Brazil and Peru ended with Presbyterian Church in USA over gay marriage

In another example of Christian discord over gay inclusion, Presbyterian churches in Brazil and Peru have ended their partnerships with the Presbyterian Church (USA) after the U.S. denomination changed its constitution because of celebrating same-sex marriages.
Mexico stopped partnering with the denomination after it allowed the ordination of sexually active gays and lesbians in 2011.


The South American churches hold differing views on inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of the church said Rev. Gradye Parsons.

“It’s a continuum of what people think God is calling them to do with LGBT issues”, he said. “Some think they should be loved and changed, and some think they should be loved and accepted.”

Projects in Brazil should continue education for pastors and missionaries, and participation in a church-planting partnership in Latin America.


The Evangelical Presbyterian, Reformed Church of Peru, Presbyterian churches in Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua and the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil were among the South American churches that partnered with the U.S. denomination.

About 94 million Christians belong to international churches founded or co-founded by PCUSA.








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Fired Priest: No ‘Gay Lobby’ in Vatican

“I met homosexual priests, often isolated like me … but no gay lobby,” Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa (pictured above) told an Italian TV station in an interview broadcast Sunday, reports Agence France-Presse. Charamsa was fired from the Vatican press office just weeks ago after speaking to an Italian newspaper about his identity and his relationship.


Earlier in 2013, Pope Francis told a group of Latin American church leaders that there is indeed a “gay lobby” in the Vatican. A report commissioned by the previous pope, Benedict XVI, alleged there was a Vatican-connected gay network that met in and around Rome.


“There exists a convent where priests who manifest inappropriate sexual tendencies are sent to reflect,” 44-year-old Mario Bonfanti told the newspaper. “It’s a place where they help you to rediscover the straight and narrow. They wanted to ‘cure’ me but I refused to go.”


Catholic officials acknowledged the existence of the convent outside Milan, but would not address the specific nature of the issues addressed at the Venturini Convent.


“Priests come to us for a period of formation and personal reflection. At the moment we have neither gay priests nor pedophile priests here,” Father Gianluigi Pasto, 71, the head of the convent, told U.K. newspaper The Telegraph. “Certainly our job is to welcome everybody.”

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Obama rips Republican candidates on gay marriage

President Obama on Sunday dismissed Republicans opposed to same-sex marriage as living in another era, saying the national conversation had moved beyond whether gays and lesbians deserve equal marriage rights.

“One of their leading candidates argued that going to prison turns you gay,” Obama said, an apparent reference to Ben Carson, who had claimed that homosexuality in prison is proof that being gay is a choice.

“I’m just stating the facts,” Obama continued. “Another candidate boasts that he introduced an amendment to end nationwide marriage equality. One said he loves the Constitution except for Article 3.”

The President said that “America has left the leaders of the Republican Party behind.”

“We need to reject politicians who are supporting new forms of discrimination as a way to scare up votes,” he added. “That’s not how we move America forward.”

During the event at Gotham Hall, which Democratic donors paid upwards of $33,400 to attend, Obama claimed Republican presidential contenders were pining for an era of economic failure.

“In their world, everything was terrific back in 2008 when we were in the midst of a spiral into the worst financial crisis and economic crisis since the Great Depression, when unemployment and uninsured rates were rising and when our economy was shedding jobs each month, and we were mired in two wars, hopelessly addicted to foreign oil, and bin Laden was still at large,” he said.

“Those were the Golden Years, apparently.

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Even Frito-Lay Employees Freaked Out About GS&P’s Gay Doritos

In case Pope Francis’s arrival in the United States made you think for a brief moment that we live in an agreeable, harmonious society filled with people who only want each other to live happy and satisfying lives, here’s a reminder that you’re totally wrong.


GS&P recently created a bag of rainbow-colored chips for client Doritos in partnership with the gay advocacy group It Gets Better, and certain parties just COULD NOT DEAL because they have no more productive way to spend their limited time on this planet. It’s rare for Adweek to attract real trolls, but this post somehow did–and it didn’t even include the words “Kim Davis.”


