Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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Therapists: APA gay ‘marriage’ declaration based on politics, not science

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Aug 09 17:58 EST Comments (13)


August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of therapists dedicated to providing therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction has criticized the American Psychological Association’s (APA) new declaration in favor of same-sex “marriage” as tainted by primarily political motivations.

The declaration, adopted earlier this month by the APA’s policymaking body in a unanimous vote, professes antipathy toward state-level efforts to maintain legal marriage as between a man and a woman, and criticizes such campaigns as sources of stress for homosexual persons.

“Statewide campaigns to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage are a significant source of stress to the lesbian, gay, and bisexual residents of those states,” states the APA, which bills itself as “a strong advocate for full equal rights for LGBT people.” 

Dr. Julie Hamilton, President of The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), said the declaration was another instance of the APA inappropriately playing the standard-bearer for a political cause.

“The APA far too often bases their position statements on political ideology rather than scientific findings,” said Hamilton in a statement provided to LifeSiteNews.com.

“Although the APA is regarded as a professional, scientifically based organization, far too often it does not function as such.”

Hamilton noted that Drs. Rogers Wright and Nicholas Cummings, both former top APA officials, have disclosed that “many of the APA’s decisions are influenced by ideology rather than research” in their book, Destructive Trends in Mental Health.

“As a result, the APA cannot be viewed as a reliable source of scientific information, and the stances they take therefore lack any real value,” she said.

Homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder in 1973 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the universal standard for classification of mental illness, after years of high-pressure lobbying by gay rights activists.

In a scene not unlike recent demonstrations for same-sex “marriage,” Dr. Melvin Sashbin in 1998 recalled how a gay rights demonstration at the American Psychiatric Association’s 1970 meeting was so disruptive that the Association hired a security consultant to try to ensure more peaceful demonstrations in the future.

“It was guerrilla theater,” said Sashbin, who described “screaming” that eventually quieted into discussion.

Dr. Robert Spitzer, who was in charge of the DSM change, reversed his position on therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction nearly 30 years later to support such therapy based on his own research.

Although expressing wariness of treatment for same-sex attraction, the APA currently states that there is “insufficient evidence” to either approve or discredit such therapy.

Tags: apa, homosexual therapy, narth, same-sex marriage

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10-year-old girl poses seductively for French Vogue

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Aug 09 17:47 EST Comments (14)

Thylane Blondeau

August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Wearing heavy makeup and a décolletage cut to the waist, the model for a recent Vogue photo shoot reclines on a leopard print bed as her blue eyes stare icily at the camera. In other shots, she wears heavy jewelry and spiked heels as she rests her body along a tiger skin.

The only quality that separates Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau from a typical haute couture fashion model is that she’s only ten years old.

Many viewers expressed shock and horror after the girl appeared in a 15-page French Vogue spread, guest-edited by fashion designer Tom Ford in January.

“The sexualisation of children is one of the most pernicious ills of our era. They should not have done this,” said Labor MP Helen Goodman, according to the Daily Mail. The international pro-family group Mother’s Union agreed, saying that the hyper-sexualized photos “deny Miss Blondeau the right to be the child she is.”

The Daily Beast notes that Blondeau has walked the runway since the tender age of four, and has since been photographed topless, with only a wooden bead necklace covering part of her breasts.

Other Internet observers also seemed not to buy the shoot’s fresh take on sexuality. “This isn’t edgy. It’s inappropriate, and creepy,” said one blogger on Tumbler noted by the Mail.

“She has the facial expression of a child whose images are found in illegal child pornography. Sarcastic, unsmiling, passive aggressive,” noted another observer of a photo gallery at TheGloss.com.

Thylane’s mother, Veronika Loubry, closed her daughter’s Facebook account and a Tumblr photo blog entitled “F**k Yeah Thylane Blondeau” last week after the risqué images went viral.

Her final post on the Facebook page indicated something had gone awry involving a “bad person” in America thanks to the photos. “Something going ‘s [sic] wrong at the moment with Thylane and bad personn in usa [sic] about pictures she make’s 8 mounths [sic] ago for Vogue,” wrote Loubry before the page was dismantled.

International youth advocates say the disturbing shoot exemplifies why the sexualization of younger and younger children must be strongly opposed.

