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.
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.
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.
A lesbian teacher who said she was fired by an Ohio Catholic school after her mother's published obituary included the name of her partner is fighting to get her job back.
Carla Hale, 57, said she was told she was being let go because her relationship is against teachings of the church.
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.
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.
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.
The U.N.’s climate chief says talks in 2015 to secure a global warming pact will not fail as they did at the 2009 Copenhagen summit where world leaders, including President Barrack Obama, could not reach an agreement.
Speaking ahead of a climate meeting in Bonn next week, Christiana Figueres told reporters in a teleconference that much had changed, giving her optimism that a global climate pact can be reached in Paris in 2015. Figueres says climate change is worsening and governments have already committed to reaching a deal.
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 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-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.
A former top aide to Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty is urging Minnesota GOP legislators to back legalized same-sex marriage or risk alienating young voters.
Brian McClung, who was deputy chief of staff to Pawlenty, made his case in a Star Tribune commentary piece but also spoke with The Associated Press. He said he is willing to go directly to Republican lawmakers considered persuadable on the issue ahead of legislative votes on gay marriage. Those votes are expected before the Legislature adjourns in mid-May.