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LEDYARD, N.Y. (RNS) The town clerk in Ledyard, N.Y., who drew national attention after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples won re-election on Tuesday (Nov. 8). Incumbent Rose Marie Belforti, a Republican, defeated Ed Easter, of Aurora, who launched a write-in candidacy about six weeks ago after learning of his opponent’s stance against […] Read More

(RNS) A policy adviser to the U.S. Catholic bishops’ anti-gay-marriage office resigned on Friday (Nov. 4), a week after writing a column that blamed Satan for homosexuality. Daniel Avila had been an on-staff adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage since June. Unofficially, Avila referred to […] Read More

LONDON (RNS) The British government said Wednesday (Nov. 2) that same-sex couples will be allowed for the first time to use churches to seal their civil partnership vows, starting in December. But the directive added that no religious group will be forced to conduct or host such a ceremony, and the Church of England quickly […] Read More

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Black-clad demonstrators gathered outside the Portland satellite branch of a Seattle megachurch on Sunday (Oct. 16) to protest the church’s stance on homosexuality. About 20 protesters lined up outside Mars Hill Church during the congregation’s first Sunday morning services, carrying banners and shouting obscenities as churchgoers left when the service ended. “Shame […] Read More

LEDYARD, N.Y. (RNS) A conservative Christian group is behind a new YouTube video that features a town clerk explaining why she believes she should not have to comply with a state law and issue same-sex marriage licenses. Ledyard Town Clerk Rose Marie Belforti’s position has drawn heavy criticism, a possible lawsuit and an opponent to […] Read More

HARARE, Zimbabwe (RNS/ENInews) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will visit Zimbabwe in a show of support for Anglicans who are under siege from a renegade ex-bishop who plans to snub the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Anglicans in Zimbabwe are embroiled in a church property fight with former Bishop Nolbert Kunonga of the capital […] Read More

The Gospels are replete with stories of Jesus’ many encounters with the religious leaders in Jerusalem, and not all of them were pleasant. Jesus and these religious leaders debated and argued on just about every religious issue of the day. Healing on the Sabbath, eating with tax collectors and sinners, paying taxes to Caesar – […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Military chaplains can lead same-sex marriage ceremonies on and off military bases, the Pentagon announced Friday (Sept. 30), in a move that closely followed the repeal of a ban on openly gay service members. “A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation, provided […] Read More

NEW YORK (RNS) The nation’s top Catholic bishop issued a stern challenge to the Obama administration’s decision not to support a federal ban on gay marriage, and warned the president that his policies could “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions.” In a letter sent Tuesday (Sept. 20), Archbishop Timothy Dolan […] Read More

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) The pastor of a conservative Christian church that recently moved into the heart of liberal southeast Portland sought to reassure his new neighbors Thursday (Sept. 8) about the church’s philosophy. Pastor Tim Smith said the Mars Hill Church wants to learn about its neighbors and work with them. “If someone wants to […] Read More