LGBT rights proposals: state by state round-up

By : Wire Report
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Legislation has been proposed in states across the country addressing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, including some proposals that critics say would legalize discrimination. Many of the proposals would protect clergy, businesses and those who decline to employ or serve people based on religious beliefs. Eleven states – Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia and Texas – announced a lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

Here’s a look at legislation around the country:

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ASAP’s Home 3050 opens as CDC releases startling new HIV study

By : Jeremy Williams
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Empath Health’s AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) opened Home 3050, an all-under-one-roof HIV/AIDS care and services location, just as a new CDC study named Florida one of the top states most likely to have increased HIV cases.

“This study was put together from a highly respected group of people with many, many years of work in HIV/AIDS,” ASAP’s Executive Director William Harper says. “This is the first comprehensive study that was put together on the lifetime chances of individuals getting an HIV diagnosis.”

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Support center bridges gap between LGBT and law enforcement in underserved Midwest

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Kansas City, Mo. (AP) – A quiet office in a busy entertainment district is a rare space for LGBTQ people to find help in times of crisis or to meet others for support and friendship.

The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project’s new domestic violence and sexual assault services center also is the only such center in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, filling a gap for a population of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people who often struggle to find help in domestic violence situations. Other services – such as food, clothing, job counseling and legal and medical advocacy – are available, too, according to executive director Justin Shaw.

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Nebraska bill to prevent anti-gay child placement agencies from losing state funding

By : Wire Report
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Lincoln, Neb. (AP) – A bill introduced in the Nebraska Legislature would prevent child placement agencies that refuse to license gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender foster parents on religious principle from losing state funding.

Lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday from Christian agencies that say they might be forced to choose between their religious beliefs and state funding after a Nebraska judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex foster parents last year.

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What’s at stake in Supreme Court gay marriage arguments

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

The decision in United States v. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courts across the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

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Obama calls for an end to ‘conversion therapy’

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Washington (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling for an end to psychiatric therapy treatments aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of gay, lesbian and transgender youth.

The move comes in response to an online petition posted on the White House website following the death of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn. The transgender teen committed suicide in December and left behind writings mentioning religious therapy.

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50 years after Selma, Biden ties gay rights to civil rights

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden says the same human rights that African Americans fought for in Selma, Alabama, are at stake for gay rights activists today.

Biden is drawing parallels between the civil rights and gay rights movements in a speech to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.

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Supreme Court sets stage for historic marriage equality ruling

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is getting back in the marriage business.

The justices agreed Jan. 16 to decide a major civil rights question: whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.

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New high court look at gay marriage? Now legal in 36 states

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court has quietly engineered a dramatic increase in the number of states that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. That increase also has raised the chances the justices soon will settle the legal debate.

Some justices expressed reluctance about deciding the issue when more than half the country prohibited same-sex unions. With Florida joining in this week, 36 states allow them, nearly twice as many as just three months ago.

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Same-sex marriage bans in South will be heard in federal court

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Bans on gay marriage in three staunchly conservative Southern states were to get a hearing in a federal appeals court Jan. 9 – the latest legal battle over an issue expected to be settled by the nation’s highest court.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was scheduled to hear arguments from state attorneys from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi – all of which passed bans on same-sex marriages – and from the lawyers arguing against the bans.

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A look at how same-sex marriage is unfolding in 11 states

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The Supreme Court on Oct. 6 denied appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin in which those states sought to prohibit same-sex marriage. The decision also means couples in six other states—Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming—should be able to get married soon.

The development effectively raises the number of states with legal same-sex marriage from 19 to 30—a majority of U.S. states—and means that as many as 60% of Americans will be living in states that have legalized the practice.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in the 11 states affected by the Supreme Court’s denial:

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32 states ask Supreme Court to settle gay marriage

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BOSTON (AP) — Thirty-two states that either allow gay marriage or have banned it asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 4 to settle the issue once and for all.

Fifteen states that allow gay marriage, led by Massachusetts, filed a brief asking the justices to take up three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn bans. And 17 other states, led by Colorado, that have banned the practice asked the court to hear cases from Utah and Oklahoma to clear up a “morass” of lawsuits, but didn’t urge the court to rule one way or another.

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