With same-sex marriage all but a done deal, the next fight for LGBT equality is discrimination disguised as religion

By : Jamie Hyman
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Few combative issues have raised eyebrows as much as the recent string of legislation promoting “religious freedom.”

A recent push to create bills designed to protect business owners from having to engage in services that are against their religious beliefs has surfaced in more than half of our country’s states. The problem is that these Religious Freedom Restoration Acts—also known as RFRAs—are frequently wielded as a weapon allowing business owners to deny service to LGBTs.

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Former Arkansas governor compares being gay to using alcohol, profanity

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Feb. 1 said being gay is akin to choosing to drink alcohol or use profanity — lifestyle choices he says are appealing to others but not to him.

The former Baptist pastor, who is weighing a second run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, also claimed that forcing people of faith to accept gay marriage as policy is on par with telling Jews that they must serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli.” That dish would run afoul of kosher rules in the same way Huckabee sees asking Christians to accept same-sex marriages.

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Leather’s deep LGBT history is the secret behind its endurance

By : Steve Blanchard and Samantha Lena Rosenthal
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At the New York Stonewall Riots in 1969, it was members of the leather community who stood next to the drag queens to fight for equality, an act that kicked off the modern-day LGBT rights movement. That brought the leather culture out of the shadows and into the light. Ever since then, the Leather Community has seen an ebb and flow of support both within its own ranks and from within the overall LGBT community.

Today, the leather-clad within our community are still active, raising thousands of dollars for charities locally and nationwide. Yet it remains one of the most misunderstood segments of our population and is often seen by those not familiar as a world made solely of sex, role play and BDSM.

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Puppy Space

By : Steve Blanchard
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Jaeger Pup and Pup Flip Gray are Puppymates. The co-owners of the International Puppy Contest, held each year at the Flamingo Resort, also identify as boyfriends. But that’s only when they aren’t in “puppy space.”

“For me, puppy headspace is just letting go of all the human inhibitions and living in the moment,” explains Jaeger Pup, 51, of Spring Hill. “The best way to explain it is like when you see a puppy he does whatever he wants to do. He runs out of control, sniffs, plays and follows no real set of rules.”

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Legally Wed

By : Steve Blanchard
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Asking Spring Hill couple Sir Shadow and Topher if they support marriage equality will elicit a sly smile. That’s because the two, who identify as a Dom and a pup, respectively, were legally married in New York last year.

“He is my husband first,” explains Topher, 33.

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12.4.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185Let the emails begin.

I am fully prepared for a flood of messages asking if I’ve lost my mind or if I’m happy that I’ve perpetuated a gay stereotype with this issue’s in-depth section on the local Leather Community. To each of those letters I plan to respond the same way: “Did you actually read the section or did you just see leather and immediately get offended?”

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Residents in small South Carolina town rally around fired gay cop

By : Wire Report
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LATTA, S.C. (AP) – When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as “questionable,” she expected her two decade career in law enforcement was over.

Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.

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