South Florida judge who ruled on gay adoption case set to retire

By : Wire Report
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MIAMI | For the past three years, Judge Cindy Lederman has walked by a half-dozen statues of playful bear cubs every day on her way up to her high-ceilinged, top-floor office looking out toward Miami’s waterfront. On a shelf behind her desk, below rows of glass awards and family photos, sit two teddy bears. In six months, she’ll take them with her and walk past the statues for the last time.

The stuffed bears are from a program the retiring judge helped start 20 years ago to give every child who came to juvenile court a teddy bear. The building, Miami-Dade County’s three-year-old children’s courthouse, and its bear statutes — meant to be played with by those same unlucky children who find themselves needing court hearings — were a project she began working on with colleagues more than a decade ago to replace Miami-Dade’s previous and notoriously horrible children’s courthouse.

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Gays on strike in Israel over exclusion from surrogacy law

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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP)| Hundreds of Israeli LGBT advocates and their supporters are on strike, protesting the exclusion of gay men from a recently passed surrogacy law.

Protesters marched in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities on July 22, waving rainbow flags and briefly blocking a major highway.

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House panel approves ‘religious freedom’ anti-LGBTQ adoption amendment

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) introduced a “religious freedom” anti-LGBTQ adoption amendment. Photo via public domain.

A House committee approved on Wednesday as part of major appropriations legislation an amendment seen to allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny placement into LGBTQ families over religious objections.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), would bar the federal government and state or localities from denying funds to adoption agencies that have “declined or will decline to provide, facilitate or refer for a child welfare service that conflicts with, or under circumstances that conflict with, the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs of convictions.”

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Tech Giants Apple, Google oppose Kansas adoption bill

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Tech giants Google and Apple oppose adoption legislation in Kansas that many in the LGBTQ community consider discriminatory.

An organization of more than 80 companies called TechNet sent legislators a letter Friday calling the measure a “license to discriminate.” The organization includes Google and Apple.

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House rejects bill letting agencies refuse LGBT adoptions

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has rejected a bill that would have allowed adoption and foster care contractors to refuse placements to gay and lesbian couples based on religious grounds.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the House voted down the measure Thursday, hours after the state Senate approved nearly identical legislation. The bill now goes to a conference committee, where lawmakers from the House and the Senate will negotiate a final bill.

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Ex-Kentucky judge reprimanded for stance on gay adoptions

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky judge who raised moral objections to handling adoption cases involving same-sex couples has quit the bench, but he still received a rebuke from a judicial disciplinary commission.

Former Judge W. Mitchell Nance was publicly reprimanded Tuesday by the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission. The commission said that was the only sanction available due to Nance’s previously announced retirement, which took effect last Saturday.

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Why having a family is easier than ever for Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ couples

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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When Randy Lowe met Joshua Melendez five years ago, both men were entering their 50s. “I just kind of assumed that having a family wasn’t going to be an option for me,” says Randy, who runs the event coordinating business Lowe and Behold, and had recently lost his partner, Jason, to brain cancer. At the time, Joshua had been taking care of two young boys occasionally on weekends to give their single mother a break to run errands or have a moment to herself.

Randy loved having the boys around. It was then that the couple realized they wanted kids. “I thought, ‘Wow. This is really beautiful to have these little boys with us,’” says Randy. He decided that if he and Joshua ended up together, he wanted to pursue options to have a family of his own.

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Issue 24.23: We Are Family

By : Jake Stevens
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Why having a family is easier than ever for Central Florida and Tampa Bay LGBTQ couples, MBA Orlando holds its Pride Gala, Mayor Kriseman wins re-election in St. Pete, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Hearing set for Kentucky judge who refused to handle adoptions by same-sex couples

By : Wire Report
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A panel says ethics charges will proceed against a Kentucky judge who declared his conscientious objection to handling adoption cases involving gay and lesbian adults, despite his resignation last week.

News outlets report the state Judicial Conduct Commission announced Oct. 30 that a hearing for Judge W. Mitchell Nance is scheduled for Dec. 15, a day before his resignation takes effect. The 66-year-old Nance has presided over family court cases in Barren and Metcalfe counties in rural south-central Kentucky.

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Chilean president introduces same-sex marriage, adoption bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Monday introduced a bill that would extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples.

Ronaldo Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, is among those who attended the announcement that took place at the presidential palace in the country’s capital of Santiago. Nicolás Levy, the Washington Blade’s correspondent in Chile, was also in attendance.

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Texas lawmakers advance anti-LGBT adoption, bathroom bills

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Under a threat from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of being called into a special session, the Texas Legislature late Sunday advanced two anti-LGBT measures — one pertaining to adoption, the other transgender students — with days remaining before lawmakers were set to adjourn.

The Texas Senate voted 21-10 to pass House Bill 3859, which would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse to place children in homes over religious objections. Given that many of these agencies are religious in nature, that could lead to them refusing to place children with LGBT families.

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Kentucky judge won’t hear adoption cases if adults are gay

By : Wire Report
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky family court judge says he won’t hear any more adoption cases that involve gay adults.

The Courier-Journal reports Judge Mitchell Nance issued an order Thursday saying he believes that “under no circumstance” would “the best interest of the child be promoted by the adoption by a practicing homosexual.”

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