Jan 3, 2020

Methodist church proposes plan to split over LGBTQ inclusion

Karen Oliveto, the Methodist church's first openly lesbian bishop, speaks at Iliff School of Theology in April 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

United Methodist Church leaders announced plans on Friday for a historic split of its 13 million-plus denomination over allowing same-sex marriage within the church and LGBTQ clergy members.

What's next: The church is expected to vote on the measure to implement the division of America's second-largest Protestant domination at the general conference in Minneapolis this May.

Flashback: Momentum for the separation got underway last February, when the church's "Traditional Plan" — to maintain status quo of banning LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriages — won over a new, LGBTQ-inclusive plan.

Details: The proposal for a formal split was reached between progressive and traditionalist groups within the church, including the Reconciling Ministries Network, which has advocated for LGBTQ inclusion in the Methodist faith since the 1980s.

Go deeper: Americans are increasingly shedding their religious affiliations

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Exclusive: Bloomberg unveils LGBTQ equality plan

Bloomberg campaigns in Minneapolis on Jan. 23. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg is releasing his LGBTQ equality plan on Tuesday, aligning with other Democratic presidential candidates' calls to return to Obama-era protections that President Trump has moved to undo.

Why it matters: One aspect of the platform shared with Axios — calling for law enforcement training to protected transgender people of color — may have particular resonance given Bloomberg's past support of "stop and frisk" policing, which hindered his early standing with minority voters.

Go deeperArrowJan 28, 2020

AP: Communities of color vulnerable to abuse from the Catholic Church

A cardinal at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, in 2018. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Out of 178 dioceses contacted by the AP, only a handful knew the race or ethnicities of accusers of sexual abuse inflicted by clergy with the Catholic Church.

Why it matters: A leading scholar on clergy sexual abuse says communities of color "are less likely to know where to get help, less likely to have money for a lawyer to purse that help and they are more vulnerable to counterattacks" when coming forward against predators.

Go deeperArrowJan 4, 2020

New Orleans Saints fight to block emails allegedly linked to Catholic abuse scandal

Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The NFL's New Orleans Saints are fighting in court to block the public release of emails that allegedly show team executives assisting the Archdiocese of New Orleans with public relations work regarding its role in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis, AP reports.

The state of play: The attorneys for a group of men suing the archdiocese for alleged abuse claim in a filing that 276 emails obtained via discovery show that executives for the team — owned by Gayle Benson, a devout Catholic — helped the New Orleans arm of the church with its "pattern and practice of concealing its crimes."

Go deeperArrowJan 24, 2020