By Christy Barritt
Genders M, F, and . . . X?
German government officials have added a new option for parents who are listing their children’s gender on official documents.
As of November 1, the parents of babies without “clear gender-determining physical characteristics” can register their child without listing its gender on the birth certificate. Children will later have the option of choosing either gender on the paperwork.
Until this change, “intersex” people, also known as hermaphrodites, have not been recognized on birth certificates in any European country. A hermaphrodite is someone born in possession of both male and female physical characteristics.
The law comes after a review by the German Ethics Council, which was commissioned by the German federal government. The council said “intersex people” still needed better acknowledgement in law and protection from medical decisions taken on their behalf at an early age.
Atheist Billboards Erected in South Dakota
“Don’t Believe in God? Join the Club!” is the slogan that was displayed on billboards across South Dakota in August and September.
The billboards—seven all together in five different cities—helped to announce the official launch of the Coalition for Reason, an alliance of seven non-theistic groups throughout the state aimed at reaching out to secular freethinkers.
The ads are a part of a nationwide program started by the United Coalition of Reason. The organization wants to let people know that they’re not alone in their unbelief and that there are like-minded individuals they can meet within the conservative state.
The billboards were displayed at the end of the summer, before school started, in part to let freethinking students know there are organizations out there for them.
Bistro Owners May Face Discrimination Charges
The Christian owners of a bistro and art gallery in Iowa are facing discrimination charges for refusing to allow their property to be used for a same-sex union ceremony.
Two men approached the owners of the Gortz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa about using the old church property for a homosexual wedding. The Mennonite owners declined, citing religious convictions.
The owners have received dozens of vicious and hateful e-mails and phone calls since their decision became known.
The homosexual couple is considering filing a complaint with Iowa Human Rights authorities alleging “sexual orientation” discrimination. Under state law, “public accommodations” cannot decline services based on “sexual orientation.”
Ministry Accepts Non-Christian Workers
In a policy change, Christian Horizons, one of Canada’s largest ministries, is no longer requiring that job applicants sign a statement of faith.
The ministry, in partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, announced that they will open jobs to non-Christians. This decision came on the heels of being successfully sued for discriminating against a homosexual worker.
The lawsuit was brought on by a worker who’d signed a “Lifestyle and Morality Statement,” in which she vowed to abstain from immoral behavior as a condition of her employment. Despite that, she engaged in a homosexual relationship and was pressured to quit.
The ministry was ordered to pay their former worker $23,000 in fines, along with two years wages and benefits. The adjudicator also ordered the organization to abandon its Christian principles and required its workers to attend a homosexual-oriented “Human Rights Training Program.”
Christian Horizons said they’re still committed to their core values and that hiring non-Christians will only strengthen the organization.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.