Confirmation students won’t join church, citing LGBTQ rules

By : wire report
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) | Eight middle-school confirmation class members have decided against joining an Omaha Methodist church in protest at the denomination’s renewed ban on same-sex marriage and gay clergy.

The eight were scheduled to become part of the congregation on April 28 at First United Methodist Church. But the class, comprising seventh- and eighth-graders, declined and issued a written statement instead.

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Plan with LGBT bans OK’d by United Methodist judicial panel

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NEW YORK (AP) | The United Methodist Church’s judicial council on April 26 upheld major portions of a new plan that strengthens bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT pastors.

Conservatives welcomed the decision and said key elements of the policy, called the Traditional Plan, could begin taking effect in January. Among liberal and centrist opponents of the plan, there was dismay; one group, Reconciling Ministries Network, called for an upsurge of resistance.

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OAS chief: Countries in the Americas have obligation to expand LGBTI rights

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: (Photo by Polly Terzian/NYU Washington)

Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro on Wednesday said countries in the Americas have an obligation to extend rights to their LGBTI citizens.

“We expect that the violence in the whole continent against LGBTIQ people, the discrimination that they suffer is resolved,” he told the Washington Blade at New York University Washington’s Abramson Family Auditorium in downtown Washington. “We want every country to resolve this discrimination that LGBTIQ people suffer. We want every country to investigate and to resolve any matter of LGBTI peoples and communities … We want every country to provide solutions for how the basic principles of human rights can be made operative in order to resolve these issues.”

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Pence responds to criticism from Pete Buttigieg, says he ‘knows better’

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Following remarks in which 2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg in defense of his same-sex marriage criticized Mike Pence, the vice president responded by saying the South Bend mayor “knows better,” ignoring his own longtime opposition to LGBT rights.

“I worked very closely with Mayor Pete when I was governor of the state of Indiana,” Pence said. “We had a great working relationship, and he said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally, and he knows better, he knows me.”

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Ecuador Constitutional Court hears marriage case

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ecuador’s highest court on March 31 heard oral arguments in a case that could extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in the South American country.

Judges on Ecuador’s Constitutional Court considered the case of Efraín Soria and his partner, Javier Benalcázar, a gay couple from the country’s capital of Quito who tried to apply for a marriage license last May.

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Pastor of large Kansas Methodist church disappointed by vote

By : Wire Report
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(Image courtesy United Church of the Resurrection’s Facebook)

LEAWOOD, Kan. (AP) | The pastor of the largest Methodist congregation in the U.S. says he is deeply disappointed by a vote of the church’s delegates that rejected easing the faith’s ban on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy.

Senior Pastor Adam Hamilton with the United Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, called Feb. 26’s vote hurtful of gay and lesbian people and their families.

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Cuban assembly approves draft of new constitution, paves way for separate referendum on same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) | Cuba’s National Assembly approved an update of the country’s constitution Dec. 22, the final step before a national referendum expected to approve the new charter in February.

The new constitution contains more continuity than change, although it recognizes the de-facto modernization of Cuban society over the last decade. The constitution maintains Cuba as a centrally planned economy ruled by a single Communist Party, but recognizes private property for the first time and paves the way for a separate referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage.

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Grindr president defends marriage ‘is between a man and a woman’ comment

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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Grindr president Scott Chen is under fire for a Facebook comment he posted in November saying “marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman.”

Chen, who became president in August after Chinese tech company Kunlun Group acquired the dating app, posted a story about HTC president and CEO Cher Wang’s support for anti-LGBT groups in the U.S. that were against same-sex marriage in Taiwan. Into, Grindr’s digital magazine, first reported on the posts which were translated from Chinese to English.

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Taiwan voters reject same-sex marriage in referendum

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A referendum on whether to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in Taiwan failed on Nov. 24. Photo courtesy of Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association

A referendum on whether same-sex couples should receive marriage rights in Taiwan failed Nov. 24.

Voters by a 67-33 percent margin rejected a question on whether same-sex couples should receive marriage rights through Taiwan’s civil code. Voters by a 66-34 percent margin rejected a question on whether the island’s Gender Equity Act should include LGBTI-inclusive school curricula.

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Watch: Michelle Obama tells Ellen how she tried to escape the White House to celebrate same-sex marriage

By : Melanie Ararat
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Michelle Obama promoted her new autobiographical memoir “Becoming” on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Nov. 15. During the interview, the former first lady recalled a story from her book about the night she tried to escape the White House with her daughter Malia to celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

The night of June 26, 2015, the White House was lit with the colors of the LGBTQ Pride flag and people were gathered outside the White House to celebrate, which Mrs. Obama was notified of and tried to take part in.

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Tens of thousands gather in Taiwan for Pride ahead of same-sex marriage decision

By : Wire Report
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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) | Tens of thousands of people gathered in Taiwan’s capital Oct. 27 for the city’s annual gay pride parade ahead of referendums next month that will determine whether same-sex marriages will be recognized on the island.

In a first for Asia, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in May 2017, punctuating a yearslong campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent’s most liberal democracies. Authorities were given two years to either enact or amend relevant laws, failing which same-sex couples could have their marriages recognized by submitting a written document.

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New Cuba constitution could allow same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A proposed amendment to Cuba’s new constitution would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, a gay Cuban blogger who writes under the pen name Paquito el de Cuba, on Friday wrote the proposed amendment would “redefine marriage as a voluntary union into which two people who are legally eligible can enter.” Rodríguez reported the proposed amendment also “incorporates the principle of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

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