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  • Alumni Outraged Over Firing of Gay Teacher in Ohio

    SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- The Catholic Diocese of Toledo is backing a Roman Catholic school that parted ways with a gay teacher.

  • Anti-Discrimination Bill For Housing Rejected

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers have rejected a bill that would have prohibited housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Boy Scouts Ban Openly Gay Troop Leader

    Officials from the Boy Scouts of America acted on their controversial policy Monday and announced they have fired an openly gay leader of a Washington state-based troop after he "deliberately injected" his sexuality into scouting, Seattle’s NBC-affiliate station KING 5 News reports.

  • Catholic School Vice Principal Forced Out Over Same-Sex Marriage

    Sammamish (KCPQ) -- The sudden resignation of a beloved swim coach and school administrator because of his gay wedding has shocked the students and staff at Eastside Catholic School.

  • Chris Kluwe: I Was Fired After I Started Speaking Out About Same-Sex Marriage

    (CNN) -- Former Minnesota Viking and outspoken same-sex marriage supporter Chris Kluwe said Monday he is encouraged the NFL team is looking into his claims that he was released in May because he is an LGBT activist.

  • Cincinnati Catholic Teacher Contract Specifies ’Lifestyle’ Firing Offenses

    CINCINNATI - The doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is so complex the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is giving teachers a cheat sheet on some of the things that can get them fired.

  • City of Philadelphia Defends Treatment Of Trans Worker

    Transgender Flag

    City attorneys last week filed a lengthy brief denying any wrongdoing in the case of Bobbie E. Burnett, a transgender city employee who alleges pervasive workplace bias.

  • Colorado Cake Maker Appeals Order to Serve Gays

    A conservative Christian organization is appealing a ruling against a suburban Denver baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony.

  • Connecticut City: No Bias Against Transgender Cop

    An investigation by a Connecticut city has found no evidence that a transgender police officer was subject to discrimination or a hostile work environment.

  • DOJ Ends Investigation of Pittsburgh Prison

    PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Justice Department says it has ended an investigation of inmate abuse at Pittsburgh's state prison.

  • Fate of Arizona Anti-Gay Measure Rests With Jan Brewer

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- To veto or not to veto: It's up to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

  • Fla Mayors Send Message to Putin: ‘End Discrimination’

    As the Winter Olympics gets underway this week in Sochi, mayors from three of Florida’s most important cities have joined together to call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and visitors.

  • Gay Arkansas Student Says His Profile Was Pulled From Yearbook

    (CNN) -- An Arkansas student says his high school is "history" after school officials pulled a profile of him from the school yearbook because he is openly gay.

  • Gay Juror Was Taken Off Panel Improperly, Federal Court Rules

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that potential jurors may not be removed from a trial during jury selection solely because of sexual orientation.

  • Gay Rights Activists Blast Kansas Minority Leader Paul Davis

    TOPEKA (AP) — Gay-rights advocates lashed out Wednesday at the Kansas House's leading Democrat, saying he showed only tepid opposition to a bill protecting people who, based on their religious beliefs, discriminate against gays and lesbians.

  • Gay Vice Principal to Sue Washington Catholic School

    SEATTLE (AP) - Gay Vice-Principal Mark Zmuda, who was forced out of his job at Eastside Catholic High School, says he plans to file a lawsuit against the school and the Seattle Archdiocese on Friday.

  • Gays Included in Orange County Vietnamese Parade

    WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) - Community members have voted to include gay and lesbian residents in Orange County's Vietnamese new year's parade.

  • High Declines Appeal Over NM Gay Bias Case

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from a commercial photography business in New Mexico that objects to taking pictures of same-sex wedding ceremonies.

  • House Panel OKs Bill by Social Conservatives

    An Arizona House panel on Tuesday approved changes to a proposed law beefing up protections for businesses that assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays and others, but the changes didn't placate critics who call the bill a way to allow discrimination.

  • How Evangelicals Won A Culture War And Lost A Generation

    (CNN) -- On March 24, World Vision announced that the U.S. branch of the popular humanitarian organization would no longer discriminate against employees in same-sex marriages.

