State Supreme Court won’t hear Sweet Cakes by Melissa appeal

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has declined to consider the case of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the now-defunct bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013 based on the bakers’ religious objections.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Friday the Supreme Court turned down the case with no explanation.

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Jussie Smollett praises LGBT love in ‘Freedom’ music video

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Jussie Smollett has released the music video for “Freedom,” which features a same-sex couple celebrating their love for each other.

Tika Sumpter and Cynthia Erivo portray a lesbian couple who enjoy each other’s company throughout the video. At the end, the couple attends a party with gay and straight couples finding freedom in their love for each other.

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Two arrested in murder of lesbian couple, children in N.Y.

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Police in upstate New York have arrested two men in connection with the brutal murder of a lesbian couple and two children.

The Times Union newspaper reported prosecutors have charged Justin Mann with three counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder. James White has been charged with four counts of second-degree murder.

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Lesbian couple, two children murdered in upstate N.Y.

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A lesbian couple and two children were found dead in their apartment in Troy, N.Y., on Tuesday.

The Times Union newspaper reported the victims were two women who were 36- and 22-years-old, an 11-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. Police sources told the newspaper the victims were bound before their throats were slashed.

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Nebraska man faces two years in prison for burning rainbow flag

By : Wire Report
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identity-flagOmaha, Neb. (AP) – An Omaha man accused of stealing a gay pride rainbow flag and burning it has been found guilty.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that 24-year-old Cameron Mayfield was found guilty of arson. Prosecutors said that the charge was prosecuted as a felony, not a misdemeanor, because the incident was investigated as a hate crime.

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Actress and gay rights supporter Patty Duke dies at 69

By : Jamie Hyman
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Actress and LGBT activist Patty Duke has died. She was 69.

Duke has long been a supporter of LGBT rights, over the years raising money to fight HIV/AIDS. In 2013, Duke, alongside Meredith Baxter, guest starred as a lesbian couple on Glee. Their characters helped mentor a young gay couple on the show.

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Attorney in sperm donor case draws connection to marriage equality ruling

By : Wire Report
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas sperm donor’s battle to avoid being declared the legal father of a same-sex couple’s child has some similarities to the fight for gay marriage, the man’s attorney argued in court filings.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families has sought to have William Marotta of Topeka declared the father of the child born to Jennifer Schreiner in 2009. The state wants Marotta to be responsible for thousands of dollars in public assistant the state provided, as well as future child support.

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Space Coast Pride chooses grand marshals

By : Jamie Hyman
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The 9th annual Space Coast Pride will have grand marshals representing the L, the G and the T, but not the B.

“We were unable to locate a bisexual grand marshal,” Lexi Wright, president of Space Coast Pride, says when running down the list of the chosen individuals. “Our original intent was to select one grand marshal to represent each letter of LGBT who has contributed to the community.”

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Lesbian couple attacked at Six Flags in Massachusetts

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AGAWAM, Mass. (AP) – Police say two western Massachusetts women attacked a lesbian couple from Rhode Island whom they saw kissing at Six Flags New England.

The Republican of Springfield reports that 29-year-old Damarielys Mukhtar and 27-year-old Nikia Butt were charged with assault and a civil rights violation with injury in connection with the July 29 incident at the amusement park in Agawam. Mukhtar also was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

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Gay teachers reach settlement with school that fired them

By : Staff Report
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ORLANDO – Jaclyn Pfeiffer and Kelly Bardier, the preschool workers who were fired from the Aloma Methodist Early Childhood Learning Center in March for being gay, have reached a settlement with the Aloma United Methodist Church.

Pfeiffer worked at the Aloma ECLC for two years before being terminated on March 19. Pfeiffer said that she was let go after Bardier, her girlfriend, was hired at the school as a substitute teacher and rumors of their relationship began.

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Oregon bakery faces up to $150K in discrimination fines

By : Staff Report
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Gresham, Ore. – An Oregon bakery faces fines of up to $150,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries announced Feb. 2 that Sweet Cakes by Melissa would be facing fines and that the owners’ refusal of service violated the state’s nondiscrimination ordinance.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused service to a Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman in January 2013. The Kleins had refused to bake the wedding cake because of the Kleins’ religious beliefs.

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Florida set to become prime southern wedding destination

By : Wire Report
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Yulee, Fla. (AP) – With gay marriage now legal in Florida, same-sex couples from around the Deep South crossed the border Jan. 6 as the Sunshine State became a prime regional destination for gay and lesbian weddings still banned back home.

Out-of-state couples lined up outside county courthouses early Tuesday in the Panhandle and northern Florida counties. Some drove for hours to get marriage licenses at the first opportunity.

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