Minnesota filmmakers’ lawsuit over gay weddings reinstated

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Angel and Carl Larsen of Telescope Media Group.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) | A federal appeals court on Friday reinstated a lawsuit filed by two Minnesota filmmakers who want the right to refuse to film same-sex weddings, saying that videos are a form of speech with constitutional protections under the First Amendment.

Carl and Angel Larsen, who run a Christian business called Telescope Media Group in St. Cloud, sued the state’s human rights commissioner in 2016, saying Minnesota’s public accommodation law would result in steep fines and jail time if they offered services promoting only their vision of marriage.

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Virginia Republicans deny censure of GOP rep. who wed 2 men

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ABOVE: Congressman Denver Riggleman, photo via Facebook.

BOONES MILL, Va. (AP) | A group of Republicans tried but failed to censure a GOP congressman for failing to uphold the party’s values by officiating a gay couple’s wedding.

The Roanoke Times reports the 5th Congressional District Republican Committee held a closed session Saturday to discuss reprimanding Rep. Denver Riggleman.

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Bulgaria court recognizes gay marriage in landmark case

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ABOVE: The National Assembly in Sofia, photo public domain.

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) | A court in Bulgaria has ruled in favor of a same-sex couple who married in France, in a case that recognized gay marriage for the first time in the conservative country.

Australian citizen Kristina Palma, who married Mariama Dialo of France in 2016, was initially permitted to live, work and travel in Bulgaria and the European Union on the grounds that she married an EU citizen. But Bulgaria later denied her those rights, arguing that same-sex marriage was not legal in the country.

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Ecuador’s highest court approves same-sex marriage

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ABOVE: Ecuador’s capital Quito.

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) | Ecuador’s highest court authorized same-sex marriage June 12 in a landmark case seeking to expand LGBT rights in the small South American nation.

The decision by the Constitutional Court came after a lengthy legal battle waged by several couples and gay rights advocates.

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Taiwan lawmakers approve same-sex marriage bill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Lawmakers in Taiwan on May 17, 2019, approved a bill that will extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. (Photo courtesy of Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association)

Lawmakers in Taiwan approved a bill that extends marriage rights to same-sex couples on May 17.

“On May 17th, 2019 in Taiwan, Love Won,” tweeted President Tsai Ing-wen after the vote. “We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country.”

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Australian political leaders agree gays don’t go to hell

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ABOVE: Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia. (From Wikimedia Commons)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) | The leaders of both of Australia’s major political parties agreed on May 14 that gays don’t go to hell because of their sexual orientation, as Christian beliefs rose to extraordinary prominence in the final days of an election campaign.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison opposed same-sex marriage while opposition leader Bill Shorten argued for marriage equality ahead of a national vote in 2017 that led to Australia legally recognizing same-sex unions.

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Confirmation students won’t join church, citing LGBTQ rules

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) | Eight middle-school confirmation class members have decided against joining an Omaha Methodist church in protest at the denomination’s renewed ban on same-sex marriage and gay clergy.

The eight were scheduled to become part of the congregation on April 28 at First United Methodist Church. But the class, comprising seventh- and eighth-graders, declined and issued a written statement instead.

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Plan with LGBT bans OK’d by United Methodist judicial panel

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NEW YORK (AP) | The United Methodist Church’s judicial council on April 26 upheld major portions of a new plan that strengthens bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT pastors.

Conservatives welcomed the decision and said key elements of the policy, called the Traditional Plan, could begin taking effect in January. Among liberal and centrist opponents of the plan, there was dismay; one group, Reconciling Ministries Network, called for an upsurge of resistance.

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OAS chief: Countries in the Americas have obligation to expand LGBTI rights

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: (Photo by Polly Terzian/NYU Washington)

Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro on Wednesday said countries in the Americas have an obligation to extend rights to their LGBTI citizens.

“We expect that the violence in the whole continent against LGBTIQ people, the discrimination that they suffer is resolved,” he told the Washington Blade at New York University Washington’s Abramson Family Auditorium in downtown Washington. “We want every country to resolve this discrimination that LGBTIQ people suffer. We want every country to investigate and to resolve any matter of LGBTI peoples and communities … We want every country to provide solutions for how the basic principles of human rights can be made operative in order to resolve these issues.”

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Pence responds to criticism from Pete Buttigieg, says he ‘knows better’

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Following remarks in which 2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg in defense of his same-sex marriage criticized Mike Pence, the vice president responded by saying the South Bend mayor “knows better,” ignoring his own longtime opposition to LGBT rights.

“I worked very closely with Mayor Pete when I was governor of the state of Indiana,” Pence said. “We had a great working relationship, and he said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally, and he knows better, he knows me.”

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Ecuador Constitutional Court hears marriage case

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ecuador’s highest court on March 31 heard oral arguments in a case that could extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in the South American country.

Judges on Ecuador’s Constitutional Court considered the case of Efraín Soria and his partner, Javier Benalcázar, a gay couple from the country’s capital of Quito who tried to apply for a marriage license last May.

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Pastor of large Kansas Methodist church disappointed by vote

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(Image courtesy United Church of the Resurrection’s Facebook)

LEAWOOD, Kan. (AP) | The pastor of the largest Methodist congregation in the U.S. says he is deeply disappointed by a vote of the church’s delegates that rejected easing the faith’s ban on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy.

Senior Pastor Adam Hamilton with the United Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, called Feb. 26’s vote hurtful of gay and lesbian people and their families.

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