Lose Some, Win Some

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No, this is not a story from the Onion: a monument to Steve Jobs in St Petersburg has been taken down in the wake of Tim Cook’s acknowledgment that he is gay. That’s how psychotic Russia’s state-sanctioned homophobia is:

Citing the need to abide by a law combating “gay propaganda,” the companies called ZEFS [who built the monument] said in a statement on Monday that the memorial had been removed on Friday — the day after Apple CEO Tim Cook penned a piece about being gay. “In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law,” ZEFS said, noting that the memorial had been “in an area of direct access for young students and scholars … After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values,” ZEFS statement said.

Meanwhile, in the US, a thaw between some gay Christians and the Southern Baptists is detectable. At a recent SBC conference, a small group from both sides actually had a conversation in person:

“What’s significant is not the content of the meetings, but that there were meetings at all,” said Justin Lee, executive director of The Gay Christian Network. “It allowed us to humanize one another and form relationships.” Mr. Walker and more than a dozen Southern Baptists and gay-rights advocates gathered in a suite to have a conversation. The meeting “exceeded both sides’ expectations as far as cheerfulness, friendliness and authenticity of the conversation,” Walker said. “There’s greater respect all around. We disagreed, but we disagreed very well.” The personal meetings “help defy caricature,” he added.

Pete Wehner also points to a friendly meeting between SBC macher Al Mohler and the wonderful Matthew Vines. Put this together with the unprecedented outreach to gay Catholics by Pope Francis and there’s real reason to hope.