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Old 01-19-2014, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default Queer News

3 gay Republicans trying to make election history

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Dan Innis' husband persuaded him to run for the U.S. House.

It didn't matter that Innis, a former business school dean, faced an aggressive Democratic incumbent, GOP colleagues who oppose his right to marry, and history — no Republican ever has been openly gay when first elected to Congress.

"He said, 'You've got to do this,'" recalls Innis, running in the 1st Congressional District, which covers most of eastern New Hampshire. "He said, 'You need to take this opportunity and see if you can make a difference.'"

Innis plays down his sexuality as a campaign issue, but acknowledges the historic undertones. He is among three openly gay Republicans nationwide expected to run in this year's midterm elections. None has an easy path to Washington.

Each ultimately must unseat a Democratic incumbent, overcome brushes with hate and confront passionate divisions within the GOP about the way they live their lives. The Republican Party is trying to soften its tone on divisive social issues, but many religious conservatives see homosexuality as immoral.

Innis is married to a man, as is former state Sen. Richard Tisei, R-Mass., who is expected to run again for the northeastern Massachusetts congressional seat he narrowly lost in 2012 to Democratic Rep. John Tierney.

In San Diego, former Republican city councilman Carl DeMaio is challenging first-term Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.

"You can't focus on any of the nasty comments or attacks — not just from far right, also from far left," DeMaio says.

During his unsuccessful 2012 Republican mayoral campaign, DeMaio and his male partner of six years were booed as they walked hand in hand in San Diego's gay pride parade.

"Every once in a while we'll get some hate that is truly over the top — a truly venomous voice mail message. Every time we need a lift-me-up, we play it and chuckle," DeMaio says. "It's just a reminder that what we're fighting for matters."

He also is fighting his own party.

The GOP's formal platform, as set in its 2012 national convention, declares that "marriage, the union of one man and one woman, must be upheld as the national standard."

Republican opposition to gay marriage has become less visible recently as the GOP works to improve its image and polling suggests that most Americans support same-sex marriage.

Prominent social conservatives such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Ralph Reed, former leader of the Christian Coalition, declined to be interviewed for this story.

As a senator in 2003, Santorum, a leading candidate in the 2012 presidential primary, compared homosexual acts to child molestation and bestiality.

Last month, U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., drew national attention for pressuring the House Republican campaign arm not to support openly gay candidates. That led House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to pledge public support for gay Republicans.

Boehner traveled to Massachusetts in 2012 to help raise money for Tisei, who notes that more than 70 members of Congress supported his last campaign.

Still, Tisei says the GOP must do more to change the perception that "we're the party that wants to deny people their rights and interfere with their personal lives."

In particular, he says Republicans need gay members in their ranks to help shift their mindset on key policies. "It would be a lot harder to take positions that discriminate against people when you have (gay) people in the room you work with on a daily basis that you like and know," Tisei says.

Democrats currently have eight openly gay members serving in Congress, including Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who last year became the nation's first openly gay senator.

There have been no openly gay Republicans in Congress since Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona retired in 2006. First elected in 1984, Kolbe didn't disclose his sexual orientation until 1996.

Rep. Steve Gunderson of Wisconsin served more than a decade before a Republican colleague publicly disclosed Gunderson's sexual orientation on the House floor in 1994. Gunderson did not seek re-election in 1996.

In the 2014 election, the number of openly gay House candidates overwhelmingly favors Democrats, according to a list compiled by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which works to elect gay candidates at all levels. Of 14 openly gay candidates expected to run, 11 are Democrats, including six incumbents and high-profile challenger Sean Eldridge of New York, the husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

Considered top-tier challengers, Tisei and DeMaio recently teamed up to raise money in joint appearances across the country for a newly formed political action committee known as the Equality Leadership Fund. Last month, they traveled to Washington, New York and Florida and expect another tour in the spring.

In New Hampshire, Innis is trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter. But he must first survive a Republican primary contest against Frank Guinta, a former congressman unseated in the last election. With long ties to the business community, Innis is expected to have strong financial backing in an election he says will be decided on fiscal issues.

"The best history we could make would be moving the budget toward balance and getting ourselves to a position where we could invest in our future again," he says.

New Hampshire GOP strategist Jamie Burnett says he doesn't know whether candidates' sexual orientation helps or hurts their electoral prospects.

