out of more than 20 anti-LGBT proposals that were introduced, advocates won’t hang their heads.

“It’s certainly encouraging that some of the really bad bills appear to be going nowhere, and that the only bill that’s moving forward does essentially what the law already does,” Quinn said. “If we can get out of the session without any of those other bills passing, it would clearly be a big step forward.” 

Belfast Bakery Guilty Of Discrimination For Refusing Marriage Equality Cake Order: VIDEO


Ashers Baking Company in Northern Ireland has been found guilty of discrimination after refusing an order for a cake with the slogan “support gay marriage”, reports RTE.

The Northern Ireland Equality Commission brought the case against Ashers on behalf of Queer Space activist Gareth Lee who had requested a cake featuring Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia.

CakeIn a ruling at Belfast County Court yesterday, district judge Isobel Brownlie said:

"The defendants have unlawfully discriminated against the plaintiff on grounds of sexual discrimination. This is direct discrimination for which there can be no justification."

Ashers was ordered to pay agreed damages of £500 ($780) plus court costs. General manager Daniel McArthur said:

"We've said from the start that our issue was with the message on the cake, not the customer and we didn't know what the sexual orientation of Mr Lee was, and it wasn't relevant either.

“We've always been happy to serve any customers that come into our shops. The ruling suggests that all business owners will have to be willing to promote any cause or campaign no matter how much they disagree with it. Or as the Equality Commission has suggested, they should perhaps just close down, and that can't be right.

"But we won't be closing down, we certainly don't think we've done anything wrong and we will be taking legal advice to consider our options for appeal.”

However, Brownlie said that the McArthur family “must have known or had the perception that the plaintiff was gay...supported gay marriage or associated with others who supported gay marriage."

A statement issued on behalf of 100 evangelical church leaders said:

"It will sadden all those who value freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. This decision represents a serious blow for free speech and plunges the law into confusion. It opens up a Pandora's box of legal cases".

Last month, Northern Ireland health minister and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Assembly member Jim Wells resigned after saying that children of gay parents are "more likely" to be abused or neglected

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Ireland Marriage Equality Referendum Round-Up: VIDEO


If Ireland passes the same-sex marriage referendum on Friday, it will be an emotional day for the country’s LGBT community and friends, perhaps especially for those who remember the fight for gay rights and the legalization of homosexuality in 1993. If the result on Saturday is a resounding Yes, it could become the gayest day in history if Ireland wins the Eurovision (but it's a big 'if').

In an interview with GayStarNews, 2013 hopeful Ryan Dolan - who came out last year - talks about Eurovision and marriage equality.



YesEquality’s latest video features 90 year old great grandmother Madeline Connolly, who believes that God made us all equal and that everyone should have the opportunity to get married.

Read more, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Church of Scotland Votes to Allow Ordination of Gay Ministers in Civil Partnerships


The Church of Scotland will now permit ministers and deacons to enter into same-sex civil partnerships after a 309-183 vote of the church's delegates earlier today.

BBC reports:

A further vote will be held this week on whether or not to extend ordination to ministers in same sex marriages.

Supporters said it was time for the church to be inclusive and recognise the "mixed economy" of modern Scotland.

Opponents warned that the move was contrary to God's law, would prove divisive and lead to resignations.

A spokesman for the Church of Scotland said that the current stance meant that the Church had adopted a position which "maintains a traditional view of marriage between a man and woman, but allows individual congregations to 'opt out' if they wish to appoint a minister or a deacon in a same sex civil partnership."

Same-sex marriage in Scotland began January 1.

Irish Religious Right Mouthpiece Refuses To Debate Drag Queen Panti Bliss On Marriage Equality: VIDEO


Irish anti-gay activist and Iona Institute mouthpiece Breda O’Brien (above left) has declined an invitation to debate Rory O’Neill - aka Panti Bliss (above right) - on grounds of illness, reports the Independent.

Last month, O’Brien, a teacher and columnist with the Irish Times, misquoted former Irish President Mary McAleese while attacking the latter’s pro-equality comments.

Although O’Brien initially challenged O’Neill to a debate, she has now claimed that she cannot take part as she has a "very bad case of bronchitis".

Oddly, she also claimed that a debate before the referendum would not be appropriate. Not so oddly and true to form, she made a lame attempt to muddy the waters by attacking the “systemic removal of No posters” and the decision by the Irish police force to support a yes vote.

Additionally, the officially non-homophobic journalist attacked the international financial support given to the ‘Yes’ side, neglecting to mention that the Iona Institute’s donations cannot be verified because the fake institute has refused to issue its accounts.

Obrien"I'm absolutely willing to have a debate, or preferably a conversation with Rory at the right time and the right place. But I don't believe now is the right time because it will only distract from the referendum campaign and the proposed massive constitutional change. Why do I say that? There was a deluge of offers from media outlets offering to host a debate. However, none of them showed the slightest interest in looking at the systematic removal of No posters throughout the country, or at the worrying intervention of [the police force] apparently advocating a Yes vote.

"There was no interest in investigating the distorting effect of millions of Atlantic Philanthropy dollars given to only one side of the debate for nearly a decade, with the aim of securing same-sex marriage. It made me wonder whether programme makers were seriously interested in informing the Irish public or simply interested in boosting ratings."

Despite the claims of media bias, Larry Masterson, producer of state broadcaster RTE’s The Saturday Night Show, said no parameters whatsoever had been discussed when O'Brien said no to the debate:

"We told Breda we would give her an equal time of four to five minutes for each side. There would be silence throughout and that the audience would be split fairly 50/50. There was no discussion of parameters but I would be happy to sit down and discuss anything she would like, even at this late stage. We are making ourselves available to her. In her allotted time she is also free to discuss any issue she wants. She can dedicate it all to talking about the [police] advocating a Yes vote or the removal of No posters, if she wants. We are still available this week. We rang Rory and within minutes he got back and said he would do it."

Rory O’Neill said he has been approached by "every TV and radio station in the country" and is ready to debate with Ms O'Brien "if she wants to".

But Ms O'Brien earlier this week told the Sunday Independent: "The point is that no journalist has undertaken to investigate any of the areas I spoke about. Offering me time to make the points in a debate with Panti hardly counts as investigative journalism undertaken by the Irish media into areas of grave concern for Irish democracy."

Translation: O’Brien can lie and abuse people as much as she wants and ignore the actual issues but it’s up to someone else to deal with actual facts.

Watch the Iona Institute’s latest factually incorrect attack on equality, AFTER THE JUMP...

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