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Posts tagged ‘Gay Lesbian and Bisexual’

Tens of Thousands in Paris March Against Gay Marriage.


Image: Tens of Thousands in Paris March Against Gay MarriageSupporters of the “La Manif Pour Tous” (Protest for Everyone) movement demonstrate to defend their vision of the traditional family on Feb. 2 in Paris.

Tens of thousands of people marched in Paris and Lyon on Sunday against new laws easing abortion restrictions and legalizing gay marriage, accusing French President Francois Hollande’s government of “family phobia”.

Marching in the French capital, Philippe Blin, a pastor from nearby Sevres, said he felt a “relentlessness against the family” in France.

Police said 80,000 people took to the streets in Paris, far lower than the organizers’ own turnout figure of half a million.

At least 20,000 rallied in south-central Lyon, many of them ferried in aboard around 60 buses, waving placards reading “Mom and Dad, There’s Nothing Better for a Child” and “Two Fathers, Two Mothers, Children With No Bearings” — a slogan that rhymes in French.

The president of the lead organizing movement LMPT (Protest for Everyone), Ludovine de la Rochere, said she was thrilled with the turnout and appealed to the government to respond to the marchers’ concerns.

The mass protest comes a week after several thousand people marched through Paris in a “Day of Anger” against Hollande’s Socialist government, with the demonstration ending in clashes between police and protesters.

Those demonstrators railed against a slew of policies under Hollande — the most unpopular French president of modern times — including last year’s law allowing gay marriage.

Other targets of LMPT’s protests include medically assisted procreation (MAP) techniques for lesbian couples and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

They are also demanding the scrapping of an experimental school program aimed at combating gender stereotypes.

On Sunday, a few counter-demonstrators waved signs behind De la Rochere as she gave a stand-up television interview, one reading: “Protect Our Children from the Witches”.

© AFP 2014

Source: Newsmax.com

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Olympics City Mayor: We Have No Gay People Here.


Image: Olympics City Mayor: We Have No Gay People Here

 

By Cathy Burke

The mayor of Sochi, Russia, says there’s no gay people in the Winter Olympics’ host city.

Anatoly Pakhomov told BBC Panorama that homosexuality is “not accepted here in the Caucasus . . .  We do not have them in our city.”

The mayor later conceded to Panorama that he wasn’t certain there were no gay people living in Sochi, but added, “I don’t bloody know them.”

The mayor said homosexuals were welcome at the Olympic Games — so long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others.”

One resident disputed the mayor’s demographical assessment.

“There are very many clubs for gay people in Moscow. In Sochi, we have two gay clubs as well,” the resident, identified as drag queen Madame Zhu-Zha, told Panorama. “In some places, there’s serious prejudice against gay people. In other places, it’s not as bad.”

Last June, Russia passed a law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality to minors, legislation that was viewed as an attack on gay rights.

But two weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the law is meant to protect children, ABC News reported. He insisted that “individuals of non-traditional orientation cannot feel like second-rate humans in this country because they are not discriminated against in any way.”

“I couldn’t care less about their sexual orientation,” Putin added. “We will welcome all athletes and all visitors to the Olympics. None of our guests will have any problems.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

More Methodists Pushing Rebellious Gay and Lesbian Envelope.


 

Frank Schaefer
Frank Schaefer serves communion to his supporters at the end of his two-day church trial. Photo by Kathy L. (Kathy L. Gilbert/United Methodist News Service)

Almost daily, evidence mounts of defiant United Methodist clergy breaking church law on behalf of gays and lesbians as the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination struggles with what may be its most vexing rebellion in decades.

Consider:

  • A retired seminary president, the Rev. William McElvaney, said Sunday (Jan. 19) that he is willing to officiate at same-sex weddings. The 85-year-old former president of St. Paul School of Theology made the announcement at Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas. He called church trials “the Methodist version of inquisition in the 20th and 21st centuries.”
  • After the Jan. 14 federal ruling striking down a gay marriage ban in Oklahoma, a group of Methodists favoring same-sex marriage took out ads in the Tulsa World and The Oklahoman praising the ruling and inviting people to Methodist churches.
  • Every week, another Methodist minister “comes out” and acknowledges performing a same-sex wedding on the website of the New York-based Methodists in New Directions. So far, 14 clergy have made such disclosures; none has faced a church complaint, said Dorothee Benz, MIND spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, Frank Schaefer, the former Pennsylvania pastor stripped of his clergy credentials after presiding at a same-sex ceremony, continues to receive emotional and financial support. A collection organized by Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., raised more than $30,000 for Schaefer.