"Some social conservatives might object, but many Republicans might not care at all and perhaps see it as softening the party's image," he says. "This is unchartered territory in recent New Hampshire Republican politics."


http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pb...119692/-1/NEWS
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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Default Are Anti-Gay Clients Now Too Toxic For Big Law Firms?

On Thursday, Utah announced that it hired attorney Gene Schaerr to lead its effort to defend marriage discrimination in a case that is likely to wind up before the Supreme Court. Utah’s announcement was mildly surprising because Schaerr is not Paul Clement, the de facto Solicitor General of the Republican Party who defended the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act before the justices.

Schaerr and Clement do share another thing in common, however, beyond their representation of high-profile anti-gay clients. Both men left their jobs at large law firms shortly after taking on an anti-gay case.

Clement left behind a partnership at the firm of King and Spalding after gay rights groups and Coca Cola, one of King and Spalding’s top clients, pressured the firm to drop its defense of the anti-gay DOMA law. He went on to argue the DOMA cases at a small law firm founded by a former Bush Administration official.

Although the circumstances of Schaerr’s decision to leave his law firm are a bid more opaque — the firm, Winston & Strawn, released a vague statement saying that “Gene Schaerr, our former partner and formerly one of the co-leaders of our appellate and critical motions practice, has decided to resign from the firm in order to take a position as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Utah” — it’s hard to miss the similarities between this resignation and Clement’s. Simply put, lawyers do not typically resign from law firms because they take on a new client — taking on new paying clients is exactly what makes a law firm’s partners valuable to the firm.

Beyond the risk that a major client may balk at the firm’s activities, there’s another obvious reason why large law firms may not want to take on major anti-gay cases. Firms compete for top graduates and recent law clerks in their hiring process, and most new lawyers come from an age group that overwhelmingly supports marriage equality. Eighty-one percent of people aged 18-29 support marriage equality, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll. Given that the kind of work (and the kind of jobs) offered by one major law firm can typically be done just as well by dozens of of other large law firms, the fact that a firm is also engaged in anti-gay defense work can easily be enough to push clients and potential hires into another firm’s arms.

Indeed, both Winston & Strawn and King and Spalding profess to value diversity as, in King and Spalding’s words, “an integral part of our culture.” The firm Schaerr is leaving to become Utah’s top anti-gay counsel offers a generous domestic partner benefit to same-sex couples that effectively cancels out the negative federal tax treatment afforded to gay couples that are unable to marry.

Utah plans to pay Schaerr up to $200,000 just for the “10th Circuit phase of the proceedings,” meaning that he will receive even more money in the likely event that this case reaches the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the state of Utah has an entire attorney general’s office filled with lawyers who are perfectly capable of writing an appellate brief and competently arguing their case before a court.

A common defense offered by lawyers who take on unpopular clients is that every party to litigation deserves competent counsel — and this is normally a very good argument. In this case, however, Utah already has plenty of lawyers, and the $200,000 it plans to pay Schaerr just for one stage of the litigation is money that will not be spent to provide representation to people truly in need of legal services. If Utah wanted to show its dedication to ensuring that all parties have excellent legal representation, they could take the money they plan to pay Schaerr to defend their anti-gay law and use it to fund public defenders and legal services for the poor instead.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/201...xic-big-firms/
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:07 AM   #3
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Default Religious belief would permit discrimination under proposed bill

PHOENIX — A veteran state lawmaker is pushing legislation that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays — and maybe even women and Jews — as long as they were acting on sincerely held religious beliefs.

SB 1062 would allow those sued in civil cases to claim that they have a legal right to decide not to provide their services to any individual or group because it would “substantially burden” their freedom of religion. And that specifically means doing something that the person feels is contrary to their religious teachings.

Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said the measure is aimed specifically at preventing what happened in New Mexico where courts there said a gay couple could sue a wedding photographer who turned away their request to take pictures at their nuptials. He said that should not be allowed to happen here.

But Yarbrough said his legislation could also be interpreted broader than that, allowing motel operators with vacant rooms to refuse to rent to gays.

Potentially more significant, Yarbrough acknowledged there may be individuals whose have religious beliefs about unmarried women, or even employing people who do not share their same beliefs.

The senator said, though, he believes it would be harder for someone accused of such discrimination to hide behind his law.

That’s because already existing laws allow the state to forbid discrimination if there is a “compelling governmental interest” in such regulation and if the regulation is the “least restrictive means” of furthering that governmental interest. And Yarbrough said he believes there are enough legal precedents against bias based on gender and religion to keep a business owner from using his or her own beliefs as an excuse to discriminate.

