The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a new open letter, signed by many other religious leaders, rejecting the legitimacy of transgender identities. Titled "Created Male and Female," the open letter asserts that gender and sex "cannot be separated," calling it a "false idea" that "goes against reason" and "deeply troubling" notion "that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa." The letter attempts to simultaneously show compassion to transgender people while simultaneously condemning them. "A person's discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth," the letter states. Trans people deserve "to be heard and treated with respect," and when they express "concerns" or discuss "wrestling with this challenge," religious leaders should respond "with compassion, mercy, and honesty" -- but not affirmation.
Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that has supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a "homosexual agenda" will destroy Christianity and society. ADF also works to develop "religious liberty" legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBT people on the basis of religion. read more
A San Fransisco jury has acquitted an undocumented immigrant who was charged with the murder of Kate Steinle. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted of the murder charge following the 2015 shooting, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle. Steinle was fatally wounded while walking the San Francisco waterfront in 2015 by Zarate, who had been deported to Mexico on five previous occasions. She was 32 years old. read more
A second federal judge has halted the Trump administration's proposed transgender military ban finding that active-duty service members are "already suffering harmful consequences" because of the president's policy. The ruling Tuesday from U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis in the Maryland case comes just weeks after another judge in Washington blocked the administration's proposal that would have stopped military recruitment of transgender men and women and possibly forced the dismissal of current service members starting in March. The preliminary injunction issued by the judge in Baltimore on Tuesday goes further than the earlier ruling by also preventing the administration from denying funding for sex-reassignment surgeries after the order takes effect.
David Cassidy, who came to fame as a '70s teen heartthrob and lead singer on The Partridge Family, has died, according to his publicist Jo-Ann Geffen. He was 67. The singer-actor had recently been admitted to the intensive care unit of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area hospital. Cassidy was in critical condition and suffering from organ failure before his death Tuesday, Geffen said. ... In 1970, Cassidy began playing the role of Keith Partridge on the musical sitcom The Partridge Family. His stepmother, [Shirley] Jones, portrayed his mother, a widow with five children. ... The single "I Think I Love You," featuring Cassidy on lead vocals, hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1970 and sold more than 5 million copies. The songs "Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted" and "I'll Meet You Halfway" also cracked the top 10 the next year. read more