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Marriage equality comes to Slovenia, continues to spread in Mexico; Civil Union legislation approved in Sicily, debated in Peru; Global LGBT Recap

…all people.” Northern Ireland: Church of Ireland split over religious right-to-discriminate bill Pink News reports, “The Church of Ireland is split over a proposed bill in Northern Ireland that would allow people to discriminate against gays on the grounds of religion. (The Catholic Church in Ireland supports the bill.) Reverend Adrian Dorrian, who chairs the Church and Society Commission, told the Church of Ireland Gazette that he broadly welcome…

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‘A Slice of Heaven’: Lakota Look to Buy Back Stolen Sacred Lands

…of the land will give the owner a “Slice of Heaven,” where they can sit and “let your mind wander back in time & imagine the Native Americans… who passed across this land that is now a part of yours & your family’s legacy forever!”  Buyer beware on that “forever” stuff, because if the Lakota have their way, and they have hung on for far longer than anyone thought, the lands of the Black Hills will be back in their hands—even if they have to buy it…

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Shariah-Approved Sex Aids, Abstinence-Only Goes to China, and Abercrombie Hijab…

…g its abstinence program to Chinese teens. Muslim couples can find “shariah-approved” products for “sexual health” at El Asira—an online shop attracting 30,000 visits a week. Teetotaling Mormons in Idaho grow barley for beer brewers. A Muslim mason who worked to rebuild the Saint Jean Cathedral in Lyon, France, has been immortalized as a winged gargoyle on the facade of the church. The inscription beneath his stone image reads “God is great.” In G…

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U.S. Bishops’ 15–year Battle For ‘Conscience’ and Against Contraception

…ecade ago most women with insurance were still paying for contraception out-of-pocket, to the tune of some $500 a year, which meant a woman’s lifetime costs for contraception could easily reach $10,000. But the approval of Viagra, which was clearly a lifestyle drug, and the rush by most insurers to cover it, effectively destroyed the lifestyle argument. State after state approved measures requiring insurers to cover contraceptives, and large insur…

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‘I Don’t Buy It’: The Gospel According to Frank Underwood

…I’ve got God’s ear now,” he deadpans. If Frank had had some momentary come-to-Jesus epiphany, it would have rung false. His lack of belief doesn’t make him a better or worse man, but his utter disdain and the sheer hatred that projected his spit bespeak the heart of the matter while harkening back to the Roman soldiers who spat at Jesus on Golgotha. This was Frank’s’ third conversation with God in three seasons of House of Cards. While it was the…

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VA Sen Proposes Rectal Exams for Men Seeking Viagra

…ents of Virginia’s new ultrasound law, thanks to State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax)’s proposed amendment requiring men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test in order to get a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. She explained her probing, trenchant reasoning to the HuffPo: We need some gender equity here… The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at t…

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Biology Textbooks Approved in Louisiana Over Creationist Objections

…of Louisiana.The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education there voted 8-2 to approve recommended high school biology textbooks, over the objections of creationists who were horrified that teachers were going to teach their children science. In November, the state’s school board had held off adopting the biology I and biology II textbooks due to the complaints. I’ve written about it here and here. As one of the residents, and son of Family Foru…

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The Episcopal Church ‘Takes a Flying Leap’ into Controversies Old and New  

…ptial Hairs or Splintering the Church? The liturgy for the blessing of same-gender relationships approved at General Convention represents a significant step forward on a matter that has much defined the Episcopal Church—for good and for ill, depending on one’s perspective—in recent decades. Developers of the new liturgy and the associated resolution were at some pains to distinguish the blessing of lifelong covenants between same-gender partners…

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Fetus as Person Initiative Approved by Mississippi Judge

…ation, cloning, or the equivalent thereof.” Personhood Mississippi, an anti-abortion group, collected 106,325 signatures supporting the initiative. The lawsuit claims the initiative violates section 273 of the state Bill of Rights, which states that a voter initiative “shall not be used for the proposal, modification or repeal or any portion of the bill of rights of this constitution.” Cliff Johnson, co-counsel to McDuff, said his party would appe…

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New Report: Prop. 8 Was Parent-Approved

…ole. Latinas switched sides and moved 26 points: they began supporting same-sex marriage by 8 points, and then ended by supporting the ban on same-sex marriage by 18. By contrast, among Latino men support for the ban on same-sex marriage remained almost unchanged during the final six weeks of the campaign: it went from leading by 25 points to leading by just 24. Two years out, however, another recent poll showed that support for marriage equality…

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