LGBT

Protesters and counter-protesters hold signs at the women's march

Civil Rights Groups Question New Religious Liberty Task Force

August 4, 2018

During the Justice Department’s Religious Liberty Summit Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a “Religious Liberty Task Force” designed to interpret and enforce a set of religious liberty guidelines instituted under the Trump administration.

“A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom,” Sessions said Monday. “We have gotten to the point where...

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Louisiana State Seal

Louisiana Republicans Fight to Keep Unenforceable Anti-Sodomy Law

May 1, 2018

A new anti-bestiality bill has passed the Louisiana Senate despite pushback from 10 Republican members who fear the law would help overturn existing sodomy laws.

State Sen. J.P. Morrell, who proposed the bill, said the state’s current law—which bundles bestiality and sodomy together as illegal “crimes against nature”—is unenforceable and thus needs to be updated.

State laws prohibiting “crimes against nature” have historically been...

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Gay vet supporting trans rights

Trump’s Twitter Policymaking Jeopardizes Transgender Troops

July 28, 2017

On Wednesday, President Trump announced in a series of three tweets that the United States military will no longer allow transgender people to serve “in any capacity” on the grounds that transgender troops cause the military to “be burdened with tremendous medical costs and disruption.”

Transgender people have only been allowed to serve openly in the Armed Forces since last year, when the Obama administration...

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A boy scout in uniform posing for the camera

Boy Scouts of America to Allow Transgender Members

February 2, 2017

The Boy Scouts of America has officially opened its membership to transgender boys, the organization announced Monday.

Ending the former policy of accepting members on the basis of the sex listed on their birth certificate, Boy Scouts of America will now register members based on the gender identity listed on their application. In a statement, the group said that they decided the former policy was “no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and...

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Two young women hold hands on a college campus

Christian Campus Ministry Will Fire Staff Who Support Same-Sex Marriage

October 21, 2016

National evangelical campus ministry InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has asked all employees who disagree with their position on sexuality and marriage to identify themselves for involuntary termination by November 11 of this year.

The announcement marks the culmination of the organization’s years-long theological study of human sexuality. In a 20-page internal position paper released in March, InterVarsity clarified its position on issues ranging from pornography to masturbation to homosexuality.

“Very few who honestly survey the present state of human sexuality in American...

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Pastor Steven Anderson

Arizona Pastor Barred from South Africa, Botswana for Hate Speech

September 21, 2016

After advocating the death penalty for homosexuality, Arizona pastor Steven Anderson was barred entry from South Africa and deported from Botswana.

Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, describes his congregation as an “old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul winning Baptist church.”

“Don’t expect anything contemporary or liberal,” the church’s website reads.

The congregation participates in weekly “soul-winning” excursions, with members evangelizing door-to-...

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In the Aftermath of Orlando Shooting, Prayer and Mourning

In the Aftermath of Orlando Shooting, Prayer and Mourning

June 15, 2016

Early Sunday morning, a man armed with a legally purchased assault rifle opened fire on a gay nightclub, killing 49 and injuring 53 more. 

The club had been wrapping up its “Latin Night”—an event specifically celebrating LGBT Latinos and Latinas— when the first shots were fired around 2 a.m. Police spent several hours communicating with the shooter and determining how best to save the hostages remaining inside the barricaded club. Ultimately, 49 of the club’s several hundred patrons died from gunshot wounds, while the shooter died in a gunfire exchange during the police’s...

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Catholic Arab Wins Israel’s First Transgender Beauty Pageant

Catholic Arab Wins Israel’s First Transgender Beauty Pageant

June 1, 2016

Last week, a friendly competition in Tel Aviv, Israel brought together Christians, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims in ways that event coordinators believe showcased the groups’ potential for acceptance and coexistence. The event was the first of its kind: a transgender beauty pageant, held to kick off Tel Aviv’s LGBT Pride week.

Spectators packed Tel Aviv’s Bima National Theater Friday to cheer on the pageant’s 12 finalists, a group that included a Muslim belly dancer, a Catholic Arab ballerina, and an Orthodox Jewish baker.

The pageant was the result of years of work by Israeli...

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After Rejecting Hate Crimes Bill, Utah Honors LGBT Activist

After Rejecting Hate Crimes Bill, Utah Honors LGBT Activist

April 28, 2016

Last week, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously voted to rename a street in honor of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the state of California. 

Many see the symbolic act—the street lies just a few blocks down the street from the headquarters of the LDS Church—as a stand for LGBT rights in light of the state senate’s recent rejection of a bill that would have bolstered Utah’s hate crimes protection.

In late...

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Anglican Communion Suspends Episcopal Church Over Same-Sex Marriage

Anglican Communion Suspends Episcopal Church Over Same-Sex Marriage

January 22, 2016

This week, the world’s largest Protestant denomination, the Anglican Communion, placed an unprecedented sanction on its American branch for its stance on same-sex marriage.

The United States Episcopal Church, an official member church of the 85 million-strong Communion, will be suspended from full participation in the Communion for the next three years for their June decision to permit their clergy to perform religious wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. This suspension precludes the Episcopal Church’s representation of the Communion in interfaith bodies or in Communion-...

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