“Everyone knows that the fashion industry frequently uses sexual attraction to market their goods.  That isn’t unusual. What is unusual and disturbing about a 10 year old doing provocative modeling is that it is evidence of a shift in society’s sexual tastes,” Tyler Ament, director of the International Youth Coalition (IYc), told LifeSiteNews.com.

That shift can be traced in part to pressure from one major international lobby: Ament noted that ending age-based “discrimination” of children’s sexuality is a major priority of global population control groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

“Sexuality and sexual pleasure are important parts of being human for everyone - no matter what age,” said IPPF in its guide to “sexual rights” for young people issued at the UN this summer. The pamphlet goes on to to list abortion-on-demand as essential to “youth-friendly” health services.

IYc presented at the United Nations last month a petition signed by 57,000 youth opposing the “sexual rights” movement, which Ament said had a clear financial incentive for the international abortion and contraception business.

“They want to get these girls started young, since they have ideological and fiscal interests in such a venture,” he said.

Tags: child abuse, pedophilia, planned parenthood

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Bishop under Vatican investigation discusses his views on abortion

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Tue Aug 09 16:50 EST Comments (11)


MEXICO, August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an extensive interview with LifeSiteNews.com conducted last week, His Excellency Raul Vera López, bishop of the Diocese of Saltillo in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, answered questions about his involvement with organizations that promote the homosexual lifestyle and the decriminalization and government provision of abortion services.

Bishop Vera is the president of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center, based in Chiapas, and is the founder of the Saltillo diocese’s Fray Juan de Larios Human Rights Center. A spokesman of the Fray Bartolomé Center has confirmed to LifeSiteNews that the organization supports both the decriminalization (or “depenalization”) of abortion and the provision of abortion by the government. Both groups are members of a pro-abortion alliance of civil organizations called the All Rights for Everyone Network (“Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos”), and the names of both organizations have appeared on various pro-abortion “human rights” statements.

Bishop Vera recently acknowledged that he is under investigation by the Vatican for his sponsorship of a homosexual organization that is accused of denying the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality.  The group has also been associated with pro-abortion forces, including “Catholics for the Right to Decide.”

Not pro-abortion, but pro-depenalization?

After this reporter mentioned the fact that the names of two “human rights” groups led by Bishop Vera López appear on a 2008 declaration denouncing a pro-life constitutional amendment for the state of Jalisco, the bishop answered that the declaration was not pro-abortion, but rather against the penalization of abortion, something he regards as distinct. He called the penalization of abortions “the persecution of people who have abortions.”

“No, no, no, the penalization,” said Vera López regarding the document.  “What is debated here is the penalization or depenalization of abortion in Mexico.  That’s something else.  The penalization is the persecution of people who have abortions.”

The bishop added that he knows “perfectly” that abortion is “a crime, a murder, of a child in the womb of his mother.”

“What might be subject to debate is the penalization or non-penalization, and do you know why? Because of the frightful failures we have in Mexico in the judicial process. And they have imprisoned indigenous women for miscarriages, they have imprisoned them, there, in the state of Guanajuato, indigenous women who have had miscarriages, and they are in jail.”

“So, knowing the type of justice system we have in Mexico, and that they are going to manage that, for that reason we…I personally have never entered into a discussion about that, never have entered, never have entered.”

Vera López repeated his contention that women have been imprisoned in Guanajuato for miscarriages later in the interview. This reporter observed that pro-abortion organizations had accused the government of imprisoning women for miscarriages, but in fact (in accordance with the evidence presented at their trials) the women had killed their babies following birth at full gestation. See LifeSiteNews coverage here.  The bishop claimed that he knew nothing about those cases, and insisted that women had been imprisoned in Guanajuato for miscarriages. 

Asked about the new Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching that abortion should be prohibited by law, the bishop claimed that the if the Church evangelized people properly, the government’s laws would be of no concern. He repeated his contention that it was not pro-abortion to advocate the depenalization of abortion.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, in paragraph 2273, that “As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”

Asked if he therefore opposed the pro-life constitutional amendment for the state of Jalisco, in accordance with the document that his organizations had signed, Bishop Vera responded: “When there has been a discussion of penalization or non-penalization, it’s that, at some point they have to make a declaration, but no, to strengthen abortion, never, never. It’s penalization or non-penalization, it’s that.”

