News Bulletin, 26 June 2015

Jun 26, 2015 by

From The Christian Institute: Featured stories Named Person guide publicises highly intrusive role Assisted suicide Bill slammed by Peers in the media Push for weaker drugs laws slammed in the Lords Lib Dem Peers in ‘bewildering’ push for weaker drugs laws US Supreme Court upholds free speech for local church Also in the news Latest news stories News...

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US Supreme Court rules gay marriage is legal nationwide 5-4

Jun 26, 2015 by

The US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. In a landmark 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority ruled that marriage is a constitutional right for all. “No union is more profound than marriage,” he wrote, backed by the court’s four more liberal justices. It is unclear how soon marriage licences will be issued in states where gay unions were previously prohibited. Writing one of the dissenting opinions, Chief John Roberts said the constitution “had nothing to do with it”. However, Christian conservatives decried the decision. “We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat,” said Mike Huckabee, Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor. Before the ruling on Thursday, gay couples could marry in 37 states in addition to Washington DC. Now the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. Minutes after the ruling, couples in one of those states, Georgia, lined up to be wed. Loud cheers erupted outside the court after the ruling was announced, said the BBC’s Paul Blake at the Supreme Court. Hundreds of people had camped out for hours awaiting the news. One of the demonstrators, Jordan Monaghan, called his mother from his mobile phone amid the celebrations. “Hey mom, I’m at the Supreme Court. Your son can have a husband now,” Mr Monaghan said. On social media, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton merely tweeted the word “proud” and the White House changed its Twitter avatar into the rainbow colours. The case considered by the court concerned Jim Obergefell, an Ohio resident who was not recognised as the legal widower of his late husband, John Arthur. “It’s my hope that gay marriage will soon be a thing of the past, and from this day forward it will simply be ‘marriage,'” an emotional Mr Obergefell said outside the court on Friday. The first state to allow same-sex marriage was Massachusetts, which granted the right in 2004. In recent years, a wave of legal rulings and a dramatic shift in public opinion have expanded gay marriage in the US. In 2012, the high court struck down a federal anti same-sex marriage law....

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US Pride Festivals Draw Liberal Clergy on Parade

Jun 26, 2015 by

By Jeffrey Walton, Juicy Ecumenism: Homosexual activists gather across the country for gay pride festivals this month. Here in Washington, D.C., the Capital Pride Festival marked its 40th year on Saturday the 13th, with hotels and other travel vendors flying rainbow flags and companies sponsoring the annual parade. Commercial vendors were not the only ones seeking to raise their profile in the gay and lesbian community: church officials and congregations ranging from retired Episcopal Church Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire to retired United Methodist Bishop Calvin D. McConnell of the Pacific Northwest were also on-hand for the events. Below is a compilation of some tweets that LGBT-affirming churches shared over the weekend. Read here...

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UK study shows massive surge in deadly STDs among gay men

Jun 26, 2015 by

By Lisa Bourne, LifeSite: A steep jump in cases of two deadly sexually transmitted diseases in the UK has been found among homosexual men, a new study says. Figures from the Public Health England (PHE) indicate the increase in cases of syphilis and gonorrhea among homosexual males rose considerably higher than that of the general population, prompting health experts to say the problem must be a public health priority and that this is likely just “the tip of the iceberg.” While the study showed a slight dip in sexually transmitted diseases overall, the impact of the diseases remains the greatest among young people under 25, and in particular homosexual men, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. “The stats published today show that too many people are getting STIs,” said Doctor Gwenda Hughes, head the PHE department that overseas STDs. “Reducing this spread must be a public health priority. We are particularly concerned about the large rises in diagnoses among gay men.” This concern was repeated by the leader of England’s Family Planning Association, who cautioned as well that the actual number of those who have contracted a sexually transmitted disease is unknown. “It is also concerning that young people under 25 and men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately affected by STIs,” Natika Halil told the UK Daily Mail. The PHE study showed a total jump of 33 percent in cases of deadly syphilis, and the increase among homosexual men at 47 percent. Read here Read also:  Leading U.S. hospital fires doctor for raising concerns about health risks of gay sex by Pete Baklinski, LifeSite Read report here...

