The Church of Scotland‘s ruling general assembly has voted to allow congregations in Scotland to admit gay ministers, if they elect to do so, in a radical departure from more than 450 years of history and ending a four year long argument.
The ‘gay ministers’ issue has dominated discussion within the church for some time after an openly gay minister, Scott Rennie, was selected to lead a parish in Aberdeen in 2009.
The general assembly rejected a motion which would have made gay ordination – solely for ministers in civil partnerships or who are celibate – the default position of the Church of Scotland, by 340 votes to 282.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender humanists are calling on British Members of Parliament to support an amendment to the Marriage Bill currently being discussed in the British House of Commons, that would give legal recognition to humanist marriages in England and Wales.
Straight humanist marriages are already legal in Scotland and when equal marriage is introduced in Scotland, humanist marriages will also be made legal for same-sex couples.
Adam Knowles, Chair of Galha LGBT Humanists, said, ‘Humanists have always been in the vanguard of LGBT rights and humanist celebrants in England and Wales have been conducting same sex weddings for many years. We’re really pleased that LGB religious people will soon have the choice of a legal marriage reflecting their deepest beliefs and we think that we should have the same choice and the same right. LGB non-religious people in Scotland are to be given that right by their Parliament; we are looking forward to our Parliament doing the same for us in England and Wales.’
A gay male couple were walking through a South London park during the early hours of Sunday 19th May when they were viciously assaulted by a gang of men, one of the attackers saying “stay down faggot.”
Christopher Bryant, 42, along with his partner Damon Truluck, 38, were walking home across Betts Park in Penge, in the London Borough of Bromley, when six men approached them. “We saw them too late to get away. We ran, and I was getting away, but they caught Damon, my partner, and so I doubled back. I tried to get them off him, and that’s when they thumped me to the ground.“ Mr Bryant told local media.
“When I looked up to see if he was ok one of them kicked me in the face, and said ‘stay down faggot’. Every time I looked up to see what was happening to Damon they either thumped or kicked me, and said ‘don’t try anything’. They went through my pockets and took my wallet and phone. But they kept hitting. Before they ran off they pushed us together and told us to stay still for 5 minutes or they’d kill us.”
The vicious assault took place not long after midnight, just hours after Mr Bryant had celebrated his 42nd birthday. The attack has left both men bruised and battered with Truluck also having injuries to his back and hip, finding it difficult to walk.
In a cruel ironic twist, before this anti-gay attack both men were raising awareness of Friday’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia through online magazine http://www.polarimagazine.com.
London’s Metropolitan police are investigating the incident but so far no arrests have been made.
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain is considering additional legal safeguards for its proposed equal marriage legislation in order to protect faith groups from the threat of legal action, if the legislation goes ahead, according to the Culture Secretary Maria Miller, reports Jason Shaw
During an interview with serious British newspaper the Telegraph, Mrs Miller said: “I would not introduce a Bill that would in any way impinge on a church’s power to decide who it marries. Faith groups should have the ability to control that. There are already clear protections within European law. Marriage is all about creating some stability in society.” she told the paper.
The possible introduction of protections for religious bodies in the bill comes after months of warnings from back bench MP‘s that European law increases the risk of faith organisations facing potential legal action if they refuse to provide gay couples with same-sex marriages.
The Bishop of Durham Justin Welby has been named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England. The Eaton and Cambridge University educated man is a former oil trader and has only been the Bishop of Durham for a year will take of from the current archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams towards the end of the year.
Only last month, Dr Williams, admitted the Church of England’s attitude to gay relationships had often been harmful to gay people he had also said that while his leadership was “wrong” not to have advocated gay equality, David Cameron was wrong to have embarrassed the church over the issue of equal marriage.
‘It got to the stage last year where I thought I was on top of work, that I’d find a boyfriend and everything would be all right,’ he told the Metro, ‘But something was going wrong. What I’ve realised is that growing up knowing I was gay from a young age, I always felt extremely ashamed. It’s a cliché but it’s true. ”
‘I’ve only just realised how s**t that’s made me feel about myself for a very, very long time.’ The 33-year-old says the ‘trauma’ of relationships has left him single for the past five years.” Adding “It doesn’t even help when you have loads of money, I’d buy houses and get nothing from it. Bought cars, got nothing from it. I’ve gone out and spent £5,000 in Selfridges – and nothing. I don’t even wear the stuff. All those things I thought would bring me happiness, don’t.’
He added: ‘It never moved into sex addiction. For me, it was love addiction and fantasy. I was probably addicted to porn.’
The pop singer also caused offence when he repeatedly swore whilst performing at a live national radio concert in London’s Hyde Park in 2011. The live radio 2 bash was broadcast live and the singer swore as he made excuses for being late on stage and giving a rather weak vocal performance.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, claimed in one of his last major public lectures before he steps down toward the end of this year, that the Church of England’s attitude towards gay relationships has often been harmful to people.
Only last month Dr Williams said that while the Church of England was “wrong” not to have advocated for gay equality, the Prime Minister David Cameron was also wrong to embarrass the church over the issue.
During the lecture to the religious theologian think tank ‘Theos’ earlier this week the Archbishop also suggested the church could and should learn some lessons from its passed mistakes.
The UK’s national radio scene just got a good deal brighter as Nick Grimshaw takes over the mic at BBC’s prime flagship breakfast show on Radio 1.
The delightfully witty and intelligent 28 year-old presenter breathed in like a breath of fresh air with his first breakfast show, waking up the nation as well as 1 Direction floppy haired hunk Harry Styles! So far the audience seems to be welcoming him with open arms and all indications are that the audience is set to rise rapidly.
Homophobia is still a routine fact of life for the inmates of British prisons a new report has found. There have been many moves in recent years aimed at eradicating discrimination against prisoners on the grounds of race or religion, yet the challenges facing most gay men in prison have still not been addressed sufficiently by the UK prison service.
A fact highlighted by a letter printed in this month’s edition of Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners, “I am gay and very ‘camp’ and due to my sexual orientation I have received abuse from other inmates,” writes the prisoner who then explains that when the abuse turned to threats of violence he was granted “VP status”, meaning he is now classified as a vulnerable prisoner and located on the vulnerable prisoner unit.
The Alliance Party has voted in support of legislation to allow gay civil marriage. Party leader David Ford said the vote followed months of consultation with party members and associations. He said the proposals included safeguards for religious groups so they would not be forced into allowing their premises to be used. “Alliance has always stood for a progressive and equal society,” Mr Ford said, “Alliance will oppose any form of discrimination, whether it is based on age, race, disability, gender or sexual orientation. There are equality issues in allowing those in a same sex relationship to have only civil partnerships, which is seen as discriminatory. The motion also called for protection for faith groups, to ensure they are not forced to act contrary to their beliefs.”