But Dan Pochoda, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said he’s not so sure, which is why his group generally opposes any kinds of laws which protect what he called “indirect burdens” on an individual’s religion.

“They generally result from persons claiming that their religious beliefs entitle them to disregard civil rights laws that protect against various discriminations including on the basis of religion, gender, marital status, national origin and sexual orientation,” Pochoda said. And he said it permits those who claim such protections to “act in a manner that threatens the health, safety, well-being and liberties of others.”

The chances of the measure gaining approval are quite good.

In fact, a virtually identical proposal actually was approved last year only to be vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer. But she did that not because of the text of the legislation but because she was ticked at lawmakers for refusing to consider the state budget and her Medicaid expansion plan.

Yarbrough also said there is precedent for what he wants.

He said state law already makes it illegal for the government to impose requirements on people that violate their religious beliefs. What’s missing, he said, is a defense in civil lawsuits when the fight has nothing to do with the government.

Central to the issue is the general prohibition against discrimination in public accommodations.

But Yarbrough, who is an attorney, said can extend beyond restaurants and hotels to any other business that offers its services to the public. And that, he said, is how it ended up being used in New Mexico against the photographer there — and could be used against all types of businesses here.

That, however, raises the question of the reach of the legislation.

He said that wedding photographer deserved the right to turn away the business because there were other photographers available for the same job. He said that shows there was no “compelling governmental interest” in forcing the reluctant photographer to take on unwanted business.

And what of hotels?

Yarbrough said it’s possible that, under the terms of his legislation a hotel owner could turn away a gay couple without fear of suit simply because there are other nearby facilities.

“It’s a fact-intensive question in those instances when you’ve got the preference that we’ve got for public accommodation and the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion,” he said. “How does the friction play out?”

Conversely, Yarbrough said the answer might be different if that were the only hotel in town.

This isn’t the first time Arizona lawmakers have considered measures to allow freedom of religion trumps customer rights.

Most notably is a law which permits pharmacists, who are licensed by the state, to refuse on religious or moral grounds to dispense the “morning after” pill designed to block pregnancy following unprotected sex. Yarbrough said a pharmacist who is a devout Catholic should not be forced to be a part of what he or she believes is someone’s immoral act.

A challenge to the 2009 law as approved failed. But Yarbrough said that he could foresee situations in which the case might be a closer call, as in examples as the photographer and the hotel.

“If he’s the only pharmacy in Bisbee, you may have a problem,” he said. But Yarbrough said the outcome would be different “if there are two more down the road and Target does this and there’s no issue, and he knows that you can go there.”

“And, of course, if he’s at all smart, is probably going to say, ‘And by the way, two blocks down the road is a Target and they have a pharmacy,’” Yarbrough said.

http://www.svherald.com/content/howa...4/01/14/365889
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:23 PM   #4
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Default Study Proves LGBT-Affirming Schools Yield Lower Suicide Rates

Schools with gay-straight alliances and initiatives to reduce homophobia have fewer students — both gay and straight — who attempt suicide, according to a new study by the University of British Columbia.

Not only were the odds of homophobic discrimination and suicidal thoughts reduced by more than half among LGB students in schools with GSAs, but heterosexual boys at the same schools were also half as likely to attempt suicide, compared to their peers at schools without a GSA.

In addition, at schools where antidiscrimination policies have been in place for more than three years, gay and bisexual boys were more than 70 percent less likely to attempt suicide. The same attempts for lesbian and bisexual girls were two-thirds less likely than their peers at schools without such campaigns.

“We know that LGBTQ students are at higher risk for suicide, in part because they are more often targeted for bullying and discrimination,” says Elizabeth Saewyc, lead author of the study and professor at the UBC School of Nursing. “But heterosexual students can also be the target of homophobic bullying. When policies and supportive programs like GSAs are in place long enough to change the environment of the school, it’s better for students’ mental health, no matter what their orientation.”

The study was conducted among nearly 22,000 students across British Columbia in grades 8-12.

http://www.shewired.com/need-know/20...-suicide-rates
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:00 AM   #5
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Default The 21 most influential openly gay and lesbian Washingtonians

Two surprises here. First, there is only 1 POC on this list?

The second, David Cicilline, who as the former Mayor of Providence took a thriving city to the brink of bankruptcy and went on to share his voodoo economics as US Representative is gay?

