Mississippi court: Woman has parent rights in same-sex split

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Christina Strickland image from Lambda Lega website.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a woman has parental rights to a 6-year-old boy born to her ex-wife when the two were married, in a case watched by gay rights activists and groups aiding in vitro fertilization.

Christina “Chris” Strickland brought the appeal, challenging a lower court decision that an anonymous sperm donor still had parental rights and that Strickland did not. Strickland ultimately hopes to win 50-50 custody of Zayden Strickland, who bears her last name and was born by Kimberly Day through artificial means when Day and Strickland were married.

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04.05.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s often argued that one shouldn’t discuss religion or politics,

so I’d like to talk about both.

When I was in high school, I learned through friends in my Southern Baptist youth group that the deacons of my small-town, smaller-minded church were trying to pray my gay away. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.

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Vocal marriage opponent loses Costa Rica presidential election

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Fabricio Alvarado on April 1, 2018, lost the second round of Costa Rica’s presidential elections. Photo by Iosepe; courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

A vocal opponent of marriage rights for same-sex couples on Sunday lost the second round of Costa Rica’s presidential election.

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LGBT groups rally at Supreme Court against Trump nominees

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.) speaks at a rally in front of the United States Supreme Court against Trump nominees. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Civil rights leaders, transgender parents and LGBT advocates — joined by Reps. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and Donald McEachin (D-Va.) — rallied before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in opposition to two Trump nominees, one with a history of anti-LGBT legal work, the other with a history of black voter suppression.

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Court: Retired gay teacher is entitled to spousal benefits

By : wire report
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pennsylvania court has ruled that a teacher who retired before same-sex marriage was legalized is entitled to health care benefits for his husband.

PennLive.com reports that Gateway School District in suburban Pittsburgh denied the man’s request to retroactively sign up for spousal benefits when he married his longtime partner in 2014. He had retired in 2013, before same-sex marriage was legally recognized in Pennsylvania.

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Kansas GOP votes to oppose validating transgender identity

By : wire report
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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Republican Party has approved a resolution that opposes “all efforts to validate transgender identity,” including opposing any medical treatments to alter a person’s body to conform with his or her perceived gender identity.

The resolution, approved Saturday by the party’s state committed during its annual meeting in Wichita, said the GOP affirms “God’s design for gender as determined by biological sex and not by self-perception,” The Wichita Eagle reported . The resolution was approved on a voice vote by the committee, which includes about 180 people.

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Religious protests against gay films show divide in Romania

By : wire report
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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Religious protesters in Romania have disrupted the screenings of two movies featuring gay themes, saying they violate traditional values. In response, a new screening of the Cannes award-winning movie “120 Beats Per Minute” is going to be held Tuesday in Bucharest.

The dispute illustrates Romania’s divided views about homosexuality, which remains a difficult topic in the eastern European Union member where more than 85 percent of its people belong to Christian Orthodox churches. Homosexuality was only decriminalized when Romania prepared to join the EU in 2002.

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Church says gay teacher fired by Miami Catholic school

By : wire report
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MIAMI (AP) – Church officials say a gay schoolteacher has been fired by a Miami Catholic school after marrying her same-sex partner in an apparent violation of church rules.

Archdiocese of Miami officials confirmed to the Miami Herald that first-grade teacher Jocelyn Morffi lost her job at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School on Thursday, the day after she returned from her Florida Keys wedding.

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Russia registers its 1st same-sex marriage — by mistake

By : wire report
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MOSCOW (AP) — Two men have been able to register their marriage in Russia, a first for the country that the Interior Ministry attributes to a bureaucratic error.

Russia doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage and has a law banning the dissemination of gay “propaganda” to minors, so Pavel Stotzko and Yevgeny Voitsekhovsky’s claim that their marriage was officially registered has caused an uproar.

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Billie Jean King backs calls to rename Margaret Court Arena

By : wire report
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Billie Jean King thinks one of the main venues at the Australian Open should be renamed because of Margaret Court’s comments about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

King, a trailblazer for equality and diversity in tennis, said she had initially been a proponent of having Margaret Court Arena named in 2003 in recognition of the 24-time Grand Slam singles winner’s contribution to the sport.

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Australia House of Representatives approves same-sex marriage bill

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Australian House of Representatives on Thursday nearly unanimously approved a bill that would extend marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The vote took place less than a week after the bill passed in the Australian Senate by a 43-12 vote margin.

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Austrian constitutional court legalizes same-sex marriage

By : wire report
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BERLIN (AP) — Austria’s Constitutional Court has ruled that same-sex couples will be allowed to marry by the beginning of 2019, bringing the country in line with more than a dozen other western European nations.

In a ruling announced Tuesday, the court said that the words “two people of different sex” will be removed from the law on marriage at the end of 2018 on the grounds that the distinction is discriminatory. Same-sex couples will be able to marry after that, unless the government decides to change the laws earlier.

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