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All eyes on the Supreme Court

Jun 26, 2015 by

By Brian Brown, NOM: The US Supreme Court decision on marriage will come down either tomorrow or Monday. Of course, no matter what the Court does decide, they cannot ever change the truth of marriage. Marriage is not a political institution that can be reshaped to suit a popular ideology. It is an institution with a unique meaning and purpose — to bring the two halves of humanity together to give children the best opportunity to experience the love of both their mother and father. Every civilization since the dawn of time has recognized that this is a universal, foundational truth. Hopefully a majority of Supreme Court justices will as well. If you live near Washington, DC, please try to come to the steps of the Court to be with us when the decision is rendered. I will be there myself. Plan on arriving Friday morning by 9am. Decisions are issued starting at 10am. If the decision does not come down on Friday, there will be rally at the Court on Monday morning beginning at 9:00am. Again, the decision will be released at 10:00am eastern time. Please join me there. Bait & Switch As we have written about frequently, so much of the movement in support of same-sex ‘marriage’ has been contrived, the result of deliberate attempts to manipulate public opinion. Polls are constructed in such a way to show outsized support for redefining marriage; the media writes at least five times the number of stories favoring gay ‘marriage’ than they do stories featuring opposition to it; and the public is constantly bombarded with pro-gay characters on television and in the movies. The Weekly Standard published an excellent article this week about the “Bait & Switch” approach used by same-sex ‘marriage’ advocates. Now that these advocates believe they have won the public relations battle with polls showing a majority of Americans are on their side, they are stepping back from their previous assertions — including the view that gays and lesbians are ‘born that way’ and that redefining marriage won’t actually change marriage — because they no longer serve their purposes. If you have a few minutes, it’s worth reading the article. The People’s Marriage Pledge As we’ve discussed many times, one of the most important things we can do to protect marriage, especially if the Supreme Court decision goes against us, is to elect a strong pro-marriage champion as President of the United States. NOM’sPresidential Marriage Pledge asks the candidates to commit to take specific actions as president to protect marriage. The pledge has been distributed to all the Republican candidates for president, and we will begin reporting in the next couple of weeks on who has agreed to sign. In the meantime, you can act today to advance the cause of marriage in the presidential contest by signing The People’s Marriage Pledge. As a signer, you are serving notice that you will only support a candidate who pledges to stand with us to protect marriage as the...

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Quick Verdict In The Case Against Ex-Gay Therapy

Jun 25, 2015 by

By Zack Ford, Think Progress: After three weeks of trial, a New Jersey jury reached a quick verdict in the case against JONAH, a Jewish ex-gay organization sued under the state’s consumer fraud laws. The jury unanimouslyfound against JONAH on all counts, meaning it will have to pay upwards of $25,000 in damages to the clients and their families for undergoing ex-gay therapy. The verdict is a big loss for the ex-gay therapy movement. Though JONAH was not permitted to present “expert” testimony — the judge compared it to testimony about the Earth being flat — the extensive trial offered a thorough examination of various ex-gay programs. This included not only the troubling practices of the Alan Downing, the JONAH-affiliated counselor who worked with the plaintiffs, but also a popular People Can Change retreat program called Journey Into Manhood (JiM). Two of the stars of TLC’s My Husband’s Not Gay, both Mormon, testified in the trial on behalf of their experiences with JiM. The victory for these plaintiffs and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) opens the door to similar challenges across the country that could hold other reparative therapists accountable for their harmful shame-based treatment. It also may encourage other states to follow the lead of California, New Jersey, and D.C. to pass laws banning ex-gay therapy for minors. Challenges to those laws have similarly failed in court. The judge’s instructions to the jury Thursday morning outlining how they should consider the charges seemed to indicate the inevitability of the outcome. If the jury felt that JONAH presented homosexuality as a “mental illness, disease, disorder or something equivalent” or if they determined that JONAH indicated any kind of “success rate” for reparative therapy, it had to find the organization in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act. Read here...

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Will something stop the traffic in Scotland?

