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May 5, 2015

'I remembered that it was really a faith based in love'

Oscar nominated actress Maria Bello believes it is possible to be in a same-sex relationship and still be a good Catholic.

The star of such films as Coyote Ugly, The Cooler and A History of Violence came out as bisexual in 2013 and recently spoke with GLAAD about how she reconciles her sexuality with her faith.

'I didn't think I could reclaim the label of Catholic even though I went to 16 years of Catholic school (and) my dearest friend at university was a Catholic priest. He was my partner in so many ways.

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 8, 2015

He attempted to seduce a young straight man over Facebook

When an Italian priest asked a man to be his Judas in his sexual fantasy, this is probably not what he had in mind.

Around six months ago, an unnamed labourer claims he was having a difficult time after losing his job and had been posting about his troubles on Facebook.

The 32-year-old, from Rovigo in north-east Italy, said when he was contacted by a Taranto priest he thought that it could be a divine signal.

'I thought it could have been a sign from heaven, I needed spiritual help,' he told Corriere della Sera.

March 23, 2015

The 67-year-old priest entered into the 'marriage' with a Pakistani immigrant

A Catholic priest is allowed to preach again after dissolving his civil partnership.

Father Donald Minchew, 67, was suspended after it was found he entered into a union with a man in 2008.

The religious leader was preaching St Mary's Catholic Church in Croydon, south London, before it was found he had entered into a 'gay marriage' of sorts.

In a letter to parishioners last week, prelate Monsignor Keith Newton said Minchew was allowed to return to work 'after much prayer and discussion'.

March 11, 2015

Bishop Kevin Doran also said homosexuality is not a plan of God's plan - similar to Down's syndrome

An Irish Catholic bishop has defended saying LGBTI people with children 'are not parents'.

Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran made the comments on NewsTalk Breakfast radio on Monday (9 March) after urging people to vote against same-sex marriage in the upcoming referendum.

When asked about the proposed Children and Family Relationships Bill, which will ensure children who are born out of wedlock, he said he opposed it.

'[Gay people] may have children - but that's the point - people who have children are not necessarily parents,' Doran said.

March 10, 2015

Augustinian priest Iggy O’Donovan said this week that he will ‘unquestioningly be voting yes’ in Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage because he believes in the freedom for all people to choose how they live their lives

An Augustinian Catholic priest has gone public with his intention of voting for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ireland in May, saying his personal religious views on marriage should not be imposed onto other people in society who believed differently.

Fr Iggy O’Donovan told The Irish Independent this week that he was an ‘an absolute believer in Catholic teaching on marriage.’

February 12, 2015

A colleague's offensive comments on gays prompted the actor to reveal his sexuality 

The American star of a hit Russian sitcom has risked his career by coming out as gay.

Odin Biron stars as Phil, an American doctor trying to negotiate his life in Russia, in one of the country's most popular TV programmes, a medical sitcon somewhat similar to Scrubs called Interns.

The actor, born and raised in Minnesota, has been the shows’s star for the past four years and felt the need to come out after his co-star, Ivan Okhlobystin, made offensive comments.  

February 10, 2015

His congregation are fighting for the pro-gay religious leader to stay

A Swiss priest has to leave his parish after giving a blessing to a lesbian couple.

Wendelin Bucheli, a priest in the municipality of Bürglen in the west of Switzerland, gave his blessings to a lesbian couple in October 2014 after discussing it with other members of the clergy.

But a bishop is angered by the priest's actions, for 'angering many believers', and is planning on punishing him by removing him from the village.

Bucheli's congregation are supporting him and are fighting his forced relocation.

February 2, 2015

He claims he was 'cured' by God and is now married to a woman

A priest who preaches that gay people can be 'cured' has been exposed as a former gay porn star.

Pastor Jose Santiago, from Puerto Rico, claims he called by God seven years ago and is now living life spreading the word of God.

He also claims to be happily married by a woman.

'In those days I was gay and participated in homosexual activities, but God touched me, God transformed me, God gave me a woman who loves me and she loves my past,' he said, the Mirror writes.

January 27, 2015

First time a pontiff meets with a transgender person

Pope Francis held a private meeting with a transgender man after he wrote to the pontiff about the rejection he experienced by the Catholic church after transitioning. 

Diego Neria Lejárraga and his fiancée Saturday (24 January) were received at the Vatican, in what marked the first meeting between a pontiff and a transgender person.

Last year, Neria sent Francis a letter, in which he described how the church he attended in Plasencia, Spain had rejected him after he underwent sex-reassignment surgery. One priest even called him 'the devil’s daughter.'

January 20, 2015

Openly gay director says men on the DL are 'killing African-American women'

Openly gay director Lee Daniels has said he wants to 'blow the lid off' homophobia in the African-American community in his new TV series Empire.

The Oscar-winning director of Precious said he was frightened by his own father's hostility towards homosexuality and the same attitude was depicted in the lead character's relationship with his gay son.

'Homophobia is rampant in the African American community, and men are on the DL,' he said at a press conference on Saturday (17 January).

January 19, 2015

Claims he was blackmailed and forced to pay out 100,000 francs in order to keep his secrecy

A priest was arrested in Cameroon for being gay last Friday (16 January).

The Cameroon Foundation for AIDS has said the religious leader, as well as a young man, was detained for homosexuality in Yaounde at around 10pm by police.

'I was going to the market when I met this young man, he was going in the same direction as men, and we started to chat when a police team arrived,' the priest said, who has not been named.

