As the leader of two American dioceses, Roman Catholic Bishop Blase Cupich has spoken out against same-sex marriage and against conservative hostility toward gay rights advocates. He has opposed abortion, while urging parishioners and priests to have patience, not disdain, for those who disagree. And he has criticized fellow U.S. bishops who threatened to shut down religious charities instead of pursuing a compromise with the White House over health care policies that go against Catholic teaching.
On Saturday, Pope Francis named Cupich as the next archbishop of Chicago, sending a strong signal about the direction that the pontiff is taking the church. Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George, 77, an aggressive defender of orthodoxy who once said he expected his successors in Chicago to be martyred in the face of hostility toward Christianity.
Lambda Legal, an LGBT legal defense group, is asking a U.S. District judge for summary judgment to end Puerto Rico's ban on same-sex marriage.
The motion by Lambda was filed earlier this week on behalf of five gay and lesbian couples and a nonprofit LGBT civil rights group on the island.
The Catholic League says it will sit out next year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York because event organizers aren't letting an anti-abortion group march.
The group, formally known as the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has been marching for 20 years, said its president, Bill Donohue.
Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever.
The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold create complexity and ambiguity that cause major headaches for marijuana businesses - and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.
Police in Philadelphia searching for a group of people suspected in the beating of a gay couple got an outpouring of help from Twitter and Facebook users, who located a photo of the clean-cut young men and women at a restaurant and helped match names to faces.
Attorneys representing a number of those seen in the video notified police they would bring in their clients to tell their side of the story, a police spokesman, Sgt. Eric Gripp, said.
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, the foundation — committed "to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world" — announced on Sept. 16.
She is among three members of the LGBT community to receive the prestigious award that is commonly referred to as the "genius grant." Bechdel, 54, lives in Bolton, Vermont, and is the author of the long-running "Dykes to Watch Out For" comic strip, as well as graphic memoirs, including "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" and "Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama."
A German gay rights activist suffered life-threatening brain injuries from a beating in Belgrade, Serbia on Sept. 13.
Authorities said they arrested three people suspected of being involved in the attack on the man, who was attending a gay rights conference in Belgrade.
Free & Equal, the United Nations Human Rights Office’s global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, has released “UN Free & Equal: One Billion Rising,” a video highlighting the campaign’s impact to date.
“In the past year, more than a billion people around the world have been exposed to Free & Equal’s message of equality and acceptance. Millions of them have watched and shared campaign videos and read and posted materials online,” said Charles Radcliffe, chief of global Issues at the UN Human Rights Office. “At a time when the rights of LGBT people being challenged in some countries, the campaign has helped to raise awareness of the stigma, discrimination and violence that continues to affect LGBT communities in all parts of the world.”
The battle lines are being drawn before a major church meeting on family issues that represents a key test for Pope Francis.
Five high-ranking cardinals have taken one of Francis' favorite theologians to task over an issue dear to the pope's heart: Whether Catholics who divorce and remarry without an annulment can receive Communion.
Any animal can end up at a public shelter, but most of them won’t stay long. There, millions of dogs and cats face euthanasia, driving one filmmaker to turn his camera into a lifesaver.
Workers at several of the shelters, where no animal is turned away, say pets have a champion in Steven Latham, who directs and produces a PBS series called “Shelter Me,” featuring animals that are running out of time. Seeing the urgency, he took his efforts a step further, starting a website, helping set up adoption events and coordinating flights full of pooches to cities able to get them adopted.
Senate Republicans on Sept. 11 defeated a measure to advance a proposed amendment to rein in campaign spending by businesses, wealthy donors and candidates.
But the defeat was anticipated. And even if the measure had passed in the Senate, it would have gone nowhere in the House.