PCUSA ministers banned from conducting gay unions

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Friday night amended the church's constitution to forbid its ministers from conducting same-sex union ceremonies. It passed by a mere 17 votes, 268 to 251. It must now be approved by two-thirds of the Presbyteries (regional governing bodies) before taking effect in June 2001. See more coverage at Presbyweb.

After pressure from Focus on the Family, Proctor & Gamble pulls MTV ads

Upset when Procter & Gamble pulled its ads from Laura Schlessinger's upcoming television show, James Dobson invited company executives to view clips from other shows the conglomerate advertises on. These included clips from MTV's The Tom Green Show and Undressed (which contain explicit sexual talk and, in one, a lesbian love scene), and NBC's Law & Order (which "featured a negative portrayal of evangelicals who try to convert gays to be straight"). "We were just asking them to be consistent," says Focus's Mike Haley. "If they don't want to advertise on controversial shows, they shouldn't be advertising on these." P&G officials still won't advertise on the Dr. Laura show, but they did pull their ads from MTV. "[Focus] merely brought those spots to our attention and we cleared up mistakes that were made," says P&G spokeswoman Gretchen Briscoe, who emphasized that Focus on the Family had not caused the company to pull the ads. Not mentioned in the Associated Press summary of the Colorado Springs Gazette article is Dobson's remarkable comment, "There must be pluralism in this country."

Partial-birth abortion battle isn't over by a long shot

Legislators are already writing bills that will outlaw the procedure while staying within the constitutional bounds the Supreme Court set out last week. "Legal experts said that proponents of a ban might be able to comply relatively easily with the finding that laws must describe more specifically what is being banned," reports The New York Times. "But they said that revised laws could still falter concerning the 'health of the mother' exception. … On the one hand, [say supporters of the ban], if new laws are too narrow in defining the health of the mother, they will be struck down like the Nebraska law, which did not include a health exception. On the other hand, they continued, if the health exception written into new laws is too broad, the bans would be ineffective because doctors could invoke the exception routinely to use the banned procedures."

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