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September 30, 2014

Christians rally in Coahuila a month after the state legalized gay marriage

An estimated 30,000 people marched on Sunday in Coahuila to protest the Mexican state's new gay marriage law.

The march was organized by the Christ Lives group in the state capital Saltillo, a week after the first gay couples were married in the northern state.

Pastor Carlos Pacheco, director of the evangelical Christian group, led the march carrying a large Bible while activists distributed pamphlets on gay 'cures.'

September 29, 2014

Defendents can no longer claim their violent act was triggered by victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity

California has become the first state in the US to ban the so-called 'panic defense' that has been used successfully by some defendants in court.

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill which eliminates the excuse that a person was 'panicked' into committing a killing or assaulting a gay or trans person during a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.

Some defendants have succeeded in having homicide or manslaughter charges reduced by saying their violent act was triggered by victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

September 26, 2014

Man arrested for gay sex faces three months to two years in prison

A man is in hiding after he escaped police who wanted to arrest him on gay sex charges.

The arrestee, whose name has not been released, is a Burundi man who was found with his Vietnamese telecommunications worker partner.

Richard Nzokirantevye, the governor of Karuzi Province, told AFP the Vietnamese man is being held by police.

The Burundian partner escaped and is being sought by the authorities, the governor said.

September 23, 2014

If found guilty he will be the first person convicted of the crime in the country

A Vietnamese man was arrested last week in Karuzi in northern Burundi for gay sex.

If found guilty he will be the first person convicted of the crime in the African country.

Burundi adopted a new penal code in 2009 that punishes 'sexual relations with a person of the same sex' with three months to two years in jail and a fine of 50,000 ($32) to 100,000 Burundian francs ($65).

September 20, 2014

'It been really great to hear the response of the entire community. It’s not just gay people who are signing the petition'

A friend of the gay couple recently attacked in Philadelphia is now working to include sexual orientation in the state's hate crime laws.

Caryn Kunkle is a longtime friend of the pair and put up a petition, for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, on change.org.

August 30, 2014

State Assembly passes bill prohibiting defendants from using panic defense to escape charges of murdering someone gay or transgender

Is it the end of the gay panic and trans panic defenses in California?

The California State Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill this week that would prohibit murder defendants from using the so-called panic defense.

The bill had already been psssed by the State Senate and will now go to Governor Jerry Brown who must sigb it for it to become law.

Under this defense strategy, some defendants have been able to escape murder charges by claiming they panicked because they discovered the victim was gay or transgender.

August 30, 2014

'There's no way I could live with myself if I thought I was diminishing another human being's ability to reach their full capacity'

Neil Abercrombie, the governor of Hawaii, thinks he lost a recent primary because he signed the bill that made gay marriage legal.

Earlier this month, the Democrat was defeated by state Senator David Ige, who also supports marriage equality.

'Republicans crossed over en masse to vote in the Democratic primary, and then the religious factor came in,' Abercrombie said, as reported by the Associated Press.

August 8, 2014

14 lesbians and four gay men submitted an appeal to Congress demanding not just marriage equality, but adoption, social security and all the rights that heterosexuals enjoy with marriage

A group of 18 gay and lesbian Mexicans are stepping up the fight for gay marriage in Baja California Sur, bordered by the northern state of Baja California.

According to BCS Noticias, the group this week submitted an appeal to the Judicial Power of the Federation (PJF) urging Congress and the governor Marcos Covarrubias Villaseñor to change articles 330 and 150 of the Baja California civil code to allow same-sex marriages in the state.

August 1, 2014

Kimmel suggests Toni Atkins should have invaded Oregon during her hours in power

Toni Atkins was acting governor of California for about 10 hours this week and spent a few moments of that time appearing on TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live.

'It's been an uneventful day and I think that's good - I'm hoping nothing in this interview breaks that streak,' Atkins told Kimmel on his show Wednesday (30 July) night.

Atkins managed to stay out of trouble despite Kimmel suggesting such behavior as changing passwords on the real governor, Jerry Brown, and invading neighboring Oregon.

July 30, 2014

When bullies attacked Liam Hackett he thought he was going to die – and was secretly relieved. Now his charity is fixing the problem for other kids

You know that awkward feeling you get when you go to a party with your friend without knowing anybody else there and your friend disappears?

Without even realizing, fears of rejection quickly set in and you’re left feeling incredibly self-conscious. As a safety barrier, you subtly pull out your mobile and act nonchalant whilst frantically trying to figure out where your mate went.

Maybe it doesn’t happen to you anymore, but we can all relate to that distinctive feeling of dread mixed with heightened self-awareness.

July 30, 2014

With other elected officials out of the state for the day, lesbian House Speaker Toni Atkins takes the reigns

California's Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins got to make some history Wednesday (30 July).

With the state's governor, lieutenant governor and state Senate president pro tem all out of the state for part of the day, Atkins briefly became the first openly gay person to be acting governor.

July 29, 2014

Michigan state Representative Adam Zemke has introduced a bill that would protect under-18’s from being subjected to attempts to ‘cure’ their same-sex attractions and is hopeful that some Republicans will vote for it as well

Michigan Democrat Adam Zemke has put a bill before his state’s House of Representative that seeks to ban so-called ‘ex-gay’ or ‘reparative’ therapies on minors that seek to alter a person’s sexuality.

