Ben Johnson


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

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, May 23, 2012, ( – 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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Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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