Religious Freedom vs. Human Rights

The ‘Church’ of Scientology, among other things known for tearing relationships apart, is delighted that two of its members in the UK have finally been able to marry in one of the cult’s ‘chapels.’

We also highlight a couple of other cases in which human rights and religious freedom interact.

Sinead’s Gospel * Reza Aslan’s credentials * Scientology slammed

Reza Aslan
Muslim author Reza Aslan misrepresents his scholarly credentials.

Sinead O’Connor’s unusual Gospel Music concert.

And the Scientology gang is unable to keep Leah Remini from thinking for herself

Dutch Christian Civil Servant Fired For Opposing Gay Marriage

gay pride flag A Christian civil servant has been fired by the Dutch city of The Hague for refusing to oversee same-sex marriages on Biblical grounds.

Wim Pijl, 67, said Tuesday, November 15, he would take legal action against the dismissal despite parliamentary support for gay weddings.

Scotland’s gay marriage discussion stirring controversy among faith groups

Homosexuality The Scottish government has begun a 14-week public consultation, running from 2 September to 9 December, on the question of legalizing marriage for gay couples, encouraging individuals and groups such as religious organizations to take part.

The government has said it would like to hear from religious groups and ordinary people, and has indicated religious organizations will have freedom of choice in deciding whether to officiate at gay weddings.

Twin Cities Gay Pride Fest Cannot Bar Evangelist

The Twin Cities Pride Festival cannot prevent an evangelical Christian from passing out Bibles and discussing his views against homosexuality at this weekend’s event, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Twin Cities Pride argued that its rights should take precedence because it’s paying $36,000 to lease Loring Park on the edge of downtown Minneapolis for the two-day event. The group also said Johnson contradicts the festival’s “message of celebration and pride in being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”

But the judge ruled that the 42-acre park is a public forum, so Johnson’s free-speech rights must be honored. Tunheim said Johnson is entitled to go ahead with his plans as long as he remains undisruptive.

Ban of evangelist at Pride festival is sought

Organizers of a gay pride festival in Minnesota have asked for a court order barring evangelist Brian Johnson from distributing Christian literature construed as anti-gay.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board refused to bar Johnson from handing out materials at the festival, saying it was his right under the First Amendment. Pride organizers say they barred Johnson from last year’s festival because in previous years he misled attendees and tried to entice them to repent for the “sin of homosexuality.”

Prop 8, Mormonism, and the Other Fight for Alternative Marriage

While the LDS church did all it could to make sure Prop 8 passed, one group of Mormons worked for LGBT rights.

Baptists’ large military presence colors gay debate

In many religious circles, the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay members is considered practically a done deal. But Southern Baptists, who have many more active-duty military chaplains than any other denomination, are not giving up without a fight. See also Get Religion‘s take on the story.

RNB Roundup: religious political correctness in England; more religion news

Religion News In today’s RNB Roundup: Geert Wilders and more religion-motivated political correctness in England • What happened between a Mormon film maker and a lesbian priest • Church on fire (but not the right kind) • Religious Broadcasters (including the give-me-money-so-God-will-give-you-money-to-give-to-me scammers) tightening their belts • Church’s faith healing advertisement branded ‘irresponsible’ • The never-ending attempt to reconcile science and religion, and why it is doomed to fail. • A source guide to the Bahá’í Faith

Plus: Holocaust denier Richard Williamson on the subjects of Pink Floyd, women’s trousers and ‘The Sound of Music’

Amsterdam’s gay Christmas features Mary in drag

gay nativity amsterdam Amsterdam played host Sunday to a Christmas celebration for its gay community that featured a Nativity tableau with a man in drag playing the part of Mary.

Frank van Dalen, chairman of the advocacy group Pro Gay that organized the event, known as Pink Christmas, said that it sought to raise Amsterdam’s profile as a capital for gays.

In news forums, countless homosexuals condemned the display.

A gay Muslim, tested by faith and family

Aliyah Bacchus Aliyah Bacchus is a Muslim who left an arranged marriage in Queens, N.Y., before coming to understand her sexuality as a lesbian. Before heading off to a new life with her lover, she made a visit to family members in Rockaway Beach, N.Y., to give them the choice of accepting her as she is, or losing her forever.

Aliyah Bacchus returns home to offer a choice: Accept her sexuality — as she has — or lose her forever.

Faith healers dangerous for public health, Amsterdam alderman claims

Amsterdam The City of Amsterdam and the COC — an advocacy group for LBGT men and women — are calling for an investigation by the Netherlands Health Care Inspectorate into healing rituals offered by Pentecostal churches for homosexuals and HIV patients.

The healing services can lead to HIV patients forsaking their medicines, and contribute to the stigmatization of homosexuals.

Raelian lesbians attack Pope and Catholic Church

Gay Raelians A group of glamour lesbians who believe the world was created by an alien civilisation 25,000 years ago have criticised the Catholic Church for being out of touch.

Raelian spokeswoman Eden Bates said it was an insult that the Pope would be welcomed into Australia when “our gorgeous, fantastic spiritual leader Rael wasn’t even given the respect of a visa”.

UK: Christian registrar who refused to conduct gay weddings wins case

A Christian registrar who refused to carry out gay weddings because they were “sinful” has won a landmark discrimination battle and hailed her triumph as a victory for religious liberty.
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