The ongoing crisis over gays is embarrassing to the denomination, says a Southern California bishop who offered Schaefer a job working in her conference.

“The defrocking of Frank Schaefer brought great shame to our denomination and much pain to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“It saddens me and many others that we continue to use trials as a way of addressing this. It does not look good at all,” she said.

She sees the growing movement challenging church policy as a turning point.

“People are stepping up and expressing what they feel in ways I have not seen before,” she said. “It is a moment of real possibility for change in the church.”

Carcano’s comments follow the Jan. 17 news that a second United Methodist pastor faces a church trial for officiating at the wedding of his son to another man. The Rev. Thomas Ogletree, 80, retired pastor and former Yale Divinity School dean, faces a March 19 trial in Stamford, Conn.

United Methodist law since 1972 has defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It bans clergy from performing and churches from hosting same-sex ceremonies.

Carcano said Schaefer met with her and her Cabinet on Jan. 12 to discuss his potential hire in California, but no decision has been made.

The Rev. Bill Bouknight, associate director of the Confessing Movement, an evangelical group, said church trials are necessary to hold clergy accountable.

“The developments sadden us because they are clearly contrary to Scripture and to doctrines of the United Methodist Church,” said Bouknight, a retired pastor who lives in Columbia, S.C.

Bishop Melvin Talbert, the only bishop known to have presided at a same-sex marriage, said the number of people challenging what he considers unjust church law encourages him.

“Biblical obedience means we decide to do the right thing no matter what,” he said.

Several other clergy are likely to face church trials soon.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Gays and Atheists Were Created in the Image of God Too.


 

evangelism
It’s time to put an end to the rhetoric pornography.

I write bold columns about agendas that oppose God’s will each and every week through myWatchman on the Wall column. My passion is to see God’s truth reign in the land, witness the captives—whatever they are in bondage to—set free, and see masses healed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Although people who oppose my biblical worldview often launch especially distasteful attacks against me, I keep right on writing. Not because I am trying to anger those who oppose me but because of my calling to boldly speak the truth in love, to wake up the church and to see people break free from anything and everything that would hinder them from an intimate relationship with Jesus.

So when Samuel Rodriguez, a man of God I respect tremendously, called me yesterday afternoon to share his heart about Imago Dei, I was all ears. And when he asked me to join the movement as aprophetic voice to this generation who is committed to proclaiming God’s truth to all people, I immediately signed on.

The foundation of Imago Dei is this statement: “I recognize that every human being, in and out of the womb, carries the image of God—without exception. Therefore, I will treat everyone with love and respect.”

The worldwide Imago Dei campaign is a Holy Spirit-inspired response to the rise of incivility, bullying and disrespect for all mankind. We’re all created in the image of God—all of us. Imago Dei leadership is moving to build a platform that advances a loving truth conversation and repudiates rhetorical bullying at the same time. Our mission is to change the world by sharing truth with love and grace.

Imago Dei states that the image of God exists in all human beings—black and white, rich and poor, straight and gay, conservative and liberal, victim and perpetrator, citizen and undocumented, believer and unbeliever. The challenge of the Imago Dei campaign is for individuals to recognize this in friend and foe, acquaintance and stranger, strong and weak, oppressor and liberator.

As Rodriguez put it to me yesterday, “We should be known not by what we oppose, but rather by what we propose.” I believe if we all adopted this mindset, we would be more effective in disarming people who have fallen into the snares of the enemy so that, instead of battling us on the grounds of theculture wars, they could hear our heart. It’s often a fine line to walk, but by the grace of God we can do it without compromising His Word and see transformation in our society.

The Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the largest Hispanic Christian organization representing over 40,000 U.S. churches, is leading the charge with Imago Dei and is attracting national leaders in the body of Christ, including Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family; James Robison, president of LIFE Outreach International and co-host of LIFE Today; Mark L. Williams, presiding bishop and general overseer of Church of God International; Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty University; and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, award-winning television producers and producers of the upcoming feature film Son of God, which will be released nationwide on Feb. 28, 2014.

I stand with these men and women of God to urge everyone who agrees with this movement to join right now by visiting imagodeicampaign.org. Together, we can execute this new strategy to see true change in the lives of millions and turn our nation around in the process.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Virginia Attorney General Won’t Defend Gay Marriage Ban.


 

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring
Virginia will no longer defend its ban on same-sex marriage, the state’s new attorney general, Mark Herring, said Thursday.

Virginia will no longer defend its ban on same-sex marriage, the state’s new attorney general said on Thursday, making it the latest U.S. state to challenge a prohibition on gay marriage.

Attorney General Mark Herring said the southern state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman was part of a long history of opposing landmark Supreme Courtrulings on civil rights.

“This will not be another instance. It is time for the commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law,” said Herring, who took office in January along with newly elected Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, after four years of Republican state rule.

Herring told a news conference the same-sex marriage ban violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which provides for equal protection of the laws, and infringed on the rights of families.

Herring’s move underscores the state’s political battles and shifting demographics as Democrats try to cement their hold on the once solidly Republican state, highlighted by the divided reaction to his decision.

Virginia’s legal turnabout is the latest in a series of state-based challenges on the issue. Federal judges recently overturned such bans in Oklahoma and Utah. Indiana is pushing ahead with its own ban.

Herring filed a brief on Thursday in federal court in Norfolk, noting the state’s change of stance in Bostic v. Rainey, a case that challenged Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Herring said the constitutional ban would remain in place and the Norfolk case would go forward, but neither he nor State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey would defend it as constitutional.

The attorney general said his decision was aimed at changing Virginia’s history of opposing landmark civil rights rulings by the Supreme Court. They included those on school desegregation in 1954, interracial marriage in 1967 and allowing women to enter Virginia Military Institute in 1996, he said.

Supreme Court
Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage, including eight states where same-sex marriage became legal in 2013. Thirty-three ban gay couples from marrying by state constitutional amendment, statute or both.

Virginia’s reversal follows two major Supreme Court rulings on the issue last year.

One struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. The other paved the way for gay marriage to resume in California. But those rulings did not address whether state bans on same-sex marriage were constitutional.

In 2006, 57 percent of Virginians voted in favor of the constitutional ban. But reflecting the swing in public opinion, a poll released in October by Virginia’s Christopher Newport University showed that 56 percent of likely voters opposed the ban, with 36 percent favoring it.

Mixed reaction to Virginia’s announcement echoed the political division in the state.

Herring’s predecessor, Republican Ken Cuccinelli, was a vocal opponent of gay marriage. While Herring, a Democrat, also opposed gay and lesbian marriage while a state senator, he said his views had changed once he saw how his vote had harmed many people.

Herring’s stance was also applauded by the Human Rights Campaign, which campaigns against discrimination against gays.

But others said Herring was failing to do his job upholding state law.

“Mark Herring’s decision today not only abandons his first duty, it hobbles this vital legal process. It turns what could have been landmark jurisprudence into a political farce,” said Pat Mullins, head of the Republican Party of Virginia. He called on Herring to resign.

In another Virginia case in federal court, two lesbian couples are suing the state in an attempt to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage. They asked a federal judge in October to certify it as a class-action lawsuit.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.


Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Ian Simpson in Washington and Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Scott Malone, Rosalind Russell, Chizu Nomiyama and Gunna Dickson

© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

No Right To Force The Legalization Of Same-Sex Union By Hannatu Musawa.


 

Hannatu Musawa
Columnist:

Hannatu Musawa

The signing of the Same-sex Prohibition Act by President Jonathan on January 7 2014, elicited negative reactions from Western countries such as the US, member countries of the European Union and Canada. They have consistently mounted pressure on the federal government over the president’s signing of the Same-Sex Prohibition Act 2014, claiming that the law is a violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians with same sex orientation.

Notably, the law does not only criminalize same-sex marriage, it also makes public displays of affection and even socializing in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex community illegal. The US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle threatened that his country would scale down its support for HIV/AIDS and anti-malaria programs in response to government’s position on the gay rights issue. The Vanguard also reported that they learnt the US is committing “substantial” resources to fund the emergence of gay clubs and advocacy groups in Nigeria. The Canadian government canceled a planned state visit by President Jonathan scheduled for next month. The Canadian government’s action is believed to be that country’s reaction to the president’s assenting to the bill, which has so far enjoyed popular support in Nigeria.

Since 2011, certain Western countries have been considering and implementing laws that limit or prohibit general budget support to countries that restrict the rights of homosexuals. Regardless of this, many African countries have continued to refuse pressure to legalize homosexual practices. Many African leaders feel that gay rights are against Africa’s culture and religious value systems and believe that they have the sovereign right to reject what is seen as an imposition by Western nations that attempts to affect national sentiments via aid. While I vehemently disagree with the laws that impose the death penalty on those who come out as homosexuals, the reality is that same sex acts are illegal in about 38 African countries and actual enforcement varies widely and punishment ranges from prison sentences to the Draconian sentence of the death penalty.

In Mauritania, Sudan and Nigeria, homosexuality is a serious punishable crime. In Uganda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone, offenders can receive life imprisonment for homosexual acts. South Africa’s constitution is the most liberal towards gays and lesbians within the continent, with a constitution that guarantees gay and lesbian rights and legal same sex marriage. However, even there, gay rights have been described as an “exclusive privilege of the whites and well-heeled, a small but high-profile subset.”

The raucousness from Western nations that has been accompanying the banning of same sex unions in some parts of Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia has risen to a crescendo. And in their bid to ram the freedom of same sex unions down the throat of more traditional and conservative nations, the west has discarded high-minded rhetoric for bullying tactics dressed in the guise of human rights mantras. The result? Hypocrisy has taken center stage as the preferred response of the west in their bid to redefine the limits of marriage, privacy and religious freedom in some African, Eastern European and Asian countries.

The hypocrisy of the west regarding their stance on the banning of same sex unions is most apparent when considered next to the position taken on polygamy under western laws. In most western nations, the practice of polygamy is not only frowned upon but has been criminalized. The hypocrisy and bully politics of the west in regards to the banning of same sex unions occurs when Western countries pass laws that limits the boundaries of marriage, privacy and religious freedom in line with their value system while they employ strategies and tactics to intimidate, harass, undermine, threaten and abuse other countries for doing the same.

In the case of Reynolds vs. United States, the American courts declined accepting polygamy as a legitimate religious practice, dismissing it as “almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and African people.” While that particular case is very old, in later decisions, American courts have declared polygamy to be “a blot on our civilization” and compared it to human sacrifice and “a return to barbarism.”

In all the countries that have banned homosexual unions, traditions and religion defines the issue and because most countries have varying values of which they adhere to and are guided by, none should have a right to impose their value system on another. Not only is the practice of polygamy one of the common threads between Christians, Jews and Muslims, studies have found polygamy present in 78% of the world’s cultures. In the same way that countries that accept polygamy have no right to force western nations to legalize polygamy, western nations have no right to impose same sex unions on the countries that ban it.

As a sovereign nation, Nigeria has a right to ban same sex unions in the same way the west has banned polygamy. Indeed the anti-gay legislation is a reaffirmation of core Nigerian values, as the Nigerian society is, to a great extent, based on respect for traditions and religion. The leadership in Nigeria has taken a position on a practice that is alien to its culture and its religious and traditional institutions. The public relations officer of the northern Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) stated that Christians and their counterparts in other religions have unanimously expressed gratitude to the president and National Assembly for passing the Anti Same-Sex Marriage law, despite opposition from Europe and the US. Similarly, the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State, commended the president for signing the bill into law. The group applauded the president for standing his ground, despite pressure to reject the anti-gay bill by some international organizations and foreign countries.

