Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Sept. 21 invoked comedian Joan Rivers' death at a surgical clinic while defending a law he signed that would close the majority of abortion facilities in the nation's second-most populous state.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate claimed the law made Texas safer, even though a federal judge in August blocked a key provision that requires abortion clinics to meet hospital-level operating standards. Had that requirement taken effect, only seven abortion facilities would remain in Texas — down from more than 40 in 2012.
Police in Philadelphia searching for a group of people suspected in the beating of a gay couple got an outpouring of help from Twitter and Facebook users, who located a photo of the clean-cut young men and women at a restaurant and helped match names to faces.
Attorneys representing a number of those seen in the video notified police they would bring in their clients to tell their side of the story, a police spokesman, Sgt. Eric Gripp, said.
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, the foundation — committed "to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world" — announced on Sept. 16.
She is among three members of the LGBT community to receive the prestigious award that is commonly referred to as the "genius grant." Bechdel, 54, lives in Bolton, Vermont, and is the author of the long-running "Dykes to Watch Out For" comic strip, as well as graphic memoirs, including "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" and "Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama."
A German gay rights activist suffered life-threatening brain injuries from a beating in Belgrade, Serbia on Sept. 13.
Authorities said they arrested three people suspected of being involved in the attack on the man, who was attending a gay rights conference in Belgrade.
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on Sept. 21 officiated at the wedding of her former law clerk and his husband.
The battle lines are being drawn before a major church meeting on family issues that represents a key test for Pope Francis.
Five high-ranking cardinals have taken one of Francis' favorite theologians to task over an issue dear to the pope's heart: Whether Catholics who divorce and remarry without an annulment can receive Communion.
Any animal can end up at a public shelter, but most of them won’t stay long. There, millions of dogs and cats face euthanasia, driving one filmmaker to turn his camera into a lifesaver.
Workers at several of the shelters, where no animal is turned away, say pets have a champion in Steven Latham, who directs and produces a PBS series called “Shelter Me,” featuring animals that are running out of time. Seeing the urgency, he took his efforts a step further, starting a website, helping set up adoption events and coordinating flights full of pooches to cities able to get them adopted.
As the leader of two American dioceses, Roman Catholic Bishop Blase Cupich has spoken out against same-sex marriage and against conservative hostility toward gay rights advocates. He has opposed abortion, while urging parishioners and priests to have patience, not disdain, for those who disagree. And he has criticized fellow U.S. bishops who threatened to shut down religious charities instead of pursuing a compromise with the White House over health care policies that go against Catholic teaching.
On Saturday, Pope Francis named Cupich as the next archbishop of Chicago, sending a strong signal about the direction that the pontiff is taking the church. Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George, 77, an aggressive defender of orthodoxy who once said he expected his successors in Chicago to be martyred in the face of hostility toward Christianity.
Lambda Legal, an LGBT legal defense group, is asking a U.S. District judge for summary judgment to end Puerto Rico's ban on same-sex marriage.
The motion by Lambda was filed earlier this week on behalf of five gay and lesbian couples and a nonprofit LGBT civil rights group on the island.
The Catholic League says it will sit out next year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York because event organizers aren't letting an anti-abortion group march.
The group, formally known as the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has been marching for 20 years, said its president, Bill Donohue.
Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever.
The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold create complexity and ambiguity that cause major headaches for marijuana businesses - and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.