Alabama lawmakers: Faith-based adoption groups can spurn LGBTQ couples

By : Wire Report
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers gave final approval April 25 to a bill protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with LGBTQ parents, or other households, because of their religious beliefs.

The legislation would prohibit the state from refusing to license faith-based adoption groups that refuse placements because of their religious beliefs.

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Sen. Rubio denounces gay Chechnya arrests on Senate floor

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) denounced on the Senate floor Monday the ongoing reports of anti-gay arrests and detention in Chechnya, blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for allowing them to happen.

Rubio, who previously denounced the alleged atrocities on Twitter, called on the U.S. government to “do more to ensure that all people are protected and those who harm them are held responsible.”

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Sen. Baldwin prepares for re-election fight in 2018

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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As Democrats gear up for the congressional mid-term elections in 2018, one race that will be critical for the LGBTQ community and potentially a challenge to win is the re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress.

After becoming the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Baldwin will face re-election in a state Trump won in a surprise last year. Her race will almost certainly be a priority for the LGBTQ community seeking to ensure visibility in Congress and to strike back at Trump after his victory there.

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Alabama bill protects adoption agencies that turn away LGBTQ couples

By : Wire Report
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP)- Alabama might protect faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with LGBTQ parents, or in other households, because of their religious beliefs.

The Alabama Senate approved legislation April 18 that prohibits the state from refusing to license faith-based adoption groups that refuse placements on religious grounds. Proponents said the bill is needed so the faith-based agencies can make placements without violating their faith. Critics derided it as blatant discrimination.

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Gorsuch confirmed to the dismay of LGBT rights supporters

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. Senate confirmed on Friday Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court much to the dismay of LGBT rights supporters who think he’ll oppose LGBT rights and Democrats who say the seat was unfairly awarded to him.

The Senate confirmed him to the seat by a largely party-line vote of 54-45, although Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) joined Republicans to confirm the nominee. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who’s recovering from back surgery, missed the vote.

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Arkansas panel closer to public building ‘bathroom bill’

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – An Arkansas Senate committee moved closer to approving a bill requiring that people in public schools and government buildings use bathrooms that correspond to their birth gender, despite fears the move could lead to boycotts.

Republican Sen. Linda Collins-Smith wants restrooms or locker rooms in government buildings limited to members of only one sex if multiple people use it. A similar law in North Carolina prompted the NBA and NCAA to move major sporting events out of the state.

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Out Colombia congresswoman to seek higher office

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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BOGOTA, Colombia — The first openly LGBT person elected to the Colombian Congress on Tuesday confirmed that she plans to run for a seat in the country’s Senate.

“I am optimistic,” Congresswoman Angélica Lozano told the Washington Blade during an exclusive interview at the Colombian Congress in the country’s capital of Bogotá. “Optimism is a condition that factors into my decision . . . but you must fight.”

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Kentucky Senate advances bill that would allow religious expression in public schools

By : Wire & Staff Reports
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Senators voted Feb. 10 for the measure that defends the rights of students to express religious beliefs in public schools and allows the Bible to be used for the study of religion.

Senate Bill (SB) 17 passed with a vote of 31-3. It now moves to the House.

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Wyoming Senate votes down bill banning LGBTQ discrimination

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – The Wyoming Senate has voted down a bill that would have banned discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Senate’s Committee of the Whole voted 17-13 against the bill, indefinitely postponing it. The bill would have allowed exceptions for religious organizations.

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North Carolina GOP eases into session before facing Democratic governor

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)- North Carolina Republican legislators handed out chairmen’s gavels and filed bills on Wednesday, easing into a new work year that is likely to feature clashes with the state’s Democratic governor, including over what to do with a controversial law limiting LGBT rights.

The General Assembly finished in less than an hour with no recorded votes in sessions held two weeks after lawmakers re-elected GOP House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger.

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LGBTQ rights loom as hurdle to passing defense policy bill

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional Republicans and Democrats will have to bridge a vast cultural divide over an issue that has nothing to do with bullets and bombs to complete a must-pass defense policy bill.

A key sticking point in the negotiations during the upcoming lame-duck session is a House-passed provision that Senate Democrats say would undercut protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual or gender orientation. They’ve called the measure dangerous and are demanding it be removed from the $602 billion measure.

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GOP keeps Senate control as Democrats fall short

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Republicans held onto their slim Senate majority, a stinging blow to Democrats in a night full of them. Democrats had been nearly certain of retaking control but saw their hopes fizzle as endangered GOP incumbents won in Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and even Democrat-friendly Wisconsin.

GOP-held New Hampshire remained too close to call in the early morning hours Nov. 9, but even if Democrats eked out a win there it would not make a difference.

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