Mississippi school principal sued for come to Jesus programs

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 03 May 2013 12:25

A Mississippi high school forced students to attend on-campus programs where fellow students urged them to turn to Jesus for hope and eternal life, according to an atheist group that has sued.

The district has denied that assemblies were mandatory and says they were legal.

Update: Rhode Island governor signs marriage equality bill

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 02 May 2013 16:51

Rhode Island is joining nine other states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

At about 5:25 p.m. EST today (May 2), the Rhode Island General Assembly cast a final procedural vote for marriage equality.

Rhode Island expected to finalize marriage equality bill May 2

Written by WiG Wednesday, 01 May 2013 19:22

The Rhode Island House is expected on May 2 to finalize approval of marriage for same-sex couples. The governor was expected to sign the bill soon after the vote, allowing for same-sex weddings to begin in August.

A study released on May 1 showed that extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in Rhode Island would bring an estimated $7 million to the state and local economy. The research was compiled by Angeliki Kastanis, a Williams Institute public policy research fellow and M.V. Lee Badgett, a Williams Institute research director and professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Paul Ryan says he supports gay adoption rights

Written by WiG Tuesday, 30 April 2013 19:54

In yet another sign of the shifting political ground concerning gay civil rights, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said in a town hall meeting with his Wisconsin constituents yesterday that he now supports the right of gays and lesbians to adopt children.

Until now, Ryan, who was the GOP vice presidential candidate last year, has steadfastly opposed all LGBT civil rights, earning a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent congressional scorecard. But yesterday he expressed regret over voting during his first term against allowing same-sex couples in Washington, D.C., to adopt children.

Iowa Supreme Court rules for lesbian parents

Written by WiG Friday, 03 May 2013 10:02

The Iowa Supreme Court, Varnum v. Brien, today ruled that same-sex couples and their families must be treated equally under Iowa law and ordered the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide an accurate two-parent birth certificate to all children born to lesbian married parents in Iowa.

The court was unanimous in ordering the state to treat children of lesbian couples as having two parents at birth.

Tennessee 'Ag Gag' bill could criminalize some investigations into animal abuse

Written by WiG,
AP reports
Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:21

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said he was not swayed by celebrities opposing a bill that would make it a crime to video record animal abuse if it isn't turned over to law enforcement authorities within 48 hours.

But he may be swayed by civil liberties concerns, including those raised by the ACLU.

First civil unions vows taken in Colorado

Written by AP,
WiG reports
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 11:36

The first gay couple granted a civil union in Colorado said their vows before hundreds of people early May 1 in Denver.

The law legalizing civil unions took effect at 12:01 a.m. May 1, and both Denver and Boulder began issuing licenses immediately.

Teens win push to create gay-straight club at Florida high school

Written by WiG Tuesday, 30 April 2013 13:57

A gay-straight alliance will be established at a Florida high school where students, working with the American Civil Liberties Union, have been pressing for one for months.

The ACLU, in a news release on April 30, said the group of students at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Fla., have learned that school administrators will allow them to establish a the GSA.

Court allows partner benefits to stand for Michigan state workers

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 03 May 2013 07:20

Same-sex domestic partners of state employees will continue to qualify for health insurance after the Michigan Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal filed by the state.

In a short order released Thursday and dated Wednesday, justices unanimously said they were not persuaded they should review the case.

LGBT groups are reaffirming support for comprehensive immigration reform following reports that some senators have threatened to derail legislation if it is amended to include protections for binational LGBT families.

“The idea that lesbian and gay couples are the barrier to a bipartisan immigration reform agreement is an offensive ruse designed to distract attention away from the failings of Congress – a body that refuses to come together on popular and common-sense solutions to a host of our country’s problems,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group.

ESPN regrets reporter's comment about Jason Collins

Written by The AP Wednesday, 01 May 2013 11:24

ESPN says that it regrets the "distraction" caused by one of its reporters who described Jason Collins as a sinner after the NBA center publicly came out as gay.

Chris Broussard, who covers the NBA for ESPN, said on the air that Collins and others in the NBA who engage in premarital sex or adultery were "walking in open rebellion to God, and to Jesus Christ." Broussard, a former reporter for The New York Times, spoke during ESPN's "Outside the Lines" program discussing Collins' announcement.

Ex-Michigan Congresswoman presides over ET hearings

Written by AP Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:42

Ex-U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Detroit and six other former Congress members are presiding over hearings on the existence of extraterrestrials.

The 30 hours of congressional-style hearings kicked off on April 29 and are scheduled to run through Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.