gay rights

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US Names 1st Global Envoy for LGBT Rights

Randy Berry will help fight discrimination overseas

(Newser) - The US named its first international envoy for gay rights today, tasking a veteran diplomat with leading the country's efforts to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals overseas. Randy Berry, currently the consul general in the Netherlands, will promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals,... More »

Pediatrician Won't Treat Baby With Lesbian Moms

Parents are 'dumbfounded,' but no rules were broken

(Newser) - A pediatrician in the Detroit area is now the center of a debate over gay rights after she refused to care for a newborn because the girl had lesbian parents. As the Detroit Free Press reports, when parents Jami and Krista Contreras brought their 6-day-old girl in for a check-up,... More »

Feds: Walmart Discriminated Against Lesbian Couple

Retailer must make amends on health bills

(Newser) - A federal agency says Walmart discriminated against a lesbian employee who sought health coverage for her ailing wife and has ordered "a just resolution" for violating her civil rights. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ordered the retail giant to work with Jacqueline Cote of New Bedford, Mass., who... More »

Most Alabama Counties Buck Feds on Gay Marriage

More than two-thirds halt all marriage

(Newser) - In Alabama, county officials are caught between an order from the state's chief justice not to issue same-sex marriage licenses and a federal judge's ruling legalizing gay marriage—and most of them have decided to just stop issuing any marriage licenses. After the Supreme Court refused to keep... More »

Mormons Back LGBT Rights, but There's a Catch

Church thinks religious groups' beliefs should be protected

(Newser) - In what the Salt Lake Tribune calls a "major move," leaders of the Mormon church today declared that gays and lesbians across the country deserve better protection from discrimination when it comes to jobs and housing. But the church added a caveat that amounts to what CNN calls... More »

Gay Lawmaker to Critics: I'll Tell About Your Affair

Alabama's Patricia Todd is tired of hearing about 'family values'

(Newser) - If criticism of gay marriage in Alabama quiets down a bit, this might be why: A gay state lawmaker says she will expose "hypocrites" who talk about family values but don't live up to them, reports the TimesDaily . With the state poised to become the latest to allow... More »

Gay Marriage Arrives in Florida

Mass weddings held across state as ban expires

(Newser) - Florida's ban on same-sex marriage ended statewide at the stroke of midnight, and court clerks in some counties wasted no time, issuing marriage licenses and performing weddings for same-sex couples overnight. But they were beaten to the punch by a Miami judge who found no need to wait until... More »

Judge Grants First Gay Divorce in Florida

But the milestone will likely be appealed

(Newser) - A judge in Florida made a little history today by granting the state's first divorce of a gay couple, reports the AP . But because the decision involves two different states and pending appeals, thing get convoluted in the way that only gay-marriage cases can. In today's court hearing,... More »

Advocates Push LGBT 'Civil Rights Act'

But it could take a decade

(Newser) - With same-sex marriage sweeping the country and analysts predicting the Supreme Court will soon legalize it in all 50 states, gay rights advocates are turning their attention to new legislation: the LGBT version of 1964's Civil Rights Act. It may take a decade or more to be put into... More »

Egypt Jails 8 Men Over Video of Gay Wedding

They get 3-year sentences after YouTube posting

(Newser) - Eight men in Egypt have to spend the next three years in prison for the crime of celebrating a gay wedding, reports Reuters . The men were convicted today of "inciting debauchery" over the video, which surfaced on YouTube in August and purported to show the nation's first gay,... More »

Florida AG: Lesbians Can't Get Divorced

She blocks move to dissolve civil union

(Newser) - Florida's attorney general isn't going to allow same-sex divorce any sooner than she allows same-sex marriage. In a ruling this week, Pam Bondi opposed granting a divorce petition because doing so would have required recognizing the same-sex civil union and declaring the state's marriage laws unconstitutional, reports... More »

Bishops Scrap Friendlier Views on Gay Catholics

They vote down revision to draft document

(Newser) - Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays today, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families. The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away... More »

Vatican Pulls Back on Gay-Friendly Views

Emphasizes Monday's report was a 'working document'

(Newser) - The Vatican made waves this week with a seemingly more open stance toward gay and divorced people—but now, Catholic officials are pulling back from Monday's statement amid a backlash from conservatives, CNN reports. The Vatican's earlier comment that "homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to... More »

Nation's First Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down

Alaska ban is latest to fall

(Newser) - A federal judge has struck down Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages. US District Judge Timothy Burgess—who heard arguments Friday afternoon and promised a quick decision—released his 25-page decision yesterday afternoon. "Refusing the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government-sponsored message... More »

So How Many States Now Allow Gay Marriage? 35-ish

Busy week adds confusion to the mix

(Newser) - This week's flurry of court rulings made it a little tricky to keep track of which states allow gay marriage. The upshot is that the Supreme Court's moves added seven more states to the yes column: Idaho, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin, bringing the total number... More »

Gay Marriage Bans in Idaho, Nevada Struck Down

9th circuit declares 2 more bans unconstitutional

(Newser) - A federal appeals court declared gay marriage legal in Idaho and Nevada yesterday, a day after the US Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in 30 other states . The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco struck down the two states' bans on gay marriage, ruling they violated... More »

Court Rejects 2 More Gay Marriage Bans

Indiana, Wisconsin bans 'totally implausible,' judge says

(Newser) - Two more state bans on gay marriage were rejected as unconstitutional yesterday—the day after a federal judge in Louisiana broke a chain of more than 20 consecutive rulings overturning other bans . The US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, based in Chicago, ruled against the bans in Wisconsin... More »

Winning Streak Broken: Judge Upholds State's Gay Marriage Ban

Louisiana ruling will be appealed

(Newser) - A federal judge upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriages yesterday, a rare loss for gay marriage supporters who had won more than 20 consecutive rulings overturning bans in other states. US District Judge Martin Feldman also upheld the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other... More »

NYC's St. Paddy's Parade Lets Gay Group March

OUT@NBCUniversal will carry own banner

(Newser) - For the first time, New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade, the biggest in the world, will allow a gay group to participate with a banner of its own, the AP reports. Previously, gay groups had only been allowed to join in combination with other groups, and their... More »

Tony Dungy Takes Heat, Says He's No Homophobe

Former NFL coach clarifies his Michael Sam comments

(Newser) - Tony Dungy says he's not prejudiced, despite his comment a couple days ago that he wouldn't have drafted openly gay player Michael Sam, TMZ reports. "I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team," Dungy said... More »

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