TIME Vatican

The Vatican Calls Ireland’s Vote for Same-Sex Marriage a ‘Defeat for Humanity’

Drag queen and gay rights activist Rory O'Neill, known by his stage name as Panti Bliss arrives at the Central Count Centre in Dublin Castle, Dublin on May 23, 2015
Brian Lawless—;PA Wire/Press Association Images Drag queen and gay-rights activist Rory O'Neill, known by his stage name Panti Bliss, arrives at the central count center at Dublin Castle, in Dublin on May 23, 2015

The remark is the most critical made by the church so far

Ireland’s recent referendum approving same-sex marriages has drawn sharp condemnation from a senior Vatican official, who described it as “a defeat for humanity,” the Guardian reports.

“I was deeply saddened by the result,” said the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on Tuesday. “The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelization. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”

Parolin is regarded as the highest official in the church hierarchy after the Pope. His hard-line stance will be greeted with dismay by Catholics hoping for a softening in the church’s position on homosexuality. They come after the Vatican’s recent refusal to accept a gay Catholic, Laurent Stefanini, as France’s ambassador to the Holy See because of his sexuality, the Guardian reports, citing French and Italian media.

This month’s Irish referendum saw 62% of voters coming out in favor of marriage equality for gays and lesbians.


TIME People

When Oscar Wilde’s Wit Couldn’t Save Him

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 - 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer, poet, and prominent aesthete. Photograph taken in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony
Universal History Archive / Getty Images Oscar Wilde, photographed in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony

May 25, 1895: Oscar Wilde is convicted of “gross indecency” and sentenced to two years’ hard labor

It took guts for Oscar Wilde to take a man to court for calling him a homosexual — or maybe it was hubris, according to the English playwright David Hare, who wrote The Judas Kiss about Wilde.

“He may have thought there wasn’t a situation that he couldn’t talk himself out of,” Hare told TIME in 1998, shortly before the play opened.

But if Wilde really thought that, he was wrong, and he would have discovered so on this day, May 25, in 1895, when he was convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with certain male persons” and sentenced to two years of hard labor. (His health declined in prison, and he died in disgrace three years after his release, at age 46.)

The Irish poet, playwright and novelist had long relied on his sparkling wit to win over crowds of all kinds, in all circumstances. On an 1882 tour of the United States, for example, he captivated an audience of silver miners at the bottom of a Colorado mineshaft, according to a New York Times review of David M. Friedman’s book Wilde in America.

“I brilliantly performed, amidst unanimous applause,” Wilde reported, not incorrectly, of his reception at the mine.

In 1895, Wilde was at the height of his literary fame — The Importance of Being Earnest had just opened — and well established as London’s most charming dinner guest, when the father of his young lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, publicly accused him of the crime of sodomy.

Wilde took Douglas’ father, Lord Queensberry, to court for libel. He did so against the advice of friends like the journalist Frank Harris, who urged Wilde to drop the case and flee to France until the media storm had blown over, according to Barbara Belford’s book Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius.

Wilde persisted nonetheless, expecting his own celebrity to win out over the ravings of Lord Queensberry. But the latter’s lawyers dug up enough dirt to get the libel charge dismissed, and to turn the tables on Wilde, who was arrested for being gay, or “committing gross indecency,” in the legal terms of the time.

It didn’t help that he had offended the sensibility of British reviewers five years earlier with The Picture of Dorian Gray. As The New Yorker pointed out in 2011, “no work of mainstream English-language fiction had come so close to spelling out homosexual desire.” The novel became a key piece of evidence against him in court.

Wilde quickly regretted having pressed his case, writing to Douglas from his prison cell, per The Atlantic, “I am here for having tried to put your father in prison.”

He went on to say, with typical eloquence and clarity of vision, that his greatest misjudgment had been to put his faith in a society that celebrated his wit but abhorred his sexuality. He wrote:

The one disgraceful, unpardonable, and to all time contemptible action of my life was my allowing myself to be forced into appealing to Society for help and protection … Of course once I had put into motion the forces of Society, Society turned on me and said, “Have you been living all this time in defiance of my laws, and do you now appeal to those laws for protection? You shall have those laws exercised to the full.”

Read more about the history of Britain’s anti-homosexuality laws, here in the TIME archives: The Unspeakable Crime

TIME Ireland

This Woman Proposed to Her Girlfriend Just Moments After Ireland’s Gay Marriage Vote

It's the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote

One Irish couple wasted no time after the country became the first in the world to legalize gay marriage through popular vote.

