Ariz. court rules for wedding invitation business seeking to turn away gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled the City of Phoenix cannot apply its LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance to penalize a local business for refusing to make custom-made invitations for a same-sex wedding, delivering a victory for groups seeking to justify anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.”

In a 4-3 decision written by Justice Andrew Gould, the court determines the guarantee of freedom of religion and speech under the Arizona state constitution permits Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studios, LC, to deny services to same-sex couples.

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Juneau drag queen one of eight competing in national pageant

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) | Gigi Monroe is going to Hollywood.

The Juneau drag queen will be one of eight competing in a new Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition debuting during RuPaul’s DragCon 2019 in Los Angeles.

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19-year term for ex-youth care worker convicted of sex abuse

By : wire report
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PHOENIX (AP) | A former youth care worker convicted of sexually abusing seven teenage boys at a Phoenix-area shelter for immigrant children has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Levian D. Pacheco of Phoenix faced a tougher punishment at his Jan. 14 sentencing because he exposed some victims to the HIV virus.

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Court will take up Phoenix’s anti-discrimination ordinance

By : wire report
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PHOENIX (AP) | The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Jan. 23 in a challenge of Phoenix’s anti-discrimination ordinance that makes it illegal for businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples for religion reasons.

Two Christian artists who operate a business that makes invitations and other wedding-related items argue that the ordinance will violate their religious beliefs by forcing them to custom-make products for same-sex marriage ceremonies.

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Phoenix to install rainbow crosswalks to honor gay pride

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Rainbow crosswalks in Tucson. Image from Historic Fourth Avenue Facebook.

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix city officials have approved turning some crosswalks into a point of gay pride.

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Suspect in July 12 arson at Phoenix youth center arrested

By : Wire Report
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Darren Beach Jr.

PHOENIX (AP) – Authorities say a suspect in an arson that damaged a Phoenix LGBT youth center has been arrested.

Phoenix police say 26-year-old Darren Beach Jr. was booked into jail on July 28 on suspicion of arson of an occupied structure.

It’s unclear if Beach has a lawyer yet.

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Suspect in arson at Phoenix LGBT youth center identified

By : Wire Report
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PHOENIX (AP) – Authorities have identified a suspect in an arson that damaged a Phoenix LGBT youth center.

Phoenix Fire Department officials say recovered video evidence shows a man pouring liquid on the floor of the one.n.ten center on July 12 and then stepping outside just before a room goes up in flames.

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Transgender-inclusive benefits OK’d for Phoenix city employees

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PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Healthcare Task Force has approved transgender-inclusive benefits for city employees.

Mayor Greg Stanton says Phoenix will be the first city in Arizona taking such strong steps to support a diverse workforce.

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Scruff targets Superbowl fans outside of stadium

By : Staff Report
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Phoenix – Football fans headed to the big game might find themselves recruited to the opposite team.

Scruff, a gay social networking app, bought a 48-foot billboard outside the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of Superbowl XLIX.

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Pressure mounts over Arizona bill opposed by gays

By : Wire Report
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Phoenix, Ariz.-  Republican Gov. Jan Brewer faces intensifying pressure this week from CEOs, politicians in Washington and state lawmakers in her own party to veto a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to lesbians and gays.

Senate Bill 1062 has set off a political firestorm since the Arizona Legislature passed it on Feb. 20, with critics denouncing the measure as blatantly discriminatory and embarrassing to the state.

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Arizona marriage equality attorney hopes to get decision before Utah ruling

By : Wire Report
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PHOENIX (AP) – An attorney who filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban said he hopes to get a decision from a federal judge before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on any similar challenge from another state.

The lawsuit filed by four same-sex couples who live in Arizona came Jan. 6 as the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages in Utah while a federal appeals court considers the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to wed in that state.

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