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The separation of religion and hate: Attacking the protection of freedom

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
church-and-state
The very core of the foundation of the U.S. Constitution is under attack, and it seems that the attackers relate very favorably to those who have encouraged Uganda and Nigeria, to mention just two nations, in their terrifying anti-gay legislation. The real concern, additional to the anti-gay intolerance, is a call to amend the Constitution; even to rewrite it, amounting to little more than a theocracy under which any religion could claim supremacy.

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Oklahoma anti-gay religious freedom bill being redrafted amid Arizona firestorm

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays will be rewritten and likely won't be considered in its current form this legislative session, the measure's House author said Tuesday. The bill (HB...

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More than 100 activists gather in Idaho seeking statewide LGBT protections

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
John Miller, APGay rights protesters march in the Idaho Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, in Boise, Idaho. At least 105 gay rights demonstrators participated in the event that sought to convince lawmakers to update the Idaho Human Rights Act with discrimination protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination. In addition to covering their mouths with one hand and maintaining virtual silence, many protestors held photocopied pictures of gay or lesbian teens who committed suicide.
BOISE, Idaho — At least 105 gay rights demonstrators filled the Capitol's basement corridor Tuesday seeking to convince Republican lawmakers to update the Idaho Human Rights Act with discrimination protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

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Ohio ‘religious freedom’ bill on hold over concerns of anti-gay discrimination

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Ohio House photoOhio lawmakers Rep. Tim Derickso (front), and Rep. Bill Patmon (left) introduced their “religious freedom” bill in December.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A “religious freedom” bill has been put on hold in the Ohio House of Representatives because of concerns that it’s nearly identical to legislation in Arizona that critics say would allow business owners to shun LGBT customers and anyone else they don’t like.

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Mo. lawmakers introduce ‘right to refuse service’ religious freedom bill

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — While Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer deliberates the fate of her state's anti-gay religious freedom bill, legislation was filed on Monday in the Missouri Senate that would allow Missouri business owners to cite religious beliefs as a legal justification for refusing to provide service.

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UN chief demands repeal of Uganda law, Netherlands freezes aid subsidy

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Stephen Wandera, APUgandan anti-gay activist Pastor Martin Ssempa posts up a public notice offering "rehabilitation" for homosexuals at Uganda’s National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.
WASHINGTON -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday demanded that Uganda revise or repeal the law imposing prison sentences for the "crime" of homosexuality, adding to the growing international criticism of the measure signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday.

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Russian gay couple marries in Buenos Aires, will seek asylum in Argentina

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Victor R. Caivano,  APRussian newlyweds Alexander Emereev, left, and Dmitry Zaytsev pose with their marriage book in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The two men, who are from Sochi, planned to apply for political asylum after their marriage ceremony at the civil registry in Buenos Aires.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A same-sex couple from Russia's Olympic city of Sochi has married in Buenos Aires and plan to seek asylum in Argentina.

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Reports: Arizona governor likely to veto anti-gay religious freedom bill

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
APGov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.)
Arizona governor Jan Brewer is likely to veto a controversial "religious freedom" bill that would allow business owners with to deny service to gay people, reports NBC News, citing sources close to the governor who are "familiar with her thinking."

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Trial begins in challenge to Michigan same-sex marriage ban

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Daniel Mears, Detroit News (AP)From left, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse with DeBoer's attorney Dana Nessel enter Federal Court in Detroit, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 before a trial that could overturn Michigan's ban on gay marriage.
DETROIT — An attorney for two women opposing Michigan's ban on gay marriage urged a judge Tuesday to halt the treatment of same-sex couples as "second-class citizens," the latest in a series of marriage-equality challenges across the country.

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Insurers agree to accept premiums for HIV patients while judge considers suit

| Tuesday, February 25, 2014
U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A federal judge received assurances Tuesday that three insurance companies won't immediately stop accepting premium payments from a program that helps HIV and AIDS patients cover health care costs.

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