Here are some items that might be of interest:
1) An archbishop in the African nation of Gabon unsuccessfully tried to stop the decriminalization of homosexuality, which was accomplished by reversing a 2019 law that had made same-gender sexual relations illegal, reported The New York Times. The Archdiocese of Libreville, led by Archbishop Jean-Patrick Iba-Ba, released a statement saying, “In the name of the wisdom of our ancestors, contained in our various cultures, which celebrates life, love, family, we say no to the decriminalisation of homosexuality.” To learn more about how church leaders have responded to the criminalization of homosexuality, click here.
2) Catholic officials in Uganda are working to prevent adoptions by gay and lesbian people. The Archdiocese of Kampala’s Director of Communications, Mukasa Nkeera, commented to Global Press Journal, “If they decide to love each other as man to man and woman to woman, then they are well aware that they can’t produce children. Why then give them a chance to raise our children?” Homosexuality remains criminalized in the country where a conviction can lead to life imprisonment.
3) Brian McNeill, president of Dignity/Twin Cities, testified in support of Minnesota state legislation that would ban conversion therapy, according to MinnPost. McNeill noted the particular harm that linking such practices to religious faith can cause, and he called attempts to change or stymie an LGBTQ identity “unprofessional.”
4) Catholic Church leaders in Scotland are opposing proposed changes to laws concerning transgender people, which some government officials and LGBTQ advocates claim need reforming because they are too burdensome. The Catholic Parliamentary Office of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland released a briefing paper, reported Crux, that said changes to the law “risk creating medical, social and legal complications which will be difficult to resolve and damaging to those involved” and that there are “particular risks for children and women.” The church leaders also claim that changing such things as how transgender people legally transition would infringe on rights like free speech and religious freedom.
5) Last year, the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia held a meeting with about 80 LGBTQ people and allies that included an auxiliary bishop to discuss the church’s approach to gender and sexuality issues. This meeting helped prepare for the Plenary Council scheduled for two sessions in 2021 and 2020, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. There were mixed reviews from participants on whether the meeting was productive time or simply a chance to make church officials look good.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, July 18, 2020