In response to the story, Nienstedt told Commonweal that “I have never engaged in sexual misconduct and certainly have not made any sexual advances toward anyone.” And in a statement, Neinstedt emphasized that “The allegations do not involve minors or lay members of the faithful, and they do not implicate any kind of illegal or criminal behavior.”

"Religious authorities in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan raided a wedding June 8, detaining 16 transgender women and one minor for violating a 1992 sharia law that prohibits them from expressing their gender identity.

The 16 women were fined 950 ringgits (about $324 Canadian) and sentenced to a week in jail but face the prospect of serving six months in prison if they fail to pay the fines, while the minor has been ordered to undergo a year’s counselling with the Negeri Sembilan Islamic Religious Affairs Department, Malaysia Today reports. Justice for Sisters, a campaign that advocates for the mak nyah (male-to-female transsexual) community, has initiated a fundraising drive to help the women pay the fines, even as a lawyer is attempting to get the women’s sentences reduced.”

Read more at the source link.

Thousands of B.C. lawyers have voted for a non-binding resolution to reverse the B.C. Law Society’s April decision to accredit Trinity Western University’s new Christian law school, which has been criticized for its stance against same-sex relationships.

The resolution directs the board of governors, known as Benchers, to deny law society accreditation to TWU’s law school.

Of the B.C. Law Society’s 13,000 members, 3,210 voted in favour and 968 were opposed. However, the resolution is not binding, so does not automatically reverse the decision to accredit the law school.

"The decision regarding whether to admit graduates from the proposed law school at TWU is a Bencher decision," said president Jan Lindsay.

"However, the Benchers will give the result of today’s [Tuesday’s] members’ meeting serious and thoughtful consideration."

Read more at the source link.

Vanier Catholic graduates wear rainbow socks to ceremony

I’m surprised they were able to find than many pairs of rainbow socks in Whitehorse!


Students show support for gay-straight alliance following last year’s controversy

CBC News Posted: Jun 02, 2014 7:23 PM CT Last Updated: Jun 04, 2014 6:50 PM CT

More than half of the graduating students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse wore rainbow socks at their cap and gown ceremony this weekend to support their school's gay-straight alliance.

More than half of the graduating students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse wore rainbow socks at their cap and gown ceremony this weekend to support their school’s gay-straight alliance. (courtesy of Leslie Leong)

More than half of the graduating students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse wore rainbow socks at their cap and gown ceremony this weekend to support their school’s gay-straight alliance.

The Grade 12 students lived through months of controversy over the Catholic Episcopal Corporation’s policy on homosexuality. The Yukon government ordered the policy removed from the school’s website in March 2013.

Rainbow socks at Vanier school graduation

Graduating students at Vanier Catholic Secondary School enter their cap and gown ceremony wearing rainbow socks. (courtesy of Leslie Leong)

Liam Finnegan, a student at Vanier who is gay, says his friend Kate Power was the organizer of the rainbow socks at Saturday’s ceremony.

"She wanted to make a statement saying ‘We’re not a homophobic school’ because a lot of people have that perception, so it was a really cool experience to see that," he said.

"I remember my dad telling me afterwards how it was an emotional experience, because it showed my class really supporting me, my cause and just being a really open group of people."

About 45 of the 81 students wore rainbow socks.

The Catholic Episcopal Corporation’s policy described homosexuality as “intrinsically disordered” and homosexual acts as a “grave depravity.” The Yukon Department of Education told the school a new policy should offer the same rights as other publicly funded schools and conform to statutes, including human rights legislation.

The school eventually adopted a policy that enabled students to start the Vanier Gay-Straight Alliance. It has about 30 members.​

"It’s a big difference and it’s noticeable," says Finnegan. "Even though it might have just been a few words that changed in the policy, it’s given us the chance to start a wonderful  group that’s trying to make a huge difference in our school and in our community."

He says it was great to see his classmates demonstrating their support at graduation.

UN condemns Brunei over new law allowing gays to be stoned to death

Hassanal Bolkiah has been the Sultan of Brunei since 1967

Hassanal Bolkiah has been the Sultan of Brunei since 1967

The United Nations has condemned Brunei for adopting a new penal code that calls for death by stoning for same-sex sexual activity.

It has long been a crime in Brunei, but the maximum punishment had been a 10-year prison sentence.

However, Brunei, a predominately Muslim state, has now adopted a new penal code that calls for death by stoning for consenting same-sex sexual activity, adultery, rape, extramarital sexual relations, and for declaring oneself to be non-Muslim.

The new penal code will come into effect on 22 April.

“Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offenses contravenes international law,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and murder are the other offences for which the death penalty could be applied under the revised code.

Noting that Brunei has maintained an effective moratorium on the use of the death penalty since 1957, OHCHR urged the government to establish a formal moratorium and to work towards abolishing the practice altogether.

“Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited,” Mr Colville stated.

He added that the criminalisation and application of the death penalty for consensual relations between adults in private also violates a whole host of rights, including the rights to privacy, equality, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention.

Hassanal Bolkiah has been the Sultan of Brunei, head of government and state, since 1967.

Brunei gained independence from the UK in 1984.

Taxpayer-funded Christian school forbids ‘homosexual relations,’ warns of ‘lake of fire’
Taxpayer-funded Christian school forbids ‘homosexual relations,’ warns of 'lake of fire'

PC MLA Ken Lemke (second from left) was among those who attended the official unveiling of the Prairie Christian Academy modernization last November.

An Alberta school funded fully by taxpayers and answerable to a public board requires teachers to abstain from “homosexual relations” and warns students that the unjust risk everlasting torment in the “lake of fire.”

