The Christian Lawyers Quietly Working to Erase LGBTQ Rights

Jun 28, 2017

By Matt Baume

The future of safe schools may have just been decided by a few skinned knees on a Missouri playground.

The playground in question belongs to Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri, where the rough gravel surface was hurting children when they fell. In 2012, the church applied for a state grant to replace the rocky surface with soft rubber mats.

The state rejected the church’s grant application, though, due to a constitutional provision that bars the distribution of taxpayer funds to religious organizations. Lawsuits followed, and this week, the Supreme Court ruled in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer that the state cannot withhold taxpayer funding from churches.

major force behind the case—and indeed, behind much of the country’s recent anti-LGBTQ activism—is a little-known group called The Alliance Defending Freedom. Over the last few years, ADF has been stealthily seizing power in the nation’s public school systems, with queer youth squarely in their crosshairs.

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4 comments on “The Christian Lawyers Quietly Working to Erase LGBTQ Rights

  • @OP – and this week, the Supreme Court ruled in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer that the state cannot withhold taxpayer funding from churches.

    So is it now going to rule that churches cannot be exempted from contributing tax to the state?



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  • I see the courts in China are pushing back against the bigotry, abuse of gays, and the pseudoscience of “conversion therapy”!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40490946
    A gay man in central China has won an apology and compensation from a mental hospital over forced conversion therapy, reports say.

    The man, identified only by his surname Yu, had been admitted by his wife and relatives to the hospital in the town of Zhumadian in Henan province in 2015.

    He was forced to take medicine and have injections over 19 days.

    But the court found that forcing him into a mental institution if he did not pose a danger infringed his rights.

    Last month it ordered the hospital – which had diagnosed Mr Yu with “sexual preference disorder” – to publish a public apology in local newspapers and pay the 38-year-old $735 (£570), AP said citing a copy of the judgement.

    However the court did not express an opinion on the practice of gay conversion therapy.

    Homosexuality was considered to be a mental disorder in China until 2001, and attitudes remain conservative.

    In 2014 gay rights activist Peng Yanhui went into a private conversion therapy clinic in Beijing to investigate the electroshock treatments it was advertising.

    He later sued the hospital over the suffering he went through and won $500. Advertisements for the service were ordered to be removed from the internet.

    “It’s time for China to enact laws to prohibit forced gay conversion therapy,” he told AP after the Zhumadian ruling, which he said confirmed that forced treatments were illegal.

    There is growing awareness of LGBT issues in China. Big cities have lively gay scenes, and last month Shanghai held a gay pride parade.

    However, millions of gay people in China have married heterosexual partners rather than come out as gay as a result of pressure from families, advocacy groups say.



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  • @OP – A major force behind the case—and indeed, behind much of the country’s recent anti-LGBTQ activism—is a little-known group called The Alliance Defending Freedom. Over the last few years, ADF has been stealthily seizing power in the nation’s public school systems, with queer youth squarely in their crosshairs.

    However – As is usual with faith thinking, it is possible for different denominations of believers to arrive at opposite viewpoints on the same issues!

    09 July 2017 – The General Synod of the Church of England has passed a motion on welcoming transgender people.

    https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2017/07/welcoming-transgender-people.aspx

    The motion passed reads:

    That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.

    It was moved by the Revd Christopher Newlands on behalf of the Blackburn Diocesan Synod.

    Opening the debate, he said: “I hope that we can make a powerful statement to say that we believe that trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them, and is present through all the twists and turns of their lives.”

    Speaking during the debate the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge said: “Our response needs to be loving and open and welcoming and the passing of this motion would be a very important factor in that.”

    An amendment to the motion, moved by Dr Nick Land of the Diocese of York, calling instead for the House of Bishops to consider the theological, pastoral and other issues around gender transition, was rejected by all three houses of Synod.

    The votes in the House of Bishops were 30 for and two against, with two abstentions.
    In the House of Clergy 127 backed the motion with 28 against and 16 abstentions.
    In the House of Laity 127 supported the motion with 48 opposing and eight abstentions.



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