BARONESS YOUNG CENSURED
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Baroness Young had been "misleading and inaccurate" in her campaign against an equal age of consent. Together with other opponents of equality, Baroness Young advertised in the national press suggesting that legislation to equalise the age of consent would mean that "boys and girls ..will be legally subjected to anal intercourse, an act known to have severe health implications".
After complaints, the ASA ruled that Baroness Young had misled the public in suggesting that such acts could be carried out against young people against their will, when the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill relates to consensual sexual activity. Angela Mason of Stonewall, said: "Misleading the public is not in the best interests of young people."
Not much chance of that from the Baroness and her allies. We always knew the tactics of the religious right was to mislead. Now, thanks to the ASA its official!
Steven Spielberg has protested, by resigning, at the anti-gay attitudes in the Scouts.
A great pity that Steven Spielberg felt he had to do this, but we understand why. The church loses when gay christians are forced out, and the Scouts lose when Steven S. feels he is no longer prepared to accept intolerance and injustice.
Let's hope the Scouts soon see sense, and put the matter right. The old 'chestnut' about gay people being paedophiles is as wrong as all heterosexuals being such. The right thing is to establish good procedures and ensure they are in place to protect children from whoever the predators are.
Rabbis resolve that same-gender Jewish couples deserve affirming rituals.
The Central Conference of American Rabbis voted to affirm 500 Rabbis of Reform Judaism who are willing to bless Jewish gay and lesbian couples.
Reform Judaism, is the first religious group to endorse the ritual celebration of same-gender couples. How closely they resemble traditional wedding ceremonies will be up to the Rabbi, the couple and the congregation.
Bouquets to the Rabbis of Jewish Reform! God bless you.
Another step towards proper recognition of same-sex relationships!
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme has been changed to include partners of same-sex relationships in the compensation arrangements. The injustice of heterosexual partners receiving compensation while partners of LBGT relationships did not was highlighted as a result of the Admiral Duncan bombing.
The Govt has filled another gap of injustice! Let's pray they go on to recognition of LBGT relationships!
Jeremy Marks, Courage U.K. leader says "Conversion therapy doesn't work!"
Jeremy Marks, of CourageUK, the leader of what was a reparative therapy ministry in the UK has concluded that the process doesn't work. This is another confirmation of the conclusion of APA (www.apa.org), that 'there is no scientific evidence that so-called 'reparative' therapy is effective in converting homosexuals into heterosexuals' and are against it 'because of the real harm that it can cause' .
Exodus International, the USA parent organisation, has given Courage "sabbatical leave". The break will give Courage the chance "to explore its new direction and practice, away from the goal upon which Exodus is based: freedom from homosexuality. We want to be separated from the 'ex-gay' label and focus on supporting Christians who are gay,".
Jeremy Marks, a gay man himself, has practised reparative therapy for some 14 years, stated "None we've counselled have changed no matter how much effort and prayer they put in. The underlying assumption that being gay is anathema to being Christian is damaging" he said. He will report after two years, yet holds out little hope that Exodus will change its views.
Carol and I met Jeremy recently, and we found a high degree of agreement with him - something we had not entirely expected, but the changes in him and at Courage have been going on for a while, it seems.
Bouquet to Jeremy for his personal courage and integrity! Please pray for him and 'Courage'.
We went to a Holocaust Memorial outside the Admiral Duncan Pub. Very moving, especially when family of Nik Moore (who died at the bombing) contributed. Politicians and other reps spoke including Angela Mason.
A few days later we watched the Holocaust Memorial from Westminster Central Hall at which survivors spoke, and a representative of the gay community, Sir Ian McKellen referred to the 'forgotten holocaust' of gays, Romanys, Slavs. Spiritual leaders spoke on the need to prevent discrimination and hatred. Then we remembered the Vatican's words about gays which are not unlike the words used by Hitler about the Jews! And Rabbi Jonathan Sacks views about gays and .....
Hypocrisy is written large upon many. That it includes Christians is a disgrace to the gospel.
Forgive us Lord our closed minds and hard hearts, and make your your Spirit stir within us!====================================================
London Mayor appoints Angela Mason as Cabinet Adviser on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, the city with the largest LGBT population in the country has appointed Angela Mason OBE, Executive Director of Stonewall, as his Cabinet Advisor on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. The Mayor considers lesbian and gay rights to be a key community interest in London.
Congratulations, Angela. God bless you in your work for justice - something which is at the heart of the gospel!
AGE of CONSENT
The Speaker of the House signed the necessary certificate on Nov 30th, to enable the Parliament Act to be invoked. Stonewall had a celebration party !
