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Religion

  • 1st July 2007

    Bishop claims floods are punishment for gay rights 6

    Are the floods a message from God?

    11:01 AM — The Rt Rev Graham Dow, the Bishop of Carlisle, has shocked the liberal wing of the Church of England by suggesting that the floods that have caused chaos and death across the UK were caused by God after he was provoked by the introduction of gay equality."This is a strong and definite judgment because the world has been arrogant in going its own way," he said. "We are reaping the consequences of our moral degradation, as well as the environmental damage that we have caused."

  • 29th June 2007

    Church weddings for Swedish gays a step closer 3

    Currently gay and lesbian couple can only register their partnership through a civil ceremony.

    1:23 PM — Sweden may become the first country to allow gays and lesbians to marry within a major Church.Under current laws, dating back to 1987, marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.A new piece of proposed "gender-neutral" legislation however, may soon remove this distinction allowing anybody to marry in the Lutherian Church.

  • Rowan Williams backtracks on gay bishop snub 2

    In April the Archbishop said he even considered cancelling the Lambeth conference to avoid a schism.

    1:13 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury is reconsidering his decision to exclude an openly gay bishop from next year's Lambeth Conference.Many Anglicans wrote letters of complaint to the Archbishop about the exclusion of Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.A response from Canon Flora Winfield from the International, Ecumenical and Anglican Communion Affairs was leaked to The Times. 

  • Ex-gay survivors speak out 1

    The Ex-gay Survivor Conference, which takes place at the University of California this weekend, has sent an open letter inviting Exodus leaders to attend.

    1:00 PM — As Exodus International, the network of "ex-gay" ministries which promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," finishes its annual conference in California today, former ex-gay survivors line-up to tell their own stories.The Ex-gay Survivor Conference, which takes place at the University of California this weekend, has sent an open letter inviting Exodus leaders to attend.

  • 25th June 2007

    Canadians avoid split over gay blessings

    Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is keen to try to find a compromise that will hold the fractured church together.

    10:38 AM — The Anglican church in Canada has narrowly voted against allowing individual dioceses to bless same-sex relationships.The decision will come as a relief to the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Church worldwide, who is keen to avoid a schism over gay issues.However, at the General Synod in Winnipeg, the Canadians also decided that blessing same-sex relationships was not in breach of their "core doctrine."

  • 19th June 2007

    Slave owners responsible for Jamaican homophobia

    Jamaica's gay rights movement, J-Flag, is forced to operate underground and anonymously.

    12:45 PM — A church minister has claimed that the hatred of gay people endemic on the island of Jamaica is directly related to the rape of male slaves by white English masters.In an article in the Jamaica Observer John Hardy, of the New Testament Church of God in Kingston, said he thinks it will be hundreds of years before gay people are accepted on the island.Homosexuality is illegal in Jamaica, a former British colony, and the culture is deeply homophobic.

  • 18th June 2007

    Swedish gay church weddings approved

    Opinion polls show that 46% of Swedes are in favour of gay marriage, with 31% opposed.

    11:31 AM — The largest party in the Swedish coalition government has committed to new legislation to allow gay couples to marry.Fredrik Reinfeldt's conservative Moderate party's board has voted to support further rights for gay people, after eight MPs, including one Cabinet minister, threatened to resign over the issue.Swedish gay and lesbian couples have had the right to civil partnerships since 1995.

  • Catholic and Orthodox emphasise shared anti-gay views 1

    Other church officials have called homosexuality a “sin, which destroys human beings and condemns them to a spiritual death.“

    1:07 AM — The Pope has spoken of his hopes that shared moral opposition to gay rights and other social progress may help smooth a reunion of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox religions.On a visit to eastern Church leaders in Cyprus, Pope Benedict XVI said he had a "firm hope" that the schism of 1054 could be healed.Orthodox leader Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus offered to arrange a meeting with the leader of the Russian church.

  • 13th June 2007

    Anglican dissidents plan ‘parallel’ church

    The revelation of new plans to defy Archbishop Williams adds to the fears that the whole Anglican church could schism over gay issues.

    1:50 PM — Powerful conservative primates in the worldwide Anglican church plan to consecrate their own bishop to oversee American churches who oppose gay ordination.The move is in direct defiance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who wants to try to reconcile the differences in the feuding Anglican communion.Last month Archbishop Williams took the symbolic step of excluding Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, from the Lambeth conference.

  • 11th June 2007

    Jewish holy men curse Jerusalem Pride 1

    The Jerusalem Post reports that three quarters of the city's residents oppose the Pride parade.

    4:39 PM — A group of orthodox rabbis have placed a curse on an upcoming gay parade in the Israeli capital, and vowed to hold a massive rally in protest next week.The rabbis, from the Eda Haredit sect, made a statement about the event yesterday. At the 2005 Pride event in Jerusalem a member of the sect stabbed three of the participants.Police will announce tomorrow if they will allow next week's gay event to go ahead.

