LGBT activists protest Pope Francis in Chile

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Archdiocese of Santiago de Chile hung this banner on the front of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral in anticipation of Pope Francis‘ visit to Chile. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

Pope Francis on Monday arrived in Chile amid protests from LGBT rights activists.

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Pastor rejects gay musicians from Minnesota Catholic Church

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TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Members of a rural Catholic parish in eastern Minnesota are at odds over the dismissal of three gay men from a church musical ensemble after the new pastor learned they are in same-sex marriages.

The Pioneer Press reports that Bob Bernard, one of the dismissed men, said he has no plans to leave the church and that none of them wants the pastor’s decision to lead to protests against the Catholic Church.

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Catholic priest comes out to congregation, receives standing ovation

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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(Screenshot via YouTube)

A Roman Catholic priest in Milwaukee has come out as gay making him one of the few Catholic priests to publicly come out.

Rev. Gregory Greiten first told parishioners at St. Bernadette Parish on Sunday and received a standing ovation.

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Episcopalian bishop says priests need no permission to wed gay couples

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Jackson, Miss. (AP) — Episcopal priests in Mississippi no longer need to seek the bishop’s permission to perform weddings for same-sex couples.

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, Rt. Rev. Brian Seage, announced what he called the “significant” change in a June 3 letter to churches.

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Methodist Church in turmoil over LGBT rights

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(AP) – Struggling to avoid a split over gay rights, the top policy-making body of the United Methodist Church on May 18 narrowly approved a full review of all church law on sexuality, amid an emotional meeting roiled by talk of schism.

Delegates at the Methodist General Conference, meeting in Portland, Oregon, voted 428-405 to delay all consideration of LGBT-related proposals. Instead, the delegates created a commission that will spend at least two years reviewing policy on the subject, contained in the Methodist Book of Discipline, with the goal of developing a plan to address their differences.

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Proposed law would require universities to disclose religious exemptions

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Boston (AP) – Congresswoman Katherine Clark is pushing legislation she says will help members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community make more informed decisions about college.

Clark’s bill would require the U.S. Department of Education to publicize colleges and universities that apply for or receive exemptions from federal civil rights protections for students on the grounds of religious freedom.

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Pastor power naps through protests against UMC’s anti-LGBT efforts

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Lawrence, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan pastor has been sleeping outside in a tent for weeks to protest his denomination’s stance on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that the Rev. Michael Tupper of Parchment United Methodist Church near Kalamazoo started sleeping in a tent Nov. 30 and plans to continue doing so for 175 consecutive nights. He often pitches the tent in the front yard of his Van Buren County home, but he has also taken it on the road, sleeping in front of United Methodist conference headquarters in Indianapolis and Madison, Wisconsin.

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French group helps young Muslims bridge gap between sexuality, religion

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Marseille, France (AP) – Growing up in Algeria, Shaira had almost everything a young man could wish for. But he also had a big secret.

In a land where homosexuality is still a crime and a sin, he was forced to live a secret life, hiding that he was gay from everyone – even his closest family.

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Pope Francis addresses gay issues in his first book

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Vatican City (AP) – Pope Francis lays out his case for emphasizing the merciful face of the Catholic Church in his first book as pontiff, saying God never tires of forgiving and actually prefers the sinners who repent over self-righteous moralizers who don’t.

“The Name of God Is Mercy,” a 100-page conversation with Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, is being published this week in 86 countries to help kick-start Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy. A copy was provided in advance to The Associated Press.

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U.S. Christians think they should be more protected than other religions

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Washington (AP) – Americans place a higher priority on preserving the religious freedom of Christians than for other faith groups, ranking Muslims as the least deserving of the protections, according to a new survey.

Solid majorities said it was extremely or very important for the U.S. to uphold religious freedom in general. However, the percentages varied dramatically when respondents were asked about specific faith traditions, according to a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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Pope says HIV prevention “too small, partial” to support

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Aboard the Papal Plane (AP) – Pope Francis is dismissing a question about whether condoms can be condoned in the fight against AIDS by saying there are more important issues confronting the world, like malnutrition, environmental exploitation and the lack of safe drinking water.

Francis was asked about the church’s opposition to condoms while returning Nov. 30 to Rome from Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic. Africa in general and Kenya and Uganda in particular have been hard hit by the AIDS epidemic, and the Catholic Church has faced criticism that its position has contributed to the problem.

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“Mass resignation” of Mormons over anti-gay policies

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Several hundred people with roots in the Mormon faith gathered in Salt Lake City to renounce the church’s new policies targeting gays and their children in an event that marked the latest illustration of the fervor the rule changes have caused.

Billed as a mass resignation by Mormons, people filled out paperwork and dropped off the resignation letters at a church building Nov. 14. The large majority had stopped attending church years ago. But they said the new policy that bans baptisms for children of gay parents until the kids turn 18 and disavow same-sex relationships spurred them to come and formally cut ties and have their names removed from the faith’s membership rolls.

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