Attorneys defend Mississippi law on denying LGBT services

By : Wire Report
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Attorneys for Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant are defending a state law that lets government workers and private business people cite religious beliefs to deny services to LGBT people.

In arguments filed Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court, they wrote that the law protects people from being penalized for refusing to participate in activities they consider “immoral,” such as same-sex marriage.

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Judge rejects couple’s argument for refusing LGBTQ customers

By : Wire Report
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A federal judge has dismissed a legal challenge by the owners of a Minnesota video company who want to shoot weddings for heterosexual couples only.

Carl and Angel Larsen own Telescope Media Group and filed a lawsuit in December against the state’s human rights commissioner and attorney general contesting a Minnesota law that bans businesses from denying wedding services to same-sex couples. The St. Cloud couple’s lawsuit was a pre-emptive effort to avoid penalties for turning away same-sex customers.

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Anti-LGBT groups on rise again with Trump in White House

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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(ABOVE: President Trump meets on July 10 for a prayer meeting with leaders from anti-LGBT groups. (Photo courtesy Facebook))

Social conservative advocates and groups seeking to undermine LGBT rights — once thought to be waning in influence — appear to have experienced a resurgence with President Trump in the White House.

The growing power of anti-LGBT groups, such as the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Heritage Foundation, can be seen in the policies enacted by Trump against the LGBT community as well as the close interaction between social conservatives and his administration.

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Sessions: DOJ guidance on ‘religious freedom’ on the way

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Guidance from the U.S. Justice Department assuring protections for “religious freedom” — which is considered code among conservatives to mean anti-LGBT discrimination — is coming shortly, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this week.

Sessions said the guidance is coming soon during closed-door remarks before a “religious freedom” summit in Orange County, Calif., hosted by Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT legal group. Although the Justice Department refused to make the speech public, the Federalist, a conservative website, published a copy Thursday.

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Sessions to rally crowd at anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ summit

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — known for his anti-LGBT record — was set to speak Tuesday at an event for the anti-LGBT legal group representing before the U.S. Supreme Court a Colorado baker that denied a wedding cake to a same-sex couple for religious reasons.

Media outlets, including Buzzfeed, reported Sessions’ public schedule was updated Tuesday during his trip to California to include on the same day at 5:30 local time a speech in Orange County at Alliance Defending Freedom’s “religious freedom” summit. The remarks were closed to press.

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Anti-LGBT legal organization designated a hate group

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The Southern Poverty Law Center on Wednesday announced it has designated an anti-LGBT legal organization as a hate group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is based in Montgomery, Ala., describes the Alliance Defending Freedom as “a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally.” The Southern Poverty Law Center on Wednesday also released a series of anti-LGBT statements that current and former Alliance Defending Freedom staffers and their supporters have made.

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4 churches drop lawsuit challenging Massachusetts’ transgender law

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – Four churches have withdrawn a federal lawsuit that claimed a state law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in public restrooms violated their constitutional right to religious freedom.

The conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom sued in October on behalf of the churches, saying they would be forced to open changing rooms, shower facilities and restrooms based on perceived gender identity and not on biological sex. It said that because the new law also prohibits covered entities from making statements intended to discriminate, it would force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s view.

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Minnesota video company challenges state’s same-sex marriage law

By : Wire Report
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The owners of a video company have filed a legal challenge to Minnesota’s same-sex marriage law because they want to shoot weddings for heterosexual couples only.

Carl and Angel Larsen say they will be punished for refusing wedding services to same-sex couples. The St. Cloud couple owns Telescope Media Group and filed a lawsuit against the state’s human rights commission and attorney general.

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Republicans file brief against marriage equality in New Mexico

By : Wire Report
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Nearly two dozen current and former Republican legislators are urging New Mexico’s highest court to declare that state law prohibits same-sex marriage.

The Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the legislators with the state Supreme Court in a case that could resolve whether gay marriage is legal in New Mexico.

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