Membership in the pro-abortion All Rights for Everyone Network

LifeSiteNews also asked about the membership of Bishop Vera’s organizations with the pro-abortion “All Rights for Everyone Network” (Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos), an alliance of “human rights” groups that openly endorsed the 2007 Mexico City legal reform that permits abortion-on-demand during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and even provides it free of charge in city hospitals.

Vera López defended the organization, claiming that it was not “pro-abortion,” but rather in favor of the depenalization of abortion.  He then stated that he was neither for nor against the depenalization of abortion in Mexico City,

“No, no, no, the Network is not pro-abortion.  What it is…there is a group that is called Catholics for the Right to Decide and that is a pro-abortion network. The other network, of Rights for Everyone, is not pro-abortion,” Vera López said.

LSN: “We have documented that the Network itself is pro-abortion, because the Network itself, in the name of the Network, advocated the depenalization of abortion in the Federal District, all of that reform—

Bishop Vera: “But we are talking about the penalization and the non-penalization, kid. We are not talking about—”

LSN: “So you are in favor of the depenalization of abortion in the Federal District?”

Bishop Vera: “I am not in favor of the depenalization of abortion or the non-depenalization of abortion. I am in favor that we, as the Church, carry out a pastoral work in which we don’t have to depend on what the government says. We don’t have to depend on official and public imposition. We don’t have to be asking the government. We, the Episcopal Conference, were asking the government to inquire into that, and the government sent us packing.  Why do we have to depend on the government?”

The bishop added that the Church doesn’t have the government as an “arm” like it did during “the time of the inquisition” when “the government imposed measures.”

He said that associating with groups such as the All Rights for Everyone Network is necessary on pragmatic grounds as well “because of the situation that we are experiencing in Mexico” and protested that if “sometimes a document comes out” of this kind “well, it is not a constant thing, something repeated, it is not our purpose.”

The bishop added that if such statements become repetitive, “I am going to be more careful with my administrative team, I am going to be more careful. But they are administrative teams. I am not here supervising closely, for the love of God, for the love of God!”

The unborn forgotten by “human rights” groups?

LifeSiteNews then asked Bishop Vera about the apparent lack of concern about the right to life by groups, such as his own two “human rights” organizations, whose names have appeared on pro-abortion declarations, while apparently remaining silent while thousands of unborn children are killed every year in Mexico.

LifeSiteNews did find one document published by Bartolomé de las Casas in 2004, which contains a phrase defending the right to life of the unborn in a case in which pregnant indigenous women had been killed (pp. 5, 15). However, documents on the issue subsequent to that year bearing the organization’s name took the opposite position and were in favor of depenalization and government guarantee of abortion services. In addition, a press representative of the group has affirmed in an interview with LifeSiteNews that its position is that abortion should carry no criminal penalties, either for doctors or for their patients, and should be guaranteed as a service by the government, like any health service. The documents and the interview can be found here.

Asked about the almost total silence of his two human rights groups regarding the rights of the unborn, Vera López claimed that “many times we have spoken about the right to life from the beginning until the end, many times, many times.”

Asked why such declarations cannot be found on the internet, and where such declarations might be, the bishop responded: “Well…only…oh well, well I am already in front of the Inquisition.  If for that reason you want to accuse me of being pro-abortion, well go ahead, go ahead.”

This reporter clarified: “No, I am only asking, because for our readers what is very difficult to understand is that these groups say they are in favor—and not only your two groups, but also Agustín Pro, for example, and many others who say—”

“I repeat, I repeat brother,” Vera López interrupted, “that we are not speaking about abortion directly. We are speaking about the penalization and the depenalization of abortion. That is another thing.”

Vera López added that the justification for such a policy in favor of the depenalization of abortion has to do with problems with the justice system in Mexico, and “that’s all, that’s all.”

Evangelizing people on the right to life, the bishop said, is a matter that is “integral” and involves the lives of everyone, including other oppressed classes of society, and observed that conditions of poverty can lead people to seek abortions. “With a law or without a law, they’re going to have abortions,” he added.

As a final question, this reporter asked Vera López if he would apply his policy neutrality regarding “depenalization” to other human rights abuse cases about which the bishop often expresses his concern. For example, would he be indifferent to the depenalization of abuse of prisoners by guards on the grounds that the Church should not rely on the government to impose its morality?

“No, no, no, I am speaking of an area that is very delicate,” Vera López responded. “The situation of the woman who has an abortion is very complicated. The situation that women pass through—it’s a terrible situation.”  He cited examples of “girls who do not receive attention, girls who have boyfriends without having received any instruction,” as well as girls whose fathers work long hours in factories, and others who live in situations of promiscuity.

