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Content about Religion

April 24, 2015

Sympathizers claim the embraces show compassion

Shocking images emerged on social media Thursday (23 April) of Islamic State (ISIS) militants stoning a gay couple to death, seconds after hugging them in 'forgiveness.'

The photos were taken in ISIS-controlled territory in the Syrian province of Homs.

The first few images are close-ups of the two blindfolded men hugging their executioners in an apparent display of forgiveness.

ISIS sympathizers who shared the photos online claim the embraces showed compassion.

April 24, 2015

Gender-fluid deities, gay sex in temples and much more

Think all religion is anti-LGBTI? Think again.

While many know the arguments for and against equality from Christians, Muslims and Jews, have you considered the world’s other major religions?

In my last article for Gay Star News I was struck by the number of readers who commented that religion was our enemy.

If you think that, much of what follows will surprise you.

Hinduism

Hindu views of LGBTI issues are diverse and different Hindu groups have distinct views.

April 22, 2015

'Somebody undergoing a sex change to fully realize themselves is incredibly compelling for me'

Actress Amber Heard, now married to Johnny Depp, came out as bisexual back in 2010.

She's been a staunch advocate for the LGBTI community since which is one of the reasons why she wanted to star in the upcoming film The Danish Girl. In the film, Eddie Redmayne plays an artist famous for getting one of the first known gender-reassignment surgeries.

Heard plays the artist's wife.

April 21, 2015

'I cannot take this pressure'

India's entrant to Mr Gay World (MGW) has withdrawn from the competition and gone into hiding after his family received threats.

Alarm bells were raised Sunday (19 April) when Thahir Mohammed Sayyed, 28, and his family could not be found at their home in Kochi and Kottayam, and all references to MGW were deleted from his Facebook page.

His nomination sparked outrage among the region's close-knit Muslim community last week when the MGW poster was released on social media.

April 17, 2015

Makes comments while defending Indiana's 'religious freedom' law

Pat Robertson spouted another anti-gay conspiracy this week on his The 700 Club television show.

The 84-year-old televangelist, speaking in defense of Indiana's controversial 'religious freedom' law, called the liberals who led the backlash against the law 'totalitarian socialists. They want the government to force everybody into their mold.'

The state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act led to a nationwide backlash because it opened the door for private businesses to legally discriminate against gay people if they cited religious beliefs.

April 16, 2015

More than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members say he sets 'pastoral tone that is closer to persecution than evangelization'

In an open letter published Thursday (16 April), more than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members are calling on San Francisco's anti-gay Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to be replaced.

The letter to Pope Francis accuses Cordileone of having 'a single issue agenda against gay marriage' and for setting a 'pastoral tone that is closer to persecution than evangelization.'

April 15, 2015

And why celibacy is not the answer either

I wish Leelah Alcorn was alive today. She would know how a petition on the White House website with 120,000 plus signatures calling for the enactment of ‘Leelah’s Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy’ not only went viral across mainstream and social media internationally, but how the petition was also swiftly supported by Obama and his administration.

April 14, 2015

Over 30,000 people called for visas to be denied to the 'gay cure' preachers invited to speak at the summit

A 'gay cure' convention scheduled to take place in London later this month is now cancelled.

Thousands protested over the Holy Sexuality Conference that was scheduled from 21-25 April, with three of the biggest 'ex-gay' advocates invited to come and preach dangerous 'therapies'.

Mike Carducci, Wayne Blakely and Danielle Harrison of the Coming Out Ministries were invited to speak by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, a conservative Christian organization.

Gay people had been specifically invited in order for them to 'overcome their sexual habits'.

April 12, 2015

'The rights of gay people have become, very properly, the great justice issue of our time just as the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of women were in the past': Church of Ireland Bishop Michael Burrows

Church of Ireland bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory Michael Burrows reiterated his support for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum on May 22.

The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion.

April 8, 2015

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has likened the owners of an Indiana pizzeria to Nazi Holocaust victim Anne Frank because they temporarily closed their restaurant and went into hiding after a public backlash

Bryan Fischer, one of the most extreme homophobic public figures in the United States, has made the bizarre comparison between the owners of an Indiana pizzeria that announced they intended to use their state’s controversial ‘religious freedom’ law to refuse to cater gay weddings to one of the most well known victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

The former Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) made the comments on his FocalPoint show on the AFA Channel online on Monday.

April 7, 2015

Claudetteia Love's principal had said: 'Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that's the way it is'

Claudetteia Love will be wearing a tuxedo to her high school prom after all.

The honor student at Carroll High School in Monroe, Louisiana, had been told she would be violating the school’s dress code if she turned up in a tux at the dance on 24 April.

But after The National Center for Lesbian Rights got involved, the teen's story went public and school officials have backed down.

April 7, 2015

The Holy See is to receive its first ever openly gay ambassador in the form of France’s Laurent Stefanini and not everybody’s sure they’re too thrilled about that

The smallest country in Europe and its only remaining absolute monarchy is about to get its first ever openly gay ambassador from another country.

Vatican City, home of the Holy See and headquarters of the global Catholic Church, is only 44 hectares (110 acres), and with a population of 842 is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

April 6, 2015

Tweets saying true love only 'expressed between a man and a woman through marriage' result in backlash

Controversy was the furthest thing away from David Archuleta when as a high school teen, he sang his way to a runner-up finish during seven season of American Idol.

