Bishop rebukes vicar for wedding
LONDON, England — Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, has strongly renounced the validity of the same-sex wedding between two priests conducted by the vicar of Saint-Bartholomew-the-Great, Rev. Martin Dudley (pictured).

The Bishop has declared that the ceremony carried out by Dudley is illegal under current codes within the Anglican Church and publicly admonished Dudley for seeking to justify the wedding in the press rather than in private with the Bishop himself. Chartres insisted that his ire is not based upon homophobic beliefs, but upon the issue of canonical obedience. The Bishop asserted that the marriage is invalid because the two priests had already enjoyed a civil union.

Norway legalizes LGBT marriage
OSLO, Norway — Norway became the sixth nation in the world to legalize same-sex marriage when parliament voted to legalize weddings as well as artificial insemination for lesbians. The decision to allow LGBT marriage, adoption and parenting has opened the nation to criticism by religious leaders in various countries.

Bill Saunders, the “human rights expert” for the Family Research Council, said, “You know there is this breakdown, particularly in the West, about [the] understanding of marriage and the family… [A]s a lack of respect of traditional families and marriages pervades a society, it is not surprising that the benefits and privileges normally afforded to biblically based families are opened up to homosexuals… [W]e’re really on the brink of losing marriage as an institution completely — and the ramifications for society are incalculable.”

LGBT World Rugby tournament
DUBLIN, Ireland — The Bingham Cup, an international LGBT rugby tournament, was captured by the Sydney Convicts earlier this month here in the 2008 host city. The biennial tournament is named for Mark Kendall Bingham, the American gay rugby player who died helping to avert United Airlines Flight 93, one of the 9/11 airplanes. Bingham co-founded New York’s Gotham Knights team in 2001.

Behind the Australian champions was the second-place Kings Cross Steelers followed by the third-place Gotham Knights, making them the highest ranked American team. “We worked hard to advance to the USA Rugby National Championships this spring,” said Team President James Bain. “It’s a privilege to be the number one ranked gay rugby team in the hemisphere, but we’ll keep pushing until we’re number one in the world.”

U.K. medicine neglects gay women
LONDON, England — Recently the largest LGBT medical survey taken outside the U.S. revealed that lesbians and bisexual women are woefully neglected by the National Health System (NHS). Hundreds of thousands of Britain’s 1.8 million gay and bi females reported discomfort in talking to their general practitioners.

Ruth Hunt, head of policy and research for national LGBT rights group Stonewall, said, “This vital new intelligence provides a wake-up call to healthcare practitioners across the country. It also demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of lesbian and bisexual women feel highly uncomfortable when engaging with the NHS. Women who are deterred from visiting their GP, or coming out to them, are less likely to be treated early and appropriately with inevitably higher costs for the NHS when accurate diagnosis finally takes place.”

The survey revealed that 20 percent of lesbians and bisexual women in Britain had harmed themselves in some way, compared to only 0.4 percent of women in the general population. LGBT women were also found to be eight times more likely than heterosexual women to attempt suicide. It was also shown that lesbians and bisexual women were five times more likely to have taken drugs; 40 percent drank three times a week, compared to only 25 percent of heterosexual females.

It was also revealed that half of the lesbians and bisexual women who sought smear tests were incorrectly told that they were not at risk for developing cervical cancer. Two percent reported that they had been denied smears based on their orientations. These denials of treatment and care come in spite of a 2007 law forbidding discrimination in medical practices based upon sexuality.

Jamaican minister scolds PM
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Rev. Dr. Marjorie Lewis (pictured), former general secretary of the Jamaica Council of Churches, has issued a response to comments by Prime Minister Bruce Golding that were reported earlier by Q-Notes. Golding told the British press during a state visit to the U.K. that LGBT people could not be in his cabinet and that he does not like the thought of a Jamaica where LGBT citizens are given equality.

Lewis said, “I don’t agree with the prime minister. I don’t agree with it. ‘No gays in the Cabinet?’ First of all how [do] you even know who [is] gay?… [W]e are not talking about people outside of church, you know. Let us just be real…”

Lewis said her support of LGBT people comes from hearing their stories. “I have been listening to some of these gay people,” she said. “I can’t tell you I have the answer. But I know every human being is made in God’s image. And I know people are saying to me, ‘I am praying and fasting about this and I am still gay and I don’t want to be gay and I have felt I want to commit suicide.’ Or somebody saying, ‘This is who I am, why should I marry a woman and fool her?’”

Lewis said the issue of LGBT people is “messy,” but that Christians “have to be involved with these issues because we are called to [minister to] all human beings.”