The bishop did not mention penalties for the doctors who perform abortions.

LifeSiteNews will soon publish the second part of its interview with Vera López regarding his sponsorship of the “San Aelredo” group, a homosexual organization whose leadership has admitted to condoning homosexual relations.

Contact information:

Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
00193 Roma,
Piazza Pio XII, 10

William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy
phone: 011.3906.
phone: 011.3906.
E-mail: cdf@cfaith.va
(fax and email are most effective

Tags: abortion, bishop, catholic, penal sanction

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Homosexuality test in Ontario Catholic school religion class

by Patrick B. Craine Tue Aug 09 16:12 EST Comments (21)


KITCHENER, Ontario, August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Amidst the heavy backlash from parents over Ontario’s controversial equity and inclusive education strategy, a grade 9 religion class at a Kitchener Catholic high school was given a test this year on homosexuality requiring them to define terms such as “coming out” and “bi-sexual,” and answer true or false to complex statements such as “Homosexuality is a disease” or “The Church is against homosexual people.”

The test, which was administered by Cathy Sousa of Resurrection Catholic Secondary School, was revealed last month by the blog RightSideUp.  A copy obtained by LifeSiteNews shows Sousa marking the student wrong for saying it was true that “Gay males and lesbian females are overly sexual,” and that “Gay people are very different from straight people.”

“Quite clearly this is a poor attempt to communicate the Church’s teaching on homosexuality,” said Camilla Gunnarson of RightSideUp. “More accurately, this is a form of indoctrination whereby students come away with the belief that homosexual relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships. Have our teachers become social engineers?”

The test, which dealt solely with homosexuality, had three sections. The first required students to define various terms related to the issue such as “homophobia,” “sexual orientation,” and “gay.”  The second had them answer true or false to statements such as “Gay people are very different from straight people,” “Gay men are always hitting on young boys,” and “Homosexual people are always in unstable relationships.”  The third section asked them to write a paragraph explaining the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

Gunnarson insisted the test is not a “one-off occurrence.”  “The reality is that there are teachers (and administrators) within every board through out this province who have their own agenda and it’s no secret that they have been undermining Catholic moral teaching for some time,” she said.

The treatment of homosexuality by Ontario’s Catholic schools has become a hot-button issue in recent months as homosexual activists have attempted to use the Catholic schools’ widespread acceptance of the government’s equity and inclusive education strategy in order to gain a foothold in the schools.  In Toronto, thousands of Catholic parents have rallied to call on the Toronto Catholic District School Board to pass amendments to their equity policy ensuring that Catholic sexual teaching is upheld in the schools.

While the Catechism of the Catholic Church insists that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” it also affirms the Church’s traditional teaching that homosexual inclinations are “objectively disordered” and homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity.”

In June, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops warned in a letter on pastoral ministry to youth with same-sex attractions that misrepresentation or silence about the Church’s teaching on the disordered nature of homosexuality can have serious consequences. “Avoidance of difficult questions or watering down the Church’s teaching is always a disservice,” the letter said.  “Such attitudes could lead young people into grave moral danger.”

LifeSiteNews spoke on July 27th with Barb Pilsner, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s executive administrative assistant. She said she was going to look into the issue, but LifeSiteNews did not hear back.

Contact Information:

Most Rev. Douglas Crosby, O.M.I.
Bishop of Hamilton
700 King Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 1C7
Tel: (905) 528-7988
Fax: (905) 528-1088
E-mail: bishopsoffice@hamiltondiocese.com

Roger Lawler, Director of Education
Waterloo Catholic District School Board
35 Weber St. W.—Unit A
PO Box 91116
Kitchener, ON, Canada N2G 4G2
Phone: 519-578-3660
Fax: 519-578-5291
E-mail: Roger.Lawler@wcdsb.ca

Trustee contact information can be found here.

Tags: catholic schools, gay activism, homosexuality

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EU pol rejected for homosexuality stance: Christians are Europe’s ‘reservoir’ of values

by Jeremy Kryn Tue Aug 09 15:37 EST Comments (0)

Rocco Buttiglione

ROME, August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The vice-president of the Italian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies has called on Christian politicians to “make sacrifices” and value their conscience more than their position.

