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This week’s edition of the Religion, Faith & Values newsletter contains a special subsection dedicated to documenting the reactions to World AIDS Day, observed annually on December 1, by faith leaders and the media. Several themes that became apparent this year include: how to empower young, black gay men, discussing the role that religion plays in fighting HIV/AIDS, and the collective call from religious and political leaders to end the AIDS crisis.
There has also been a plethora of international news this week. In the United Kingdom, the Church of England announced that they will not force vicars to perform civil partnership ceremonies. The two-page briefing note (PDF) cites that Church premise may be used to approve of the registration of civil partnerships without a formal endorsement from the General Synod. The Archbishop of Westminster came out in support of civil unions, all the while maintaining that there is something distinctive in the nature of marriage that sets it apart as the foundation of family life. The Scots may beat the Brits to the punch, however, as they begin their consultation on civil marriage equality this week as promised. In Africa, Nigeria’s senate passed a broad scope anti-marriage equality bill. Under the proposed law, marriage or participating in a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple, or public displays of affection would be considered criminal acts. The Australian Labor Party also made headway in advocating for marriage equality down-under when they officially adopted promoting the measure as part of their platform. The It's Time marriage equality commercial has been extremely well-received all over the globe. The actor, Julian Shaw, says that he's been "blown away by the responses." You can view the interview with Shaw below.
Finally, on a lighter note, Jacob Woods, shared his story about coming out to his grandmother. He admits that while the conversation wasn’t exactly easy, nor did it end well, the outpouring of support from his Facebook friends lifted his spirit.
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