Ben Johnson

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X-Men superhero to have same-sex ‘marriage’

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, May 23, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – As part of its ongoing campaign to increase its characters’ diversity, Marvel Comics will feature X-Men superhero Northstar having a same-sex “marriage” ceremony with his partner, Kyle.

Northstar became the first openly homosexual comic character in 1992.

Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said, “Marvel has a long and proud tradition of reflecting the world in all its diversity, and this is just one more example of that.”

Marjorie Liu, an X-Men writer, told Rolling Stone she wanted to inspire others to follow their footsteps. “Here are two people, trying to live their lives – mutant and gay, black and gay – empowered in their own ways, but also fringe-dwellers,” she said. “They’re living life on their own terms…The message is: You can do the same thing.”

The “marriage” will take place in next month’s Astonishing X-Men #51.

Alonso told Rolling Stone the editorial team was inspired to pursue the wedding storyline after same-sex “marriage” became legal in New York State, where the characters live.

However, not everyone in the Marvel universe supports redefining marriage. “Not everyone will accept the invitation or the validity of Northstar’s vows,” Alonso said, revealing even “one of Northstar’s team members will turn down the invitation.”

Alonso insisted the views of those who support traditional marriage “will be fairly represented.” Co-editor Jeanine Schaffer agreed, “There are also people who are struggling with it. We want to tell those stories, too.”

The move follows closely on the heels of another comic book outing. On Sunday, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio told a London’s comic book convention that an existing DC character, who had been assumed to be straight, will become “one of our most prominent gay characters.”   

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Northstar will not be the first homosexual superhero to tie the knot. Stormwatch characters Apollo and Midnighter already “married” and adopted a child.

More recently, Archie comics book character Kevin Keller “married” his homosexual partner in the January 2012 issue. One Million Moms, a project of the American Family Association, asked for members to contact Toys ‘R’ Us stores to prevent the issue’s display in front of an impressionable young audience. Attempts to contact One Million Moms about the X-Men issue were not successful by press time.

The quest to diversify the superhero world has seen rivals Marvel and DC introducing homosexual characters for decades.

DC’s Teen Titans features Bunker, an Hispanic homosexual born in Mexico. In 2002, the DC character Terry Berg was nearly beaten to death in a homosexual hate crime in the Green Lantern comic series.

Wolverine’s son, Daken, has had homosexual escapades in Marvel’s pages, while DC’s Starman had a same-sex partner until his own fictional death.

The newspaper comic pages are not exempt. The long-running comic strip “Funky Winkerbean,” penned by Tom Batiuck, had a same-sex couple attend the prom last month.

At other times, the comic companies have added minority groups to the comic book world by changing the historical sexual orientation and ethnicity of existing superheroes.

DC reintroduced Batwoman, who was originally Batman’s love interest, as a lesbian who celebrates Hanukkah in 2006.

In 2002, Marvel relaunched the 1950s-era cowboy the Rawhide Kid as a homosexual gunfighter.

Marvel writer Peter David helped turn asexual mutant Shatterstar into a bisexual.

Marvel killed off Spider-Man’s alter ego Peter Parker last June, replacing him with Miles Morales, a teenager who is half-black, half-Hispanic, and may be revealed to be homosexual. At the time, Alonso said, “This was a conscious decision. Here at Marvel, we pride ourselves on reflecting the real world in all its diversity.”

The artist who helped create the new Spider-Man look, Sara Pichelli, said, “Maybe sooner or later a black or gay - or both - hero will be considered something absolutely normal.”

Superheroes such as Blue Beetle, Firestorm, and The Atom have also been changed from white to Hispanic, black, and Asian.

While some are tempted to laugh off gay comics, their impact on popular culture – and the children whose worldview they help shape – cannot be calculated. Before President Obama endorsed same-sex “marriage,” Vice President Joe Biden said “when things really begin to change is when the social culture changes.” He credited the TV program “Will and Grace” with doing “more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody’s ever done so far.”

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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