    It was a decision that surprised many but one that made sense, given the organization’s ecumenical nature.

    But on March 26, World Vision President Richard Stearns reversed the decision, stating, “our board acknowledged that the policy change we made was a mistake.”

    Supporters helped the aid group “see that with more clarity,” Stearns added, “and we’re asking you to forgive us for that mistake.”

    So what happened within those 48 hours to cause such a sudden reversal?

    The Evangelical Machine kicked into gear.

    Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the decision pointed to “disaster,” and the Assemblies of God denomination encouraged its members to pull their financial support from the organization.

    Evangelicals took to Twitter and Facebook to threaten to stop sending money to their sponsored children unless World Vision reversed course.

    Within a day of the initial announcement, more than 2,000 children sponsored by World Vision lost their financial support. And with more and more individuals, churches and organizations threatening to do the same, the charity stood to lose millions of dollars in aid that would otherwise reach the poor, sick, hungry and displaced people World Vision serves.

    So World Vision reversed course.

    Stearns told The New York Times that some people, satisfied with the reversal, have called World Vision headquarters to ask, “Can I have my child back?” as though needy children are expendable bargaining chips in the culture war against gay and lesbian people.

    Many of us who grew up evangelical watched with horror as these events unfolded.

    As a longtime supporter of World Vision, I encouraged readers of my blog to pick up some of the dropped sponsorships after the initial decision. I then felt betrayed when World Vision backtracked, though I urged my readers not to play the same game but to keep supporting their sponsored children, who are of course at no fault in any of this.

    But most of all, the situation put into stark, unsettling relief just how misaligned evangelical priorities have become.

    When Christians declare that they would rather withhold aid from people who need it than serve alongside gays and lesbians helping to provide that aid, something is wrong.

    There is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality that consistently dehumanizes, stigmatizes and marginalizes gay and lesbian people and, at least in this case, prioritizes the culture war against them over and against the important work of caring for the poor.

    Evangelicals insist that they are simply fighting to preserve “biblical marriage,” but if this were actually about “biblical marriage,” then we would also be discussing the charity’s policy around divorce.

    But we’re not.

    Furthermore, Scripture itself teaches that when we clothe and feed those in need, we clothe and feed Christ himself, and when we withhold care from those in need, we withhold it from Christ himself (Matthew 25:31-46).

    Why are the few passages about homosexuality accepted uncritically, without regard to context or culture, but the many about poverty so easily discarded?

    As I grieved with my (mostly 20- and 30-something) readers over this ugly and embarrassing situation, I heard a similar refrain over and over again: “I don’t think I’m an evangelical anymore. I want to follow Jesus, but I can’t be a part of this.”

    I feel the same way.

    Whether it’s over the denial of evolutionary science, continued opposition to gender equality in the church, an unhealthy alliance between religion and politics or the obsession with opposing gay marriage, evangelicalism is losing a generation to the culture wars.

    A recent survey from Public Religion Research Institute revealed that nearly one-third of millennials who left their childhood faith did so because of “negative teachings” or “negative treatment” of gay and lesbian people.

    Christians can disagree about what the Bible says (or doesn’t say) about same-sex marriage. This is not an issue of orthodoxy. But when we begin using child sponsorships as bargaining tools in our debates, we’ve lost the way of Jesus.

    So my question for those evangelicals is this: Is it worth it?

    Is a “victory” against gay marriage really worth leaving thousands of needy children without financial support?

    Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth losing more young people to cynicism regarding the church?

    Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth perpetuating the idea that evangelical Christians are at war with LGBT people?

    And is a “victory” against gay marriage worth drowning out that quiet but persistent internal voice that asks, "what if we get this wrong?"

    I, for one, am tired of arguing. I’m tired of trying to defend evangelicalism when its leaders behave indefensibly.

    I’m going AWOL on evangelicalism's culture wars so I can get back to following Jesus among its many refugees: LGBT people, women called to ministry, artists, science-lovers, misfits, sinners, doubters, thinkers and “the least of these.”

    I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.

    Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.