Belfast Telegraph: Bishops back ‘traditional marriage’

THE Church of Ireland has underlined its commitment to marriage as being between a man and a woman following its major weekend conference on human sexuality. A joint statement from the Primate Archbishop Alan Harper and the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Michael Jackson stressed that “the church’s position on marriage as being the union of one man and one woman remains constant”. [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph: We have not barred gays from conference on sexuality: Church

THE Church of Ireland has denied claims that a conference this weekend on human sexuality has deliberately excluded gays from its list of speakers. The two-day conference, which began in the Slieve Russell Hotel in Co Cavan last night, is for members of the General Synod. Some 450 of the 600-strong body are attending. [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph: Same-sex issue needs solution

The Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Alan Harper will preside at a special conference on March 9-10 which will discuss the vexed question of same-sex relationships. Already the debate is in full flow and this week the pro-gay group Changing Attitude Ireland published a book, ‘Moving Forward Together; Homosexuality and the Church of Ireland’. [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph: ‘Breathing space’ call in row over gay clergy

THE Church of Ireland Gazette is calling for “breathing space” in the row over gay clergy. The call follows the revelation that the openly gay Dean of Leighlin, Tom Gordon, entered into a same-sex civil partnership in July. The Gazette, edited by Canon Ian Ellis, stated in its editorial that while civil partnership is not a marriage, “and does not necessarily involve same-sex sexual expression, there is a very wide perception that it is a form of gay marriage, and perceptions are often as important as facts”. [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph: God save us if this religious lunacy is allowed to triumph

Jim Allister is on the warpath again. This time, he’s riled because a marcher in the Pride parade held up a sign saying ‘Jesus had two dads and he turned out fine’. Jim’s already been on to the Parades Commission and the police and he wants the Pride organisers to be held to account for this “blasphemous” placard. Yet this poster had none of the dumb, provocative crudity of the sign reading ‘Jesus is a fag’ carried by a marcher in the 2006 parade. [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph: Advances made but the fight for rights not over

Tomorrow sees the 21st annual Belfast Gay Pride Parade. From nervous and tiny beginnings, it has become a bold and loud celebration appealing to all ages and outlooks (bar one), adding another bright touch to Belfast in July. Its family-friendly carnival alongside the Lagan Lookout on Saturday afternoon is free, and open to all who want to share our enjoyment. Despite the glamour and glitz, the Pride Festival with its numerous events during this week remains true to our concerns for human rights and the future prospects of all GLBT people, and for our society in general. It is also a showcase for the community’s varied artistic and cultural talents. [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph: Church’s guidance for parents of gay kids

A new booklet which aims to give advice to Church of Ireland parents who find out their child is gay will be launched at the General Synod today. I Think My Son Or Daughter Is Gay: Guidance For Parents Of Gay Children In The Church Of Ireland, has been written by Gerry Lynch from Changing Attitude Ireland, an organisation which campaigns for the inclusion of gay people in the Church. One such parent is Paul Rowlandson, whose youngest daughter Katherine (31) came out as a lesbian when she was 16. [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph: Having a look at new attitudes

A group called Changing Attitude Ireland will be celebrating Communion and holding its AGM in St George’s Church, High Street, Belfast on October 2. The address will be given by former British Methodist Vice-President David Walton, also the main speaker at Grosvenor House on October 1. His topic will be: “The challenge and invitation to include lesbian and gay people in church life.” [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph: Derry’s ‘pride’ over first gay parade

History is being made today as Londonderry prepares to stage its first ever Gay Pride Festival. Mayor of Derry Colum Eastwood will join the march along with numerous local politicians standing in solidarity with the city’s gay community. The colourful procession gathers at the Waterside Train Station this afternoon, in preparation for the one mile march to the city centre. [Continue Reading]

Belfast Telegraph Video: Belfast Gay Pride 2008

Part 1 includes a conversation with CAI supporter Rev. Chris Hudson. Part 2 includes an introduction by Tom Hartley, Lord Mayor of Belfast. [Continue Reading]