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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 »

UK Ballroom Dance Council Moves to Ban Gay Couples

Current leaders would be unable to defend title

(Newser) - The UK's top ballroom dance authority is planning a big backward sashay when it comes to gay rights. The British Dance Council is considering a proposal that would ban same-sex couples from mainstream competitions, instead creating same-sex-only categories, the Guardian reports. The move would prevent the current leaders in... More »

Faith Groups to Obama: Let Us Discriminate Against Gays

They want Obama to grant them a 'robust' exemption in executive order

(Newser) - In the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling , another faith-based issue for President Obama: Religious group leaders—including Michael Wear, the man who led the president’s faith-outreach initiative in 2012—are spearheading an effort that seeks a "robust" exemption for religious organizations from Obama’s still-unsigned anti-bias executive... More »

Elton John: WWJD? Approve of Gay Marriage

Says he wants to talk to Vladimir Putin about gay rights

(Newser) - Elton John is finally getting married , and the outspoken singer thinks Jesus would totally be down with gay marriage—even among priests ( he's claimed Jesus was himself gay in the past). "If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that... More »

2 More Courts Find Gay Marriage Bans Unconstitutional

Same-sex marriage's post-DOMA winning streak continues

(Newser) - Same-sex marriage continued its remarkable legal winning streak today, as a federal appeals court affirmed that Utah's ban was unconstitutional, and a separate court said the same of Indiana's ban. The Utah decision is the first such ruling from a federal appeals court, according to the AP . "... More »

Court: Alabama Can't Criminalize Gay Sex

Law said consent was 'no defense to prosecution'

(Newser) - An Alabama appeals court has ruled the state's ban on consensual gay sex is unconstitutional. The measure banned oral and anal sex, adding that "consent is no defense to a prosecution under this subdivision"; in a unanimous ruling, judges said the law was aimed at banning gay sex,... More »

1964 Memo Reveals Feds' Rampant Zeal in Firing Gays

'Once a homo always a homo,' document says

(Newser) - Lyndon Johnson may have signed the Civil Rights Act, but when it came to gay people, his administration was more than ready to discriminate. In a 1964 memo, revealed today by the New York Times , an administration official outlines just how dedicated the government was to rooting out homosexuals. "... More »

Gay Marriage Now Legal All Over Northeast

Judge declares ban in Pennsylvania unconstitutional, but state expected to appeal

(Newser) - A day after Oregon became the 18th state to recognize same-sex marriage, a federal judge made Pennsylvania the 19th, at least for now. The judge declared the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . “By virtue of this ruling, same-sex couples who seek to marry... More »

Gay Couples Marry Within Hour of Oregon's Decision

Dozens wed; state attorney general refuses to appeal

(Newser) - It was pretty easy to predict that US District Judge Michael McShane was going to overturn Oregon's gay marriage ban yesterday. So easy that gay couples were lined up for licenses beforehand, refreshing their smartphones as they awaited the news, the Oregonian reports. Oregon's attorney general had refused... More »

Gay Marriage Halted in Arkansas

Clerks still banned from issuing licenses, court says

(Newser) - Gay couples in Arkansas who didn't get marriage licenses in the past week won't be able to when county offices open today, after the state Supreme Court noted that the judge who struck down a same-sex marriage ban last week failed to also overturn relevant aspects of a... More »

Idaho Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

Yet another state's law declared unconstitutional

(Newser) - Same-sex couples in Idaho could get married as soon as Friday morning after a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional and wrongly relegates same-sex couples to second-class citizen status. The judge said the state must start issuing same-sex marriage licenses beginning at... More »

Straight People Need to See More Gay Kisses

Mark Joseph Stern on the reaction to Michael Sam's smooch

(Newser) - There was a distinct outpouring of disgust when Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend after being drafted on Saturday night. Some of it was just outright bigotry, but Mark Joseph Stern at Slate was interested to see many people saying they supported Sam in theory, but were nonetheless uncomfortable with the... More »

Nintendo's Way Behind on Gay Rights

Critics weigh in as company apologizes for game's straight-only relationships

(Newser) - A Nintendo game's failure to allow gay relationships is prompting a hard look at the video game industry, which critics say is stuck in the past. Studies show that players can form powerful bonds with their in-game avatars, and these virtual relationships are tied to self-esteem, writes Mark Griffiths... More »

Rams Draft Michael Sam, First Openly Gay Player

College star came out in February

(Newser) - The St. Louis Rams and Michael Sam made a little NFL history this evening, and in the nick of time. The Rams selected the star defensive end with the 249th overall pick in the NFL draft—out of 256 players—making him the first openly gay player ever drafted to... More »

Straight Dad Seeks Same Benefit Given to Gays

Canada's Alexander Angus didn't receive parental-leave benefits

(Newser) - A Canadian man has filed a human rights complaint because he, as a heterosexual dad, couldn't receive parental-leave benefits available to mothers and same-sex parents, the National Post reports. Alexander Angus, who works for the city of Victoria, BC, wasn't eligible for leave benefits "because of a)... More »

Louisiana Not Alone: 11 More States Still Ban Sodomy

Despite anti-sodomy laws being unconstitutional

(Newser) - The Supreme Court ruled sodomy bans unconstitutional 10 years ago, yet Louisiana voted to uphold its anti-sodomy law last week—and it's not the only state that still has such a law on the books. As the AP reports, Montana and Virginia were the only two of 14 states... More »

Louisiana Upholds Its Unconstitutional Sodomy Ban

Law voided in 2003 by Supreme Court can't be used as grounds for arrest

(Newser) - Louisiana voted resoundingly yesterday to keep its symbolic sodomy ban on the books—a ban made toothless more than a decade ago when the Supreme Court ruled that anti-sodomy laws can't be enforced. The bill that would have rid the state of the measure failed in the state's... More »

India Recognizes a Third Gender

Transgender recognition a 'human rights issue': high court

(Newser) - In a major Supreme Court decision today, India is changing the way it defines gender. Transgender people are now officially considered a third gender, along with male and female, the Washington Post reports. "Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a... More »

Cases the Supreme Court Avoided Today

Justices duck rulings on NSA, gay rights, campaign finance

(Newser) - The Supreme Court quietly made a bunch of headlines today, mainly by rejecting potentially explosive cases. Here's a roundup of the day's (in)action:
  • Gay rights: The court announced that it would not take up the highly charged case that began when a New Mexico wedding photographer refused to
... More »

Ohio to Recognize Gay Marriages From Other States

But state's own ban expected to stand

(Newser) - Gay rights advocates are poised to win at least a partial victory in Ohio. A federal judge in Cincinnati says he will issue an order by April 14 that the state must recognize gay marriages performed in other states, reports the AP . But Judge Timothy Black is not expected to... More »

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