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Pope loses fight for wider acceptance of gay people

Pope Francis has suffered a setback as hardline Catholic bishops vetoed his proposal for a wider acceptance of gay people and Catholic divorcees.

Pope Francis called for a wider acceptance of gay people. Credit: Reuters

Despite Pope Francis warning traditionalists against "hostile rigidity" before the vote, bishops rejected language aimed at welcoming gay people and divorcees who have remarried into the Catholic Church.

Bishops said the document, which spoke of "accepting and valuing their (homosexuals') sexual orientations" and giving gays a "welcoming home", threatened to undermine the traditional family.

The final version said anti-gay discrimination is only "to be avoided".

Gay rights groups expressed disappointment at the decision.

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'Unacceptable' that footballers fear anti-gay abuse

It is "unacceptable" that footballers still feel the need to hide their sexuality out of fear of abuse, a Liberal Democrat minister has said. Stephen Williams has called for anti-gay abuse to be tackled "with the same vigour" as racism.

Football clubs in England and Wales have done a frankly remarkable job at cracking down on racism since it was rife in the 1970s.

With the occasional exception that draws deserved criticism from fans up our game is leagues ahead of many of our European neighbours when it comes to integration.

– Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrats

Tackle homophobia 'same as racism in football'

Homophobia on the football terraces should be met with the same zero tolerance as racism, a Liberal Democrat minister has said.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams called for clubs, the Football Association and the police to tackle anti-gay abuse with the same vigour as racial discrimination.

Norwich City player wearing rainbow laces on their football boots as part of an anti-homophobia campaign Credit: PA

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Sam becomes first openly gay player in the NFL

Michael Sam has become the first openly gay player in a pro-American football team, after he was picked by the St Louis Rams during a draft.

After hearing of the news he would be playing for St Louis, he hugged, kissed and tweeted a picture of himself with his boyfriend to thousands of fans:

Gay rights activists march with model of Vladimir Putin

Gay rights activists have marched through St. Petersburg carrying a banner saying "Love is stronger than war!". They were led through the May Day rally by an activist wearing a caricature model depicting President Vladimir Putin.

Gay rights activists arched through St. Petersburg. Credit: Reuters//Alexander Demianchuk
Gay rights activists take part in a May Day rally in St. Petersburg Credit: Reuters//Alexander Demianchuk

Russians celebrate the coming of Spring on Labour Day, May 1.

Christian worker claims unfair dismissal after 'gay jibe'

A Christian nursery nurse is claiming unfair dismissal after losing her job because she said she told a gay colleague that the Bible regards the practice of homosexuality as a sin.

Sarah Mbuyi says she only made the comments after being pressed on her beliefs by a colleague who initiated the conversation at Newpark Childcare in Highbury, north London, in January.

She is being supported in her case by the Christian Legal Centre, whose chief executive, Andrea Williams, said the Government has "seriously let down" the Christian community and criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for attempting to "mould Christianity to his political agenda".

Mr Cameron said earlier this week that Britain should be ''more confident about our status as a Christian country" and "more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives".

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