As the fat, sweaty fingers writing right-wing gossip blog Breitbart put it, “Doritos Aligns with Anti-Christian Bully Dan Savage.” From that post:


“The rainbow color of the Dorito chips represent the LGBT rainbow flag, a symbol now widely seen as one of anti-Christian hate and bigotry.”


What a smart take!


Who said advertising doesn’t matter?

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‘Bible Scripture’ Used Against Defiant Kentucky – But Which Verse Is It?

It’s a billboard that Planting Peace said is intended to take aim at the oft-times “rigid” definition of marriage that a “substantial number of zealots” refer to when stating their rejection of same-sex nuptials.

The organization said that there are many young people who are taking their lives over anti-gay messages that leave them feeling “broken,” and that the organization is seeking to counter Davis’ sentiment.

According to the Washington Post, the statement on the billboard is “an apparent reference to biblical verses that permit the selling of women.” And Time adds that it is in reference to a “Bible scripture in Exodus that suggests women can be sold into a marriage.”

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis listens to a customer following her office’s refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Although her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied, Davis still refuses to issue marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

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Gay Catholic Was Invited To White House To Welcome Pope Francis

“My name is Aaron Jay Ledesma.

I’m from Houston, Texas.

I’m Catholic.

I’m gay.

I’m me.”


I’m honored and humbled to have been invited to the White House when President Obama welcomes Pope Francis.

I’m still shocked that so many people are even interested in my visit.

Now, I may have not said those exact words, but my blog, The Gay Catholic, does explain how I try to reconcile my faith and my relationship with God as an openly gay man.

The why behind it all.

Religion and politics aside, wouldn’t anyone want to be present at the White House when the President of the United States welcomes the Pope, especially in 2015?

I mean, SCOTUS legalized gay marriage in the United States this year and we have a Pope who speaks of compassion, love and less judgement of the LGBT community.

The two governing bodies I love and believe in are coming together. Both of which have expressed acceptance and support of the LGBT community. That’s why I want to be there at the White House.

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Drama Teacher Delivers The Best Response To Homophobic Mother

A drama teacher from Kidderminster, England, Michael Neri (26), recently received a text from a mother who feels he shouldn’t teach children because he’s gay.


The teacher was pretty devastated after learning that two of his students would no longer be attending his drama classes.


His students’ parents sent him a text to say that after they “learned of his lifestyle” they no longer wanted their children to attend class because they might be influenced by his “unconventional ideas”.


The photograph was shared on Facebook by Regan Shepherd on 17 November, it has since been uploaded to Imgur and has been viewed more than 50,000 times.


The mother sent him a message that reads:


“Hi Michael. Following our chat this week I have decided that [child] and [child] will not be attending class on Monday. You have a strong reputation for performing arts which encouraged me to sign my children up for classes.I have recently learned of your lifestyle and as a Christian I cannot allow my children to be influenced by unconventional ideas. It is our belief that a man should marry a woman. I look forward to receiving my deposit which you may post to me via check.”


And Neri gave her just the perfect response:


“I would be lying if I said I was disappointed to hear this. I pride my students on the respect and love they have for others and their passion for equality. You would only be infringing on our family. As far as I’m aware, my sexuality doesn’t affect my ability to teach, just like it wouldn’t affect a doctor’s ability to treat one of your children should they become unwell. I’m sure your children’s health would come first should they need emergency treatment, or would you need to check their doctor’s lifestyle prior to their life-saving operation?

“I wish you luck in finding an appropriate stage school that meets your needs, however from experience I find that theatre without gays is like cooking without spices.”

He added:


“I hear StageCoach are enrolling but their teachers have been known to wear mixed fabrics which I’m sure you are aware is forbidden in the Bible (Leviticus 19:19). Please feel free to come see our musical ‘Happy Days’, confetti will be used in the finale but please rest assured this is not an attempt to corrupt your Christian lifestyle. We just love glitter

“Unfortunately deposits are non refundable but don’t worry, your deposit has been donated to Stonewall, an LGBT charity.

