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Found 7 results

  1. The Pope and head of the Russian Orthodox Church release statement against gay marriage Feb. 13, 2016 The Pope and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church have released a joint statement condemning same-sex marriage. The statement, consisting of 30 points, holds wide-reaching significance for Catholics and followers of the Orthodox Church. The main message of the statement seems to be the reconciliation of the Orthodox and Catholic churches. However, as well as a coming together of the two denominations, the statement condemns war in the middle east and the persecution of Christians. Going on, the statement says Pope Francis and Kirill are “concerned” about Christians being “confronted by restrictions to religious freedom”. Secular societies are next on the list, saying that Christians face “outright discrimination”, and that they are faced by an “often very aggressive secularist society”. The pair urge Europe to “remain faithful to its Christian roots”, and calls on European Christians to be more outspoken about their faith. In a similar vein to many statements made by the churches, the “family” was high on the agenda. One point calls family the “natural center of human life and society”, but they say they are “concerned about the crisis in the family in many countries”. They then say that “the family is based on marriage, an act of freely given and faithful love between a man and a woman.” The Pope and the Patriarch are apparently worried that the “biblical tradition, of paternity and maternity as the distinct vocation of man and woman in marriage is being banished from the public conscience.” Patriarch Kirill in 2013 condemned the advance of marriage equality in the West, calling it a symptom of the apocalypse. The Russian Orthodox Church has been a key supporter of Russia’s anti-gay law, and Patriarch Kirill maintained the Church’s view that homosexuality is a sin – although he has cautioned against punishing people for their sexuality. In 2009 he told an interviewer: “We respect the person’s free choice, including in sex relations.” Pope Francis last month attacked same-sex marriage and civil unions, ahead of a debate in the Italian Senate at introducing civil unions for same-sex couples. He said: “There can be no confusion between the family God wants and any other type of union. “The family, founded on indissoluble matrimony that unites and allows procreation, is part of God’s dream and that of his Church for the salvation of humanity,” he added.
  2. July 21, 2015 Italy breaches rights over gay marriage - European court Italy violates human rights by failing to offer enough legal protection for same-sex couples, a European court has ruled. Judges said the government had breached the rights of three gay couples by refusing them marriage or any other recognised form of union. Italy is the only major Western European country with no civil partnerships or gay marriage. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has long promised to pass a law on civil unions. By failing to introduce new legislation, his government failed to "provide for the core needs relevant to a couple in a stable committed relationship," the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday. The court said Italy was in breach of Article 8 - the right to respect for private and family life - of the European Convention on Human Rights. A small number of municipalities in Italy allow local civil unions, but there is a national ban on same-sex marriage and the benefits of the existing provision are limited. Revellers took part in a Gay Pride parade in Rome in June Hundreds of thousands of people attended a march against gay marriage in June The court said the existing legal protection was "not sufficiently reliable". It noted that 24 out of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe had passed laws in favour of legal recognition, and that the Italian constitutional court had repeatedly called for such protection and recognition. The three couples in the case have been together for years, and all had their requests to be married rejected. The ECHR ruled that the Italian government should pay the six men €5,000 (£3,500; $5,500) each in compensation, as well as expenses. The prime minister has said his government would introduce laws on same-sex civil unions this year. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Rome in June against the proposed legislation. But opinion polls show an increase in support for gay marriage. It follows a pattern seen in Ireland - a strongly Catholic country like Italy - where voters overwhelmingly backed legalising same-sex marriages in May. Afterwards, a senior Vatican official said Ireland's referendum result was a "defeat for humanity".
  3. Christian couple threaten to divorce in protest against same-sex marriage June 10, 2015 Australian Nick Jensen says that if same-sex marriage is introduced, he and his wife will divorce. Writing in the Canberra CityNews, Mr Jensen says he will continue to live with his wife, Sarah, and their children – and they will still consider themselves married. But they will no longer be legally married. He wrote: “Marriage is the union of a man and a woman before a community in the sight of God. And marriage of any couple is important to God regardless of whether that couple recognises God’s involvement or authority in it. “If our federal parliament votes to change the timeless and organic definition of marriage later on this year, it will have moved against the fundamental and foundational building block of Australian society and, indeed, human culture everywhere. “Indeed, it raises a red flag when a government decides it is not content only having sovereignty over land, taxes and the military — but ‘words’ themselves. “This is why we are willing to divorce. By changing the definition of marriage, ‘marriage’ will, in years to come, have an altogether different sense and purpose.” Mr Jensen works for the American Christian Lobby, who campaign against same-sex marriage. Canberra CityNews has faced a backlash from Facebook fans for publishing Mr Jensen’s article – with many saying the magazine should be “ashamed” to give such few views a platform. One reader said: “What a stupid article, you may as well have written about how two crazy people still believe the world is flat. Geez. Homophobic propaganda.” Editor Ian Meikle told news.com.au: “The article does not reflect the opinion of the paper. It’s an unusual love story, and what would life be if people didn’t have different ways of life.” In the ongoing debate on same-sex marriage in Australia, the first National MP said yesterday he would vote in favour.
