New Mormon website features softer, gentler tone on gays

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) The Mormon church is not changing its tune about homosexuality, but it has launched a new website to alter the tone. The site includes video clips of gay members and their families promoting compassion and understanding toward homosexuals, and encouraging everyone to be “disciples of Christ.'' By Peggy Fletcher Stack.

Jews push back against Scouts over policy banning gays

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) For nearly a decade, hundreds of Boy Scouts have learned the virtues of the Ten Commandments on an annual hike to local churches, synagogues and mosques. But this year, Touro Synagogue says it's no longer willing to take part because the Scouts deny membership to gay troop leaders and gay adolescent Scouts. By Bruce Nolan.

Activists say religion is key in combating female genital mutilation

(RNS) Because of its severity and prevalence, female genital mutilation is arguably one of the most important human rights issues in the world. But the practice remains poorly understood, both by supporters who assert it is mandated by Islam, and opponents who, according to some activists, do more to sustain the practice than end it. By Omar Sacirbey.