LGBTI activists urge Vatican to condemn homosexuality criminalization laws

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of more than 50 LGBTI rights advocates met April 5 with a high-ranking Vatican official and renewed their calls for the Catholic Church to condemn laws that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

ILGA World in a press release said the activists met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, and presented him with “the preliminary findings of a research project” that focuses on the criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations in the Caribbean. National LGBT Bar Association Executive Director D’Arcy Kemnitz, ILGA World Co-Secretary General Luz Elena Aranda and IBM Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tia Silas are among those who met with Parolin.

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Mormon support for gay marriage gradually grows

By : wire report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A new survey shows Mormons are gradually becoming more accepting of same-sex marriage, fueled by the views of younger church members.

But the survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute reveals that Mormons in the United States still lag behind national support for same-sex marriage and behind Catholics, Muslims and Jews.

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Pope overhauls key institute to reflect his vision of family

By : Wire Report
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ROME (AP) – Pope Francis has overhauled the Vatican institute most closely associated with the conservative sexual morals promoted by St. John Paul II, saying it was necessary to adapt and expand its mission to address the reality of today’s Catholics.

Officials said Sept. 19 the revamped John Paul II Theological Institute for the Marriage and Family Sciences will include courses in all social sciences – sociology, anthropology, psychology – as well as biology, reflecting a vision of the family that goes well beyond theology.

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Fired gay teacher invited to White House to welcome Pope Francis

By : Wire Report
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic teacher fired over her same-sex marriage says she has been invited to the White House to help welcome Pope Francis.

Margie Winters said Sept. 21 she hopes the pontiff will address issues facing gay Catholics during his visit to the U.S. this week.

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Condom portrait of Pope Benedict blasted by archbishop

By : Wire Report
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MILWAUKEE (AP) – The Milwaukee Art Museum has handled dozens of complaints from angry Catholics and others over its plans to display a portrait of Pope Benedict that’s made from 17,000 condoms.

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki says the museum’s decision to display the art piece called “Eggs Benedict” is insulting and callous. Some patrons have dropped their membership and at least one donor has ended financial support of the museum.

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Gay Catholics get Vatican welcome, but no papal shout-out

By : Wire Report
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Vatican City (AP) – The Vatican did something it has never done before by giving a group of U.S. gay and lesbian Catholics VIP seats at Pope Francis’ weekly general audience Feb. 18.

But in a sign that the welcome wasn’t all it could have been, the New Ways Ministry pilgrims were only identified on the Vatican’s list of attendees as a “group of lay people accompanied by a Sister of Loreto.”

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Gay veterans get OK for Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – The organizers of Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade voted to allow a group representing gay veterans to march next year, a dramatic turnaround for an organization that has long resisted the inclusion of gays.

The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which won a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1995 upholding their right to ban gay groups from the annual parade that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators, voted 5-4 on Dec. 15 to allow the group OutVets to march in the parade scheduled for March 15. They will be allowed to carry a blue banner with five white stars representing the branches of the military, and six vertical rainbow stripes.

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