In an interview with Catholic News Agency published last Thursday, Professor Rocco Buttiglione, a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said that Christian people must enter politics to play an active role forming “the future of the land.”

“I think the great reservoir of values today is in the Christian people and we must tell them, you must make politics, you must enter into politics, you must make with your hands the future of the land,” said the politician and academic.

As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, Buttiglione became the focus of controversy in 2004 after critics blocked his appointment to the European Union Commission for his statements that homosexual acts are morally wrong.

Buttiglione said that democracy collapsed in ancient Greece after 171 years because of “moral relativism” and “corruption,”  and that Western democracies “run the danger of dying” because politicians today do not put their conscience higher than their political career. Today’s relativism, he said, is the intellectual descendant of the ancient Greek sophists.

“I think that we very often forget that democracy is a very delicate creature,” he stated.

Buttiglione said that people do not often want to hear the truth. It must, however, not remain alienated from politics. “We must bring truth to politics again,” he said.

Buttiglione’s comments follow last month’s debate over “anti-homophobia” legislation in the Italian Parliament. Along with the Union of the Center Party, of which Buttiglione is a member, the Northern League of Italy’s governing coalition and the majority of members from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s The People of Freedom (PDL) Party successfully opposed the bill. 

Italy’s Democratic Party, the Future and Freedom for Italy Party, the Italy of Values Party, and one PDL member supported the measure. Eighteen PDL parliamentarians abstained from voting. 

Tags: eu, rocco buttiglione

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Israeli court allows dead girl’s eggs to be harvested

by Thaddeus Baklinski Tue Aug 09 13:39 EST Comments (2)


KFAR SAVA, Israel, August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The magistrates court in the town of Kfar Sava has set a legal precedent in Israel, and possibly in the world, after it gave permission to an Israeli family to extract and freeze eggs from the ovaries of their 17-year-old daughter, who died last Wednesday after being hit by a car 10 days ago.

The family of Chen Aida Ayash gave permission for her organs to be donated following her death, but also asked the court for permission for her eggs to be harvested and frozen, reported Israel’s Ha’aretz news agency.

A medical source familiar with the case told the news agency that Chen’s family initially wanted to fertilise the eggs with donated sperm and freeze them as embryos, after donating her organs for transplant. But Kfar Sava’s Meir Hospital refused to fertilize the eggs when a court order for this procedure was denied.

Maayan Maor, a spokeswoman for the Meir Medical Centre told the media, “This is a unique case, since this is the first time an Israeli court has approved the extraction and freezing of ovarian eggs from a dead woman. We don’t know the reason why Chen’s parents wanted it done. We just received the court order and did the procedure.”

Ha’aretz reported that Israel has no law regulating the harvesting of eggs from a dead woman, as this procedure was not included in a new law on egg donation that took effect in February. Harvesting sperm from a dead man, however, was regulated by a 2003 order issued by the attorney general that states only a spouse has an automatic right to harvest sperm from a dead husband and use it to fertilize an egg; parents who wish to harvest their son’s sperm must obtain a court order.

Although latest reports indicate that Chen’s family has had a change of heart and no longer wants their daughter’s eggs fertilized, Irit Rosenblum, founder of the New Family organization, an Israeli group that promotes family rights, was quoted by the UK Guardian to say that the issue in fertilizing the girl’s eggs revolves around both her intent and consent to have children.

“We don’t know if [Chen] was concerned about continuation,” Rosenblum said. “If [the family] can prove the fact that she wanted children, I see no reason why not to allow this.”

Rosenblum did caution, however, that a prerequisite of creating a child from Chen’s ova must be that “the resulting child be brought up by his or her biological father.”  He said that a child has a right to know its “biological legacy” rather than being created by anonymous sperm or egg donors.

Pro-family groups have argued, however, that even with the parents’ consent and involvement, artificial reproduction is an intrinsic evil because the child has a right to be conceived in the loving union of husband and wife rather than in a lab.

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State must pay for drugs to alter transsexual prisoners’ body type: court

by Kathleen Gilbert Tue Aug 09 13:26 EST Comments (4)


MADISON, Wisconsin, August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An appeals court has upheld a lower court’s support for a group of male inmates who argued that the state’s refusal to pay for hormones to change their body type was a form of torture.

A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said that state officials were violating prisoners’ constitutional rights unless they let male inmates receive a hormone regimen to make their bodies more feminine.