Representative Zemke hopes Michigan can join California and New Jersey in banning attempts to ‘cure’ under-18’s of their sexuality while efforts to do the same in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York state have been blocked or stalled.

July 14, 2014

'I’m not going to, because these are opinions that I feel strongly about'

Gay marriage is legal in his state and in 18 others in the US but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says now is not the time for Republicans to throw in the towel on the issue.

Opposition to same-sex marriage remains a part of the Republican Party platform which has hurt the party when it comes to attracting younger voters who are not opposed to marriage equality.

July 9, 2014

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law creating a gender neutral definition of marriage in California law and recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages one year after the defeat of Prop 8 in the US Supreme Court

Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Monday that marks the final step on the road to marriage equality for the state of California.

SB1306 deletes language defining marriage as being only between a ‘man and a woman’ in state laws and also recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states in the same way that California recognizes opposite-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

July 9, 2014

Cites stay issued on federal judge's ruling that struck down state's gay marriage ban

Indiana Governor Mike Pence has ordered state agencies not to recognize any of the hundreds of same-sex marriages that took place last month in the Hoosier state.

The agencies have been directed 'to execute their functions' as though a federal judge had not struck down the state's gay marriage ban on 25 June - to proceed as if it 'had not been issued.'

The state appealed the ruling and a stay was issued by an appellate court but by that time hundreds of same-sex marriages had already taken place.

July 6, 2014

'If the 10th Circuit Court’s decision becomes the governing law, it will mean that Colorado’s marriage laws cannot stand'

The governor and attorney general of Colorado are looking for a definitive legal answer to the state's gay marriage question.

July 5, 2014

'Our plan is to file something with the US Supreme Court because we believe Theresa is a proper party and we believe that intervention is appropriate'

A Pennsylvania county clerk faces a difficult challenge in her attempt to uphold the state's defunct law against same-sex marriage.

On 3 July the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Theresa Santai-Gaffney's appeal of a lower court's rejection of her wish to defend the state's gay marriage ban.

In late May, US District Judge John E. Jones III struck down the state's prohibition against marriage equality.

July 5, 2014

Alex Walker served as a witness to the wedding of a lesbian family member, the cousin of his mother

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker might no longer publicly announce his position on gay marriage, but one of his sons doesn't mind participating in one.

On 9 June Alex Walker, a rising University of Wisconsin-Madison sophomore, was one of the two required witnesses to the marriage of Shelli Marquardt and Cathy Priem.

July 2, 2014

The Texas state Democratic Party has slammed Texas state Republicans for endorsing so-called reparative therapies that aim to turn people from gay to straight at the party’s state convention

Delegates to the Texas Democratic Party’s convention in Dallas on Saturday slammed their Republican rivals for approving a platform which includes support for attempts to turn gay people straight.

The Texas Democrats have instead put denying public funds to programs that attempt to alter a person’s sexuality in their platform and also want the Texas Department of State Health Services to investigate people who try to provide such services.

June 30, 2014

Justices decline to review appeal of law prohibiting licensed counselors and therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender expression

The US Supreme Court today passed on reviewing a case challenging California's new law which makes it illegal for licensed therapists and counselors s to try and change the sexual orientation or gender expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.

By declining to get involved, the high court leaves in place a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling which upheld the ban on what is known as 'conversion therapy,' 'reparative therapy,' 'ex-gay therapy,' or 'sexual orientation change efforts.'

June 30, 2014

'...Through this comprehensive strategy, we are decreasing new HIV infections to the point where by 2020, the number of persons living with HIV in New York State will be reduced for the first time'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo used Gay Pride to announce an aggressive proposal to reduce HIV infections in the Empire State.

Called Bending the Curve, the project is meant to decrease new HIV infections so the number of recently developed infections is below the figure of HIV-related deaths.

June 30, 2014

Greg Rikaart of The Young and the Restless blasts Perry for comparing homosexualty to alcoholism

Emmy-winning actor Greg Rikaart ripped into Texas Governor Rick Perry while accepting the Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign.

At an awards dinner in New Orleans recently, Rikaart reflected on being a closeted gay kid and even bullying other kids in an effort to fit in and not be found out.

He remarked on the progress that still needs to be made: 'LGBT youth are still committing suicide. Same-sex couples are still being denied benefits afforded to heterosexual couples and Rick Perry thinks we’re a bunch of alcoholics.’

June 22, 2014

Democratic lawmaker Mike Michaud, who came out in 2013, was one of the grand marshalls of Maine’s 2014 gay pride parade

US Democratic candidate Mike Michaud, served as the Grand Marshall of Maine’s gay pride parade yesterday (21 June).

Michaud came out as gay in November 2013, and if he is elected he will be the first governor who is openly gay at the time of his election.

Michaud shook hands, posed for photographs and headed up the parade at gay pride in Portland, Maine yesterday. Excited crowds cheered ‘I Like Mike’ and held up posters as he made a speech at the parade.

June 21, 2014

'As long as this widespread misunderstanding in the straight world about homosexuality persists, that it is a choice or a "lifestyle", not only will we never be fully accepted by society, some of us will remain unable to accept ourselves'

John Paulk, a prominent poster boy for 'ex-gay' movement for over a decade who came out as gay last year, has hit out at Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent comments that compared homosexuality to alcoholism.