Utah lawmakers postpone vote to make adoption fair for gay couples

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GayUtahAbstrSalt Lake City (AP) – Utah lawmakers postponed a vote on a proposal to ensure married gay couples are treated equally as married heterosexual couples in adoptions and foster care placements.

The vote was pushed off Feb. 12 after legislators cited worries about the late hour and concerns that some had about the measure.

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Hawaii lawmakers have consider conversion therapy ban

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Honolulu (AP) – Hawaii lawmakers have introduced a bill banning a hotly disputed treatment that aims to turn gay teens heterosexual on the basis that being gay is an illness.

The proposed law, which was introduced in both the Senate and the House, says being gay is not a disorder. Supporters of the ban on gay-conversion therapy say it would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens from serious harm caused when parents force them into therapy to become heterosexual.

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Tennessee counties try to defy marriage equality

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Rogersville, Tenn. (AP) – Despite last week’s defeat of a proposed state bill that sought to defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, two Tennessee counties have attempted to vote on resolutions against the ruling.

A Hawkins County resolution against the ruling was approved 13-3 on Jan. 25 with three abstentions, the Kingsport Times-News reported.

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South Dakota restricts bathroom use to “match” biological sex

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Pierre, S.D. (AP) – A House committee has approved a measure that would require public school students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their biological sex.

The panel sent the plan to the full chamber.

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Anti-gay Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act voted down

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Nashville (AP) – A bill seeking to block the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling in Tennessee is defeated in the state House over concerns about nullifying federal rulings.

The Civil Justice Subcommittee voted 4-1 against the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon, who argued that the ruling should not supersede an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

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Texas lawmaker delays transgender ‘bathroom bill’

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Austin, Texas (AP) – A top House Republican delayed a hearing on controversial legislation on April 15 that would limit transgender students’ use of school bathrooms and locker rooms, saying the author needed to its soften language.

The bill’s author, Pasadena Republican Rep. Gilbert Pena, said the legislation would be “toned down” – but didn’t offer many specifics – after the chairman of the powerful House State Affairs Committee removed it from the panel’s agenda because the language was too harsh.

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Bill banning gay marriage brought before Texas House

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Austin, Texas (AP) – A contentious debate is expected as a Texas House committee hears a bill barring state and local employees from licensing or recognizing same-sex marriages – even if the U.S. Supreme Court authorizes them.

The “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act” by Magnolia Republican Rep. Cecil Bell Jr. was heard on March 25.

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Oklahoma House passes bill shifting marriage license authority from state to clergy

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has approved legislation that shifts the issuance of marriage licenses from the state to members of the clergy.

House members voted 67-24 for the measure March 10 and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

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Ala. bill seeks protection for judges who won’t marry same-sex couples

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — As Alabama wrestles over the issue of same-sex marriage, some lawmakers are seeking legal protections for judges, ministers and others who refuse to officiate at, or recognize, weddings that violate their religious beliefs.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 9-4 on March 5 to pass the bill, which is part of the House Republican caucus agenda for the session. Proponents said the bill is needed so people won’t face lawsuits for refusing to go against their religious beliefs, while critics said it would legalize discrimination.

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Oklahoma anti-gay marriage bill threatens court clerks with job loss

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Judges or court clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples would lose their jobs under a bill that has been approved by a House committee.

The House Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee voted 5-3 on Feb. 17 for the “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act.” The bill now proceeds to the full House for a vote.

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Oklahoma bill could allow ministers to refuse to license gay weddings

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill that would allow Oklahoma ministers to be immune from civil liability for refusing to officiate a same-sex marriage has cleared a House committee.

The bill by Broken Arrow Republican Rep. David Brumbaugh passed the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday with a 7-2 vote. It now heads to the full House for consideration.

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Idaho moves forward with gender identity and sexual orientation protections

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Boise, Idaho (AP) – Idaho Republican leaders announced a change of course and approved the introduction of a bill that would include sexual orientation and gender identity protections in the state’s Human Rights Act.

The House Ways and Means Committee, made up of Republican legislative leadership, voted 6-1 Jan. 14 to bring the proposed legislation to a full hearing. The legislation, commonly called the “Add the Words” bill has been denied a public hearing for nine consecutive years.

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