“Gathering Voices” LGBT Evangelical Conference

The Evangelical Fellowship Conference 2017 is now just a week away:
Gathering Voices Conference 2017

At Cross Street Chapel, Manchester – http://cross-street-chapel.org.uk/

To book your place:

Fr James Martin says Cafod ‘not entirely accurate’ in its account of why his London lecture was ‘cancelled’

‘It was very clear that the 2017 talk was cancelled. And it was clear why: concerns and fears over negative publicity surrounding my LGBT book’

The leading Jesuit, Fr James Martin SJ has said Cafod cancelled a planned October lecture in London because of controversy over his new book, “‘Building a Bridge,’ which calls for further dialogue between the Catholic Church and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics who feel alienated from the Church.

Speaking to The Tablet on Tuesday (19 September), Fr Martin said Cafod’s most recent statement about the keynote talk “is not entirely accurate, and I’m sorry to have to correct the record.”

Cafod, the Catholic international aid agency, has denied that it withdrew an invitation for Fr Martin to speak at an event in London.

Source: The Tablet

India’s top court: Instant divorce among Muslims unlawful | Religion News Service

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday (Aug. 22) struck down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce their wives as unconstitutional.

The bench, comprising five senior judges of different faiths, deliberated for three months before issuing its order in response to petitions from seven Muslim women who had been divorced through the practice known as triple talaq.

Indian law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on NDTV that since the court deemed the practice unconstitutional there is no need for any further legislative action by the government.

Full report: Religion News Service

Christians in Australia support marriage equality  |The Guardian

A majority of Australian Christians support same-sex marriage and think parliamentarians should vote on the issue as soon as possible.

A Galaxy Research poll of 1,000 Australian Christians has found 54% support marriage equality and 49% do not want the law to be changed to allow civil celebrants to refuse their services to same-sex couples based on conscientious objection.

It also found 61% do not like having conservative religious groups presenting their views on same-sex marriage as though they are speaking for all Christians in the country.

Source: Most Christians in Australia support marriage equality and want a free vote | Australia news | The Guardian

U.K. Bishops’ Voting Guide Reveals Pope Francis’ Influence – Bondings 2.0

Conversations on marriage and family initiated by Pope Francis have opened doors within the church for families which are considered “non-traditional” by church leaders. But could the pope’s shift to mercy and inclusion in church discussions be having public policy implications as well? There is good evidence from the United Kingdom that the answer is yes.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 9.57.59 AMLike many episcopal conferences, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) released a voting guide ahead of the U.K.’s general election this June. These guides generally include both guiding principles and specific political positions, which too frequently are reduced to the bishops’ opposition to abortion and to LGBT rights.

It is therefore highly significant that CBCEW’s guide omits commentary on LGBT rights altogether, and poses questions rather than dictating positions on issues which are taken up.

Source: Bondings 2.0

Quest Chair Now Co-Chair of Global Network!

Last year in Rome at the foundation conference of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, our Quest chair Ruby Almeida was elected to the steering committee of the new body. It’s just been announced that the steering committee has named her as co-chair, alongside a German, Michael Brinkschroder. This is a an impressive achievement by our impressive chair. I am sure all of us in Quest will want to extend to her heartiest congratulations.

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The news was disclosed in an email from Benjamin Oh, the newly appointed secretary:

After months of working together and also having developed a clearer organizational structure and office bearers roles as tasked by our assembly gathered last October 2015 in Rome, the GNRC – Steering Committee (SC) finally held an open nomination and election last night to properly have those roles filled. The election was a very organic and colleagial process with very little fanfare as we were all quite focus on how to support each another in further developing our Global Network going forward, we are a community in action but also in prayer together.

Just a small snippet to what amount of work we have put in together so far:

We have had 6 SC committee meetings which were punctuated by 3 separate subcommittees meetings each time (i. Organizational Development, ii. Future Assembly & Funding, iii. Communications and Public Relations) in the lead up to most of the SC meetings; we have since issued 4 public statements including (a 4 page long response to Amoris Laetitia) and 2 newsletters in multiple languages, working across 7 global time zones in crazy hours of the days, beyond the countless house of informal meetings and group work across time and place. It is a miracle. It is obvious that we wouldn’t have been able to do this without each another from the Assembly, your affirmation, contributions, thoughts and prayers have been the thing that has kept it all going.

So here are outcome of the election of the Executive Team for the GNRC:

Co-Chairs: Ruby Almeida & Michael Brinkschroeder ; Secretary: Benjamin Oh ;Treasurer:Chris Vella ; Communications Executive: Fernando Gonzalez

Source: Quest Chair Now Co-Chair of Global Network! | Quest

Africa’s most and least homophobic countries | 76 CRIMES

Most tolerant countries

The Afrobarometer network, which conducts public opinion surveys in Africa, recently listed the continent’s most and least homophobic countries.

In these four African countries, the majority of residents say they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:

  • Cape Verde, 74%.
  • South Africa, 69%.
  • Mozambique, 56%.
  • Namibia, 55%.

Least tolerant countries

These five are the countries where the smallest percentage said they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:

  • Senegal, 3%.
  • Guinea, 4%.
  • Uganda, 5%.
  • Burkina Faso, 5%.
  • Niger, 5%.

Source: Africa’s most and least homophobic countries | 76 CRIMES

Priest Leads Opposition to Queensland’s “Gay Panic” Defense | Bondings 2.0

A Catholic priest in Australia has been leading efforts to eliminate the “gay panic” defense in his state.  The “gay panic” defense, which allows defendants to claim that a victim’s sexual advances motivated a criminal violence, is responsible for letting two men escape murder charges in a 2008 killing.

Fr. Paul Kelly launched an online petition in2012 to repeal the “gay panic” defense law, which is still allowed in the states of Queensland and South Australia. In that petition, which now has nearly 248,000 signatures, Kelly explained his powerful reason for being involved:

“I’m a Catholic Priest and 8 years ago a man called Wayne Ruks was bashed to death in my Brisbane churchyard. Unbelievably, his killer’s convictions were downgraded to manslaughter, using ‘gay panic’ as a defence. . .

“I’ve made it my mission to see this revolting law abolished – it belongs in the dark ages. I have no words to describe how offensive, harmful and dangerous it is that two of our governments uphold that a person can be panicked enough by gay people to justify murder.”

Source:  Bondings 2.0

Denmark will become first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness |  The Independent

Denmark is set to become the first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness.

Government officials said classifying transgender people as mentally ill was “stigmatising” and they had “run out of patience” with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) work on the definition.

Being transgender is officially considered a mental or behavioural disorder by the WHO, although the organisation is currently assessing its guidance.

Changes by the WHO are characteristically slow, and the Danishgovernment will now aim to push ahead with the move on 1 January 2017.

Source:  The Independent