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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (5/21/19)

May 21, 2019

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to [email protected] with the subject “News Roundup.”


Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Following LGBT Bans, Minnesota Methodists ask, ‘What’s next?’, StarTribune (Jean Hopfensperger)

“A Minnesota delegation on Monday is heading to the first major national conference of Methodist leaders who will debate the best way to invent a more inclusive church. And a new opposition group simply called “Minnesota Methodists” is coordinating a statewide response to the LGBT restrictions, including hosting town hall meetings, fundraisers and protest petitions signed by more than 200 state clergy and hundreds of parishioners to date.”

Baylor regents decline to meet with LGBT student group as alumni advocates step up efforts, Waco Tribune-Herald (Rhiannon Saegert)

“The Baylor University Board of Regents declined to hear from an unofficial LGBT student support group during the board’s meeting that started Wednesday, but the group’s president said members will continue to push for recognition. More than 3,000 Baylor professors, students, alumni and others with connections to the university signed an open letter last month requesting the university recognize LGBT student groups for the first time.”

SBC President JD Greear talks new book, Trump-supporting evangelicals, and complementarianism, The Christian Post (Michael Gryboski)

“What we believe is that women have access to the same spiritual gifts that men do. They don’t use them in the same roles that men use them in, but they have the same gifts, and we need to be as devoted to platforming and elevating their gifts as we are those of our sons. In order for the church to thrive, both our sons and daughters have to thrive. It’s meant that we have looked through all of our staff positions and asked: “can a woman do this position without having to have the authority of an elder? Can a non-elder, a non-pastor elder do this job?” If so then we would say, maybe we traditionally only consider men for this job. But we should consider people of both genders [for this other job] because it can be done without the authority of a pastor or an elder.”

Scott Morrison claims he now backs same-sex marriage – but dodges question on hell, The Guardian (Paul Karp)

“Morrison made the claim at a press conference in Perth, brushing off questions about whether his personal views have changed since his vocal opposition to marriage equality during the marriage law postal survey in 2017. Morrison, a Pentecostal Christian who attends the Horizons church, said he doesn’t “mix [his] religion with politics” and evaded a question about whether gay people go to hell, an apparent reference to the controversy surrounding rugby player Israel Folau.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Texas Republicans pass a ‘Chick-fil-A’ bill. LGBT advocates are up in arms, Washington Post (Eli Rosenberg and Lindsey Bever)

“The “Save Chick-fil-A” bill explicitly forbids the government from taking “any adverse action,” against any person, contractor or business for its membership in or affiliation with a religious organization…The bill has drawn accusations from Democrats of being anti-LGBT — another national debate unfolding at the nexus of gay rights and religious liberty that will probably end up in the courts. “It’s been cloaked in religious freedom, but the genesis, the nexus of this bill, is in hatred,” state Rep. Celia Israel, a Democrat from Austin, said according to the Texas Tribune.”

A Liberal Law Professor Explains Why the Equality Act Would ‘Crush’ Religious Dissenters, National Review (John McCormack)

“While the bill passed the House today and will be bottled up in the Senate, it has close to universal support among Democrats and would very likely become law if Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress and abolish the Senate filibuster. What exactly would the Equality Act mean for religious schools throughout the country? “The short answer is that religious schools would be heavily regulated with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity,” writes Laycock. “They would have left an array of constitutional defenses, most of which are undeveloped and uncertain at best.””

Reflecting on Massachusetts’ historic gay rights ruling, 15 years later, ABC News (Rick Klein)

“‘I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage,’ Obama said in November 2008 – on the eve of his election….Now, in 2019, an openly gay presidential candidate has been featured on the cover of Time magazine alongside his husband. The Republican president he might run against said, just this week, he thinks ‘it’s great’ that a married gay man is running.”

How a Gay Character on Arthur Reflects Changing Norms in the U.S., The Atlantic (Ashley Fetters and Natalie Escobar)

“But the 2019 Arthur premiere marks a poignant moment in children’s TV history: In an episode where a male teacher gets married to another man, the behavior that the other characters consider most worrisome is his dorky dancing, and the apparent moral of the episode is that kids needn’t meddle in the affairs of the adults in their lives, because the adults have it under control. That Mr. Ratburn is marrying a person (an aardvark?) of the same sex feels, for all intents and purposes, unremarkable. It attracts no quizzical glances from the other characters, nor is it used as an opportunity for a proverbial Very Special Episode that teaches viewers about same-sex relationships.”

First In Asia: Marriage Equality Comes to Taiwan, Forbes (Dawn Ennis)

“Just days after Taiwan’s legislature passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage for the first time anywhere in Asia, the tiny island nation is about to register the first gay and lesbian weddings in its history. The law is the result of a four-year battle waged by gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei, who first petitioned the court in 2015, according to CNN. Taipei city officials representing three same-sex couples, who sued the government for rejecting their marriage registrations, filed a similar petition that same year. Lawmakers approved the bill on Friday with just a week left on a two-year deadline, which was set by the island’s Constitutional Court. The panel of judges ruled that the law dictating marriage could only be between a man and a woman was unconstitutional.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Is “Homosexual” a Noun or an Adjective and What Difference Does It Make?, The Aquila Report (Al Baker)

“Homosexual actions, desires, thoughts, and affections are all sinful and therefore unacceptable to God. One who is tempted in this area must repent and run to Jesus for sanctifying grace. Do we not already say the same about the other nouns in the text of 1 Timothy 6:10? Immorality or sexual sin, kidnapping, and lying are all sin.”

Voices: Beth Moore, women preaching and the SBC, Baptist Standard (Steve Bezner)

“The controversy arose when Moore mentioned on Twitter that she would be preaching at her church on Mother’s Day. Moore is part of Bayou City Fellowship, a Southern Baptist Convention church in the Houston area. I know the church well. Some churches, like BCF, would argue they are complementarian. They have male elders who provide leadership to the congregation, and—almost all of the time—those male elders (and other pastors) teach from the pulpit. They would argue that allowing Moore to preach on Mother’s Day was in no way unbiblical but rather allowing her to use her gifting on a day set aside to honor mothers. In their mind, they are well within the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.”

I Used to Hide My Shame. Now I Take Shelter Under the Gospel, Christianity Today (Greg Johnson)

“Decades have passed, and at age 46 I’m still a virgin fighting a constant battle for sexual holiness. (Goodness knows, for the last 15 years I haven’t been able to trust myself with an unmonitored internet connection.) Mike Rosebush, former director of Exodus International’s Professional Counselors’ Network, has said that he has yet to identify a single instance in which same-sex attraction disappeared. While sexuality has a degree of fluidity in some people, the real change for me has not been in my sexual orientation but in my life orientation. Jesus has rescued me. That’s everything.”

Should a Gay Couple, Once Converted, Stay ‘Married’?, Desiring God (John Piper)

“No, I would not recommend that two men or two women living together, practicing homosexuality, remain in that relationship. The reasons are several. The situations are different between a man and a woman entering a marriage they should not enter and a man and a man entering a relationship they should not enter. Let me try to explain some of those differences that would result in my decision not to recommend that they stay there.”

Want to Dismantle Capitalism? Abolish the Family, The Nation (Rosemarie Ho)

“Feminist theorist Sophie Lewis’s new book looks at how rethinking pregnancy and the idea of family as forms of labor is central to emancipatory politics.”

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