21 most influential openly gay and lesbian Washingtonians
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:14 PM   #6
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Default Exhibitions: Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry's Letters to "The Ladder"


November 22, 2013–March 16, 2014

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Herstory Gallery, 4th Floor, Brooklyn

In the late 1950s, the fight for gay rights was developing alongside the growing Civil Rights and feminist movements. An important voice in the Civil Rights struggle was author, essayist, and activist Lorraine Hansberry (1930–1965), the award-winning playwright of A Raisin in the Sun. This exhibition explores a largely unknown but significant aspect of Hansberry’s biography connecting her to the gay rights movement: the letters she wrote in 1957 to The Ladder, the first subscription-based lesbian publication in the United States. In these provocative letters, Hansberry drew on her own identity and life experiences to articulate the interconnected struggles of women, lesbians, and African Americans during the period. She pointed to her identification with the burgeoning feminist movement in a 1959 interview with Studs Terkel, saying that "the most oppressed group of any oppressed group will be its women," adding that those who are "twice oppressed" often become "twice militant."

The exhibition includes approximately twenty-seven issues of The Ladder, beginning with the publication’s launch in 1956 and documenting its early underground years, under the waning force of the Comstock Act. (Under these laws, enacted in 1873, it was illegal to send "obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious" materials in the U.S. mail. Free press rights around homosexuality were granted in 1958.) Also included are Hansberry's handwritten lists to herself on her birthdays, typewritten essays on "the homosexual question," a poem titled "Le Masque," and a notebook with a drawn self-portrait. There is also a listening station with Hansberry’s interview with Studs Terkel.

Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry’s Letters to "The Ladder" is the latest exhibition in the Herstory Gallery of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, which is devoted to subjects that explore the significant contributions of the women named in The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago.

Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry’s Letters to "The Ladder" is organized by Catherine Morris, Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:50 PM   #7
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ARIZONA GOV. TO VETO ANTI-GAY MEASURE

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is likely to veto the state’s controversial measure that could allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbians due to religious beliefs, according to three people close to the governor and familiar with her thinking.

Story continues from NBC News:


http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ari...measure-n38186
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jet View Post
ARIZONA GOV. TO VETO ANTI-GAY MEASURE

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is likely to veto the state’s controversial measure that could allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbians due to religious beliefs, according to three people close to the governor and familiar with her thinking.

Story continues from NBC News:


http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ari...measure-n38186

Well thank God SOMEONE in Arizona politics doesn't have their head up their ass!
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:36 PM   #9
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:42 AM   #10
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CONT'D: ARIZONA GOV. BREWER URGED TO VETO ANTI-GAY LAW

Nasty battle stoked by protests in Arizona. This is a more in-depth story and video from CBS News which aired last night:
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/arizon...eled-anti-gay/
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:55 PM   #11
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http://lesbiannews.com/2014/02/24/ar...n-to-everyone/




Arizona Businesses “Open To Everyone”
by Lesbian News • February 24, 2014
With the passage of SB 1062, the “License to Discriminate” bill in Arizona, opposition to the bill has been growing. Many businesses and organizations in Arizona understand that this bill does more that it says it would. It would allow any individual, corporation, institution, or business organization may be permitted to refuse services to LGBT people on the basis of religious freedom.

Businesses across Arizona are contacting Governor Brewer and letting Arizonans know that they are “Open for Business to Everyone!” using signs like this:

If you’re a business owner in Arizona and believe that no one should fear being turned away at a government office, a restaurant, or any other business that serves the public just because of who they are, print out this sign and post in your business.

SB1062 aims to legally sanction discrimination against the LGBT community, but your voice can make a difference in stopping this license to hate from becoming law. Join HRC and others at a rally Monday at 5:30 p.m., at the State House to call on Governor Brewer to veto SB 1062. For more information contact HRC Regional Field Organizer Adrian Matanza, who is on-the-ground in Phoenix.

Or contact Governor Brewer here, or text AZ to 30644 to be directly connected to the Governor’s office.

(Courtesy of HRC.org)

It is nice to see business fighting back. Three cheers for the business people who have brains.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:11 PM   #12
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BREAKING NEWS: FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN TEXAS GAY MARRIAGE BAN


My comment: Interesting in the wake of pending Arizona legislation. Here's the link to NBC News.


http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...age-ban-n39466
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:15 PM   #13
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Fabulous news about Texas.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:20 PM   #14
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Default Pink Money

Pink Money is big business.