Billie, 41, proposed to her girlfriend of six years, Kate Stoica, 26, in Limerick, Western Ireland on Saturday, just minutes after the referendum was passed, Mashable reported. Watch the video of the proposal below:

Read next: 20 Other Countries Where Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal Nationwide



Federal Judge Says Gay Couples in Alabama Have Right to Marry

The judge placed her decision on hold until the Supreme Court rules next month

(MONTGOMERY, Ala) — A federal judge has ruled that gays and lesbians have the right to marry in all Alabama counties, but placed her decision on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling on same-sex marriage.

U.S District Judge Callie Granade said Thursday that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and enjoined probate judges from enforcing it. However, she stayed enforcement of her order citing the expected decision this summer.

Granade in January ruled that Alabama’s gay marriage ban was illegal. Gay couples married for three weeks until the state Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop.

The latest ruling came in a class-action lawsuit by gay couples across the state.

David Dinielli, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, called the ruling a definitive victory for gay marriage.

TIME celebrities

YouTube Star Tyler Oakley Helped Ricky Martin Come Out

Through a YouTube video, of course

Tyler Oakley could hardly contain his excitement about being on Ellen.

The YouTube star with nearly seven million subscribers talked about his meteoric rise as a YouTube celebrity, his visit to the White House, and helping Ricky Martin come out of the closet.

“Back in 2008 I made a video about the importance of being authentic to yourself and about coming out and how you should wait till you’re ready,” Oakley told Ellen Degeneres. “A few years later I got a tweet one morning on National Coming Out Day and it was from Ricky Martin and he said that video was part of the reason he felt ready to share his story. It was like ‘Oh my god. I used to watch TRL and have a crush on him.'”

Oakley also talked about his two-word compliment to Barack Obama in the Oval Office: “Cute desk!”

“People just want to watch people live their authentic lives and share the good and the bad,” Oakley tells Degeneres. “You can have fun and be a positive influence and have a good impact. And it can still be entertaining.” Watch the full clip of Oakley on Ellen below.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

More from The Hollywood Reporter:


Boy Scouts President Says Ban on Gay Leaders Not Sustainable

“The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained,” Robert Gates said Thursday

Boy Scouts President Robert Gates called for an end to the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders.

During a speech Thursday at the Boy Scouts’ annual national meeting in Atlanta, Gates said the ban is no longer sustainable and called for a change. Gates, who is the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, said the ban could lead to tough legal battles, the Associated Press reports

“The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained,” he said, though according to NBC News he did not announce a formal change on Thursday.

Though the Boy Scouts of America now accepts gay scouts, a ban on openly gay troop leaders remains in place. Some councils, including one in New York, have defied that ban by allowing openly gay leaders to serve, but the national ban is still in effect. Gates said Thursday that could change soon.

Gates’ statement is being well-received by those in the scouting community who have been pushing for a removal of the ban. Scouts for Equality executive director Zach Wahls said in a statement he was “proud” that Gates is “chartering a course towards full equality in BSA.”

“Dr. Gates has built his reputation on straight talk, and I’m glad he’s fully endorsing a re-evaluation of the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay adults,” said Wahls. “It seems like the Boy Scouts will continue an internal dialogue about the subject and that a full vote within the next year or two is imminent.”

GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis called it a good first step. “We are pleased that Roberts Gates has acknowledged what has always been true – this discriminatory ban needs to be dropped,” Ellis said in a statement. “There is much more left to be done until full equality prevails in Scouting, but recognizing how out of step the ban is with basic fairness is a good first step.”


Author Retracts Study on Gay People Changing Voters’ Minds on Same-Sex Marriage

"I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize"

The author of a landmark study that found gay people can change the opinions of others on same-sex marriage has retracted the study.

Columbia University political science professor Donald Green, the study’s lead author, said Tuesday that graduate student co-author Michael LaCour had faked at least some data used in the report, according to reports citing watchdog group Retraction Watch. The study, published in the highly-respected journal Science, received significant national attention.

“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green wrote in a retraction letter.

For his part, LaCour, a graduate student at University of California, Los Angeles wrote on Twitter that he will address the concerns raised at his “earliest opportunity.”

Irregularities in the data were first discovered by graduate students at University of California, Berkeley who wanted to build on the research.

