Gay priest won’t become UK bishop
LONDON — A Church of England committee has decided against nominating a gay priest to become a bishop, according to British news reports.
Church officials would not comment, but the July 8 Daily Telegraph reported that the Very Rev. Jeffrey John was rejected as a potential nominee to become bishop of Southwark in south London. Other newspapers had similar reports.
John was nominated to become bishop of Reading in 2003, but withdrew in the face of an uproar from conservatives, according to the Associated Press. He is now the dean of St. Albans cathedral.
John, although united in a civil partnership with his long-term partner, has declared he is celibate, conforming to Anglican teaching.
Church officials had not confirmed news reports that John was on a list of candidates considered by a Crown Nominations Commission, which met last week behind closed doors.
The Associated Press quoted Rev. Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude, as saying the development was “painfully disappointing news for Jeffrey, who has lived through a week in which his identity and reputation have been pored over, analyzed and attacked once again by conservative forces in the church in a way which I can only describe as poisonous.”
Coward’s group is devoted to promoting the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion, where issues of sexuality have caused much acrimony and deep splits.
Mexico City sees 271 gay weddings in 4 months
MEXICO CITY — Mexico City has seen 271 gay and lesbian couples get married since the capital enacted the first law in Latin America explicitly allowing same-sex marriages.
The Associated Press reported the city government says there have been 142 marriages between men and 129 between women in the four months since the law took effect March 4.
The government said July 6 that 18 foreigners were among those married, and the rest were Mexican citizens. The largest number of marriages occurred in the first month after the law took effect.
Mexico’s Supreme Court is considering challenges to the law, which applies only to the capital, but the measure will remain in effect while the review is under way. A decision is expected sometime in August.
Facebook group finds big support in homophobia fight
DUNHAM, England — A new Facebook group that supports LGBT users, Wiping Out Homophobia on Facebook, has become one of the web site’s fastest growing pages.
Page founder Kelvin Patrick O’Neil said the group, which drew 3,000 fans on its founding day two months ago, now has more than 30,000 fans.
“Eight weeks ago I was flicking through Facebook, when I came across a homophobic page,” said O’Neil, who lives in Dunham, England. “I was so appalled that I decided to report it. To make sure that Facebook got the message, I sent a link of the group to all my friends so that they could also report it. Minutes later, they had sent me replies with links to other pages, so I decided to collate them on one page so that all of my friends could join in order to report these pages.”
O’Neil said that page, Wiping Out Homophobia on Facebook, drew 3,000 fans the same day he created it.
“So far, the members have … had over 900 profiles, groups and pages removed for hate speech,” O’Neil said. Other group actions have included signing a petition to stop a gay activist from being deported and crashing three anti-gay web sites.
Wiping Out Homophobia on Facebook is similar to other politically-driven Facebook pages in that it contains relevant links, comments and photos. It’s online at facebook.com/WOHOF.
“Through our daily posts, we have educated, informed and entertained with supportive slogans, humorous pictures, news reports and links,” O’Neil said. “I now have 14 administrators … [and] together we work 24/7 making, stealing and uploading links and pics, so that people can post them to their walls.”
O’Neil said the daily activity provides free publicity for the page while spreading awareness of anti-gay pages.