“Regards, Michael.”

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Gay Catholic Priest Reveals His “Secret Agony”


A Catholic priest had to be voiced by an actor on interview on BBC Radio Ulster’s Stephen Nolan Show, because he feared ostracism not only by the Church, but also by his family.


He also told how he feared being thrown out of the Catholic Church and disowned by his parents.


He said he has known he was gay since he was ten years old and growing up gay in Northern Ireland was “very, very difficult”.

“I couldn’t express it in any way. My parents are very conservative in their views and thinking, and being surrounded by people making homophobic remarks and viewpoints was really difficult.”


“I really struggled with my sexuality and I suppose I still do to some extent. So for someone to say it’s a lifestyle choice is nothing short of a disgusting slur because there are times I wish I wasn’t gay, so that dismisses the whole theory in my view … it certainly isn’t on my part.”


The priest said his sexuality “partly” pushed him into the priesthood, adding that many other men have entered the priesthood as a “cover”.


He said he accepted the rules of his profession when he entered the priesthood but has struggled more with it as he has aged.


“I had been driven to contemplate suicide, and recently I had felt in that position and it has taken its toll on my mental health, and there are others who feel the same,” he said.

“I felt the burden was getting too much and I was struggling every day. It does weigh heavily on my mind. I am not saying I will go through with it, I am saying I will contemplate it.”


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Utah Judge, Scott Johansen, Removes Himself From Gay Foster Parent Case

Judge Scott Johansen reversed his order last week to remove the 9-month-old baby from the home of April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce and allowed the girl to stay with the married couple. But there were concerns he could still have the baby removed from their home in Price, about 120 miles south of Salt Lake City, during a custody hearing set for Dec. 4.

The couple asked that the judge be disqualified. In an order released Monday, Johansen wrote that while the couple do not have legal standing, he is nevertheless stepping aside.

In his initial decision, Johansen mentioned research showing children do better when raised by heterosexual families. The American Psychological Association, however, has said there’s no scientific basis for believing that gays and lesbians are unfit parents based on sexual orientation.

He removed himself from the case after widespread criticism from national gay rights groups, the Republican governor and others. A gay rights group has filed a complaint with state judicial officials, and the Alliance for a Better Utah, a watchdog group, called on Monday for state lawmakers to impeach the judge.

Johansen is barred from speaking about pending cases and a call to his publicly listed phone number went unanswered Monday.


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Ireland : It’s Yes For Love – Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Legal

Ireland’s new same-sex marriage law comes into force from Monday, six months after the country voted to allow gay unions in a historic referendum.


Existing same-sex marriages registered abroad will be immediately recognised in Ireland, while other couples can now submit their intention to marry.


“I felt I didn’t have permission to say we were married but from now we will say it at every opportunity,” said Vivian Cummins, 57, from Dublin who married his partner Erney in South Africa in 2009.


“I would never really admit by choice to being married because I didn’t feel married in this country,” he told AFP.


In May, Ireland voted 62.1 percent in favour of allowing marriage between two people “without distinction as to their sex”, the first time anywhere that gay marriage has been legalised in a referendum.


It was a long journey for LGBT campaigners in the traditionally Catholic country that only decriminalised homosexual acts in 1993.


“After years of waiting for this day, it’s just an extraordinary moment for us,” said Senator Katherine Zappone, who lost a High Court case in 2006 to have her Canadian marriage to her wife recognised in Ireland.


The couple plan to bring their “marriage home” in a ceremony in January after Zappone proposed to her wife Ann Louise Gilligan live on national television after the referendum result was announced.


A total of 2,054 couples have entered a civil partnership since Ireland introduced the legal unions in 2011 but a further ceremony will be required to convert these into marriage, with just a few days notice.

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