Jun 25, 2015 by

By Chris Sugden: An earlier version of this article appeared in Evangelicals Now. At its General Synod from June 11-13 the Scottish Episcopal Church voted in favour of proposals to allow its ministers to solemnize same-sex marriages. The SEC has a membership of about 35,000 in 310 parishes with seven bishops. Small it may be in number but in terms of how Anglicans address this issue the vote has been significant. The proposal for their General Synod was built on a 40 page paper whose theology and argument had more holes in it than a swiss cheese.. But none of the options it proposed is acceptable to biblically faithful orthodox Anglicans in the SEC. While the flawed paper needs to be shown for what it is, intellectual and rational discussion have not overturned its proposals for two reasons. The first is the nature of synodical debates, US theologian Philip Turner describes these, at least in the USA, as “what parades as reflection and dialogue on the whole is no more than impassioned repetition in a politically controlled space of hardened positions.” The second is that same-sex activists do not use reason to advance their cause. Like Monty Python’s ‘Spanish Inquisition’, they have two weapons, not fear and surprise but emotion and power. Their speeches are emotive stories of subjective experience, which by their very nature cannot be challenged. Those who espouse faithful, biblical obedience, need to counter with their own stories of lives redeemed and changed, and of the results of teaching and modeling faithful and healthy marriage in families and churches. Their second weapon is power, in many cases the power of an unelected media elite and of the state.  The debate is being carried on in England, Scotland and most recently in Ireland with powerful secular forces who want to redefine and control everything, especially in the bedroom and in what is taught to children. And here is the crux of the matter. Many were stunned by the outcome of the Irish referendum on same-sex marriage. How could a historically Roman Catholic country be the first to make such a decision in such a way? In 1961, 75% of the population respected the church. By 2015 that had dropped to 10%.  One answer is that the church had failed in its task of teaching the next generation the goods of man-woman marriage. But ask yourself when you last heard from the pulpit a reasoned biblical exposition of the goods of man-woman marriage, and of the nature of intercourse as meaning “you only for me, for life, and responsibility for any children conceived.”  Thus pre-marital sex is either de facto marriage, or if not should be regarded as either hypocrisy, fraud or no more meaningful than a peck on the cheek.   The fact that infertile couples can marry is no counter-argument. The complementarity in the world is between male and female, not male/male or female/female. Research by the Pew Foundation in the USA has shown that children grow...

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Faith schools must be forced to teach about homosexuality – Andy Burnham

Jun 25, 2015 by

By John Bingham, Telegraph: Faith schools must be forced to teach about gay and lesbian relationships on a par with heterosexual couples, the Labour leadership front-runner Andy Burnham has insisted. The Shadow Health Secretary said those who argue that requiring all schools to teach about same-sex unions would be a threat to religious freedom were “straightforwardly wrong”. In an interview with PinkNews, the LGBT website, he added that the growth of academies and free schools was allowing individual schools to act as “judge and jury” to decide what they want to teach on such issues. Mr Burnham, who is from a Roman Catholic background, disclosed that he had gone through deep rifts with members of his own family after he become one of the first prominent MPs to publicly support same-sex marriage. “I have been repeatedly at odds with the Catholic church for all of my time as an MP,” he said. “I have always been going against what they were saying, and that is challenging. “That creates a personal challenge – I’ve been at odds with my own family, and that has been to some personal cost at times in terms of relationships with people. Read here...

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Gay Pride Flag Must Be Flown From Foreign Office, Tory MP Tells Philip Hammond

Jun 25, 2015 by

By Ned Simons, Huffington Post: Chris Grayling has agreed to speak to Philip Hammond after the foreign secretary refused to fly the LGBT rainbow flag from the Foreign Office and British embassies. This week London has celebrated gay pride, with the main parade taking place in the capital on Saturday. Traditionally several government buildings have replaced the Union flag with a rainbow flag to celebrate the event. This year the Foreign Office has not done so and insisted the Union flag is “never substituted for another flag”. However last year, when William Hague was foreign secretary, he exchanged the Union flag for the rainbow flag. Last July, numerous British embassies, including in Paris, Oslo, Tel Aviv and Santiago, also flew the LGBT flag. Tory MP Nigel Evans, a former deputy speaker of the Commons, today asked Grayling, the leader of the House, to “have a word” with the foreign secretary and encourage him to reverse his ban. “It will send such an important signal that will stand by the side of those opposed and indeed in some cases those who fear death for the crime of being born gay,” he said. Grayling said he was “very happy” to communicate the concern to his cabinet colleague. “I am very sympathetic to the work that has been done to address this issue around the world, it is shocking that many countries still regard homosexuality as illegal.” Read here...

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A tale of two bishops

Jun 25, 2015 by

By Andrew Carey, CEN: It was a tale of two bishops at last week’s industrial tribunal hearing in Nottingham over the case of Jeremy Pemberton, a hospital chaplain who was refused a license because he entered into a same-sex marriage. Firstly, there was Bishop Richard Inwood, the acting diocesan bishop who didn’t really deserve to be hauled out of retirement to be subjected to forensic questioning in the tribunal. His equivocations over the harmfulness of same-sex marriage to the doctrine of the Church of England, revealed a half-hearted approach to defending his original decision. An impression was given that he was merely following orders that led the tribunal judge to suggest that the Church of England’s position on same-sex marriage was a ‘busted flush’. The deafening silence from Lambeth Palace and Bishopthorpe hung over proceedings. In contrast, the Bishop of Buckingham, Alan Wilson, acting as an expert witness for Jeremy Pemberton, was characteristically and defiantly dismissive of the Church’s orthodox view that marriage is between a man and a woman as a “lousy definition” of matrimony. Read here...

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