An opposition critic expressed shock Sunday that the Conservative government recently committed to spending $7 million to modernize and expand Prairie Christian Academy (PCA), despite the fact the Three Hills facility displays policies on its website that “fly in the face” of both the province’s human rights legislation and the country’s Constitution.

“Fifteen years after the Supreme Court outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, it is unbelievable this is still happening,” Liberal MLA Kent Hehr said.

“I am starting to question what oversight Minister Jeff Johnson and his education department are providing to the system.”

A private religious school founded more than seven decades ago, Prairie Christian Academy joined the Golden Hills School Division in 2003, a decision the school’s website says allowed it to get increased public funding.

While parents still pay nominal fees for religious education, the regular program of study, busing and even lease and utility costs are fully covered by the local board.

Read More

Saudi Arabia police arrest 35 for having a ‘gay party’
35 men allegedly dressed in women’s clothes were entrapped by the religious police and could face a life of blackmail, jail or even death
Saudi Arabia have arrested 35 men for being gay.

Saudi Arabia police have arrested 35 people and accused them of being gay.

The men, allegedly dressed in women’s clothes, were arrested at a beach resort in the western city of Jeddah.

According to local reports, neighbors contacted the religious police complaining of the loud music being played at the party.

The police took the arrested men to the station and kept the dresses and music equipment until an investigation is complete.

LGBTI rights in Saudi Arabia are non-existent. Homosexuality is taboo and punished with jail, flogging, chemical castration or even death.

Trans men and women are considered gay and suffer the same fate.

Entrapment by the religious police does not necessarily lead to prosecution, but often results in life-long financial and/or sexual blackmail.

Ali, a 31 year-old gay law student in Jeddah told Gay Star News: ‘Once the Hay’ah [religious police] have your identity on record for being gay, you are very likely to face financial and even sexual blackmail.

‘If families hear that a member is gay it is not unheard of that they would attempt to kill the person in order to avoid being “shamed”.

‘If word spreads to employer or the wider community, then not only the person is likely to loose his job but become a social pariah.’

Homophobia is a first step toward dictatorship! Putin is a dictator who condemned to death thousands of orphaned children by banning foreign adoptions. Putin is a corrupted thief who invents scapegoats and deflects attention from his crimes. His latest invention is the anti-gay law, so gays in modern Russia feel like jews back in the USSR. Declaring support for Putin means denying the democracy and demanding racial segregation. This is what Putin doing in Russia now in regards to gays and migrant workers from Central Asia.

"On Sunday afternoon, Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North confirmed that Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt, one of the nation’s most vocal and vociferous Catholic anti-LGBT voices, must testify about covering up child abuse within the church in Minnesota. Sunday’s ruling, which mirrored his decision early last week, came in response to the Twin Cities archdiocese’s appeal to stay the testimony.

"Firstly, homosexuality is not un-African, but homophobia is. The persecution and criminalization of gay people in Africa can be traced directly to imported religions and colonization.

Secondly, homosexuality is not un-natural, a ‘lifestyle choice’ or ‘curable’.

And thirdly, until the UK, the US, the Catholic and Anglican churches and other foreign influences take responsibility for their part in breeding intolerance and hatred towards LGBTI people in Uganda and Africa, fighting the legacy they have left us with will be so much harder.”

No matter what platitudes Pope Francis offers LGBTQ’s his minions actions speak louder than the Pope’s words.


“The term love is a very loaded term. I would hope that as a priest, someone charged with teaching morality and what the church considers to be morality, that what he was talking about is the right to love everyone and anyone. I hope he was not talking about love in the sense of sex because again, the church has said very clearly that homosexual acts are against natural law,” Harris said.

The gay Ugandan church seeks to spread an alternative gospel of love and acceptance for all. On this particular Sunday, it is the memorial of David Kato, a gay rights activist who was murdered in 2011. So the numbers are bigger than usual. When the church was started by Bishop Christopher Senyonjo (who has since been thrown out of the Anglican Church for ministering to gay people), the gay community in Uganda attended devotedly. But with arrests and growing anti-gay sentiments, threats to their lives and arrests, fewer and fewer people come to the church.
Angelique Kidjo speaks out against homophobia in Africa
Benin born Grammy winning recording artist Angelique Kidjo has spoken to CNN’s Christiane Amanpore about her dismay about homophobia and religious intolerance across the African continent – saying it wasn’t how she was raised.

‘God becomes a brand – I know that. A lot of people make a lot of money and here you have churches that have billions of dollars and they can care less about the poor people that come to their church – that is another discussion we can have another time.

‘But faith has nothing to do with violence and I refuse to be put in the position where somebody would tell me, “Well, you [have to] hate those people because they are so and so, that religion is this and this.”’

- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/afrobeat-star-angelique-kidjo-speaks-out-against-homophobia-africa040214#sthash.fDfyOSSC.dpuf
Epprecht’s book looks at the pre-colonial history of homosexuality in Africa. “Homosexuality [was] well understood in African contexts and, largely speaking, [was] accepted as part of … normal human behaviour,” says Chris Brown, professor of political science and interim director of the Institute of African Studies at Carleton. “The deep irony is that if we talk about an influence … the idea of homophobia … originates in the West, and it’s brought to Africa by Christian missionaries.

Sexuality and social justice in the shadow of colonialism | Daily Xtra

'Homophobia is a western import, homosexuality is not.'

"A sign on the door of the close bakery vowed: ‘This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. Your Religious Freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we can not practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continue to serve Him with all our heart.’"

Maybe if they ‘practiced’ their faith a little harder they would learn to do unto others and not cast the first stone.