The three inmates had sued the state in 2006 after prison officials began reducing their estrogen treatments which, as the court noted in its opinion, supports female self-idenfication by causing “breast development, relocation of body fat, and softening of the skin.”

The court concluded that “plaintiffs could not be effectively treated without hormones” because mental health remedies, such as psychotherapy and antidepressants, “do nothing to treat the underlying disorder” of a perceived incorrect body type, something the court called a “medical condition.”

“Surely, had the Wisconsin legislature passed a law that DOC inmates with cancer must be treated only with therapy and pain killers, this court would have no trouble concluding that the law was unconstitutional,” stated the panel, concluding that refusing the hormones had “no valid penological purpose and amounts to torture.”

The ruling struck down a Wisconsin law specifying that inmates did not have the right to taxpayer-funded hormone alteration or sex reassignment surgery, although the case did not handle the constitutionality of banning the latter procedure.

The same court had ruled in 1987 and again in 1997 that a transgender inmate did not have a right to “any particular type of treatment, such as estrogen therapy,” as long as an adequate alternate therapy was offered. In Friday’s ruling, however, the court concluded that the previous rulings assumed the hormones were more expensive than other treatments, which is not currently the case, and also incorrectly held that other remedies could provide an adequate substitute.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) hailed the ruling against a law they called “cruel.”

“Too often the medical needs of transgender persons are not treated as the serious health issues that they are,” said John Knight, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act was passed in 2005 after reports that taxpayers were subsidizing sex changes for inmates sparked major controversy.

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Jesuit University punishes campus group for dismissing homosexual officer

by Jeremy Kryn Mon Aug 08 21:45 EST Comments (14)


MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, August 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Jesuit-run Marquette University has punished a Christian group for dismissing an officer after he revealed himself as a practicing homosexual.

Last Friday, Marquette Political science professor John McAdams blogged about the outrage of the Jesuit run Catholic university initially suspending its InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter. The suspension has now been changed to a probation.

McAdams indicated the suspension was imposed because of the chapter’s dismissal of “an officer who ‘came out’ of the closet as homosexual, said he was involved in a homosexual affair which he would continue”, and made it clear that he disagreed with the organization’s interpretation of Christian teaching about homosexuality. 

Today, Director of University Communications Kate Venne confirmed to LifeSiteNews why the campus chapter was placed on probation.

“The probation results from a finding that the chapter violated its own policies and procedures in dealing with a complaint,” Venne said. “This failure and the lack of clear communication regarding why action was taken caused significant personal hurt and resulted in allegations of discrimination.”

She added, “Marquette expects all student organizations to adhere to the university’s Statement on Human Dignity which ‘recognizes and cherishes the dignity of each individual regardless of age, culture, faith, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, disability or social class.’”

In his Friday blog post, McAdams said that Dean of Students Stephanie Quade has reversed the initial decision to suspend the campus chapter. In addition to the current one-year probation for upholding Christian moral principles, McAdams reported that InterVarsity Christian Fellowship will have to submit to a review of their constitution.

The Harvard University alumnus said that the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship mobilized a letter writing campaign in support of its actions. While Quade acknowledged receiving a large number of emails, she denied that they had a role in her decision to reverse the suspension.

McAdams credits conservative Milwaukee radio personality Mark Belling for breaking the story last Tuesday.

“It’s good that Marquette backed away from punishing a group for insisting that its officers adhere to Christian standards of sexual conduct,” McAdams told LSN. “But there is such a thing as a ‘chilling effect.’  Other student groups are likely to back away from anything that is disapproved by the gay lobby because they simply don’t want the hassle. Only a minority of students enjoy doing battle.”

Since the suspension was overturned, McAdams suggested that the consequences of the university’s decision for Catholic higher education are “perhaps not much.” “But,” he said, “had it been upheld, other ‘Catholic’ universities would have been emboldened to do the same.”

As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, Marquette University made national headlines last spring when it withdrew its offer to Dr. Jodi O’Brien to be Dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. University officials explained that the candidate, an open lesbian, published sexually explicit scholarly work out of keeping with the school’s Catholic identity.

In June, Marquette University theology professor and prominent Catholic dissident Daniel Maguire criticized New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan for his “rabid” stance against same-sex “marriage” in a blog posted on the liberal online magazine Religion Dispatches.

Tags: catholic university, homosexuality, jesuits, marquette

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