Judge says Tampa should be barred from enforcing parts of conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | A federal magistrate judge has recommended that the city of Tampa be barred from enforcing parts of its ban on the discredited practice of conversion therapy.

Tampa’s Ordinance 2017-47 is designed to protect the physical and psychological well-being of LGBTQ youth from “exposure to the serious harms and risk caused by conversion therapy.” It was signed into law in April 2017.

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Psychotherapist challenges Maryland’s conversion therapy ban

By : wire report
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) | A Virginia-based psychotherapist is suing to overturn Maryland’s ban on conversion therapy for minors, saying it prevents him from taking clients with an “unwanted same-sex attraction.”

The Baltimore Sun reports Christopher Doyle filed a federal lawsuit Jan. 18, arguing the ban adopted last year violates his rights, as well as clients’ rights “to prioritize their religious and moral values.”

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Anti-LGBTQ activists target Pasco County Schools

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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PASCO COUNTY | Anti-LGBTQ activists are targeting Pasco County Schools for the district’s internal efforts to support LGBTQ students, utilizing a 26-page “pastor packet” to mobilize for the “Protect our Children Project” during school board meetings and more.

The project is spearheaded by anti-LGBTQ activist Terry Kemple, president of the Community Issues Council. The organization’s website advises its primary method of operation “is conducting small local gatherings of pastors” to protect “the traditional family” and shield “our children from indoctrination in the public schools.”

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Anti-LGBTQ group targets Pasco County schools, psychologist

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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PASCO COUNTY | The anti-LGBTQ organization known as Liberty Counsel has targeted Pasco County Schools and district school psychologist Jackie Jackson-Dean for utilizing a guide designed to assist educators in understanding LGBTQ students.

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Conservative groups upset over ‘boycott’ by LGBT Bar Association

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Two national litigation groups that specialize in lawsuits seeking to overturn LGBT rights laws issued a joint statement last week denouncing the National LGBT Bar Association for calling on the nation’s lawyers and law firms to refuse to provide free legal services for the two groups.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the Colorado baker in the now famous anti-LGBT Supreme Court decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, and the Liberty Counsel accused the D.C.-based National LGBT Bar Association of fomenting anti-religious bias.

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Gainesville first north Florida city to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. | Gainesville became the first city in north Florida to ban conversion therapy for minors April 5 when the Gainesville City Commission unanimously voted to outlaw the practice.

The ordinance will “prohibit licensed professionals from engaging in counseling efforts, practices or treatments with the goal to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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Pro-LGBTQ groups file motion for Equality Florida to defend Tampa’s conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the law firm Carlton Fields have filed a motion on behalf of Equality Florida to defend Tampa’s conversion therapy ban.

In December, the anti-LGBTQ group known as Liberty Counsel filed a suit against the city for banning the practice of conversion therapy on minors, citing a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

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Petition urges Jamaica to ban anti-LGBT U.S. pastor

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Photo courtesy Facebook

A Jamaican activist is petitioning his government to ban an anti-LGBT American pastor from entering the country.

A petition that Jay John posted to Change.org notes Steven Anderson has previously said gay men should be stoned to death. The petition also notes Anderson has celebrated the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and has spoken against women’s rights.

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Anti-LGBTQ group files suit against Tampa’s conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | An anti-LGBTQ group known as Liberty Counsel has filed a suit against the city of Tampa for banning the practice of conversion therapy on minors, citing a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The ban was first proposed by Councilman Guido Maniscalco in early 2017, and Tampa’s City Council voted unanimously on April 6 to ban the practice of attempting to psychologically change an individual’s sexual orientation.

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Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to seek re-election

By : Wire Report
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples will run for re-election in 2018, facing voters for the first time since her protest against marriage equality in rural Appalachia provoked a national uproar.

Kim Davis could face a familiar foe: A gay man to whom she refused to issue a marriage license said he’s seriously considering running against her.

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Florida Christian ministry sues watchdog group over hate label

By : Wire Report
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – A Florida-based evangelical ministry is suing a liberal watchdog organization that called it a hate group because of its stance against LGBT rights.

The federal religious discrimination lawsuit was filed this week by D. James Kennedy Ministries of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, against the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. It seeks an unspecified amount of money.

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Liberty Counsel takes another jab at transgender community

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – Never ones to shy away from controversy, the Liberty Counsel – headed by Mat Staver in Orlando – is raising its hackles against the Affordable Care Act’s clause that is “forcing all doctors and staff [to] perform gender reassignment surgeries and hormone treatments on patients, even children,” according to a press release.

Eight states joined in arguments in a Texas federal court on Dec. 20 after “The Department of Health and Human Services intentionally refused any religious exemptions, despite dozens of requests, and essentially is demanding faith-based organizations and religious people [to] bow to LGBTQ demands.”

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