Tennessee bill would allow adoption groups to turn away gays

By : wire report
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) | Tennessee lawmakers are working to become the latest state to ensure faith-based adoption agencies can refuse to place children with gay parents and other families because of their religious beliefs with facing any penalties.

The GOP-dominant House on Monday overwhelmingly voted 67-22 in support of the proposal after a brief but tense debate. The bill must now pass the similarly GOP-controlled Senate before it can reach Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for final approval.

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Fit for Print: Stop weaponizing religion

By : Steve Blanchard
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From a very young age it was drummed into me that there was a right way to act and a wrong way to act. I’m talking, of course, about my days in church.

Fortunately, the church I attended wasn’t a fire and brimstone kind of place. There were plenty of messages about kindness, doing unto others and helping those who are less fortunate. But every message had the same footnote: “By the way, stay on the straight and narrow and avoid an eternity in the fiery pits of hell. Do what you’re told to do and the big man in the sky who spends all of his time spying on you won’t have a reason to punish you forever.”

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Ex-Colorado official: No bias in same-sex wedding cake case

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DENVER (AP) — A former Colorado civil rights commissioner whose remarks on religion were the basis of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling for a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple insisted last Wednesday she has no religious bias and wouldn’t have said anything if she’d known how her remarks would be used.

Diann Rice acknowledged she made remarks cited by the high court when it ruled last Monday in favor of Jack Phillips, a suburban Denver baker. But she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that she made the comments after Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission already had ruled against Phillips and for Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins.

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Fight brews with farmer who bars LGBTQ weddings at orchard

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A farmer wants the courts to step in after he was barred from a Michigan farmers market because he doesn’t allow gay couples to marry at his apple orchard.

The Lansing State Journal reports that a conservative Christian nonprofit is representing farmer Steve Tennes.

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Kansas, Oklahoma approve religious veto on LGBTQ adoptions

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State lawmakers in Kansas and Oklahoma have approved legislation to grant legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that cite their religious beliefs for not placing children in LGBTQ homes.

Supporters of such measures argued that the core issue is protecting a group’s right to live out its religious faith, while critics saw them as attacks on LGBTQ rights. Both Kansas and Oklahoma have GOP-controlled legislatures and governors, but in Kansas, the proposal split Republicans.

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Hawaii appeals court sides with lesbian couple denied B&B

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HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii bed and breakfast discriminated against a couple by denying a room to two women because they’re gay, a state appeals court affirmed.

Aloha Bed & Breakfast owner Phyllis Young had argued she should be allowed to turn away gay couples because of her religious beliefs. She appealed a 2013 lower court ruling that ordered her to stop discriminating against same-sex couples.

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Mississippi governor: ‘Secular’ world angry over LGBT law

By : Wire Report
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phil-bryantJACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says the “secular, progressive world” vented anger at him for signing a bill that would let clerks cite religious beliefs to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Republican Bryant spoke in Washington as the conservative Family Research Council gave him an award May 26 for signing that bill and a similar one in 2014 called the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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LGBT community braces for impact of new Tennessee counseling law

By : Wire Report
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Roddy Biggs was 13 and depressed, and had been seeing a therapist for six months before he revealed something he had denied even to himself: He was gay.

It took time because he hadn’t fully acknowledged his sexuality, but also because he had to trust the therapist, he said.

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Missouri religious objection bill fails in House legislative committee

By : Wire Report
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Jefferson City, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri religious objections proposal fails to get the approval of a key legislative committee in a setback for conservatives who hoped to add protections for those who cite their faith in denying services such as flowers or cakes for same-sex weddings.

Members of a House committee voted 6-6, with a tie vote not enough to advance the measure.

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Court dismisses Kim Davis’ lawsuit against Kentucky

By : Wire Report
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Frankfort, Ky. (AP) – A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis filed against the state for requiring her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples that included her name.

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Mississippi church a window into national LGBT rights debate

By : Wire Report
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BRANDON, Miss. — On many Sundays, conservative Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant can be found in the sanctuary at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, almost always in his trademark suit and boots, often among those helping pass the offering plates.

In the same sanctuary — sometimes just a few wooden pews away — are Jan Smith and Donna Phillips, a same-sex couple who are also active in the suburban Jackson church and have a 9-year-old daughter named Hannah.

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Bill allowing counselors to reject patients based on “personal beliefs” passes state House

By : Wire Report
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Nashville, Tenn. (AP) – A bill that would allow counselors to turn away patients based on sincerely held personal beliefs has passed in the House in Tennessee and is close to getting to the governor. The Senate, which already passed the measure, still has to approve an amendment adopted by the House.

The bill passed 68 to 22 following a rancorous debate on the House floor.

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