04.05.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

It’s often argued that one shouldn’t discuss religion or politics,

so I’d like to talk about both.

When I was in high school, I learned through friends in my Southern Baptist youth group that the deacons of my small-town, smaller-minded church were trying to pray my gay away. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.

Continue Reading >>

Mississippi law endorses anti-LGBT bias, attorneys argue

By : wire report
Comments: 0

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi law unconstitutionally endorses specific religious beliefs that could lead to discrimination against people who support same-sex marriage, gay rights advocates said Tuesday in written arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court has not said whether it will consider a dispute over the law that lets government workers and private business people cite their own religious beliefs to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.

Continue Reading >>

Transgender people search for acceptance in church

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – For many transgender people, faith communities are a place of judgment and rejection. For Marilyn Lloyd, they are a place of possibility.

Lloyd, 62, and a transgender woman, found God at North Congregational United Church of Christ in Columbus. God and the church filled a void in Lloyd’s life she didn’t know was there, and now she hopes to help others fill the same void.

Continue Reading >>

Pope Francis to visit Colombia

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

CARTAGENA, Colombia — The Vatican on March 10 announced that Pope Francis will travel to Colombia in September.

Francis is scheduled to arrive in the Colombian capital of Bogotá on Sept. 6. He is expected to visit the cities of Villavincencio, Medellín and Cartagena before returning to Rome on Sept. 11.

Continue Reading >>

LGBT-affirming churches to offer glitter ashes for Ash Wednesday

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Some LGBT-inclusive churches might be adding some sparkle to Ash Wednesday this year, USA Today reports.

New York-based LGBT Christian group Parity has started an initiative for churches to use glitter ashes. The ashes, typically made from the ashes of palm branches, would be mixed with professional makeup-grade purple glitter.

Continue Reading >>

Kentucky Senate advances bill that would allow religious expression in public schools

By : Wire & Staff Reports
Comments: 0

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Senators voted Feb. 10 for the measure that defends the rights of students to express religious beliefs in public schools and allows the Bible to be used for the study of religion.

Senate Bill (SB) 17 passed with a vote of 31-3. It now moves to the House.

Continue Reading >>

Religious right looking to Trump for protections

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

WASHINGTON (AP)- Religious conservatives whose overwhelming support propelled Donald Trump to the White House are watching closely for him to deliver on promised protections for religious objectors to gay marriage and abortion.

On Thursday, Trump speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast, a high-profile event bringing together faith leaders, politicians and dignitaries. He has not indicated how he’ll act on the provisions sought by religious conservatives, which critics say could sanction discrimination against gays.

Continue Reading >>

Church fires music director for marrying same-sex partner

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A music director at a Catholic church in Rhode Island says he has been fired because he married a man.

Michael Templeton tells The Providence Journal he was fired last week from his post at the Church of St. Mary in Providence. He says the Rev. Francesco Francese and a representative of the Diocese of Providence told him he needed to leave because of his 2015 marriage to his partner of five years.

Continue Reading >>

Equal Time: Looking back, staring forward

By : Nadine Smith
Comments: 0

NadineCapWas the young man who fired a semi-automatic rifle into a crowd of more than 300 people at an Orlando gay bar an ISIS terrorist? Was he a closeted gay man lashing out explosively in the ultimate act of self-hatred? Was it both?

These were the questions I fielded from reporters in the days and weeks following the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Continue Reading >>

Jerusalem mayor skips Pride due to religious offense

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Jerusalem (AP) – Jerusalem’s mayor says he will forgo the city’s annual gay pride parade because it is offensive to religious residents.

Nir Barkat says in an interview published July 20 that the gay community has the right to march but that the pride event is also “troublesome” to others in the city.

Continue Reading >>

Methodist Church in turmoil over LGBT rights

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

(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.

Continue Reading >>

Gay choir director claims discrimination by Marietta church

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Marietta, Ga. (AP) –  A Marietta church choir director says he was forced to resign from his job because he is gay.

Media outlets report Ira Pittman had worked at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church for more than 20 years. Pittman says he kept his sexuality separate from the church.

Continue Reading >>