Court: Adoption agency can’t reject same-sex couples
A federal court says New York officials weren’t infringing on a Christian adoption agency’s religious freedom by requiring it to serve same-sex couples, reports the New Jersey Herald.
A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Albany in December sought to stop the Office of Children and Family Services from shutting down New Hope Family Services in Syracuse because of its “discriminatory” policy regarding child placements.
In dismissing the lawsuit May 16, the court said it found no anti-religious bias in the state’s nondiscrimination policies.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization representing New Hope, said an appeal is likely. It said New Hope has had no formal complaints from prospective parents.
The state agency said it’s reviewing the court decision and will determine what action is appropriate.
New York City activists plan alternative gay pride march for same day
Activists who believe that New York City’s massive gay pride parade has become too corporate are planning an alternative “Queer Liberation March” on the same day.
The Washington Post reported both events on June 30 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots that helped spark the modern gay rights movement. The alternative march is slated to start at 9:30 a.m., while the main pride march will start at noon.
Organizers of the alternative event said Tuesday that they are negotiating with the city Parks Department for a rally in Central Park after their march.
Lawyer Norman Siegel says the alternative march will live up to “the spirit of what happened here 50 years ago.”
Cathy Renna, spokeswoman for the main march, says she hopes the other event is a success.
D.C. Catholic school will acknowledge LGBT alumnae couples
A 220-year-old Catholic girls’ school in Washington, D.C., will now allow news about same-sex unions in its alumnae magazine, ABC News reported.
The president emerita of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Sister Mary Berchmans, announced the change this month. She says she was asked to reflect on what it means to “Live Jesus” when it comes to LGBTQ alumnae, and the policy change follows “the Gospel commandment of love.”
She says the church is clear about its stance on same-sex marriage, but it’s equally clear in teaching that all people are children of God.
An Archdiocese of Washington statement expressed disappointment that the school didn’t consult the diocese on a matter involving Catholic identity. It says the church’s stance on marriage doesn’t conflict with the Gospel message of love.
Arizona pastor banned from Ireland over anti-gay sermons
An Arizona pastor known for preaching anti-gay views is causing controversy in Ireland, where he has been banned from entry, Tuscon.com reports.
Irish broadcaster RTE reported May 13 that the Irish Council for Civil Liberties questioned if the decision to bar Pastor Steven Anderson was too extreme.
Meanwhile, the LGBT Ireland group applauded Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan’s signing Sunday of an executive order prohibiting Anderson from visiting.
Irish media say Anderson is the first person subject to such an order since they were allowed 20 years ago.
His Tempe church, Faithful Word Baptist, still has a May 26 event in Dublin listed on its website.
Anderson did not return messages seeking comment.
Anderson is known for anti-gay sermons and once saying he prayed for President Barack Obama’s death.