  4. Pope Francis: Gay marriage will 'destroy the family,' 'disfigure God's plan' January 16, 2015 5:58 PM MST Just 24 hours after Pope Francis called for restriction of free speech in regards to religious criticism, the once heralded leader of the Catholic Church is attacking same-sex marriage. Speaking in front of a large crowd in the Philippines, Francis appeared to revert back to the same rhetoric used by the church in the past. Francis arrived in the Philippines on Friday for a five day trip and spoke to thousands in the heart of Manila, the country's capital city.While speaking on the issue of same sex marriage on Jan. 16, Francis went into attack mode. "The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage," Francis told the crowd. "These realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces, which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation." Francis has appeared to be more liberal than his predecessors in the past, once stating "who am I to judge?" when asked about possible gay clergy members. Francis' criticism of same-sex marriage comes just a day after he commented on the recent terrorist attacks in France. Though condemning the violent attacks, Francis seemed to put at least partial blame on the editors and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine that was acted in Paris last week. "You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others," Francis said, saying that the magazine shouldn't have provoked the attackers. After Francis took over for Pope Benedict XVI in March 2013, the 78-year-old Jesuit promised to change the perception of the Catholic Church. Francis received rave reviews from more progressive minded Catholics, but was dealt harsh criticism from those who support a more traditional, conservative handling of the church.
  5. Arkansas judge strikes down gay marriage ban By ANDREW DEMILLO 3 hours ago LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A judge on Friday struck down Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage, saying the state has "no rational reason" for preventing gay couples from marrying. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that the 2004 voter-approved amendment to the state constitution violates the rights of same-sex couples. He didn't put his ruling on hold as some judges have done in other states, opening the door for same-sex couples in Arkansas to begin seeking marriage licenses, though it was not clear whether that would happen before Monday. "This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality," Piazza wrote. "The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent." State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office said he would appeal the ruling and asked Piazza to suspend it during that process. "We respect the Court's decision, but, in keeping with the Attorney General's obligation to defend the state constitution, we will appeal," spokesman Aaron Sadler said. Piazza issued his ruling late Friday, about half an hour after the marriage license office in Pulaski County closed. Arkansas courthouses typically aren't open on weekends, but with the state in its early-voting period for a May 20 primary, several clerks' offices will be open Saturday. However, clerks reached by The Associated Press after Piazza issued his ruling said they hadn't been formally notified of it and weren't prepared to begin issuing marriage licenses. At least one couple who sued over the ban said they hoped to wed quickly. Kathy Henson said she and her girlfriend Angelia Buford planned to seek a marriage license in neighboring Saline County as soon as offices opened. "We think that (Piazza) did a really great job and that he ruled on the right side of history," Henson said. The ruling came a week after McDaniel announced he personally supports gay marriage rights but would continue to defend the constitutional ban in court. Sadler said McDaniel sought the stay because "we know that questions about validity of certain actions will arise absent a stay." The amendment was passed in 2004 with the overwhelming support of Arkansas voters. Piazza's ruling also overturns a 1997 state law banning gay marriage. In his decision, Piazza cited the U.S. Supreme Court's 1967 decision that invalidated laws on interracial marriage. "It has been over 40 years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice," Piazza wrote, referring to that ruling. "The hatred and fears have long since vanished and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples. It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it." The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Since then, lower-court judges have repeatedly cited the decision when striking down some of the same-sex marriage bans that were enacted after Massachusetts started recognizing gay marriages in 2004. Federal judges have ruled against marriage bans in Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Texas, and ordered Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. In all, according to gay-rights groups, more than 70 lawsuits seeking marriage equality are pending in about 30 states. Democratic attorneys general in several states — including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Oregon and Kentucky — have declined to defend same-sex marriage bans. The head of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights, praised the ruling. "This victory is an essential step on the journey toward full equality for all," said HRC President Chad Griffin, an Arkansas native. But the leader of the group that campaigned for the ban said the judge was undermining the will of voters. "This ruling undermines marriage because once people start redefining marriage, there seems to be no place to stop," Arkansas Family Council President Jerry Cox said. McDaniel, a Democrat in his final year as attorney general, is the first statewide elected official in Arkansas to support marriage equality.
  6. Egypt Arrests Group Of Men For Participation In Same-Sex Wedding by Zack Ford Posted on September 9, 2014 at 9:18 am Egypt has reportedly arrested as many as nine men who were identified as participating in a same-sex wedding. A video of the ceremony was uploaded back in April, but after it went viral recently, police identified nine of the 16 participants, though some reports suggest there were only seven arrests. Though Egyptian law does not explicitly prohibit homosexuality, the men were held in custody under charges of “incitement to debauchery” and “publishing indecent images.” Gay Egyptians have also been previously prosecuted under charges such as “scorning religion” and “sexual practices contrary to Islam.” The prosecution is describing the celebration depicted in the video as “a devilish shameless party.” Prosecutors also apparently ordered “medical tests,” a practice supposedly able to identify “habitual homosexuals.” In other countries, such tests consist of anal probes. A forensic spokesman said Monday that based on the test results, the men are “not homosexuals.” This, however, does not end their prosecution. A State Department spokesperson told ThinkProgress that U.S. officials are still seeking more information about the arrests, but that the U.S. remains “firmly committed to supporting the ability of all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, to lead productive and dignified lives, free from fear, discrimination and violence.” “Protecting universal human rights is at the core of U.S. foreign policy,” the spokesperson said, “and we will continue to stress to the Egyptian government the importance of human rights for all, including those of LGBT individuals.” The State Department is urging the Egyptian government “to ensure that all of those arrested or detained are afforded due process and fair and transparent trials, and that the law is applied equitably and free of political bias,” including “clearly and publically presenting evidence, ensuring that charges are made within a reasonable timeframe, and ensuring defendants have access to legal representation.” Watch the video of the wedding that supposedly led to the arrests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcCS_sn97IA It’s unclear if the couple in the video is among the seven men arrested this week.
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