TIME faith

Michigan Pastor Resigns After Sharing Photos on Gay Dating App

The pastor, who is married with five children, had shared photos on Grindr

A Lutheran pastor in Michigan resigned recently after being caught sending messages on a mobile gay dating app, according to report on the local news site M Live. The pastor, Rev. Matthew Makela from Midland, is married with five children and has spoken of being gay as a “sinful temptation.”

In posts on the dating and hookup app Grindr, Makela said he was looking to “mess around” with a guy and sent shirtless photos. Screenshots of the conversation with an unidentified user found their way to the gay news site Queerty.

A letter on the website of St. John’s Lutheran Church, where Makela worked, acknowledged Makela’s resignation and asked members of the congregation not to pay attention to discussions of Makela on social media or on the news.

“This changes nothing. Matt is still forgiven and he is still loved, and we will do what we can to stand by him and the family as they face this spiteful attack of shame,” the letter said. “God is bigger than this and will see us through.”

[M Live]


Poll Finds Support for Gay Marriage at All-Time High

The Supreme Court may rule on the issue's constitutionality next month

A record-high 60% of Americans support same-sex marriage, according to a Gallup poll published Tuesday, about a month before the Supreme Court could issue a ruling on the issue.

The results from Gallup’s Values and Beliefs poll—up from 55% support last year—arrive as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on a case that could decide the constitutionality of gay marriage. Public support has more than doubled since Gallup first asked pollers about the issue in 1996, when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, and which was struck down in 2013.

The poll also found that support for same-sex marriage has also reached all-time highs among Americans of all political parties: 76% of Democrats, up from 33% in 1996; 64% of Independents, up from 32% in 1996; and 37% of Republicans, up from 16% in 1996.

Read next: What’s at Stake as the Supreme Court Returns to Gay Marriage


Oregon Becomes Third State to Ban Conversion Therapy on Minors

OR: Kate Brown Attends Oregon Statehood Day Event
Alex Milan Tracy—Sipa USA/AP Then Secretary of State Kate Brown, who is currently Governor, attends a Statehood Day celebration at the Oregon Historical Society, in Portland, Ore., on Feb. 14, 2015.

The Beaver State is the third to pass such a prohbition

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown made her state the third to outlaw the use of conversion therapy on minors on Monday, eliminating the controversial practice that President Barack Obama called to ban in early April. Oregon joins California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., in prohibiting licensed therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a child.

“We hope Oregon will prove to be just [one] of many states to ban this harmful and discredited practice that uses rejection, shame and psychological abuse,” said Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, which supports LGBT youth. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association and the American Psychiatric Association have all come out against the practice, also known as reparative therapy.

Oregon’s new law comes at a time when there is some movement in Washington responding to Obama’s call. On Tuesday, California Rep. Ted Lieu introduced a bill that would classify commercial conversion therapy—and advertising claims that promise changes to one’s sexual orientation or gender identity—as fraud. This could essentially ban the practice for all ages nationwide.

“The truth is that being LGBT cannot be and does not need to be cured,” said Lieu, who authored the California state ban on conversion therapy for minors. “It’s a dangerous scam, and the government must act to protect LGBT Americans from fraudsters who take their money and lie to them.”

In April, California Rep. Jackie Speier introduced a resolution calling on states to end the practice and said she was “also pursuing the possibility of a full federal ban of the practice.”

Opponents of the new state laws, who claim they are violations of free speech and the freedom of religion, have tried and so far failed to challenge them in court. In 2014, the Supreme Court declined to hear challenges to the California law. And earlier this month the Court declined to hear a challenge to the New Jersey law, leaving a ruling that upheld the ban as the final legal word on the matter.

Obama called for an end to the practice among minors in response to a petition started in honor of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender youth who walked into oncoming traffic and was killed. She left a suicide note detailing the trauma she experienced from conversion therapy pushed by her parents. The petition started on the White House’s website gained more than 120,000 signatures.

Oregon Gov. Brown, who took office in 2015, is the country’s first openly bisexual sitting governor. She signed the law with little publicity, issuing no press release on her website or tweet on her feed. But LGBT rights groups were happy to sound the trumpets. “We all owe them an enormous debt of gratitude,” the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Samantha Ames said of lawmakers who pushed the bill, “one we can only repay by promising we will continue this fight until the day no child knows the devastation of being told they were born anything but perfect.”

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