As LGBT acceptance grows, Italians struggle to redefine family

By : Wire Report
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Rome (AP) – In Italy, family is considered so sacred that marriage is lauded in the Constitution. But what kind of family?

That has become a bitterly divisive question in a nation where the Vatican packs considerable political weight and where gays have grown impatient as other traditionally Catholic European countries have either allowed same-sex couples to marry or legally recognized their civil unions.

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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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Pope Francis addresses gay issues in his first book

By : Wire Report
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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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First LGBT private school set to open in Atlanta

By : Wire Report
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Atlanta (AP) – A first-of-its-kind private school in Georgia aimed at attracting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and teachers is being established in Atlanta for students who feel bullied or not accepted in traditional schools.

Pride School Atlanta is a k-12 institution designed to be an alternative for LGBT students, though the school is open to any student who believes they’re not getting the support they need for “being different,” says Pride School founder Christian Zsilavetz.

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Judge dismisses lawsuit over anti-gay essay remarks

By : Wire Report
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Albuquerque, N.M. (AP) – A judge dismissed a former University of New Mexico student’s lawsuit alleging she was ostracized by professors for anti-gay remarks made in a paper, federal court documents revealed.

Monica Pompeo and her attorney, Bob Gorence, filed an appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and a hearing on the matter is set for next month, according to court records.

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The Other Side of Life: Remarkable tidings

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Jason Leclerc

Recently, in a storied, New England Museum of Art, I stood in front of a painting of Christ on a cross. Beside me, a beautiful Reform Jewish family punctuated by twin girls, fought to gain control of voice volumes and squeaky, scampering feet. When at last, the first-grade bundles of energy were wrapped, I heard them cry out to their yarmelke-topped father: “Tell the story again.” I listened hopefully as they stood—innocent and excited—beside me, eyeing the same ab-perfected, long-haired, halo-sporting figure. I tried to not overhear. Of course, I listened with every bit of my heart.

After an elaborate dance—Na’ale Na’ale, or was it a cha-cha—around the subject, the uncomfortable father began his story, “So this baby was born in a barn,” only to be cut off by the boisterous inquisitors, “No, tell it like Mommy did.”

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Rest in Peace: Local hero Michael Moriarty takes his final bow

By : Stephen Miller
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michael moriartyLocal activist, writer, and spiritual leader Dr. Michael Moriarty passed away on Dec. 2 in his Winter Park home after a brief illness. He was 74. Michael was a retired professor, Zen monk, artist, actor, tour guide, gardener, and writer. He was well regarded in many local organizations in arts, politics, Zen Buddhism and the LGBT community.

Michael was born in Goshen, Indiana, on February 7, 1941. He earned his PhD in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1971. Michael made a career teaching college English, literature and even some Spanish and French at Valley City State University in North Dakota. After retiring in 1996, he moved to central Florida. He outlived many of his friends, who were lost to AIDS. Because of this, Michael maintained a lifelong commitment to living healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

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Gay Ugandan activists hope Pope Francis will speak on their behalf during visit

By : Wire Report
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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Gay activists are hoping Pope Francis will preach tolerance toward homosexuals, and even go so far as to condemn violent attacks against gays during his upcoming visit to Uganda. Church leaders, however, are praying he’ll avoid the issue altogether.

The divergent expectations underscore the acrimonious state of the gay rights debate on a continent where homosexuality remains taboo and homosexuals are greatly despised. In Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and where attacks against gays have forced many to seek refuge abroad or lead secret lives at home, gay leaders nevertheless hope Francis when he comes on Friday will weigh in with a firm message of tolerance.

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Team Watermark: Meet our Intern!

By : Jamie Hyman
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Like a teaching hospital, Watermark is a teaching publication, and we consider it a priority to hire student interns in the hopes to teach them not only about journalism, but about the LGBT community which we serve.

Our current intern is Ciara Varone, 21, a senior journalism student with a minor in cinema studies. Here’s a little more about Ciara:

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Screened Out – Labyrinth of Lies

By : Stephen Miller
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Andre Szymanski , Alexander Fehling, Fritz Bauer

It’s amazing to think that anyone could ignore the history of Auschwitz, where over 1.1 million people were exterminated. After the brutalities of WWII and the miraculous financial turnaround of the late 1950s, Germany wanted to do just that – forget. Ex-Nazis hung up their uniforms and quietly slipped back into civilian society. They and the rest of the country hoped that the past would stay in the past.

Labyrinth of Lies is an earnest German-language film about the investigations that brought famous Nazis out of hiding and to trial in the early 1960s. This time, Germans prosecuted Germans, ripping open old wounds.

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Lesbian boxer looks to become female heavyweight champion

By : Kimberly Slichter
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Orlando – By night one way, by day another. So is the life of Laura Ramsey.

When she’s not teaching middle school kids how to solve math problems, Ramsey spends her time training for upcoming boxing matches, the most important of which takes place on Nov. 7.

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Catholic bishops at synod call for more welcoming church while rejecting marriage equality and “gender theory”

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Catholic bishops called Oct. 24 for a more welcoming church for cohabitating couples and Catholics who have divorced and civilly remarried, endorsing Pope Francis’ call for a more merciful and less judgmental church.

Bishops from around the world adopted a final document at the end of a divisive, three-week synod that exposed the split in the church between conservatives and progressives over how to better minister to Catholic families today.

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