But over the weekend Archuleta found himself in hot water on social media after he posted a pair of tweets that were seen by many as his saying that gay couples could never achieve real love.

The tweets read in part that 'love is nourished by the coming of children, who spring from the fountain of love expressed between a man and woman in marriage.'

April 6, 2015

Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon supports the criminalization of homosexuality but says the church’s battle is ‘not against homosexuals, our battle today is against those who say God’s standards are not good enough for us.’

A Nigerian bishop who supports the criminalization of LGBTI people has been appointed to be the next Secretary General of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Josiah Idowu-Fearon has been the Bishop of Kaduna since 1998 and has a reputation for his expertise in managing relations between the Christian and Muslim communities in Nigeria.

However he is adamant that homosexuality remain illegal in Nigeria

April 6, 2015

The Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have used the church's 185th Annual General Convention to speak out against 'counterfeit lifestyles' that are outside of heterosexual marriage

Senior leaders of the Mormon religion, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, have used the church's annual gathering in Salt Lake City to double down on their opposition to same-sex couples being allowed to marry – labeling them 'counterfeit' relationships.

'We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established,' Apostle L Tom Perry told the 185th Annual General Convention of his church.

April 6, 2015

The popstar made the remarks during a televised concert in Indianapolis

Rihanna has publicly criticized Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The singer, who spoke out against the controversial pro-discrimination bill during her headlining set at the March Madness Music Fest in White River State Park, Indiana, told the crowd that the state's lawmakers should let people 'live their lives'.

April 5, 2015

Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall says that it’s wrong that claiming a victim made a gay sexual advance can be used by a killer to downgrade a murder conviction to manslaughter

The Anglican Archbishop of the Australian city of Brisbane has backed calls for the so-called ‘gay panic’ defense to be removed as a possible partial defense under Queensland state law.

A ‘gay panic’ defense is where someone, usually a man, who is accused of murdering someone of the same-sex claims that their victim made a sexual advance towards them and that it provoked them to such a degree that they were not fully responsible for their own actions.

April 4, 2015

Transgender Wikileaks whistleblower must dictate her tweets by phone from military prison

Under the handle @xychelsea, imprisoned Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning made her debut on Twitter on Friday (3 April).

In one of her 15 tweets, Manning explained to 22,000-plus followers how she tweets without access to the Internet.

'Tweeting from prison reqs a lot of effort and using a voice phone to dictate,' she wrote.

April 3, 2015

'I can only hope that (the government) will do the right thing for the people of our state'

Singer John Mellencamp doesn't plan to join others in the boycott of Indiana over the signing of its 'religious freedom' law.

But he 'thought seriously' of canceling some upcoming shows.

The life-long resident of the state states in a Facebook post that he has a 'heavy heart' over legislation that opens the door for private businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians for religious reasons.

April 3, 2015

Speaking on religious freedom laws, Tom Cotton of Arkansas said: 'In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay'

Singer Miley Cyrus is hoping US Senator Tom Cotton's office is being flooded with irate phone calls today.

Cyrus took to Twitter and asked her nearly 20 million followers to help her 'Stir Some Sh*t Up' for Cotton for saying gays needed perspective when it came to controversial religious freedom laws in his state and Indiana.

April 2, 2015

She also has the best message to those who thought she would have sex with a male judge to get ahead

The Great British Bake Off's Ruby Tandoh has come out.

The food writer for The Guardian took to Twitter to tell her followers that she was out to her parents.

She linked to a video of Diana Ross' 'I'm Coming Out', and said: 'Me to my parents today. feeling lucky and joyful and f r e e. over and Out.'

'& to all the bros who hate social media, who pit it against "real life",' she added. 'i never would've had courage to be me w/out twitter's queer queens.'

April 2, 2015

The Glass Protégé explores the movie studios' obsession with image, money, and power.

My attention is easily grabbed by any play that carries a warning of 'very strong language and scenes of full-frontal male nudity', so I had been looking forward to seeing The Glass Protégé. After a six week run in Chicago, this new play from Dylan Costello had its London debut at the Park Theatre.

April 2, 2015

Show follow George and Brad Takei as they navigate the perils of the Internet and other facets of modern life

At 77 years young, George Takei remains cutting edge.

Takei took to Facebook on Thursday (2 April) to share with his 8.4 million followers that he and his husband, Brad Takei, have a new comedy web series about to debut.

It's cleverly titled It Takeis Two and the Star Trek icon writes that 'it follows our lives as we navigate the perils of the Internet and other facets of modern life.'

A preview of the show, which premieres on 7 April, has animated opening credits harkening back to such classics 1960s sitcoms as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.

April 1, 2015

He's got tomfoolery on his mind

This might be the most boring April Fools' joke ever, and it has come from Sam Smith.

The gay singer has proven that he is not quite qualified to work at The Onion after he took to his Twitter today. 

We imagine him, waking up in his Paris hotel, trying to think of the most hilarious prank to play on his 2.4 million Twitter followers.

Will they be fooled? Will they be duped? Will they be bamboozled by my tomfoolery?

He said:

Sam Smith April 1