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Mayor skips Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade over exclusion of gay vets

Martin Walsh
BOSTON — Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is skipping the city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday because organizers are excluding a group of gay veterans. ...

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Report: Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church, near death

TOPEKA, Kan. — Anti-gay extremist Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church and the “Gods Hate Fags” fundamentalist movement, is near death in a local hospice, according to a Facebook post Saturday night by his son Nathan Phelps. ...

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U.S. Senate confirms first out lesbian to federal bench in Michigan

Judith Levy
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate this week voted to confirm Judith Levy as a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. Levy, 55, becomes the first openly lesbian federal judge in Michigan. ...

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San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood to get rainbow crosswalks

The winning design for San Francisco's rainbow sidewalks is similar to this crosswalk in Vancouver, BC.
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco's famed LGBT-friendly Castro district will be showing more of its gay pride when the city paints four crosswalks in the colors of the Rainbow Pride flag. ...

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Poll: 71 percent of Marylanders support transgender rights bill

BALTIMORE -- A new poll finds that 71 percent of Marylanders support proposed legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. ...

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Evangelist Franklin Graham: Putin is better on gay issues than Obama

Evangelists Billy (left) and Franklin Graham
Evangelist Franklin Graham is praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on homosexuality, saying his record on protecting children from gay “propaganda” is better than President Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights. ...

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Heineken pulls sponsorship from NYC St. Patrick’s over ban on gay pride signs

Heineken announced Friday it has pulled its sponsorship of Monday's St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City because event organizers refuse to let gay participants carry signs displaying LGBT pride. ...

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Oregon AG certifies ballot title in proposed religious freedom initiative

Ellen Rosenblum
SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has issued a title for a proposed "religious freedom" ballot initiative, effective adopting wording sought by the initiative's opponents. ...

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Father suspected in double homicide jotted anti-gay notes on his Koran

James Crosby
HOUSTON -- A family spokesperson says James Larry Cosby, the father of one of two women whose bodies were found dumped outside a South Texas convenience store last week and now in custody in connection with their murders, is a ...

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HHS: Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination against same-sex couples

WASHINGTON -- The Obama Administration on Friday released new guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from discriminating against same-sex spouses who wish to purchase health coverage as a family. ...

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