LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about Blessing of same-sex unions in Christian churches

April 23, 2015

Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and white evangelicals are the least supportive

Buddhists and Jews are two the major religious groups most supportive of gay marriage, according to a recent survey.

Some 84% of Buddhists and 77% of Jews support gay marriage, as well as 77% of the religiously unaffiliated and 75% of Americans who selected 'other religion' also support gay marriage.

The findings from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) draws on 40,000 interviews among a random sample of Americans.

July 7, 2014

Even though the UK religious organization already blesses civil partnerships, United Reformed Church members might have to wait years until they can get married in a church

Even though the majority of the United Reformed Church supports holding same-sex weddings, but the ban will stay in place.

One of the largest Churches in the UK, its General Assembly met in Cardiff at the weekend to discuss whether they would allow gay marriage.

Under the new gay marriage law in England and Wales, religious organizations must ‘opt in’ to offer weddings to gay couples. The Church of England and Church in Wales are automatically banned under the legislation.

June 27, 2014

A new Vatican working paper which was the result of a worldwide survey of Catholics reiterates the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage but found nearly all Catholics thought having gay parents should not be a barrier to a child being baptized into the faith

A new Vatican report which will be the basis of a meeting of bishops in October has conceded that many Catholics now support the legal recognition of same-sex unions in countries where they are legal but reiterates the church’s opposition to such unions being recognized.

The Instrumentum Laboris working paper will be the basis of the upcoming Synod on the Family which has been organized by Pope Francis I to revisit the Catholic Church’s position on a range of issues related to marriage, sexuality and family.

June 24, 2014

The Moravian Church in North America’s Northern Province voted Sunday to allow gays and lesbians to become clergy and also to create a religious ceremony by which to bless same-sex unions

The 2014 Synod of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in North America has approved same-sex clergy and a new religious rite to bless same-sex unions in a vote of 181-62.

The province’s Book of Order will also be revised to reflect the new policy.

The Northern Province is the Moravian Church’s largest province in North America and covers churches in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, California, Ontario and Alberta.

May 15, 2014

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is exploring whether it can bless same-sex relationships after its General Synod accepted a report on the issue

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has accepted a report on the issue of blessing same-sex relationships at its May General Synod and will likely decide on the issue in two years.

The church’s commission into the issue presented a number of different options on how to proceed as many New Zealand Anglicans support the church blessing same-sex relationships while most Polynesian Anglicans are opposed.

May 13, 2014

Two South Sudanese Anglican bishops have warned their church would have to sever ties with the Church of England if it begins blessing same-sex couples as it will result in violence against Christians

Two South Sudanese Anglican bishops have warned the Church of England against blessing the marriages of same-sex couples – saying their church would have to end its association with it if it did.

Wau Diocese Bishop Moses Deng Bol warned that his church members would be tarred by association with the Church of England by other Africans who would subject them to sectarian violence.

May 3, 2014

Michael Perham spoke about the ‘harsh and negative’ attitude the Church took towards same-sex marriage and gay Christians 

The Bishop of Gloucester has addressed the Church’s treatment of LGBT people, apologizing for shunning them and asking the Church to be more accepting of them.

Right Revd Michael Perham was speaking at Gloucester’s Diocesan Synod on 1 May.

During his speech, Perham asked for ‘gracious restraint’ from the Church after offending so many LGBT Christians with their stance on same-sex marriage, the Gloucestershire Echo reports.

April 23, 2014

Dr Barry Morgan said many religious leaders are using the Bible to fight against LGBTI equality, suggesting there is no single Christian viewpoint on gay relationships

Gay couples who want to get married should be patient if they want the blessing of the Church in Wales, its archbishop has said today (23 April).

The first same-sex weddings in England and Wales took place on 29 March with many gay couples able to say they were one of the first to be officially married.

In the legislation passed by parliament, the Church of England and the Church in Wales was expressly banned from blessing same-sex marriages.

Other religious organizations had the power to ‘opt-in’ if they wished.

April 3, 2014

Bishop’s conference publicly rejected the proposition of MPs being denied communion for voting in favor of marriage equality

Catholic MPs will not be punished by the church for being in favor of gay marriage.

After some members of parliament in the UK supported same-sex marriage in England and Wales, the Bishop of Portsmouth Philip Egan accused them of being ‘grave sinners.’

However, yesterday (2 April) The Catholic Conference of England announced they have ‘no plans’ to side with the bishop and deny politicians Holy Communion.

March 26, 2014

Anglican clergy are expressly banned, under church doctrine as well as in law, from marrying same-sex couples in a church

A third of Church of England bishops are allegedly gay, according to a clergyman.

As same-sex marriage becomes a reality in England and Wales on 29 March, many religious leaders are speaking out for and against the unions.

Anglican clergy are expressly banned, under church doctrine as well as in law, from marrying same-sex couples in a church.

March 25, 2014

Christian humanitarian charity World Vision America will now employ Christians who are in committed same-sex marriages under rule changes announced earlier today

The US branch of Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization World Vision will begin hiring gay Christians who are in same-sex marriages.

The announcement was made by World Vision America president Richard Stearns in an interview with Christianity Today.

March 19, 2014

GSN sources say past gay ‘cures’ by the Anglican Church in Uganda have included beatings and exorcisms to draw out gay demons

The Church of Uganda will be setting up ‘gay cure’ groups after returning ‘resources’ given to them by the Church of England.

They may even be performing ‘exorcisms’ and beatings, according to experts.

It shows the Anglican community in the east African country is distancing itself from the mother church in the UK, which has called on it to be more gay-friendly.

