A movement of black churches supporting LGBT equality called "Many Voices" has launched a series of videos featuring LGBT-affirming pastors from the South. Conducted in North Carolina, the interviews challenge the perception all black pastors disapprove of homosexuality.
“All people are worthy of God’s love,” said Rev. Sadler, one of the interviewees in the series. “In essence, sex is at the core of the biblical message. Our fear of sexuality is inconsistent with the biblical text. Our job is not to keep people away…our job is to be open in our welcome.”
The videos are part of a campaign Many Voices, which works to build relationships between church leaders and the black LGBT community, and offers training and resources.
An analysis of a British study of prophylaxis, or PreP, has proven it is effective against HIV for gay men, men who have sex with men, and transgender women, according to the Clinical Trials Unit of Public Health England.
"Results of the PROUD Study, which began earlier this year, have been so encouraging that participants currently on the deferred arm of the study, who have not yet started PrEP, will be offered the opportunity to begin a PrEP regimen, consisting of a daily Truvada tablet, ahead of schedule, says a press release sent out Thursday by the health service. So far PrEP is available in England. only through the study.
“The exact number of HIV infections that PrEP prevented is not yet known,” says the press release. “PROUD clinics are aiming to have follow-up visits (including HIV tests) with all trial participants by the end of the year, which means results will be available early in 2015.” But the exact number is known, it is not expected to change the conclusion about the effectiveness of PrEP, the release notes.
Marriage equality has arrived in Arizona. A federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, refusing to put a hold on the ruling while the stay decides whether to appeal. Which means, Arizona is now the 31st state where LGBT couples can wed.
"The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that substantially identical provisions of Nevada and Idaho law that prohibit same-sex marriages are invalid because they deny same-sex couples equal protection of the law, the right to which is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States," Judge John Sedwick wrote in his four-page ruling. "This court is bound by decisions of the Court of Appeals."
Arizona Attorney General Thom Horne plans not to appeal the decision.
"I have decided not to appeal today’s decision, which would be an exercise in futility and which would serve only the purpose of wasting taxpayer’s money," Horne said, according to the Blade. "The probability of persuading the 9th circuit to reverse today’s decision is zero. The probability of the United States Supreme Court accepting review of the 9th circuit decision is also zero."
Community Mission Chapel, a group made up of atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and humanists in South Louisiana, hosted their monthly chapel service, a church-like event featuring music and short speeches--or sermons if you like--Sunday.
Community Mission Chapel, or CMC is hosted by Jerry DeWitt, a former Pentecostal pastor who deconverted to atheism after decades in the ministry. DeWitt wrote about his experiences in his book Hope After Faith, (find out more about it HERE).
As you might expect, a group of non-religious folks holding service that has the feel of a church service has attracted some side eyes. "We've definitely received ridicule for being in this part of the country, it's kind of a given," DeWitt told KPLC. "In most people's minds, this territory belongs to certain types of religion."
Check out it KPLC's report below (and peep that handsome fellow with the dreadlocks and eyeglasses sitting in the third row:) Yes I went to yesterday's service, and while my first thought upon hearing about CMC was "Wait a minute, I thought one of the upsides of being an infidel was I didn't have to go to church," I enjoyed myself, and agree with the group's mission to build a secular community, especially in the south.
A judge in Kansas City has ordered the state of Missouri to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples that were performed in other states. The ruling, handed down by Judge J. Dale Youngs, could impact at least 5400 couples who entered into marriage outside of the state. '"While having a standardized definition of marriage that promotes 'consistency, uniformity, and predictability' may be a legitimate governmental interest," Youngs wrote, " there is no logical relationship between that interest and laws that discriminate against gay men and lesbians who have been married in jurisdictions in which same-sex marriages are legal." The 10 couples who filed the suit, Barrier v. Vasterling, in February, do not ask for the state to repeal its ban on same-sex marriage, but simply seek recognition of their out-of-state marriages. They were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri."