TCS first Tata co to include LGBT staff for health cover

TCS first Tata co to include LGBT staff for health cover

Udit Prasanna Mukherji & Namrata Singh | TNN
Kolkata/Mumbai: IT giant Tata Consultancy Services ( TCS ), the country’s largest private sector employer with over 4 lakh people on its payroll, has tweaked its health insurance policy to cover staffers involved in a same-sex relationship. It would perhaps be the first Tata Group company to do so.

In an email update to its employees, TCS announced the new changes which will benefit LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) employees. The new policy redefines ‘spouse’ as ‘partner’, thus broadening the scope to cover same-sex partners.

Some progressive companies have already extended medical cover/family health insurance cover to same sex partners and these include RBS India , Citibank , Capgemini India . Some of these policies have been extended to live-in partners as well.

TCS global diversity head Preeti D’mello told TOI the new policy was formalised last week. The definition of spouse will now include same-sex partners irrespective of their marital status.

Under the new policy, up to 50% of the cost of sex/gender reassignment surgery (up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh) will be covered by insurance.

“Respect for the individual is one of our core TCS values, and built on this value, we continue our journey towards LGBTQ+ inclusion. We believe in building an organisation where everyone feels included, involved and respected. We want to make the ecosystem fare and conducive for all,” said D’mello, adding that the firm has already received one application for gender reassignment surgery.

KPMG India director and leader for inclusion and diversity Zainab Patel said: “When it comes to promoting LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual and many other terms) inclusion in the workplace, one of the issues that often provokes the most debate is the subject of employee benefits. To this effect, KPMG in India, has made fair amount of adjustments in the insurance cover and has extended references to ‘spouse’ to include ‘partner’ and clearly states that this may include partners of the same or opposite sex or live in partner.”

Patel said this has ensured that LGBTQIA+ employees’ partners are treated equally as family members and beneficiaries in medical, insurance, relocation and relevant leave policies (e.g. parental, primary caregiver or compassionate leave).

On the recent move by the government to pass the transgender person protection bill, Patel said it would be exemplary for India Inc to engage with medical insurance providers so as to make India medical insurance gender inclusive under which gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, etc. for transitioning transgender persons at the workplace is also covered within its ambit and also put in an effective complaints redressal mechanism in place.

‘Viral’ Catholic petition against a gay Hallmark Christmas movie turns out to be fake

‘Viral’ Catholic petition against a gay Hallmark Christmas movie turns out to be fake

One of this year’s Hallmark Christmas movie offerings – ‘Holiday Date’. (Hallmark) A Catholic news site launched a petition against a hypothetical Hallmark Christmas movie featuring a same-sex couple and claimed it had gone “viral” with 25,000 signatures. This turned out to not be the case.

Last month, Hallmark was widely criticised for not featuring a single LGBT+ character in a leading role in any of the 40 Christmas movies it was releasing for this year’s holiday season.

However, executives at Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media told The Wrap that they were “looking at pitches for LGBTQ movies” , and in an interview last week the CEO of Hallmark said the company is “open” to LGBT+ representation.

In response, the Catholic anti-abortion news outlet LifeSiteNews started a petition against the hypothetical future film, to “keep sex and sexual practices – including the promotion of homosexuality, transgenderism, etc. – out of their movies”.

The petition continued: “Hallmark would be offending Christian viewers and Christian parents BIG TIME, by experimenting with homosexual themes, and, or cooperating with the LGBT indoctrination agenda, at all… Hallmark should also know that if they give-in to the LGBT agenda, the LGBT activists will never be satisfied.

“They will always want Hallmark to be pushing more and more aberrant views and characters. That doesn’t sound like a very fun Christmas movie at all!”

LifeSiteNews claimed that the anti-LGBT+ petition “gained more than 25,000 signatures in less than one day”.

It added: “As this viral petition demonstrates, there is very little demand for Christmas movies with an LGBT theme. Quite to the contrary, there is significant opposition to the idea.”

But the petition might not be so “viral” after all.

According to Out , people (or bots) are able to sign the petition as many times as they want, as long as they use a different name and email address, meaning that the numbers are likely to have been “grossly inflated”.

At the time of writing, the petition has allegedly been signed by 33,327 people.

TCS first Tata co to include LGBT staff for health cover

TCS first Tata co to include LGBT staff for health cover

KOLKATA/ MUMBAI: IT giant Tata Consultancy Services ( TCS ), the largest private sector employer with a strength of over 4 lakh people on its payroll, has tweaked its health insurance policy to cover employees involved in a same-sex relationship. It would perhaps be the first Tata Group company to do so.
In an email update to its employees, TCS announced the new changes which will benefit LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) employees. The new policy redefines ‘spouse’ as ‘partner’, thus broadening the scope to cover same-sex partners.

Some progressive companies have already extended medical cover/family health insurance cover to same sex partners and these include RBS India, Citibank , Capgemini India, among others. Some of these policies are extended to live-in partners as well. TCS global diversity head Preeti D’mello told TOI the new policy was formalized last week. The definition of spouse will now include same-sex partners irrespective of their marital status.

Under the new policy, up to 50% of the cost of sex/gender reassignment surgery (up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh) will be covered by insurance.

“Respect for the individual is one of our core TCS values, and built on this value, we continue our journey towards LGBTQ+ inclusion. We believe in building an organization where everyone feels included, involved and respected. We want to make the ecosystem fare and conducive for all,” said D’mello, while adding that the firm has already received one application for gender reassignment surgery,” D’mello said.

KPMG India director and leader for inclusion and diversity Zainab Patel said: “When it comes to promoting LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex , queer/questioning, asexual and many other terms) inclusion in the workplace, one of the issues that often provokes the most debate is the subject of employee benefits.

To this effect, KPMG in India, has made fair amount of adjustments in the insurance cover and has extended references to ‘spouse’ to include ‘partner’ and clearly states that this may include partners of the same or opposite sex or live in partner.”

Patel said this has ensured that LGBTQIA+ employees’ partners are treated equally as family members and beneficiaries in medical, insurance, relocation and relevant leave policies (e.g. parental, primary caregiver or compassionate leave).

On the recent move by the government to pass the transgender person protection bill, Patel said it would be exemplary for India Inc to engage with medical insurance providers so as to make India medical insurance gender inclusive under which gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, etc. for transitioning transgender persons at the workplace is also covered within its ambit and also put in an effective complaints redressal mechanism in place.

NPA elected caucus declares its unequivocal support for LGBT community and SOGI 123 education program

NPA elected caucus declares its unequivocal support for LGBT community and SOGI 123 education program

There appears to be a significant rift between the NPA’s elected caucus and some board members on the party executive.

The first sign came when Coun. Rebecca Bligh quit the NPA because the party’s newly elected board secretary, Phyllis Tang, and board treasurer, Ray Goldenchild, have ties to social conservatives.

Bligh praised her former caucus colleagues but still walked out of the party because the two executive members were previously endorsed by a group that opposes a LGBT-friendly program in schools called SOGI 123.

Tang was a council candidate for Yes Vancouver in 2018 and Goldenchild ran for park board with Vancouver 1st.

Just over an hour after Bligh issued a statement, the nine remaining NPA caucus members declared their "unequivocal support for Vancouver’s LGBTQ2S+ community and SOGI 123".

“We fully understand and support our colleague Councillor Rebecca Bligh in her decision to sit as an independent Vancouver City Councillor at this time, and we look forward to continuing to work closely together with her to serve all residents of Vancouver," the nine caucus members declared in a written statement.

“LGBTQ2S+ issues are close to the hearts of all our elected NPA Caucus members," they added. "Of particular note: NPA City Councillor Lisa Dominato worked on and championed the introduction of the SOGI 123 in B.C.’s curriculum during her time with the Ministry of Education—a project she approached with true passion and dedication.”

The statement was endorsed by NPA councillors Melissa De Genova, Dominato, Colleen Hardwick, and Sarah Kirby-Yung, as well as NPA park commissioners Tricia Barker and John Coupar, and NPA school trustees Fraser Ballantyne, Carmen Cho, and Oliver Hanson.

In 1986, the first openly gay man to be elected to council, Gordon Price, ran with the NPA and ended up serving six terms. Other LGBT politicians elected on the NPA slate over the years included Alan Herbert, Duncan Wilson, Alan Fetherstonhaugh, and Laura McDiarmid. While serving as an NPA park commissioner, Wilson was beaten by a pipe-wielding assailant while walking with his partner.

The NPA was the first city organization to march in the Pride parade and former NPA councillor Elizabeth Ball was a long-time champion of the LGBT community.

However, when the NPA board did not greenlight trans activist Jamie Lee Hamilton’s application to seek an NPA nomination in 2008, her friends, including Herbert, rallied to her defence at a demonstration behind Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium.

“Civil rights weren’t built in a day, but one thing is they can be lost in a day,” Herbert said at the time. “That’s something that I’ve always been fearful of.”

The current NPA caucus, however, insisted in its statement that it strives at all times to create a safe and inclusive city. "We will continue to stand for inclusivity and will strongly oppose anything that detracts from that objective," it said. "We believe it is important for our Caucus to speak out with a strong, unequivocal voice and express our unyielding continued support for our LGBTQ2S+ community and SOGI 123."

Star Wars director hints at LGBT ‘representation,’ but not the couple online activists demanded

Star Wars director hints at LGBT ‘representation,’ but not the couple online activists demanded

December 6, 2019 ( LifeSiteNews ) — The long awaited final chapter in the Star Wars saga finally opens in just under two weeks, but whether LGBT “representation” will distract from the space-fantasy action remains an open question.

When Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opened in 2015, many took notice of the chemistry between actors John Boyega (Finn) and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron). The film did not present them as anything other than platonic comrades who bonded during war, but a chorus quickly emerged from certain corners of the internet interpreting the pair as a homosexual couple and demanding that a romance be made official in sequels.

The actors expressed openness to the concept, but such a thread was not developed in 2017’s Episode VIII: The Last Jedi , and recent comments from the actors as well as director JJ Abrams indicate it won’t appear in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker , either.

“They’ve always had a quite loving and open relationship in which it wouldn’t be too weird if it went beyond it” but “are just platonic at the moment,” Boyega said this week, Variety reports . Isaac expressed disappointment that Finn and Poe won’t get romantic, lamenting that “it’s a time when people are too afraid, I think, of…I don’t know what.”

“That relationship to me is a far deeper one than a romantic one,” Abrams said. “It is a deep bond that these two have, not just because of the trial by fire in which they met, but also because of their willingness to be as intimate as they are, as afraid as they, as unsure as they are, and still be bold, and still be daring and brave.”

But Abrams also teased that “in the case of the LGBTQ community, it was important to me that people who go to see this movie feel that they’re being represented in the film.” He wouldn’t give away whether Episode IX will see another character stated to be or depicted as LGBT in some way, but he quipped that “I did just say what I just said.”

The multimedia juggernaut Star Wars franchise, which Disney bought from creator George Lucas in 2012, has previously had a few homosexual characters in books aimed at older audiences, but it turned a corner recently when the producers of the Dixney XD animated series Star Wars Resistance confirmed that a pair of its alien characters are a gay couple (something hinted at in the show itself but not overtly stated).

None of the above is adequate for certain left-wing voices. At the science fiction blog io9 (formerly affiliated with the far-left Gawker media network), James Whitbrook complained that “Star Wars Movies Should Be So Far Beyond Teasing LGBTQ Representation at This Point” and said Abrams was “asking for a level of trust in this specific matter that the Star Wars movie franchise has yet to prove it has earned,” as if LGBT advocates are entitled to see LGBT characters in specific films.

On a related note, returning Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) briefly caused a stir when he said in an interview that he sees himself as a “relatively colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously” and “as feminine as well as masculine.” Scores of headlines quickly ran with the idea that Williams had come out as “gender fluid,” which the 82-year-old actor quickly shut down.

“Well, first of all, I asked last night. I said, ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’ That’s a whole new term,” Williams responded in another interview . “But what I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves…I wasn’t talking about sex, I wasn’t talking about being gay or straight. People should read [psychiatrist Carl Jung]. I mean, it would be an interesting education for a lot of people.”

Pantene advert highlights how hard it can be for LGBT people to go home at Christmas

Pantene advert highlights how hard it can be for LGBT people to go home at Christmas

A trans woman preparing to visit her family for the holidays (Pantene) Haircare brand Pantene has partnered with GLAAD in a new Christmas advert that highlights how hard it can be for LGBT+ people to return home for the holidays.

The powerful ad begins with the words: “While 137 million Americans will travel home this holiday season, 44 percent of LGBT+ people feel they can’t come home as their true selves.”

It features the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and shows video vignettes of choir members mustering the courage to travel back to their families for the festive period. The ad is accompanied by a full video series of the individuals explaining what their homecomings mean for them.

It includes a trans woman, Crystal, who changes her hair, clothing and makeup in preparation for the trip. “To be able to express myself openly, and genuinely – it’s freeing,” she said. “I could finally look in the mirror and say, ‘that’s me.’”

Another trans woman, Miliana, shares her happiness in finally getting her father’s acceptance after five years of struggling with her new identity.

And a trans man, Steven, is shown bringing his boyfriend home for a first holiday with the family . “To have someone so loving to bring home is a really special thing,” he said. “Inclusion is at the heart of Pantene’s mission to celebrate the beauty of all transformations and of all people,” said Ilaria Resta, vice-president of Procter & Gamble.

“Hearing these LGBTQ individuals speak about the trials and triumphs of going home for the holidays – as well as their irrepressible desire to be their true selves – will inspire others in the community and remind us all what true beauty is about.”

Alongside the advert and video series Pantene has pledged to make a $100,000 donation to Family Equality , a charity which fights for members of the LGBT+ community to have the right and the opportunity to form and sustain a loving family.

One of Chicago’s oldest churches will now become an LGBT homeless youth centre

One of Chicago’s oldest churches will now become an LGBT homeless youth centre

The former church will soon serve Chicago’s LGBT homeless (Jamie Nesbitt Golden/Block Club Chicago) One of Chicago’s oldest churches will soon be transformed into one of the only holistic, queer-friendly centres for the LGBT homeless at-risk youth in the city.

The Black Methodist for Church Renewal has stood in the heart of Chicago’s South Side since 1926. The 12,000-square-foot space remained empty for years after the congregation moved to a new venue, with the site’s owners refusing to sell it until they found a worthy buyer.

It’s now home to the LYTE Collective , a social organisation dedicated to helping the more than 16,000 homeless youth in the city. Around 30 percent of Chicagoans aged between 15 and 24 live below the poverty line, with the bulk of them living on the South and West sides.

“There are very few spaces for young people across the city already, and for LGBTQ youth in particular, and we wanted to plant the flag and say that this is where everyone’s welcome,” founding member Carl Wiley told Block Club Chicago .

“We’re all going to respect each other in here, and we’re all going to figure out what our next steps are in terms of housing, employment, therapy.”

When the centre opens in summer 2020, young LGBT homeless people will be able to access a music studio, an art studio, a gym, computer lab, performance stage, teaching kitchen, co-working space, an on-site clinic and 250 storage units. A blueprint for the centre, which has been dubbed the LYTE Lounge (lytecollective.org) “It’s not enough to just give them a place to hang out,” Wiley said. “They need something to do, someone to talk to. We wanted to provide them a space where they could explore the things they were interested in.”

Construction began several weeks ago and neighbours have pitched in to help with the project. Jerome Davis, who lives across the street, watched the building deteriorate for decades but has now come out of retirement to help “keep the neighbourhood looking good.”

“God gave me this building to take care of. It may not be mine, but it will be beautiful,” he said.

The LYTE Collective has already raised $2 million to cover renovations, but is still $340,000 short of their total goal. Those interested in supporting the project can donate here .

Sanctuary Palm Springs provides a safe haven for homeless LGBT youth after foster care

Sanctuary Palm Springs provides a safe haven for homeless LGBT youth after foster care

Sanctuary Palm Springs had a colorful presence in the 2019 Greater Palm Springs Pride parade. (Photo: Courtesy Sanctuary Palm Springs) Sanctuary Palm Springs was founded to address the educational, vocational and emotional needs of transitional-aged LGBTQ foster youth aged 18 to 21. Thousands of California youth in the foster system turn 18 every year, and without additional support, their success rate is often bleak, according to Rob Woronoff , the organization’s executive director.

“Our mission is to prepare them for adulthood so that when they hit 21, they can manage their money, get an apartment, enroll in classes at college and get a job,” Woronoff said. “We play the role of parents.”

Sanctuary Palm Springs offers housing for six youth. The organization is California’s only transitional-aged foster youth program that focuses on LGBTQ individuals.

“It’s challenging for any youth in foster care, but doubly hard for LGBTQ youth,” Woronoff said. “They often stay in foster care longer and don’t get adopted because of their sexual orientation or their gender.”

However, Woronoff points out they are foster kids first, and it isn’t as simple as needing to help them because they are LGBTQ. These youth have not been offered the love and stability they deserved growing up and need to feel like they are a permanent part of the community, he said.

The organization strives to get them involved in the community whether it’s through a job, volunteering at a cause they care about or taking classes at College of the Desert. All of the kids at Sanctuary Palm Springs are required to work, volunteer or go to school for 20 hours a week.

The organization starts a savings plan for those who decide to work, teaching them to budget and make responsible decisions with their money. The kids who focus on education have a savings plan created for them out of an educational incentive fund as long as they stay in school. Sanctuary Palm Springs makes sure they plan and have saved at least $5,000 before they transition to living on their own. A former resident recently came back to speak to current residents as a part of Sanctuary’s Speakers Bureau. Sanctuary Palm Springs also ensures that the physical health and emotional needs of these youth are met. They have access to healthcare at Desert AIDS Project. This is particularly important for those who are transgender and have specific health needs. The organization also offers weekly therapy.

“For many of the kids this is the first time in their lives that they have medical care for exactly the health care they need,” Woronoff said. “They are entitled to competent health care.”

The youth also benefit from growing friendships and encouragement from their peers. When they have successes, like getting a job for the first time, they inspire one another. Recently, a former resident came back to speak to the current youth after going out on his own 18 months before. He had moved to Orange County where he has a job and an apartment and is in a healthy relationship.

Sanctuary Palm Springs recently received a grant through The Community Impact Fund for Donor Development Planning & Implementation from The Community Foundation. Government funding only covers 40% of the costs of programming, and the kids receive free housing, free food and clothing if they were homeless before they arrive. Therefore, the organization relies on grants, events and individual gifts to meet these needs.

Woronoff welcomes support for the organization’s work, but also hopes that someday that work will be obsolete. He hopes that we will all consider ways we can help youth in need directly.

“Kids don’t come into foster care because they did anything wrong, but because something wrong was done to them,” Woronoff said. “Don’t be afraid of them. Get involved as a Court Appointed Special Advocate or give kids a family connection. Opening your home, your heart and your life to someone that you didn’t raise is wonderful.”

The Community Foundation’s mission is to strengthen Inland Southern California through philanthropy.

Pope’s charity helped finance sexually explicit pro-LGBT Elton John biopic

Pope’s charity helped finance sexually explicit pro-LGBT Elton John biopic

Elton John attends the screening of ‘Rocketman’ during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2019 in Cannes, France. ROME, December 6, 2019 ( LifeSiteNews ) — The biographical musical film based on the life of Sir Elton John, the first movie by a major film studio to include a male homosexual sex scene, was partly financed by the Vatican, Italian media are reporting.

According to Corriere della Sera , recent inquiries into Vatican finances have revealed that at last €1 million in the Catholic faithful’s offerings to Peter’s Pence, a Vatican fund used “for the many different needs of the Universal Church and for the relief of those most in need,” was invested in “Rocketman,” with an additional €3 million going to the most recent “Men in Black.”

The revelations emerged out of investigations by Holy See prosecutors into investments in Malta involving capital held by the Vatican’s Secretary of State. At the center of the investigation is Centurion Global Fund, an investment firm based in the Maltese capital of Valletta.

Vatican money accounts for two-thirds of the capital entrusted to Centurion , making the Catholic Church its largest investor. Yet these funds went to a series of either “speculative” or morally problematic ventures which led to a 4.61% loss (about €2 million) in 2018.

Through a €6 million investment by Centurion Global Fund, the Secretariat of State became a partner to 42-year-old businessman Lapo Elkann’s eyewear and “lifestyle products” company, Italia Independent. Elkann is the grandson of Gianni Agnelli, former CEO and controlling shareholder of Fiat Automobiles.

“Another €10 million deal went through on 30 September with Enrico Preziosi, games industrialist and chairman of Genoa. And over €4 million went to finance the production of films such as the latest ‘Men in Black” and the biography of Elton John, ‘Rocketman,’” the Italian daily reported, citing several other examples.

“These are just some of the many investments made using the offerings of the faithful to Peter’s Pence, but there are others, and the situation is now being examined by the papal judiciary,” the news outlet said. ‘Rocketman’

“Rocketman” tells the story of British musician Reginal Dwight’s rise to fame as Elton John and downward spiral into debauchery through drugs, alcohol, and homosexuality. Two months before its release, the Daily Mail reported that Paramount Pictures studios were pressuring its directors to cut the homosexual sex scene but to no avail. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was released to British and American theaters in May 2019. It grossed $195 million worldwide against a $40 million budget.

But the film was censored in several countries. In Russia, where the film was released last June, five minutes were removed from the final cut, and the company responsible for distribution in the country removed all scenes involving homosexuality and drugs. The cuts were criticized by Elton John and Paramount.

It was also censored in Malaysia. Safaruddin Mohammad Ali, director of Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board’s films unit, said: “We do not allow any scenes that promote LGBTQ in films that are for public viewing,” adding that “Although it is about the real life of Elton John, it is not for him to allow the public to see whatever he does or whatever activities he indulges in that is not our culture.”

“Rocketman” was banned in Samoa, a conservative Christian nation. Principal Censor Leiataua Niuapu explained: “It’s a good story, in that it’s about an individual trying to move on in life. He [Elton John] went through a difficult family life and managed to move on and become very successful. But there are acts that are not good for public viewing and against the law.” Ongoing financial scandals

According to Corriere , Centurion Global Fund’s fund manager is an Italian resident in Switzerland, Enrico Crasso. The 71-year-old former banker at Credit Suisse, and owner in Lugano of Sogenel Holding, has “managed the Vatican coffers for years,” they said. “For this he has received numerous formal letters of thanks from the Secretariat of State and has been awarded a gold medal of merit by the pope, not to mention millions of euros in commissions. For some months now, inside the Vatican walls, his reputation has begun to show signs of tarnishing. But in Malta he is still the one who decides where to invest the Pope’s money.”

What’s behind these risky, and risqué, investments? The Holy See Press Office responded in a statement, saying: “Investigations are in progress, and lines of enquiry which may help clarify the position of the Holy See with respect to the aforementioned funds and any others, are currently being examined by the Vatican judiciary, in collaboration with the competent authorities.”

News of the Vatican’s investment in “Rocketman” comes just two months after a raid on the Vatican Secretariat of State, carried out by now-former Vatican police commander Domenico Giani, on the orders of Vatican prosecutors.

The National Catholic Register reported in October that the raid was aimed primarily at Cardinal Angelo Becciu, former number two in the Secretariat of State, and previous employees of the dicastery. As sostituto , Cardinal Becciu was instrumental in ending the first external audit of the Vatican by the auditing giant PwC (Price Waterhouse) in 2016, agreed upon by Cardinal George Pell and the Council for the Economy.

L’Espresso reported that the raid focused on “misuse of Peter’s Pence and a dubious London property transaction,” Edward Pentin said at the time. The Financial Times later revealed that “$200 million in Swiss bank accounts controlled by the Secretariat of State were used in 2014 to finance a luxury property development in London’s Chelsea district,” he added.