President Yoweri Museveni praised bishops of the Anglican Church recently for their support and campaigning to pass the anti-gay legislation.

March 5, 2014

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany has voted to allow pastors in committed same-sex relationships to share church residences with their partners

The gay pastors of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Northern Germany will be allowed to share church owned residences for clergy with their committed same-sex partners after a near unanimous vote at a church summit on Friday.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany was formed in 2012 and is a union of the North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg and the Pomeranian Evangelical Church.

The proposal was voted for 156 to 2.

February 15, 2014

New rules state gay priests are banned from getting married and gay couples will be refused official Church blessings

Gay priests have been banned from same-sex marriage and gay couples will only be able to receive informal prayers from priests, not official blessings, a new report from the Church of England has stated.

The Telegraph reports the Church of England’s House of Bishops yesterday (14 February) released new ‘pastoral guidance’ outlining strict rules on LGBTI clergy and congregation.

January 11, 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints released a statement following recognition of marriages by Government

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has issued a statement to its churches explaining its strong stance against same-sex marriage.

In a statement issued yesterday (10 January), the Church maintained its belief that homosexuality is not condoned by God, and that civil laws cannot override God's word.

The church said: 'Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep his commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society.'

December 15, 2013

The Bishops’ Conference of the national Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church has backed a doctrinal clarification which would allow priests to marry same-sex couples if they choose to, supporting a new liturgy so that they can marry in churches

The Bishop’s Conference of the Norwegian national Evangelical Lutheran Church has backed efforts to allow same-sex couples to have religious weddings but will not force clergy who disagree with them to perform them.

The Bishop’s Conference of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church approved a doctrinal clarification recognizing same-sex marriage this week, with its central board voting unanimously in favor of the proposal.

November 28, 2013

As the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says there need to be a 'revolution' in attitudes on homosexuality, a work group has proposed a celebration of same-sex unions

Church of England clergy will be able to recognize and bless same-sex marriages under new proposals revealed today (28 November).

While they gay couples will not be able to be legally married in a church, they will be free to have their union celebrated.

A group of clergymen has recommended they should be able to ‘offer appropriate services to mark a faithful same-sex relationship’.

While some have criticized their decision, the church group has said they should be welcoming and affirming the presence of LGBTI people in the religious community.

October 18, 2013

8 out of 12 of the bishops of the national Church of Norway believe it is acceptable that same-sex couples have religious weddings but the church may settle for church blessings of civil marriages to appease traditionalists

Two thirds of the clerical leadership of the national Lutheran Church of Norway believe that same-sex couples should be allowed religious marriages in its churches but the church may decide to bless same-sex couples who wed civilly instead to appease conservatives.

8 out of 12 Church of Norway bishops indicated their support for marrying same-sex couples within the church, while 4 were opposed.

October 10, 2013

Archbishop David Gitari was a progressive force for the LGBT community in the African and Anglican churches

As Kenya laid to rest former Anglican Archbishop and pro-democracy agitator, David Gitari, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community mourned one of its supporters in the Christian faith.

Gitari’s record on support for dialogue and understanding on homosexuality – particularly those who identify as Christians – shows the progressive maturity and enviable courage of one of Kenya’s most visible religious personalities.

September 27, 2013

A US United Methodist tribunal will decide whether individual churches and church regions can disagree with the central church’s teachings on same-sex marriage and homosexuality after more than 1,500 of its priests signed a statement offering to marry same-sex couples

The United Methodist Judicial Council will decide late October if its clergy and local church regions can hold different opinions on the issues of homosexuality and marriage and will also decide the fate of four priests who have been charged with marrying same-sex couples.

August 12, 2013

German Evangelical Protestants have made good on a pledge to marry non-heterosexual couples, holding their first religious same-sex marriage over the weekend

The German Evangelical Protestant Church held its first same-sex wedding over the weekend according to reports in local media.

The couple, Ruediger and Christoph Zimmermann, tied the knot in Seligenstadt near Frankfurt, Hessian state public radio reported.

Germany does not yet recognize same-sex marriage so the ceremony will not change their legal status but the couple were already in a civil union.

In June the German Evangelical Protestant Church said it would start celebrating same-sex marriages and adding them to the church register.

July 10, 2013

Gay member of parliament Ben Bradshaw claims an Exeter church turned away a gay couple as they were not 'welcome'

A gay family was banned from worshiping in an English church, according to an openly gay member of parliament.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said an Exeter ‘conservative evangelical church’ had turned away the unnamed couple, who wish to not be identified.

During a debate in the House of Commons, he asked what guidance the Church of England was planning to issue to parishes and church schools on pastoral care for same-sex couples and their children’.

June 1, 2013

UK religious leaders have formed an 'unprecedented' alliance to urge Prime Minister David Cameron to halt the marriage equality bill

53 religious leaders from different faiths including Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism have written to PM David Cameron opposing gay marriage.

British newspaper The Telegraph reports that Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist leaders have joined in submitting an open letter to the British Prime Minister denouncing his plans for same-sex marriage to be debated in the House of Lords next week.

May 31, 2013

Changing Attitude and the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement provide prayers for Christian supporters of equal marriage as anti-gay Christians hold day of prayer against equality

LGBT Christians will go head-to-head with anti-gay Christians as they both spend a day praying to God – for or against marriage equality.

Gay-hating Christians have declared Sunday (2 June) as Britain's National Day of Prayer for Marriage.

But, on being alerted to the day by Gay Star News, Christians who support LGBT equality have responded by issuing their own prayers – hoping for divine help to pass the equal marriage bill for England and Wales.