LGBT issues

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Discrimination against LGBT jurors remains legal

“I believe that people who are either transsexuals or transvestites — I don’t know what the proper term is — traditionally are more liberal-minded thinking people, tend to associate more with the defendants because, obviously, they have been either ridiculed before or are feeling in a position of being in a microscope all the time and are outcasts which lends themselves to associating more with the defendant.”

Sierra Leone bishop calls for unity with LGBT United Methodists

TAMPA, Fla. -- A bishop from Sierra Leone preached that the love of God binds us together much stronger than divisions of race, sexual orientation, or even family affiliation.

Bishop John Yambasu, Resident United Methodist Bishop to Sierra Leone, spoke at the Africana Dinner at the United Methodist Church General Conference on Sunday evening. The dinner was sponsored by Black Methodists for Church Renewal, a coalition partner with the Love Your Neighbor Campaign.

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COMMENTARY: Are we not all God's children?

I am your child. Your grandchild. Your sibling. I am your relative.

I grew up with you. I goofed around with you on the playground. I went to your birthday parties and celebrated the holidays with you.

I went to school with you. I joined social clubs with you. I played sports with you. I had your back in school.

I befriended you in college. I served on student government with you. I befriended your wife, and the two you of you gave me the great honor of being your son’s godfather.

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COMMENTARY: Reflecting on MLK Day about need for LGBTQ justice in the Black Church

Today's MLK Day.

I am proud to count myself among the many people working for social justice today who stand on the shoulders of Martin Luther King Jr.

Too many people think King's statements regarding justice are only about race and the African-American community -- thus excluding the LGBTQ community.

Gay, binational couple joins fight against federal antigay law

They met at a birthday party in 1990, were instantly smitten, and, after years of transatlantic romancing, got married in California in 2008.

Today, they have four adopted children, ages 6 to 11, and a comfortable home in Harrisburg.

But a sword of Damocles hangs over the couple, only one of whom is an American citizen. The other is French, and vulnerable to deportation.

Under federal immigration law, married binational couples usually can fix this precarious situation with a family reunification petition, seeking a green card for the foreign-born spouse.

Same-sex marriages put on hold in Cancun resort areas

CANCUN, Quintana Roo, Mexico – Put those wedding plans on hold in the Cancun resort area.

Days after news circulated around the world that six gay and lesbian couples were going to wed in Cancun because a loophole in the law did not prohibit same-sex marriage, Quintana Roo Secretary of State Lois Gonzalez Flores ordered a review of the legal situation, La Reforma newspaper reports.

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Sheriff accused of bias for refusing to allow gay men to go to rehab instead of prison

INDO, Calif. – The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is being sued for discriminating against gay inmates by refusing to allow them to enter the sheriff-run Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program.

RSAT is a six-month treatment program, conducted at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, Calif., which is known to have a high rate of success. Inmates chosen for RSAT who successfully complete the program typically get out much sooner than those who aren’t selected.

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COMMENTARY: Roman Catholic Church ramps up its war against LGBT community

The Roman Catholic Church has been in the news quite a bit lately. At times, it seems like positive change is happening. We saw this recently when, under pressure, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago issued an apology for his comments comparing the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan. It was a small victory, and was prompted by a large outcry, but gave us a glimmer of hope that the Roman Catholic hierarchy may be slowly coming in line with the vast majority of Catholics who already support their LGBT friends and family.

ACTION ALERT: Tell New Hampshire lawmakers to keep marriage equality

While the country is distracted by the New Hampshire primary, which will be on Tuesday, New Hampshire's state legislature is swiftly moving to abolish gay marriage. They could vote on the issue as soon as this Thursday.

Craig Stowell is a New Hampshire native who recently testified at the New Hampshire State House to ask the legislature not to pass HB 437, the bill that would abolish marriage equality. But Craig isn't gay -- in fact, he's a straight married Marine, and a conservative Republican.

UPDATED: N.J. Legislature introduces bill legalizing gay marriage

TRENTON, N.J. — In a dramatic move, Democratic leaders announce at a news conference Monday morning that a bill legalizing gay marriage will be the first measure introduced in the new session of the Senate and the Assembly.

A unified Democratic leadership represents the best chance supporters will have to see a bill legalizing gay marriage move through both houses, supporters say.

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