RENO, Nev. (BP) – Nevada has amended its constitution to protect same-sex marriage and concurrently exempted clergy and pastors from litigation if they refuse to perform such unions.
NASHVILLE (BP) – In response to Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope, Southern Baptist leaders reiterated their commitment to the authority of the Bible’s teaching regarding sexuality and marriage.
WASHINGTON (BP) – A case the U.S. Supreme Court refused to accept Monday (Oct. 5) offers evidence of the damage inflicted upon religious freedom by its five-year-old decision that legalized same-sex marriage, two justices said.
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Christian wedding vendors who decline to provide services for same-sex ceremonies have suffered another legal setback. The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 28 that the state did not violate the First Amendment rights of Aaron and Melissa Klein in a 2015 order that included a $135,000 fine. The three-judge panel upheld a decision by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that found the Kleins' refusal to design and bake a cake for a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony was based on unlawful discrimination against homosexuals.
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Advocates from several perspectives on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights discussed the emotionally and politically charged issues, which often pit the church against the prevailing culture, during a forum at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The "Rights and Sexuality: Where Individual Freedoms and Civil Rights Meet" event was sponsored by the seminary's Institute for Faith and the Public Square.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (BP) -- Christian filmmakers Carl and Angel Larsen are asking a district court to reinstate their challenge to a Minnesota law that could force them to produce media supporting same-sex marriage. The U.S. District Court in Minnesota dismissed the couple's lawsuit on Sept. 20 against the state over portions of the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), which bans sexual orientation discrimination in public accommodations and contracting.
NASHVILLE (BP) -- Young white evangelicals -- both Millennials and Gen-Xers -- born after 1964 are among societal groups increasingly approving of same-sex marriage, according to new Pew Research Center figures. Homosexual marriage is supported by 47 percent of younger white evangelicals today, compared to only 29 percent in March of 2016, Pew said in a study conducted June 8-18 among 2,504 adults. Older white evangelicals, including Silents born before 1946 and Baby Boomers, overwhelmingly remain opposed. Only 26 percent of evangelicals in the older groups approve of the practice, comparable to the 25 percent in the 2016 study.
NASHVILLE (BP) -- More than 100,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide last year. But for preachers, being asked to do a same-sex wedding remains rare, a new study shows. A new survey by LifeWay Research found 11 percent of Protestant senior pastors have been asked to perform a same-sex wedding. Baptist pastors (1 percent) are the least likely to say they were asked to perform a same-sex wedding. Presbyterian/Reformed pastors (26 percent) are most likely.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (BP) -- The highest court in Washington state has agreed to hear the appeal of florist Barronelle Stutzman found guilty of violating state laws and the constitutional rights of a gay couple when she refused to arrange flowers for their wedding, citing religious beliefs. The Washington Supreme Court will hear the appeal of Stutzman, a 70-year-old Southern Baptist grandmother who owns Arlene's Flowers in Richmond, possibly as early as its spring 2016 session beginning in May, according to the court's official website.
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP) -- "I'm a deacon," the man told Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. "I've followed Jesus all my life, and so have my children. Now my granddaughter has come home and announced she is a lesbian and is going to marry another woman. What do I do?" The church deacon is among the many brokenhearted individuals Iorg has encountered at state and associational meetings across the nation in speaking about the book "Ministry in the New Marriage Culture."