  • 6th June 2007

    Church adopts pro-gay guidelines 57

    The Presbyterian General Assembly in Belfast adopted the guidelines by 159 votes to 120.

    2:06 PM — Northern Ireland's largest Protestant church yesterday adopted guidelines to help clergy deal sensitively with gay church members.The Presbyterian General Assembly in Belfast adopted the pastoral guidelines by 159 votes to 120.The guidelines call on the church to repent for times when gay people have been treated in ways that lack "grace."

  • 5th June 2007

    US Bishops to meet on gay clergy rights 57

    The Roman Catholic Church will continue to stress that they believe same-sex relationships are immoral.

    11:42 AM — American Roman Catholic bishops may give the green light to new guidelines this week, which would mean gay Catholics would not have to try to change their sexual orientation.Bishops convene today in Baltimore for their annual meeting. The guidelines will also encourage clergy to baptise the children of same-sex couples who agree to raise them in the Catholic faith.The Roman Catholic Church will continue to stress that they believe same-sex relationships are immoral.

  • 29th May 2007

    Tutu tells Church to stop obsessing about gays 57

    Dr Tutu says church leaders should be focusing on problems in Zimbabwe, HIV/AIDS, and Darfur.

    3:49 PM — Desmond Tutu has called for the Anglican Church in Africa to stop "obsessing" with gay priests and same-sex marriages.The Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Archbishop of Cape Town said that church leaders in Africa were not paying enough attention to problems in Zimbabwe, HIV/AIDs, or the crisis in Darfur.He told ABC News: "There are so many issues crying out for concern and application by the church of its resources, and here we are, I mean, with this kind of extraordinary obsession."

  • 25th May 2007

    Kirk still unclear on gay couples 57

    A call for more clarity on the exact attitude of the Church to gay couples came from Rev Louis Kinsey.

    2:29 PM — The Church of Scotland report on homosexuality was discussed in the Church General Assembly on Wednesday.The aim of the meeting was to reach a consensus within the Church on attitudes to gay Christians.The 800 members of the Assembly met in Edinburgh to watch video clips from the report's working party.

  • Isolation tactic towards gay bishop attacked

    While acknowledging that Bishop Robinson is a duly-elected and consecrated bishop in the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Williams decided not to invite him.

    10:10 AM — The Episcopal bishop of California, Marc Andrus, has declared his support for Bishop Gene Robinson.It was announced earlier this week that openly gay bishop Robinson would not be invited to attend an important conference of Anglican bishops next year."I will be seeking to learn how I can best be in solidarity with Bishop Robinson, through prayerful action," says the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Episcopal bishop of California.

  • 22nd May 2007

    South African churches reject gay weddings

    Last year South Africa made history as the first country in Africa, and only the fifth in the world to legalise same-sex marriages.

    5:56 PM — Four Christian churches in South Africa have said they will not bless same-sex marriages because they say they are "contrary to scripture."The Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Baptist Church and Presbyterian Church have all confirmed that they will not officiate or bless gay unions.The Methodist Church is still undecided on the issue. Same-sex unions are legal in South Africa.

  • Gay bishop excluded from Anglican conference 17

    The worldwide Anglican communion have been at loggerheads over the issues of homosexuality and same-sex unions ever since a Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, was ordained as a bishop.

    1:20 PM — The controversial Bishop of New Hampshire has not been invited to the Lambeth Conference next year, Lambeth Palace revealed today.Conservative and liberal branches of the worldwide Anglican communion have been at loggerheads over the issues of homosexuality and same-sex unions ever since a Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, was ordained as a bishop in the US in 2003.

  • Church report into homophobia advocates “ex-gay” counselling

    The church also advocates controversial re-orientation counselling that champions the idea of “converting“ gay people.

    11:45 AM — Northern Ireland's largest Protestant church has produced a report on homophobia which has been accused of being homophobic.The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has over 300,000 members and 560 congregations in Ireland.Its controversial report by the Social Issues and Resources Panel will not be published until June, but was leaked to the BBC.

  • 18th May 2007

    Comment: Farewell to Falwell, saying goodbye to hate 7

    I am happy he is gone, but am weary and scared because I know that there are others just like him out there

    12:18 PM — It was June 2004 and I was covering Tulsa, Oklahoma's Pride Festival.I stood watching the parade of proud members of our GLBTI community march through the streets.As the parade came to an end the parade watchers were invited to follow the parade down the route and into the park that was holding the festival, our festival, a safe haven for our community to be free.

  • 17th May 2007

    Anglican crisis deepens as diocese opts out 3

    45 US parishes have broken away and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of African bishops.

    7:28 PM — The diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, has decided to reject the spiritual authority of the US Episcopalian church and seek alternative oversight.The announcement marks a further disintegration in the unity of the Anglican communion and the authority of US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.Bishop Jack Iker, bishop of the diocese, is a leading traditionalist who opposes women priests as well as gay ones.

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