Ohio man executed for 1985 ‘gay panic’ murder

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LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) | The state of Ohio put a condemned killer to death on July 18 for a more than three-decade-old fatal stabbing in what was the state’s first execution in several months.

Robert Van Hook was sentenced to death for strangling and stabbing David Self after picking him up in a Cincinnati bar in 1985. Van Hook, 58, had no remaining appeals, and Republican Gov. John Kasich rejected his request for clemency without comment.

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Out comedian Kevin Allison brings award-winning podcast to Tampa and Orlando

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Comedian Kevin Allison knows a thing or two about coming out. As one part of the hive-mind behind MTV’s cult classic sketch series “The State,” Allison publicly came out in the mid-’90s. He says it was an easy decision because he knew he was gay with his first conscious thoughts.

Since then, he’s dedicated his life to helping others come out, not just as a member of the LGBTQ community, but about anything—utilizing his award-winning live show and podcast “RISK.” With over two million monthly downloads, it highlights real people (and the occasional celebrity) as they share real stories in public that they never thought they’d dare to discuss.

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Marriage opponent wins first round of Costa Rica presidential election

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A vocal opponent of marriage rights for same-sex couples has won the first round of Costa Rica’s presidential election.

The New York Times reported Fabricio Alvarado of the National Restoration Party received nearly 25 percent of the vote on Sunday. Alvarado, a Pentecostal minister and singer who is a former journalist, will face off against Carlos Alvarado of the leftist Citizen’s Action Party in the second round that will take place on April 1.

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Malta to legalize same-sex marriage despite Catholic church protests

By : Wire Report
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VALLETTA, Malta (AP) – The predominantly Roman Catholic island nation of Malta is set to legalize same-sex marriage, joining much of Western Europe by replacing the traditional “you are now husband and wife” declaration in civil ceremonies with “you are now spouses.”

The Catholic Church had opposed the legislation, which the Labor government promised to introduce as its first law after winning a second term last month and which both opposition parties support. The only question heading into the July 12 parliamentary vote was whether there would be any votes against.

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Pope backs opposition to Mexico’s same-sex marriage proposal

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VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis has voiced support for Mexican bishops and citizens opposing the government’s push to legalize same-sex marriage.

At his weekly Sunday blessing Sept. 25, Francis said he willingly joined their protest “in favor of family and life, which in these times require special pastoral and cultural attention around the world.”

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Kaine says Catholic Church might change on marriage equality

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine is predicting that the Roman Catholic Church may eventually change its opposition to same-sex marriage.

Kaine is a devout Roman Catholic as well as a U.S. senator from Virginia and a former governor of that state. He told the Human Rights Campaign during its national dinner Sept. 10 in Washington that he had changed his mind about same-sex marriage and that his church may follow suit one day.

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Boy Scout performs gay community service for Eagle Scout project

By : Wire Report
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Chicago (AP) – David Fite had already earned the 21 Boy Scout merit badges needed to earn the coveted rank of Eagle. But he still had to complete a community service project.

Now 16, he’d always been a gung-ho scout, dutiful, polite and committed. But he’d also been disappointed with the organization’s longstanding ban on openly gay scouts and leaders, so much so that he’d considered quitting. “I knew it wasn’t right,” said Fite, who has many family friends who are gay or lesbian – some of them honorary “aunts” and “uncles” who’ve given him money for camp and other scouting projects over the years.

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Pacquiao apologizes for homophobic statements after being dropped from Nike deal

By : Wire Report
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Manila, Philippines (AP) – Boxing star and Philippine Senate candidate Manny Pacquiao apologized for denouncing people in gay relationships as “worse than animals” but said he stood by his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Fellow Filipino celebrities were among those criticizing his remarks, made when a TV network asked candidates about their views on same-sex marriage.

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Filipino boxer and senatorial candidate Manny Pacquiao says gays “worse than animals”

By : Wire Report
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Manila, Philippines (AP) – World boxing star Manny Pacquiao has drawn an outcry in the Philippines after publicly denouncing people in same-sex relationships as “worse than animals.”

Pacquiao, a high school dropout from a poverty-stricken rural family who went on to become a boxing legend, made the remark when he and other Philippine senatorial candidates were asked by the local TV5 network about their views on same-sex marriage.

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If Australians vote for same-sex marriage, the government will make it happen

By : Wire Report
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Melbourne, Australia (AP) – Australia’s prime minister is giving personal assurance that his government would legalize gay marriage if a majority of Australians choose marriage equality in a popular vote.

The center-right government has promised to hold a plebiscite on the gay marriage question if the government is re-elected in a vote due this year.

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Italian protesters urge government to grant same-sex civil unions

By : Wire Report
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ROME (AP) – Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Jan. 23 in nearly 100 cities across Italy to urge the government to permit gay and lesbian couples to have civil unions and legally recognized families.

Mirco Pierro, 39, rallied in front of the Pantheon in Rome with his partner and twin infants, saying he wanted “to defend the rights of our children, not just our rights.” Pierro and his partner were married in Los Angeles but their union is not recognized in Italy and only one of them has parental rights.

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U.S. Christians think they should be more protected than other religions

By : Wire Report
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Washington (AP) – Americans place a higher priority on preserving the religious freedom of Christians than for other faith groups, ranking Muslims as the least deserving of the protections, according to a new survey.

Solid majorities said it was extremely or very important for the U.S. to uphold religious freedom in general. However, the percentages varied dramatically when respondents were asked about specific faith traditions, according to a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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