News of the Vatican’s €1 million investment in “Rocketman” also follows revelations that the pro-abortion, pro-gender ideology Ford Foundation provided $2 million in grants to key groups involved in the recent Amazon Synod, including one run by the Brazilian Bishops Conference. Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, sits on the board of the far-left American foundation.

At an October 19 synod briefing , Paolo Ruffini, prefect of Vatican communications, said that while he is not familiar with the financing process of the Ford Foundation, “as a Christian and as a Catholic, I think it is good that the money goes to a good end.”

Ruffini said to this correspondent during the briefing: “I would ask you: do you think it was better for the Ford Foundation to use this money for other, possibly non-Christian ends?”

And Peter’s Pence being used to finance “Rocketman”?

LifeSite contacted the Holy See Press Office for comment, but has not yet received a response. FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

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Everyone hates this Republican lawmaker’s terrible, no good ‘compromise’ plan on LGBT rights

Everyone hates this Republican lawmaker’s terrible, no good ‘compromise’ plan on LGBT rights

Rep. Chris Stewart’s bill received a frosty reception (Samuel Corum – Pool/Getty Images) LGBT+ groups and lawmakers have rejected a Republican congressman’s attempt to forge a “compromise” on civil rights that hands small businesses and religious people an effective license to keep discriminating against LGBT+ people.

Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart unveiled the so-called “Fairness for All Act” on Friday, in a supposed attempt to reach a cross-party compromise on LGBT+ issues in Congress.

However, the proposals have been rejected outright by civil rights campaigners and lawmakers, who have pointed out that the legislation would end up doing more harm than good by creating an effective license to discriminate. Republican lawmaker ‘compromise’ bill will still allow a lot discrimination.

Stewart’s plan would outlaw some discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but at the same time would create broad opt-outs for “the owners of small businesses whose religious and moral principles prevent them from participating in activities that are contrary to their conscience and beliefs.”

Under the plan, businesses with 15 employees or fewer would still be permitted to discriminate against LGBT+ customers – despite having no such exemption from race and sex discrimination laws. Republican Rep. Chris Stewart’s bill has been rejected by LGBT+ campaigners (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) The bill also permits religious organisations, schools and businesses to continue to discriminate against LGBT+ people in employment, while also explicitly protecting foster care agencies that refuse to serve LGBT+ people.

Stewart claimed : “All of God’s children, regardless of sexual orientation or religion, deserve dignity, respect, and the right to pursue happiness. This legislation allows us to settle the legal questions and get back to the business of loving our neighbours.” Bill gets frosty reception from LGBT+ groups and civil rights campaigners.

Campaigners pointed out that the proposals fall well short of the Equality Act , a bill being blocked by Senate Republicans that would extend existing civil rights laws to LGBT+ people across all 50 states.

National rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal, NAACP, PFLAG National and the Transgender Law Center, issued a rare joint statement roundly rejecting the legislation.

The groups made clear that the “broad exemptions” amount to “essentially licensing discrimination against LGBTQ people and women.”

The statement said: “The Fairness for All Act is anything but fair, and it certainly does not serve all of us.

“It is an affront to existing civil rights protections that protect people on the basis of race, sex, and religion and creates new, substandard protections for LGBTQ people with massive loopholes and carve-outs.”

In a separate statement, LGBT Equality Caucus co-chair Rep. David N. Cicilline made clear: “This bill does not protect LGBTQ people. Instead it codifies discrimination.

“The House already overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Equality Act, which will ensure equal protection under the law for LGBTQ Americans. The Senate should bring the Equality Act up without further delay.”

Meanwhile, Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso warned: “The so-called Fairness for All Act is an unacceptable, partisan vehicle that erodes existing civil rights protections based on race, sex and religion, while sanctioning discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.

“For LGBTQ people living at the intersection of multiple marginalised identities, this bill is a double whammy of dangerous rollbacks and discriminatory carve-outs. This bill is both wrong and harmful, and we strongly oppose it.”

However, the bill has had some support – from the Trump administration.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere, one of the few out Trump administration officials , said: “President Trump has protected human dignity, fought for inclusion, promoted LGBTQ Americans and strongly protected religious freedom for everyone while in office.

“The White House looks forward to reviewing the legislation.”