Vicious idiots in this world using a bill to discriminate in Arizona based on religion. Vicious and stupid. It just so happens they neglected to consider the mighty Pink Dollar. The LGBT community accounted for $790 billion in spending power in 2012 alone. If you're not familiar with Pink Money power, here is the article. I think Gov. Brewer will do the right thing.

Pink Dollar
Pink money describes the purchasing power of the gay community, often especially with respect to political donations. With the rise of the gay rights movement, pink money has gone from being a fringe or marginalized market to a thriving industry in many parts of the Western world such as the United States and United Kingdom.[1] Many businesses now specifically cater to gay customers, including nightclubs, shops, restaurants, and even taxicabs; the demand for these services stems from commonly perceived discrimination by traditional businesses. Worldwide in 1998, pink money was valued at £350 billion ($560 billion) across a variety of sectors — especially entertainment and consumer goods.[2] Purchasing power in 2012 in the United States is expected to increase to $790 billion[3]...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_money
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:25 PM   #15
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The Girl Who Fought Her School's Antigay Actions (And Won)

This in the news today:

When Skye Wyatt, 21, was a high school student in Kilgore, Texas, she had a secret: She was a lesbian, and she had a girlfriend. Only 16, she hadn’t come out to her mom. So it was all the more painful when her softball coaches, who found out about the relationship (and were disdainful of it), took care of that for her. But in a surprise twist, their breach of trust led Wyatt’s mother, Barbara Wyatt, to sue the school for violating the girl’s right to privacy — and on Monday, six years later, the school settled for $77,000. National experts in LGBT rights are calling it a rare and encouraging outcome, with lawyer Jennifer Doan deeming it a “positive story” at the end of what was, for her client, “a horrific experience.”

The story continues:

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/the...202756408.html
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:10 PM   #16
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JUST ANNOUNCED: ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER HAS VETOED ANTIGAY BILL SB 1062

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a hot-button measure that would have permitted businesses in the state to deny service to gay and lesbians for religious beliefs.

At a news conference at the state capitol just after 7:45 p.m. ET, Brewer said the bill "could result in unintended and negative consequences."

"I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve," Brewer said.


More from NBC News:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ari...ay-bill-n39666
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:12 PM   #17
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Default Brewer vetoes AZ hate law

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_4854003.html


WASHINGTON -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) announced her decision to veto legislation on Wednesday that would have allowed businesses to legally refuse service to anyone on "religious freedom" grounds, effectively allowing them to discriminate against same-sex couples….
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:53 AM   #18
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Three cheers

Transcript: Ariz. governor Jan Brewer’s statement on vetoed bill

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/02/l...-freedom-bill/


BREAKING: Ariz. governor Jan Brewer vetoes anti-gay religious freedom bill

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/02/brewer-sb1062/

Hillary Clinton lauds veto of Ariz. anti-gay religious freedom bill

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/02/h...-freedom-bill/
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:55 AM   #19
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Mississippi lawmakers confused whether their own religious freedom bill is anti-gay


http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/02/m...l-is-anti-gay/

The LGBT fight is moving south and into red states. Anti-gay laws are in jeopardy everywhere in the US. Discrimination against LGBT is coming to an end.
You can make the laws to have us become acceptable but you can't change the heart of a bigot or make a person stop hating.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:59 AM   #20
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Default

US Eyes Push Against Anti-Gay Laws Worldwide
WASHINGTON February 27, 2014 (AP)


http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireS...dwide-22688954


Quote:
Troubled by an anti-gay movement in Uganda and across much of the world, the U.S. is launching a new effort to combat what Secretary of State John Kerry described Wednesday as a threat to human rights.

Comparing a harsh Uganda law to oppressive government crackdowns on German Jews in the 1930s and black South Africans during apartheid, Kerry said he was going to direct American ambassadors to look at "how we deal with this human rights challenge on a global basis." He said 80 nations worldwide have anti-gay laws on some levels, and he called the one in Uganda — which punishes gay sex with up to life in prison — "atrocious" and "flat out morally wrong."

"You could change the focus of this legislation to black or Jewish, and you could be in 1930s Germany, or you could be in 1950s or '60s apartheid South Africa," Kerry told reporters during a 55-minute question-and-answer session at the State Department. "It was wrong there, egregiously, in both places, and it is wrong here."
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