law

Kyrgyzstan's 'Homosexual Propaganda' Law Proposal Sparks Gay Community Fears

Kyrgyzstan's 'Homosexual Propaganda' Law Proposal Sparks Gay Community Fears

BISHKEK, Nov 2 (Reuters) - A draft law banning "homosexual propaganda" in Kyrgyzstan could be the last straw for the Central Asian country's frightened gay community.

Some are thinking of leaving the mainly Muslim state bordering China if the law is passed by parliament, mirroring a move last year by Russia that outraged the West and was seen by critics as part of a broader crackdown on civil society.

Backed by Muslim clerics who say homosexuals are "psychologically ill" and should be cured, the law follows what gays say is growing intimidation, police abuse and beatings. Read more »

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Issues that divide DuVal and Ducey

Issues that divide DuVal and Ducey

Their plans to fix Arizona's economy may be hard to decipher.

And neither Democrat Fred DuVal nor Republican Doug Ducey is precise on exactly how they think the state will permanently come up with more money for schools.

But anyone seeking clear distinctions between the major candidates for governor need look only at their positions on what might be called "morality' issues to find some stark contrasts.

And given how often these issues translate into legislation, what the next governor believes could be the difference between when some measures become law and others are vetoed.

Gay Rights

DuVal has come out forthright in favor of the ability of gays to wed. Read more »

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SCOTUS Approves California Ban on Conversion Therapy

SCOTUS Approves California Ban on Conversion Therapy

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially upheld a California law banning psychological counseling aimed at converting LGBT minors.

The justices declined to take the case brought by supporters of  “reparative therapy.” A standing appeals-court ruling from August 2013said that the ban applied to professional practices that are within the state’s authority to regulate and doesn’t violate the free-speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment. Read more »

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Russia defends anti-gay law in letter to IOC

Russia defends anti-gay law in letter to IOC

LONDON (AP) - The Russian government assured the IOC on Thursday that it will not discriminate against homosexuals during the Sochi Olympics, while defending the law against gay "propaganda" that has provoked an international backlash.

The IOC received a letter from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak giving reassurances the host country will comply fully with the Olympic Charter's provision against discrimination of any kind.

"The Russian Federation guarantees the fulfillment of its obligations before the International Olympic Committee in its entirety," Kozak said. Read more »

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Supreme Court strikes down federal marriage law in win for gay rights

Supreme Court strikes down federal marriage law in win for gay rights

The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a central portion of a federal law that restricted the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples in a major victory for the gay rights movement.  The ruling, on a 5-4 vote, means that legally married gay men and women are entitled to claim the same federal benefits that are available to opposite-sex married couples.

The court was due to decide within minutes a second case concerning a California law that bans same-sex marriage in the state.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. Read more »

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Justices signal they might strike down federal marriage law

Justices signal they might strike down federal marriage law

Hearing a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows federal benefits to go only to heterosexual married couples, the Supreme Court appeared skeptical of the statute and indicated that it might strike down a section of the 1996 law.

At issue in Wednesday’s oral argument was the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, passed by overwhelming margins in both houses of Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton.

A section of the law, in effect, bars federal agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages, even in the states where they are legal.

After the oral arguments, NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams reported that there seemed to be the five votes on the court that would be needed to invalidate the law. Read more »

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US asks Supreme Court to strike down law denying benefits to same-sex couples

The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court on Friday to throw out a section of a 1996 federal law that prohibits recognition of same-sex marriage.

The brief was filed Friday in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the law that legally declares marriage to be only between a man and a woman. That section allows state and federal authorities to deny benefits to same-sex couples that are commonplace for heterosexual couples, like insurance for government workers and Social Security survivors' benefits.
Oral arguments are scheduled for March 27. Read more »

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Maine same-sex couples marry in first hours of law

Maine same-sex couples marry in first hours of law

PORTLAND, Maine — Arriving in a limo, Donna Galluzzo and Lisa Gorney had all the trappings of a traditional wedding: Rings, flowers, wedding vows, an entourage and a friend to officiate.

With tears in their eyes, they were among the first gay couples to exchange wedding vows early Saturday morning after Maine's same-sex marriage law went into effect at midnight.

We're paving the way for people to go after us. I think it's just amazing. It's freeing. It's what's right," an emotionally drained Gorney said after their ceremony in front of City Hall. Read more »

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Washington Gay Marriage Law Takes Effect

Washington Gay Marriage Law Takes Effect

Same-sex couples in Washington state began reciting wedding vows early Sunday morning, just minutes into the first day they could marry after the state's gay marriage law took effect.

Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples picked up their marriage licenses as early as 12:01 a.m. Thursday, but because of the state's three-day waiting period, the earliest weddings could take place was just after midnight, early Sunday morning.

Some courthouses, including in King and Thurston Counties, opened right at midnight, and started marrying couples. Seattle City Hall will open for several hours on Sunday starting at 10 a.m., and several local judges are donating their time to marry couples there. Read more »

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