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Mario Cuomo’s lesson on challenging the political authority of the Church

Sunday, January 18, 2015
New York Gov. Mario Cuomo speaks at the University of Notre Dame in 1984.
The first thing I thought of when I heard that former New York governor Mario Cuomo had died was his extraordinary speech at the University of Notre Dame in 1984. I was not alone. ... It was a speech from which Americans who disagree with teachings of their religious tradition [...]

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A gay dad sounds off on the lies and abuse of TLC’s ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Jeff Bennion and his wife Tanya kiss in front of their home near Salt Lake City. The couple are featured in the TLC special, "My Husband's Not Gay."
Reality TV is not an area in which I have much comfort. I don’t know what a Kardashian is, and I am not clear on the point of real housewives or bridezillas. There seems to be a pre-occupation in this “reality” world with the breadth of “traditional marriages” from [...]

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Why we can’t get religious freedom right

Monday, January 12, 2015
religious-freedom
Baking a cake, arranging roses, running an inn, are all public acts -- not matters of private belief or worship -- and a person’s religious beliefs should not trump any laws otherwise governing such activities. [...]

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Waking the sleeping beast of religious liberty

Sunday, January 4, 2015
AP
Something remarkable happened in the run up to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Hobby Lobby vs. Burwell. A movement was born. A potentially historic movement that does not yet know its name — but which may yet bring the light of hope to a [...]

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A gay dad’s requiem for Leelah Alcorn, the Matthew Shepard of our time

Friday, January 2, 2015
Hundreds gather in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, Jan. 2, for a candlelight vigil for Leelah Alcorn.
Matthew Shepard's murder left and indelible impression that has become part of our collective culture to this day. This week, another tragedy, another life destroyed, left a similar impression — the death of Leelah Alcorn. [...]

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Uninformed religious leaders are guilty of causing Leelah Alcorn’s pain, desperation, rejection, and death

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Leelah Alcorn
I place culpability and thus, guilt, on Christian and conservative leaders who, over the past four decades, have constructed an extreme intensity of cultural and religious discrimination against the LGBT community. [...]

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My wish for the family with two dads who brought Christmas to a group of homeless LGBT youth

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
christmas
There is a bittersweet aspect to this story. As I tell it, I am not able to use the full names of the family members. I have not been able to tell you exactly where they are. There is a reason. They, as a family, are in hiding. [...]

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Seize the Day! 
(Well, what if we did?)

Sunday, December 21, 2014
seize-the-day
What if we seized this day to think dynamically about the religious freedoms we take for granted at our peril... freedom that is in danger of being redefined beyond recognition. [...]

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Religious freedom: Our conflict with a deeply held belief in equality

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Kirk Taylor (left) with his son Graeme.
My gay son now finds himself orphaned by his home state of Michigan, whose government is poised to pass legislation allowing others to discriminate against him based on their religious beliefs. [...]

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Hagel could have ended the military’s transgender exclusion

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Chuck Hagel
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s resignation under pressure is a setback to the effort to end the military exclusion of transgender service personnel. [...]

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