The Baroness and the Christian Institute have lost the argument. The Government had overwhelming support in the Commons for equal age of consent. The Act became law on Jan 8th.
Bouquets to the Govt and all who made this possible, including the 'hidden' lawyers of the Home Office!
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
On 2nd October the UK's first Human Rights Act came into force. It is a milestone in the legal and political history of our nation. But as ever, the extreme Christian Right is endeavouring to restrict the rights of others while extending their own.
The Christian Institute, Baroness Young, and CARE (Christian Action Research & Education) worked hard to get Europe to 'ditch the directive' which outlaws discrimination in the workplace. They got a little of what they were after, but a lot less than they hoped. Their action will be directed toward the UK Govt which has to pass the legislation in the next few years.
Be watchful! Act if necessary! And let's see the Human Rights of gay people won!
HERE IS SOME SOULFORCE NEWS:
For up-to-date news, see Soulforce or DignityUSA
Leaders of Soulforce, committed to nonviolent resistance, and Dignity/USA, a lay movement of GLBT Catholics, families, and friends, took their non-violent campaign against centuries of spiritual violence and anti-gay teachings of the Catholic Church to the Vatican on Epiphany, 2001.
They held a vigil outside the Vatican for three days, each day offering different gifts - for orphans, for abused women and for people with HIV/AIDS - asking the Vatican to bless the gifts! There was no response! And when they came offering themselves, the door was again closed to God's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered children."
This was disappointing, but no surprise. The Pontifical Council for the Family calls same-sex unions "a deplorable distortion"; adoption by gay parents "a grave danger"; homosexual orientation "objectively disordered" and homosexual acts "intrinsically evil." The Vatican states that homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt, teach, coach, be married, ordained, or serve in the military.
This Catholic violence must cease! Pray for God speed to Soulforce & DignityUSA.
CALIFORNIA GRANTS HISTORIC TAX BENEFIT TO GAY PARENTS
In a landmark decision, California has become the first state in the USA to give gay and lesbian parents the same tax benefits as heterosexual mothers and fathers. It is the first time any state in the nation has specifically said gay men and lesbians can be considered parents of children who are not biologically their own for tax purposes.
Another step toward equality! Bouquets to California! And thank you Lord for all your love and mercies.
SEPT 12th 2000 & JAN 2001, GREAT DAYS FOR DUTCH GAYS
A bill in Sept 2000 passed by 107 to 33, (now enacted in Jan 2001) converting all registered same-sex partnerships into full marriage, complete with wider adoption rights and divorce guidelines. The result was greeted with resounding cheers and thumping of desks. The same rights are being accorded to gays in registered partnerships as to heterosexual married couples.
In Norway and Sweden, gay couples can already register their partnerships and Denmark has gone further -- it was the first country to adopt gay marriages in 1989. Predictably (see Soulforce article above) the Vatican attacked the move calling it 'a grave attack on the family..' They should know about grave attacks, they've been making them for centuries against all sorts, including homosexual men and women!
The Dutch have acted justly - good news indeed. We pray that the UK Parliament soon follows. AMEN!
NATIONAL 'COMING-OUT' DAY
Helpline Switchboards for lesbians, gays and bisexuals were open all day on Oct 7th 2000 to offer support as part of the first National Coming-out Day. Activities to help understanding about coming-out were held, focussing on schools, colleges, workplaces, and the family and friends of those coming-out. National Friend, the UK umbrella group for lesbian and gay befriending services, and Gay.com helped to launch the day.
We know only too well the risks of coming-out from those who have shared with us, and would counsel anyone to think and pray about it carefully before making a decision - but those who have a 'successful coming-out' find it liberating, if slightly scary.
We are here to do what we can to support lesbian and gay Christians. Our booklet 'Reluctant Journey', this website and our direct ministry has helped many people (see Reviews) here, and in other parts, incl USA.
May God guide you and pray for the day when 'special days' are not needed, and telling those you love, and living faithfully as God made you, will be as normal as breathing.
Billy Graham Crusade
In the past, Billy Graham has not wanted the help of gay Christians, so it is good to hear that Billy Graham welcomed Metropolitan Community Church members as Counsellors and helpers at a recent Crusade.
During the campaign, Billy Graham emphasised 'the love of God for all, regardless of the colour of your skin, your gender and the type of relationship you are in'. As a result of the Crusade, over 9000 people made the decision to follow Christ, and some were referred to MCC.
Praise and thank God for this development!
Click here for more of this in later years================================================
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