This afternoon, GetEQUAL Mississippi (a grassroots organization devoted to bringing equality to all LGBT Mississippians) issued a "travel alert" for any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person who may be traveling to or within the state. Mississippi is on the cusp of passing its version of the "religious freedom" act (and we've seen this before, in other states), and although nothing has been made official, the bill is progressing at a very rapid pace, and there's concern about the safety of anyone who may be perceived
Arizona has been in the news quite a bit lately. When Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the "religious freedom" bill the other week, gay rights activists were thrilled. Arizona had been one of several states making headlines due to the fact that it was considering the passage of a bill that would allow business owners to turn away same-sex couples if the business owners didn't agree with their "gay lifestyle" due to their own religion.
Once again, we're back at it with the so-called "religious freedom" bills. An Oregon group called the Friends of Religious Freedom (affiliated with the Oregon Family Council) are working to get a petition signed that would allow business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples. We've recently seen very similar bills in Kansas, Tennessee and Arizona be seriously considered—only to be vetoed or dropped because officials determined that the negative effects would be severe.
The group is trying to get IP52 (the
On Wednesday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners to turn away same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs.
According to Brewer, she knew that the decision to veto the bill was right for Arizona. "I call them as I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd," Brewer stated. She was also of the belief that the bill could have "unintended and negative consequences."
She continued, "To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know
Texas is making headlines today as the latest state in which a federal judge has struck down a ban on same-sex marriage, setting the stage for gay and lesbian couples to legally marry in one of the nation's most conservative states.
San Antonio-based Judge Orlando Garcia’s ruling will not take effect immediately: It stays enforcement of his decision pending appeal, meaning same-sex couples in Texas for the time being cannot get legally married.
“We look forward to the day in Texas when everyone can marry who they love,” said state Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.
Several news outlets are reporting that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is likely to veto the "anti-gay" bill that was passed by the Arizona Senate last week. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Brewer did not indicate any intention of vetoing or approving the the measure. "I can assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona," she stated.
Some Arizona Republicans who know her well have stated that they believe her comments are indicative of rejecting the bill. Chuck Coughlin,
On Monday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called on Georgia state officials to pursue a measure that would recognize same-sex marriages that have been performed out of state. This would be the first step in what Mayor Reed describes as a "long to to marriage equality in Georgia."
Launching in partnership with 12 Southern organizations who are committed to equality for the LGBT community, Southerners for the Freedom to Marry is a campaign that seeks to grow southern support for marriage equality. "The $1 million
The Arizona Senate has passed a bill that would allow business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples based on their religious views. It will be heading to the desk of governor Jan Brewer this week, but at this point in time there is no indication of whether she'll sign or veto the bill. Brewer, who is a Republican, vetoed a similar bill last year—describing it as a "distraction from more pressing matters facing the legislature."
According to CNN, Brewer doesn't necessarily believe that there needs
Oregon's attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, has stated that she doesn't believe that the state's ban on gay marriage will be able to withstand a federal challenge.
Rosenblum joins attorneys general in at least five other US states—including Virginia—who are currently refusing to defend their states' bans on same-sex marriage in court.
Oregon has been making headlines this year. In January, a yearlong case involving a bakery that refused service to a lesbian couple was resolved—and it was determined that the bakery in question had indeed violated
When a Tampa couple wrote a letter to Dear Abby, asking her for advice on how to "deal" with their gay neighbors, Abby delivered quite the reality check. The woman who wrote the letter (with a pen name of "Unhappy in Tampa") described a scenario in which she and her husband—who had both recently relocated to Florida from a conservative town—had thrown a party, but they hadn't invited their gay neighbors because they didn't feel comfortable with their "lifestyle choices."
When another neighbor threw a party at
It's a semi-good week for Tennessee. Republican Senator Mike Bell dropped the "anti-gay" bill that was being discussed earlier last week. He didn't shelve the bill due to a change of heart, though; he shelved it because he believes that Tennessee law already protects those who may decide to refuse services to same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs.
Existing Tennessee state laws allow business owners to turn away customers based on "offensive conduct," which could mean a multitude of things. Senator Bell believes that this law
On Friday, the Kansas Senate decided that it would kill the "anti-gay" bill that had been passed earlier last week by the Kansas House of Representatives. The bill would have basically opened the door for widespread discrimination against same-sex couples—if an individual felt that providing service would go against their religious beliefs.
"If the Republican Party wanted to
On Valentine's Day, two Texas judges offered to officiate same-sex commitment ceremonies at an Austin courthouse. Despite outrage from the GOP, County Court-at-Law Judge John Lipscombe and his wife, Judge Jan Breland, made a statement that they would be offering commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Lipscombe and Breland have been offering free Valentine's Day marriage ceremonies for 25 years. When they made their announcement that 2014 would include same-sex commitment ceremonies, they were met with anger from several Republican politicians.
Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples stated that Lipscombe
On Thursday, same-sex couples in Virginia received a pleasant surprise: a federal judge ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling is currently stayed, pending appeal.
It's certainly been quite the year for Virginia. In late January, two separate lawsuits—each brought forth by same-sex couples—moved forward. Merely days after the news about the lawsuits moving forward was released, Virginia's new attorney general, Mark Herring, made a public statement in which he acknowledged that he would not be defending the ban on same-sex
Well, this is unfortunate news. The Kansas House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a bill that could lead to anti-gay discrimination. The bill—claiming to be a "religious liberty" bill—will very likely pass Kansas' Republican Senate and be signed into law by the state's Republican governor, resulting in Kansas being the first state—ever—to legalize the segregation of straight and gay communities.
If this sounds outrageous, take a look at the bill itself. If passed, it would permit anti-gay business owners to deny service to any same-sex couples
Perhaps the biggest piece of news coming out of Kentucky is the action that District Judge John G. Heyburn took. Heyburn ordered Kentucky to legally recognize same-sex marriages that had been legally performed in other states that dorecognize same-sex marriage. This opens the doors for activists to completely strike down Kentucky's ban.
Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss are challenging the Texas ban on same-sex marriage. The couple, who have been together for 17 years, are set to appear in federal court today. They are one of two same-sex couples that filed legal action against the Lone Star's ban on same-sex marriage.
Today, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia will hear arguments from the couples' lawyers before hearing a Texas state lawyer who will defend the ban. Garcia could issue a verbal ruling today, but this it's likely that it will come
With the 2014 Olympics in Sochi upon us, Google has taken a stab at Russia's "anti-gay" policy and presented its logo in the colors of the rainbow. When clicked, the rainbow doodle (which is seen on the Google homepage) links to results about the Olympic Charter and includes a quote from it:
"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit
When Lucas Bane proposed to his boyfriend David Devora on December 11, 2013, he captured it all on film. And, when the video went viral, a former classmate who went to school with Lucas—one that used to bully him—sent him a Facebook message, complete with an apology.
The couple shared their video on Facebook, along with the following statement:
What do you do when you want to give your boyfriend the surprise of his life? If you’re Lucas, you just have the police shut down a major
Gays and nongays alike adore Andy Cohen, host of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, which airs nightly at 11 p.m. Eastern Monday through Thursday. Part of the gregarious journalist's likeability is his innate skill to simultaneously not judge some of his crazy interviewees (i.e., anyone from The Real Housewives shows) but yet still manage to ask the hard-hitting questions about their behavior.
Cohen is likely going to carve out an even wider fanbase with his recent acceptance to