Russia Pushes For Enactment Of Anti-Gay Law Nationwide

Russia Pushes For Enactment Of Anti-Gay Law NationwideKissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of Russia’s parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of “hooliganism.” But if a bill that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal “homosexual propaganda” and bring a fine of up to $16,000.

‘Opposed to Western liberalism’

The legislation being pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church would make it illegal nationwide to provide minors with information that is defined as “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism.” It includes a ban on holding public events that promote gay rights. St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities already have similar laws on their books.

The bill is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values as opposed to Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and church see as corrupting Russian youth and by extension contributing to a wave of protest against President Vladimir Putin’s rule. Other laws that the Kremlin says are intended to protect young Russians have been hastily adopted in recent months, including some that allow banning and blocking content and print publications that are deemed “extremist” or unfit for young audiences.


‘Homosexual propaganda’

Russia’s widespread hostility to homosexuality is shared by the political and religious elite. Lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia’s already low birth rates and said they should be barred from government jobs, undergo forced medical treatment or be exiled.

Those behind the bill say minors need to be protected from “homosexual propaganda” because they are unable to evaluate the information critically.

“This propaganda goes through the mass media and public events that propagate homosexuality as normal behavior,” the bill reads.

What is your view regarding this Russian bill against “homosexual propaganda.” Are you for or against it?

Source: Mansur Mirovalev, Yahoo News

Image: The Big Story

Church Of England Rejects Women Bishops

Church Of England Rejects Women BishopsThe general synod of the Church of England has voted narrowly against the appointment of women as bishops. The measure was passed by the synod’s houses of bishops and clergy but was rejected by the House of Laity.

‘Controversy’

Supporters vowed to continue their campaign but it could be five years before a similar vote can be held. Controversy had centred on the provisions for parishes opposed to women bishops to request supervision by a stand-in male bishop. The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, spoke of his “deep personal sadness” after the vote. Both the archbishop and his successor, the Rt Rev Justin Welby, the current Bishop of Durham, were in favour of a “yes” vote.

Twenty years after the introduction of women priests, the issue has continued to divide traditionalists – among those on the Church’s evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings – from reformers. Had the motion been backed by the synod, the proposed legislation would have made its way through Parliament before receiving royal assent.


‘Six more yes votes’

It needed two-thirds majorities in each of the synod’s three houses. The votes were 44 for and three against with two abstentions in the House of Bishops, 148 for and 45 against in the House of Clergy, and 132 for and 74 against in the House of Laity. The vote in the House of Laity, at 64%, was just short of the required majority – six more “yes” votes were needed.

The House of laity is the largest element of the General Synod and is made up of lay members of the church elected by its 44 dioceses. The decision came at the end of a day of debate by supporters and opponents – and a 12-year legislative process.

Are you in favor of having women bishops in the Catholic Church? Why or why not?

Source: BBC News

Image: The Telegraph