Bill that would allow LGBT discrimination moves forward in Virginia

By : Wire Report
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Richmond (AP) – Virginia’s Republican-dominated House of Delegates approved a bill that seeks to protect people who oppose same-sex marriage, which critics said would open the door to discrimination and roll back gains the LGBT community has made toward equal treatment.

The measure aims to prohibit state agencies from punishing individuals and businesses for refusing services or taking other actions against same-sex couples, transgender people or someone who has extramarital sex. It would block the state from withholding grants or nixing contracts for individuals or groups that subscribe to those religious beliefs.

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Uprisings: The opposite of progress

By : Billy Manes
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UpRisings_TinaFeyWhat if somebody came up to your party (which, for now, we’ll call “your life”) and told you through his or her whitened teeth that all of the victories you’ve fought for, all of the freedoms promised to you by your own constitution in your own country, didn’t matter anymore? We know, we know: This is the same sweaty-pitted badminton argument that comes along with every legislative back-and-forth session, either state or national. Red! Blue! Green! Translucent! But what if those values were so fundamental that their rolling back might result in you rolling into a ball and effectively giving up? What if they would mean that you would be perpetually sick, poor, fired or allowed to die there right next to the decency twig you clung to.

There’s a certain hollowness that comes with these realizations, an identity crisis that sets you apart from what your therapist might call the “river” to which sides you are supposed to cling when you need to catch a breath in a pause in life. Has your chest ever ached with the breadth of absolute futility? Well, given the current climate of state legislators (and presidential candidates) parading a nihilistic Mardi Gras against the rights of women and LGBT people (sometimes both!), that ache should inspire you to do more.

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Episcopal leaders say they will not change stance on marriage

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said Jan. 15 the U.S. Episcopal Church will not roll back its acceptance of gay marriage despite sanctions imposed this week by Anglican leaders.

In a phone interview from England, where he attended the gathering of top Anglican archbishops, Curry said he told his fellow leaders they should expect no change. The top Episcopal legislative body, called General Convention, last year voted overwhelmingly to authorize same-sex marriage ceremonies in church. In response, Anglican leaders stripped the Episcopal Church of any role in deciding doctrine or determining how the Anglican Communion operates for three years, effectively reducing the church to observer status in the 85 million-member global fellowship.

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Like a prayer: Suncoast MCC pastor Gina Durbin opens the doors and opens minds

By : Ciara Varone
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Gina Durbin was faced with a challenge when she was appointed as interim pastor for Suncoast MCC in August, after the church experienced the death of its beloved pastor, Rev. Dr. Sherry Kennedy in March – the only pastor Suncoast had ever known. Durbin has been working to help the church heal ever since.

“It’s been quite amazing to get started working here and to get to know this congregation and to love them as their interim pastor,” Durbin says.

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2015 World AIDS Day events round-up

By : Watermark Staff
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Here is a smattering of the events going on locally to honor World AIDS Day, many involving chances for you to know your HIV status, most involving fun with a splash of historical context and remembrance. Please check with the individual HIV agencies for more events.

See the list of events: 

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Tennessee board drops vote seeking God’s mercy for marriage equality

By : Wire Report
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MARYVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — A resolution asking God to have mercy on a Tennessee county for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples apparently didn’t have a prayer of being considered Oct. 6.

The sudden adjournment shocked the 150 citizens who packed into the meeting room. Some of the attendees expressed their disbelief by shouting “Cowards!” and “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

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Southern Baptist theologian criticizes reparative therapy, but still says homosexuality is a sin

By : Wire Report
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A prominent Southern Baptist theologian on Oct. 5 spoke out against psychological counseling aimed at turning gay people straight, saying homosexuality cannot be turned off like a switch. Instead, he said, the “sin” of being attracted to a person of the same sex can be changed by turning to the Bible’s teachings.

The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said so-called conversion or reparative therapy doesn’t carry the redemptive power of prayer.

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US Anglicans to allow gay marriage in churches

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly July 1 to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the pioneering election of the first openly gay bishop.

The vote came in Salt Lake City at the Episcopal General Convention, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. It passed in the House of Deputies, the voting body of clergy and lay participants at the meeting. The House of Bishops had approved the resolution Tuesday by 129-26 with five abstaining.

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Amy Schumer to open for Madonna during NYC concerts

By : Staff Report
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Amy Schumer has taken another step to becoming queen of everything and LGBT icon after announcing that she will be the opening act for Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour during the pop diva’s three NYC shows.

Schumer made the announcement via her Twitter account June 18.

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Michigan school revisits its communications after gay marriage email

By : Wire Report
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HILLSDALE, Mich. (AP) – A small private Michigan college is revisiting its communications policies after an email went out about a prayer gathering as the U.S. Supreme Court considers arguments over state bans on gay marriage.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports the all-campus email to students, faculty, staff and some alumni was written by a student and distributed by Peter Beckwith, Hillsdale College’s chaplain.

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Fringe Out Loud: Jeff Jones and Miss Sammy celebrate the rebirth of Movies Out Loud with a look at some of Fringe’s gay-themed shows

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando – Jeff Jones and Miss Sammy are two of Central Florida’s funniest and most beloved people who like to talk about other people (especially when other people are listening). So who better to take the stage first when Watermark Media and the Orlando International Fringe Festival join forces to launch the second coming of Movies Out Loud later this year?

What is Movies Out Loud?

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Archbishop to miss this year’s rally against gay marriage

By : Wire Report
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archbishop will be skipping a Washington D.C. rally against same-sex marriage this year.

The San Francisco archdiocese announced the decision by Salvatore Cordileone on its website April 22.

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