gay rights

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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 »

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 »

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