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Pope Francis Urges Honest Debate On Homosexuality, Marriage, Contraception, Divorce - VIDEO

Pope Francis has urged bishops to speak freely on issues such as contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce at a two-week meeting aimed at making the Catholic church's teaching on family matters relevant to today's Catholics, reports The Associated Press.

FrancisThe synod marks the first time the Vatican is addressing homosexuality on a pastoral level. Earlier this year, Francis suggested that the church may be open to the idea of supporting same-sex civil unions.

In a bid to encourage honest debate, the Vatican is restricting public information about what is said at the meeting and will not be releasing texts of individual bishops as it has done in the past.

In order to inform the debate, Francis last year sent a questionnaire to bishops’ conferences around the world which confirmed that while most Catholics believe in the indissolubility of marriage, the vast majority ignore and reject church teaching on sex and contraception. The responses also suggested that the church needs to develop a pastoral plan to minister to gay people in civil unions and to children being raised in such families.

At the start of the meeting today, Francis told bishops “you have to say what you feel the Lord tells you to say, without concerns of human respect and without fear.”

Church reform groups have said the pope’s insistence on open debate are reason for hope. However, Conservative churchmen are hoping that the synod will simply reaffirm church doctrine and make it more known and understood by Catholics.

Watch a BBC report on the opening of the synod, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-gay Christian College in Massachusetts to Review Policy Banning 'Homosexual Practice'

Gordon

A Christian university in Massachusetts has been given a year to review it's policy on forbidding "homosexual practice" on campus after the school's accreditation board, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, raised questions about the school's policy violating the commission's standards for accreditation. 

Boston Business Journal reports:

The commission asked Gordon College to submit a report next September. The report should describe the process by which the college has approached its review of the policy “to ensure that the College’s policies and procedures are non-discriminatory,” the statement said. [...]

In its joint statement, NEASC and Gordon College called the review process a “period of discernment” that will take place over the next 12 to 18 months. What “carried the day” for commission members was Gordon College’s decision to conduct its own review, Brittingham said. She said the long time frame that Gordon College has been allowed for the review is appropriate considering that Gordon College's policy is "deeply embedded in the culture of the college" and such things "don't change overnight."

LindsayThe NEASC began looking into the matter after news broke in June about Gordon College President Michael Lindsay signing a letter along with about 140 other religious leaders asking President Obama to secure exemptions for faith based groups in his executive order barring LGBT discrimination in federal contract work. Lindsay's letter also led the City of Salem to end its contract with Gordon College. 

In related news, Gordon College alumni gathered at the First Church in Wenahm on Friday to show support for the school's LGBT community and to call for a change in the school's anti-gay policy. 

(pictures via website)


Bigoted Christian Baker Attends Anti-Gay Conference, Explains What's Wrong With The U.S. - VIDEO

Melissa klein

Melissa Klein, co-owner of an Oregon bakery that last year refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, broke down in tears last week during a panel at the anti-gay Values Voter Summit, reports TPM.

Values Voter Summit (VVS) is an annual conference and who's who of anti-gay bigots organised by the Family Research Council, which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

ValueIn January 2013, the Kleins declined to make a wedding cake for Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman who responded by filing a civil rights complaint against Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Officials in Oregon eventually ruled that the bakery violated Cryer’s and Bowman’s civil rights. The Klein’s took the decision to close down their shop rather than do business with gay couples.

Talking at VVS about how she loves to be involved in (heterosexual) customers’ weddings, Klein said:

“For me personally when I would sit down with them I just would want to know everything about her wedding. I'd want to know about the flowers, her dress, the centerpieces, her colors, the way her hair is going to be. I would even want to talk about 'where are you going on your honeymoon?'"

Klein’s husband Aaron added:

“To be told they’re going to force me to convey a message other than what I want to convey — it flies in the face of the Constitution. It’s a violation of my conscience. It’s a violation of my religious freedom. It’s horrible to see your own government doing this to you….We had to shut the shop down. Melissa does very limited cakes out of our house. I mean we're facing in excess of $150,000 of damages for this, just for simply standing by my first amendment rights."

Following her appearance at Values Voter Summit, Klein yesterday took to Facebook to quote anti-gay activist Rick Warren's explanation of the “two huge lies” contemporary culture has embraced:

“Our culture has accepted 2 huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. Second is that to love someone means that you must agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

Watch Melissa and Aaron Klein at the VVS last week, AFTER THE JUMP...

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MEXICO: 30,000 March Against Same-Sex Marriage In Coahuila - VIDEO

Anti-gay marriage march Mexico

Around 30,000 people have taken part in a protest against the legalization of same-sex marriage in Coahuila state, Mexico, reports SDGLN.com.

By a margin of 19-1, the Congress of Coahuila voted for marriage equality of September 1st. The new law, which alters more than 40 parts of the state's Civil Code, came into effect one week after the vote.

MarriageThe protest march in the capital city of Saltillo was organized by Casa de Rescate "Cristo Vive,” an evangelical group modeled on anti-gay religious groups in the U.S.

At the head of the march was a huge banner that read “Rescuing The Family.” Protesters were heard to chant “true love is found in mom and dad.”

According to El Universal, Casa de Rescate Pastor Carlos Pacheco quoted the usual, well-worn passages from the bible to condemn LGBT people and same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is currently also legal in two other Mexican states, the Federal District (which includes Mexico city) and Quantana Roo. Coahuila borders the U.S. state of Texas.

Watch a Spanish language news clip on the legislation approving same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Disgusting Wingnut Bryan Fischer Links Bestiality Conviction With Homosexuality

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Vile wingnut rent-a-voice Bryan Fischer has taken to Twitter to link bestiality with homosexuality, according to Good As You.

Fischer is head of anti-gay listed hate group American Family Association, a pitiful organization which recently claimed the reason gay people are gay is because they suffered sexual abuse and are broken individuals

Responding to a story on USA Today about a Florida man who has been jailed for five years for raping his 8-month-old pitbull puppy, Fischer tweeted:

"How long before an attorney defends a guy like this on grounds it's his orientation, he was born this way?"

The response to Fischer’s disgusting tweet? Gratifyingly angry...

 


Anti-Gay Benham Brothers Compare Themselves to ISIS Beheading Victims - VIDEO

David and Jason Benham

Anti-gay wingnuts David and Jason Benham, the brothers who had a planned property development TV show cancelled because of their far right-wing views, have compared themselves to victims of terrorist group ISIS, reports Right Wing Watch.

Speaking at the rabidly homophobic Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit last Friday night, the twin brothers argued that just as ISIS has beheaded victims, progressive groups like Right Wing Watch “silence” conservatives by quoting them verbatim.

Benham“There is a radical agenda that has come in our nation. The weapon of choice for the agenda in the Middle East is a sword, but the weapon of choice for the agenda in America is silence. They demand silence.”

The twins of course also drag out the tired old “gay agenda” argument and explain how god helped them to realise the reality behind the reasons for their firing.

Watch a short clip of the brothers' bizarre speech at the Values Voter Summit, AFTER THE JUMP...

In May, HGTV decided “not to move forward" with a new house-flipping show called Flip It Forward starring the Benhams. The network's move came after Right Wing Watch wrote a lengthy post exposing the Benham family's extreme anti-gay activism.

Last month, David Benham said that the battle to deny gay people their rights is really just a battle against a "parallel kingdom run by Satan." that seeks to "rob, kill, and destroy."

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Benham Brothers Compare Themselves to ISIS Beheading Victims - VIDEO" »


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