Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 26, 2011 edition of India Today magazine reports: Attempts for dialogue on homosexuality have begun for the first time inside the conservative churches of Kerala, set in motion by Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz from the US

By Rev. Steve Parelli
September 27, 2011
Bronx, NY

Cover of India Today
September 26, 2011
Rev Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz are featured in the current edition (September 26, 2011) of India Today magazine, an Indian weekly publication with a readership of 5.62 million people (Wikipedia), in an article titled Sex and The Church in the Nation section of the magazine.

Mr. M. G. Radhakrishnan, author of the article, personally interviewed Parelli and Ortiz on July 13, 2011 in the lobby of the Classic Avenue Hotel, Trivandrum, Kerala, and on July 18 attended a Kerala University students’ meeting, also in Trivandrum, where Steve and Jose spoke.

The India Today article juxtaposes the Parelli/Ortiz visit to Kerala with the suing of Marthoma Church Bishop Euyakim Mar Coorlios “for allegedly committing sodomy," both events occurring in July of 2011. “Interestingly, the bishop’s case comes even as attempts for a dialogue on homosexuality have begun for the first time inside the conservative churches of Kerala where Christians form 19 per cent of the population. The efforts have been set in motion by a homosexual Baptist pastor couple from the US, Stephen R. Parelli and Jose Enrique Ortiz,” the article says.

The article goes on to quote Parelli and Ortiz on the topic of homosexuality and the church in India.

The above photo of
Jose (left) and Steve
is featured in the
"Sex and The Church" article
Parelli and Ortiz “were brought to the state by the Trivandrum Theological Forum (TTF),” the article reports.

Sam L. Sone and R. S. Ajith, both of TTF, and Dr. David Joy of Untied Theological College (Bangalore) are also quoted in the article. TTF and David Joy joined efforts with Other Sheep (Parelli and Ortiz) in the Malayalam translation and its publication and distribution of The Children Are Free, a book by two American authors, in which it is argued that the Bible does not condemn homosexual acts between consenting, committed adults.  TTF, in the first printing of the Malayalam rendering of the book, published 2000 copies.

Parelli and Ortiz spent 28 days in July in Kerala distributing 580 copies of the Malayalam book to human rights activists, religious leaders, media people, professors and students, lay leaders and parishioners, other interested parties, and bookstores and libraries.

The India Today article features a photo of Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz in an affectionate embrace.

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