Governor signs bill to help gay veterans get vets benefits

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ABOVE: Gov. Gina Raimondo (c) celebrates Pride Month June 3. Photo via Raimondo’s Facebook page.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) | Rhode Island’s governor has ceremoniously signed legislation to help veterans get state and local benefits after being discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed it Friday at the State House. She officially signed it into effect as the legislative session ended in June.

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Priest begs gays not to leave church over bishop’s tweet

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) | A priest is asking parishioners not to leave his church over a tweet by Rhode Island’s bishop urging Roman Catholics to not support or attend LGBTQ Pride Month events.

The Rev. Edward L. Pieroni begged gay and lesbian parishioners not to leave the church during Sunday services at St. Raymond’s Roman Catholic Church in Providence, The Boston Globe reported.

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For same-sex couples, a new path to legal parenthood

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BOSTON (AP) | When Sara Watson’s partner got pregnant with their son through in vitro fertilization, they were overjoyed. Then the fear came.

They weren’t married, so Watson had no legal rights as Eli’s parent even though her eggs were used to conceive him with donor sperm. If the worst happened, Watson wondered, would she even be able to bring their baby home from the hospital?

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Hawaii governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday signed into law a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors.

“Sexual orientation is not an illness to be ‘cured’ — we accept you just the way you are,” said Ige in a tweet that included a picture of him signing the bill.

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Rhode Island House votes to ban ‘gay or trans panic’ defense

By : Wire Report
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Rhode Island House of Representatives has voted to prohibit the “gay or trans panic” defense, a controversial legal strategy that seeks to use a victim’s sexual orientation or identity as justification for a violent crime.

The House voted to ban the legal defense May 23. It will now go to the Senate.

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The Tender Activist: The problem with inclusive language

By : Scottie Campbell
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If we’ve only recently met, it isn’t likely I will call you by name. It isn’t that I don’t want to extend that courtesy, it’s that I don’t want to get it wrong.

I might not ask about your significant other, unless I’m absolutely certain you’re still together. It’s not that I don’t care; I’m afraid I’ll put you in an awkward position if something has changed. When I say I’m afraid of these things, I mean that sincerely. The potential embarrassment is debilitating for me.

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Rhode Island becomes 10th state to ban ‘ex-gay’ therapy

By : Chris Johnson of the Washingston Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The governor of Rhode Island signed into law Wednesday a measure that bans widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors, the 10th state in the nation with such a prohibition.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, announced on Twitter she signed the measure via a retweet of a Human Rights Campaign sticker declaring “victory for LGBT youth in Rhode Island.”

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Rhode Island House votes to ban gay conversion therapy

By : Wire Report
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Rhode Island House of Representatives has voted to pass a bill that would bar licensed health care providers from using so-called gay conversion therapy to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The House voted 69-0 to pass the bill May 30, with six legislators not voting. It now moves to the state Senate.

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Training aims to help Rhode Island police better serve LGBTQ community

By : Wire Report
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP)  Providence police are introducing additional training to help officers interact with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Mayor Jorge Elorza and Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements say they’re dedicated to creating LGBTQ-inclusive policies for members of the department as well as specific training curriculum for the next police academy.

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Church fires music director for marrying same-sex partner

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A music director at a Catholic church in Rhode Island says he has been fired because he married a man.

Michael Templeton tells The Providence Journal he was fired last week from his post at the Church of St. Mary in Providence. He says the Rev. Francesco Francese and a representative of the Diocese of Providence told him he needed to leave because of his 2015 marriage to his partner of five years.

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State-by-state, LGBT rights and religious freedom will be big in 2016

By : Wire Report
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Jefferson City, Mo. (AP) – With same-sex marriage now legal nationwide, lawmakers in numerous states are preparing for a new round of battles in 2016 over whether to grant discrimination protections to LGBT people or religious exemptions to nonprofits and businesses that object to gay marriage.

The tussle over civil rights and religious freedoms is one of several hot-button issues that could drive states in opposite policy directions, as lawmakers seek to appeal to voters during a year in which more than 5,800 state legislative seats will be up for election.

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28 states lack statewide LGBT protection laws

By : Wire Report
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In the absence of a federal law banning discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, there is a sharp split among the states, with some enacting such protections and a majority opting not to. According to LGBT-rights advocacy groups, here’s the latest breakdown:

-28 states have no explicit statewide protections for sexual orientation and gender identity: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.

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