Romania is gearing up to hold a referendum to amend the constitution to prohibit gay marriage, a move that civil rights groups warn could put the country on an “illiberal” path alongside the likes of Hungary and Poland, writes Politico.
Romania’s civil code forbids same-sex marriage, and civil partnerships have not been introduced.
The planned vote — which could be held as early as November — is the result of a campaign by “Coalition for Family,” which brings together more than 40 groups, many of them religious or describing themselves as “pro-life.” They gathered more than 3 million signatures to force a referendum.
A West Auckland pastor has delivered a sermon calling for gay people to be shot.
Westcity Bible Baptist Church pastor Logan Robertson agrees his comments are hate speech but is unapologetic.
Footage posted online at the end of July shows Robertson making highly offensive comments against homosexuals.
Unrepentant when contacted by a newspaper, Robertson said he did not deny his words were hate speech. “Of course it is. Does it sound like hate speech to
you? If the world thinks that’s hate speech then that’s fine.”
The Liverpool Echo sent a reporter undercover to investigate a so called church in Liverpool offering gay cure therapy.
The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry in Anfield was found offering gay people the chance to “cure” themselves of their homosexuality through a relentless prayer session involving three days without food or water.
The reporter was told by “Brother Michael” that being gay is biologically wrong, and that by undergoing prayer therapy [his sexuality] could be corrected to “allow him to marry and have children.”
A petition to make gay cure therapies illegal was rejected by the government, despite all major psychological professional bodies stating it had “the potential to cause harm”.
Your Activist repeats: Your sexuality cannot be changed. Over more than a hundred years, many different methods have been used to try to change people’s sexuality. Not a single one of them worked.
Colin Robert Houston | Belfast Telegraph | 17143
Colin Robert Houston, a pastor and baggage handler, who offered to “cure” a homosexual colleague and complained about a pink tin of deodorant left on his work locker, lost his claim for unfair dismissal and religious belief discrimination.
The behaviour of the former UUP council candidate and preacher was revealed at an industrial tribunal he took against his employer at Belfast International Airport.
A bumper sticker bearing the slogan “I’m so gay I can’t even drive straight”, was stuck to his car. He told an openly gay colleague that there was a cure for gayness.
All of his claims were dismissed. The tribunal ruled that in view of all the complaints against him the temptation to end his contract “must have been overwhelming”.
The Prime Minister has told the Church of England to “reflect” on allowing same-sex couples to marry in church. She also said her father, the Reverend Hubert Brasier, would have supported church blessings for gay couples. She believed her father “very much valued the importance of relationships of people affirming those relationships and of seeing stability in relationships and people able to be together with people that they love”.
Church of England priests are currently not allowed to marry gay couples in church or bless same-sex marriages, an issue which has split the church – progressives are pushing for greater inclusion of gay people while conservative evangelicals are resisting change.
Church of England bishops have overwhelmingly backed a motion calling for a ban on “unethical” conversion therapy for gay Christians. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said during the debate: “The sooner the practice of so-called conversion therapy is banned, I can sleep at night.”
The vote sends out a strong message to the world that the church does not see homosexuality as a crime, said Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes.
A majority backed the motion in both the House of Clergy and the House of Laity, while all but one voted in favour in the House of Bishops.
The Church of England looks set to condemn controversial “gay cures”, a month after the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May suggested such “treatments” could be banned.
Last month Mrs May said the Government was “reviewing” “gay cure” therapies to see if they should be banned. She said: “We’re looking carefully at the extent of the problem, and the experience of other countries that have introduced bans, to ensure we get the approach to this right.”
The Scottish government has published a letter it received from Northern Ireland’s Arlene Foster of the DUP, about its laws surrounding gay marriage.
The correspondence, signed by Arlene Foster, was sent in early September 2015 when she was finance minister in the Stormont executive.
In her letter to former Scottish Minister Mr Marco Biagi, Mrs Foster said she was “concerned” about Scottish government proposals over same sex marriage.
She said “neither of us would wish to place same-sex couples in an uncertain legal position”.
“In this instance, we can achieve legal certainty by restricting the definition of a ‘qualifying civil partnership’ so as to exclude civil partnerships which were entered into in Northern Ireland,” she said.
Writing in response, Mr Biagi said he had considered the issues but concluded that it would “not be appropriate to exclude civil partnerships registered in Northern Ireland from the order”.
Until the publication of this letter, Mrs Foster had been denying that it had existed.
The Scottish Episcopal Church will hold a historic vote this year on whether to allow gay couples to marry in church.
If the vote is passed, it will become the first Anglican Church in the UK to allow same-sex marriage.
Supporters hope that if their arguments hold, gay couples will be walking down the aisles of some Scottish churches within the year.
Matthew Fenner of North Carolina thought he was “going to die” when members of his evangelical church beat and choked him for two hours to expel his “homosexual demons,” he told a court on Thursday.
Mr Fenner was the first person to take the stand in the assault and kidnapping trial of Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.
Covington is alleged to be the leader of a 2013 beating involving numerous congregants who pointed out his sexual orientation, saying, “God said there is something wrong in your life.”
Fenner said he had cancer as a child and had a biopsy one week before he was assaulted. “I’m frail and in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘is my neck going to break, am I going to die?'” Fenner said.
If convicted, Covington faces up to two years in prison. She is the first of five church members to face trial in the case. Each defendant will be tried separately.
The trials continue.