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  1. The video starts in a board room meeting where a group of men are brainstorming experiences which they can share – and one of the pinpoints “Sally”.  The clip then cuts to a young woman walking around what appears to be a market. She see’s women wearing rainbow bracelets, with rainbow posters showing two stick-figure women holding hands. When she goes to the till she’s asked if she would like to “make a donation to the marathon”, to which Sally says “no, thank you”. She then walks to a separate store and purchases a blanket. While waiting she sees a number of women wearing the bracelet. The woman who serves her asks Sally if she would like her rainbow bracelet in the bag or if she would like to wear it now. “No thank you,” Sally repeats again. “What’s wrong honey?” A third woman then questions her. “You got something against them?” “Well no I don’t have anything against them personally,” she begins to reply, but she is then cut off. “So what’s the problem?” “I respect that they have a right to choose their lifestyle but as a Bible reader,” Sally begins to try and explain. “Excuse me I’m a bible reader too I go to church and our church is one of the biggest supporters for this marathon,” the woman replies. “Displaying courage now will help me display courage in the future,” a voice tells her. “Well I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and we believe the bible teaches sex is for a man and a woman who are married,” Sally says.
  2. Friday's parliamentary vote in Berlin to recognize the right of same-sex couples to wed was a long-awaited victory for German liberals. But the vote was a defeat for the woman who seemed to have emerged as one of the country's most popular icons of liberalism: German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She welcomed over 1 million refugees, abandoned nuclear energy over safety fears and has urged President Trump to respect human rights. On Friday, however, Merkel voted against same-sex marriage, despite having paved the way to its recognition only days earlier. The anti-marriage-equality party line of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had long prevented the law from being passed. But on Monday, the German chancellor cleared the way for the issue to win approval in the German Parliament by allowing lawmakers to choose according to their personal convictions after being pressured into a vote by the Social Democratic Party. “I would like to steer the discussion more toward the situation that it will be a question of conscience instead of me forcing something through by means of a majority vote,” Merkel said earlier this week. Read more:
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  3. STANDARD: Jehovah's or MAN"S - It's not a hate issue, but rather a love for God and his standards.
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    Matthew 19:4-6. I don't hate gays but I do love my God and I chose to live and abide by his words, which say that two men should not lie down together, nor should two women. God says it is an abomination/detestable to him. Leviticus 18:22
  4. Pope Francis says gays — and all the other people the church has marginalized, such as the poor and the exploited — deserve an apology. Francis was asked Sunday en route home from Armenia if he agreed with one of his top advisers, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who told a conference in Dublin in the days after the deadly Orlando gay club attack that the church owes an apology to gays for having marginalized them. Francis responded with a variation of his famous "Who am I to judge?" comment and a repetition of church teaching that gays must not be discriminated against but treated with respect. He said some politicized behaviors of the homosexual community can be condemned for being "a bit offensive for others." But he said: "Someone who has this condition, who has good will and is searching for God, who are we to judge?" "We must accompany them," Francis said. "I think the church must not only apologize ... to a gay person it offended, but we must apologize to the poor, to women who have been exploited, to children forced into labor, apologize for having blessed so many weapons" and for having failed to accompany families who faced divorces or experienced other problems. Francis uttered his "Who am I to judge?" comment during his first airborne press conference in 2013, signaling a new era of acceptance and welcome for gays in the church. Francis followed up by meeting with gay and transgender faithful, and most significantly, by responding to claims that he met with anti-gay marriage campaigner Kim Davis during his U.S. visit. He said the only personal meeting he held in Washington was with his gay former student and his partner. Despite such overtures, however, many gay Catholics are still waiting for progress after a two-year consultation of the church on family issues failed to chart concrete, new pastoral avenues for them. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told reporters after Francis' press conference that the pope wasn't referring to a medical "condition" when he spoke of gays, but rather a lifestyle situation. ——— This story has been corrected to show that the cardinal's name is Reinhard Marx, not Karl. Source:
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  5. A gay rights activist celebrates outside of the iconic Stonewall Inn on the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Yana Paskova/Getty Images) President Obama is poised to declare the first-ever national monument recognizing the struggle for gay rights, singling out a sliver of green space and part of the surrounding Greenwich Village neighborhood as the birthplace of America’s modern gay liberation movement. While most national monuments have highlighted iconic wild landscapes or historic sites from centuries ago, this reflects the country’s diversity of terrain and peoples in a different vein: It would be the first national monument anchored by a dive bar and surrounded by a warren of narrow streets that long has been regarded the historic center of gay cultural life in New York City. Federal officials, including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), will hold a listening session on May 9 to solicit feedback on the proposal. Barring a last-minute complication — city officials are still investigating the history of the land title — Obama is prepared to designate the area part of the National Park Service as soon as next month, which commemorates gay pride. Protests at the site, which lasted for six days, began in the early morning of June 28, 1969 after police raided the Stonewall Inn, which was frequented by gay men. While patrons of the bar, which is still in operation today in half of its original space, had complied in the past with these crackdowns, that time it sparked a spontaneous riot by bystanders and those who had been detained. Although national monument designations are partly symbolic, backers of the move said it could bolster the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which led to the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. “We must ensure that we never forget the legacy of Stonewall, the history of discrimination against the LGBT community, or the impassioned individuals who have fought to overcome it,” Nadler, who has co-authored legislation that would make it a national park, said in a statement. “The LGBT civil rights movement launched at Stonewall is woven into American history, and it is time our National Park system reflected that reality.” The president described Stonewall as a critical event in the nation’s social progress during his second inaugural speech, reflecting the idea “that all of us are created equal,” and alluded to it again when celebrating the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma, Ala. Interior Department spokeswoman Amanda Degroff said Obama “has made clear that he’s committed to ensuring our national parks, monuments and public lands help Americans better understand the places and stories that make this nation great” — though at the moment the administration has no official announcement on the designation. Noting that Jewell and Jarvis are attending next week’s public meeting at the invitation of Nadler and federal, state and local officials, Degroff added, “Insights from meetings like this one play an important role in identifying the best means to protect and manage significant sites like Christopher Park, whether a designation is established by Congress or through executive authority.” Nadler and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have asked the president to protect the site under the 1906 Antiquities Act. In a sign of how much has changed since 1969, the three officials who represent the area — City Council member Corey Johnson, state assembly member Deborah Glick and state senator Brad Hoylman — are all openly gay and endorse the idea of making it a monument, as does the local community advisory board. The decision to recognize a critical moment in the fight for gay rights, at a time when politicians in several states are moving to strip away legal protections for transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual residents, enjoys considerable support within the administration. But the path to declaring the monument has been a complicated one, largely because the site involves private property and a dense urban area where land-use planning is never simple. But late last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation, backed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and several state lawmakers, that would allow the city to transfer ownership of Christopher Park to the federal government should it become designated as a monument. That patch of green, spanning less than two-tenths of an acre, lies opposite the Stonewall Inn. n the same way Chicago’s Pullman National Monument — which Obama declared last year to highlight the struggle for labor and civil rights a century ago — encompasses a federally owned former railroad-car factory and part of the surrounding neighborhood, the proposed monument would include several streets that served as a battlefield between activists and law enforcement. “History’s messy,” said David Stacy, government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign, whose group has pushed for the designation along with others such as the National Parks Conservation Association and Gill Foundation. “This raised the consciousness of people throughout the country. It said to people, you don’t have to be quiet. You don’t have to stay in the closet.” Gill Foundation president and chief executive Courtney Cuff, whose group helped fund a two-year study to identify what LGBT sites might qualify for National Park Service recognition, said a monument designation would mean “interpreters will be talking to visitors about the LGBT community and the contributions of the LGBT movement writ large.” Hoylman, who lives in the neighborhood with his husband and 5-year-old daughter Silvia, said he has taken her there and “tried to explain to her how important it is to her daddy and her papa.” “The president has mentioned Stonewall along with Selma and Seneca Falls in his second inaugural. So it’s fitting that he would be the president to bring this forward,” he said. “It’s breathtaking how far we’ve come, in so short a time.” Source:
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    A plaque noting the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots is affixed to the front of The Stonewall Inn, in New York's Greenwich Village, on May 29, 2014. (Richard Drew/AP)

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