In line with traditions that don’t prohibit same sex unions, neither of the two dominant religions of the world supports homosexuality. In the scriptures, marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman that cannot be redefined and it is the cornerstone of family life. In the Bible, passages in the book of Leviticus prohibit homosexuality. Chapter 18:22 states, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Similarly, chapter 20:13 also states, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Jews and Christians have historically interpreted these two verses as the clear prohibition of homosexual acts. Furthermore, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has historically been interpreted as condemning homosexual acts.

In Islam, the traditional schools of Islamic law based on Qur’anic verses and hadith consider homosexual acts a punishable crime and a sin. The Qur’an cites the story of the “people of Lot” (also known as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah), destroyed by the wrath of God, because they engaged in “lustful” carnal acts between men. The Qur’an contains seven references to the people of Lot; 7:80-84, 11:77-83, 21:74, 22:43, 26:165-175, 27:56-59 and 29:27-33, and their destruction by Allah is associated explicitly with their sexual practices.

In 2012, the Nigerian parliament approved a bill banning same sex marriage despite threats from the US and UK that they would consider withholding aid if the country didn’t recognize gay rights. Curiously though in the US, 17 states out of 50 (less than half) have endorsed same-sex practices and others reject its legality. This means that even in the US, not all its citizens are in support of same-sex practices.

Nigeria and the countries that have banned same sex unions have cultures that are clear and intact and they have a right to rededicate themselves to their traditional values. Same-sex marriage is inconsistent with Nigerian values of procreation and the belief in the continuity of family and clan. And in that vein, Nigeria has a right to fashion its laws in accordance with its values and traditions.

It increasingly seems that the Western countries’ mandate is to coerce African states to institutionalize behavior systems that they frown upon or deem illegal. There is the urgent need for these African states and the Nigerian leadership not to be dependent on foreign assistance for governance. Nigeria and the continent should use its net worth to dismantle the entrenched dependence syndrome and to also say no, no matter how many times they are accused of not adhering to the value system of the West. Aid given with strings attached is not worth it. Nigeria should not lose its moral and spiritual integrity for the sake of aid.

Just like with polygamists in Western countries, a day of social acceptance is unlikely to come for homosexuals in Nigeria and most African and Asian countries. It is unlikely that any law will be passed in Nigeria where the act of same sex marriage will be legalized. No matter, the rights of every nation to infuse its value system into its laws should not be based on the views of other nations, but on each nations individual principle.

Despite one’s view on the subject matter, there is no doubt that Nigeria has a right to enact laws that are reflective of its traditions and religious values and norms. No country has a right to dictate another countries laws that defines the boundaries of marriage, privacy and religious freedom. Thus, just as Nigeria has no right to harass America, Canada or any other nation to enforce and adopt polygamy and other traditional practices into their statutes, these nations also have no right to harass Nigeria to adopt laws that legalize homosexuality. The more the West continues to malign Nigeria for passing laws that prohibit certain modern western value systems, while they hold onto laws that disallow traditional practices acceptable in Nigeria, their hue and cry over human rights becomes a little more than hype and they become much more than hypocrites. May each country be free to preserve the value systems they wish to be defined by and adopt the laws of which they wish to be governed.

Article Written by Hannatu Musawa

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Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Allen West: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Suspension May Violate Civil Rights.


A&E may have violated the civil rights of “Duck Dynasty‘s” Phil Robertson when it suspended him for making anti-gay remarks in a magazine interview, former Rep. Allen West of Florida says.

‘We cannot start censoring people like this,” West told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“As far as A&E . . . it’s their business. I don’t know what’s in the contract, but if they suspended someone for their religious beliefs, that’s a violation of the Civil Rights Act.”

Last week, Robertson, 67, star of A&E’s smash reality show, was suspended for criticizing the homosexual lifestyle in GQ magazine, comparing it to bestiality.

He quoted passages from the Bible to back up his beliefs.

“GLAAD [founded as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] and other organizations such as them, they want freedom from any dissenting views,” West said. “The majority that is out there are in concert with Phil.

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

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