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News Briefs

This church had the most amazing message for Manila Pride: ‘We’re sorry’

Members of the Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries in the Philippines made a big splash at Manila Pride for their sign and their message of love. They apologized to LGBTQ people for their fellow Christians horrendous treatment of the community in the heavily Catholic country.

Carrying banners that read “We’re here to apologize for the ways that we as Christians have harmed the LGBT community,” church members stood on the parade’s sidelines as part of their “I’m Sorry” campaign.

LGBTQ ordinance clears second hurdle

Jackson, Wyo. — After an hour of emotional testimony in support and condemnations from religious and Republican leaders, the Jackson Town Council reaffirmed its unanimous support last week for an LGBTQ discrimination ban without a moment’s hesitation.

Gillette News Record reported nearly 30 people from every corner of Wyoming lined up out the door to praise or denounce the ban. Though the crowd’s opinion was split, the council’s was united — just 20 seconds elapsed between the end of public comments and the motion to support the ban, which still needs one more approval to become law.

Citing Martin Luther King Jr.’s “arc of the moral universe,” Mayor Pete Muldoon called for a commitment to defend and celebrate every member of the Jackson community, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We must insist that we are all fully, equally and proudly human,” he said. “We must all unite to bend that moral arc toward justice.”

The ban would criminalize discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and places of public accommodation.

Many objections to the ban focused on the idea that it would create a “special class” of people with exclusive privileges, thereby relegating others to a lower class. Some worried it would be used to prosecute and “demonize” innocent people.

Salt Lake City travel article receives journalism award

The Association of LGBTQ Journalists awarded travel writer Christopher Muther of The Boston Globe with the Excellence in Travel Writing Award for Muther’s July 14, 2017, piece titled “For Real: Salt Lake City is America’s Super Gay, Super Cool Hipster Haven”.

Muther’s wrote in part: Here are three short paragraphs I never thought I would write. Ever.

Paragraph one: I was nursing a rum and Diet Coke at a gay bar in Salt Lake City when a thunderbolt of excitement hit the room. I was told that Michael Sanders, the reigning Mr. Leather Slut of Utah, had arrived!

Paragraph two: I walked into a tiny Salt Lake bar called Bodega — this one is not a gay bar — and a man in a tailored vest who looks like a refugee from Brooklyn escorted me downstairs to an expansive speakeasy and restaurant where diners were enjoying beer can chicken and beignets in a room that looked like a haunted museum of natural history.

Paragraph three: The once Mormon-dominated Salt Lake City is much gayer, and much cooler, than I ever expected.

By now you are likely scratching your head and thinking, “What in the name of Osmond is going on here?” I experienced the same reaction, although in my case I invoked the Romney moniker.

Ecuador court rules in favor of marriage equality, weddings to start immediately

A court in Ecuador ruled in favor of marriage equality last week, reported LGBTQ Nation.

Two same-sex couples, whose identities withheld, tried to marry each other at the Civil Registry after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of marriage equality in January. That ruling was binding on the agreement of 20 Caribbean and Latin American countries, including Ecuador.

The couples, though, were denied marriages. The Civil Registry claimed an absence of procedure for them to marry.

With legal help from the Feminist Legal Collective of Cuenca, the couples took their case to court. The lack of a procedure “cannot serve as an excuse to violate a right,” said Catalina Mendoza, the couples’ lawyer.

The court agreed, with judges Cristina Álvarez and Iliana Vallejo ruling in favor of the couples. And they said the Civil Registry should “immediately” allow the women to wed.

However, not everyone in Ecuador hailed the ruling. José Arteaga, a conservative Christian activist, said marriage equality would “create space for homosexual couples to adopt” and would end “the family as the nucleus of society.”

He said that the ruling was not based on “morals.”

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