January 9, 2015

Now that's something worth praising

A Dublin priest decided to risk everything by choosing to come out in front of his congregation in order to fight for same-sex marriage.

But it was worth taking, for he received a standing ovation from his parishioners.

Father Martin Dolan, a priest at Church of St Nicholas of Myra in Dublin's city center, led Mass last weekend by calling on his flock to support same-sex marriage in the upcoming Irish referendum.

'I'm gay myself,' he revealed.

December 12, 2014

Nigerian pastor explains why Jesus loves gays but African Christians do not

To win the struggle to change men and women’s hearts and minds, one must consider what the Bible calls strongholds – ideologies, views or thinking that have been held on to for a long time.

When that thinking is wrong, the challenge is great.

Many African strongholds include the view that homosexuality is paganistic and paganism is bad. The second is that gay white men want to pollute black children (see the justifications for Uganda's anti-gay laws).

December 1, 2014

You can bet the DJs are sick of them requesting Like A Prayer

Irish Catholic priests have revealed they regularly go to gay bars.

New research has revealed the sex lives of 'celibate' priests in the Church, revealing many of them have been sexually active and there is an 'active gay scene'.

'Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity' publishes new analysis of priests' views from a series of interviews conducted by Dr John Weafer, a former seminarian who is now married with children.

December 1, 2014

You can bet the DJs are sick of them requesting Like A Prayer

Irish Catholic priests have revealed they regularly go to gay bars.

New research has revealed the sex lives of 'celibate' priests in the Church, revealing many of them have been sexually active and there is an 'active gay scene'.

'Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity' publishes new analysis of priests' views from a series of interviews conducted by Dr John Weafer, a former seminarian who is now married with children.

October 27, 2014

Ivan Okhlobystin also thinks Ebola victims will come back as zombies

Latvia has banned a Russian actor from entering the country after he said gay people should be 'burned alive'.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said Ivan Okhlobystin, the controversial former priest, would not be allowed to give a one-man show about religion in Riga on 7 November.

He said he would not be allowed to enter the country because of what the foreign minister referred to as hate speech.

Rinkevics later added the entry ban was based on the actor's offensive statements about the LGBTI community.

July 16, 2014

‘I suppose it was bound to come out eventually,’ Reverend Sally Hitchiner said after the interview

Meet Reverend Sally Hitchiner, a British priest and one of the most modern voices in religion working today.

This week, she was asked to appear on current affairs programme Channel 5 News to discuss the Church of England finally allowing women to become bishops.

The 33-year-old has become notable in recent years for not being ‘traditional’, daring to wear Prada, post funny videos online, and still continue in her priesthood.

July 8, 2014

Russian Orthodox priest Alexander Shumsky has called the World Cup of football a ‘homosexual abomination,’ writing that players might as well be cross dressing because of their colorful shoes

Russian Orthodox priest Alexander Shumsky is glad his country has been knocked out of the World Cup because he says the event is homosexual propaganda.

Shumsky has warned that the bright colored shoes warn by teams are promoting the ‘gay rainbow’ and has dubbed the World Cup a ‘homosexual abomination.’

June 26, 2014

Jesuit Father Felipe Berrios has backed plans for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Chile, saying God loves gays and lesbians and is proud of who they are

Chilean Jesuit Father Felipe Berrios has announced his support for same-sex marriage in his homeland following his return from four years of missionary work in Burundi and the Congo.

Father Berrios made the comments in an interview with Emol.com following his return to Chile in which he expressed support for plans by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to legalize same-sex marriage and civil unions during her second term in the country’s top job.

June 22, 2014

As part of the cathedral's celebration of LGBT pride month, Rev Dr Cameron Partridge will be the first transgender pastor to preach at the historic Washington National Cathedral

The Rev Dr Cameron Partridge will become the first openly transgender priest to preach at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC on Sunday, June 22, in a service led by Rev Gene Robinson, the first openly gay priest to be elected a bishop.

The service is part of the cathedral's celebration of LGBT pride month and will include readings and prayers offered by members of the local LGBT community.

June 22, 2014

UK priest Jeremy Pemberton has had some of his duties as a priest revoked by bishops because he is in a same-sex marriage with another man

A UK Anglican priest has had some of his authority as a clergyman stripped away, after bishops learned he is married to another man.

Jeremy Pemberton is an openly gay priest who was one of the first members of the clergy to enter into a same-sex marriage in April of this year, a month after gay marriage was legalized in England and Wales.

June 14, 2014

Reverend Colin Coward honoured for his work campaigning for LGBTI equality in the Church of England

A gay UK priest has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list for his commitment to LGBTI equality in the Church of England.

The Rev Colin Coward is the founder and director of Changing Attitude England, which campaigns for equality for LGBTI people in the Church of England and the Anglican community in the UK.

Coward tweeted his delight at the accolade today (14 June).

‘thanks everyone for kind words - very cheering to wake up this morning to all your tweets ;-)’ he said.

May 17, 2014

Scottish minister Jeremy Middleton will challenge a proposal to allow gay ministers to be elected by their congregation, in an attempt to ban LGBTI clergy from Scottish churches

A Scottish minister wants gay clergy banned from serving in Scottish parishes, despite the fact last year it was agreed congregations could choose a gay minister if they wanted.

A new compromise, put forward to encourage greater acceptance of LGBTI ministers in Church of Scotland parishes last year, said if a vacancy for a minister arose then individual congregations could choose if they wanted a gay priest to fill the position.