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Civil rights groups, lawmakers step up pressure on Obama over executive order

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
AP (File)
Dozens of civil rights organizations and a group of Democratic lawmakers have signed letters this week asking President Barack Obama not to exempt “religiously affiliated contractors” from a planned executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors. The letters come as the debate over religious liberty intensifies in the wake of a recent ...

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Number of people living with HIV worldwide unchanged since 2012

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Students paste red ribbons on a window to mark World AIDS Day.
LONDON -- The number of people living with HIV worldwide has remained virtually unchanged in the past two years and AIDS-related deaths are at their lowest since peaking almost a decade ago, according to a report from the United Nations AIDS agency released Wednesday. Officials declared that ending the AIDS epidemic is possible even though they acknowledged...

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Large-scale government health survey reports on gay, bisexual Americans

| Tuesday, July 15, 2014
AP
Less than 3 percent of U.S. adults identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation. The National Health Interview Survey, released Tuesday by U.S. Centers for Disease Control, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves...

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Holder: DOJ prepared to urge Supreme Court to strike down gay marriage bans

| Sunday, July 13, 2014
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the Justice Department is prepared to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans across the country should the high court take up one of the challenges currently before the federal appellate courts.

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Republican governors’ rhetoric softening on same-sex marriage

| Saturday, July 12, 2014
From left: Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), and Gov.Terry Branstad (R-Iowa).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Deep in the nation's Bible Belt, new signs emerged this weekend of an evolution among Republican governors on gay marriage, an explosive social issue that has divided America's families and politics for years. While the Republican Party's religious conservatives continue to fight against same-sex marriage, its governors appear to be...

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National Gay Blood Drive urges FDA to end ban on gay male blood donors

| Friday, July 11, 2014
blood-donor
A National Gay Blood Drive is taking place in more than 60 U.S. cities on Friday to call attention to the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s longstanding ban prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating blood. The drive – which is open to everyone – is organized by filmmaker and activist Ryan James Yezak with the help of local leaders and volunteers from ...

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Pelosi backs ENDA despite concerns over broad religious exemptions

| Thursday, July 10, 2014
U.S.  Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
WASHINGTON -- House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says she still supports a Senate-passed bill to outlaw workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people. A number of national LGBT rights groups have withdrawn their support because it has a broad religious exemption. The California Democrat says she understands the...

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A look at what’s next for same-sex marriage in the U.S.

| Thursday, July 10, 2014
In this July 1, 2013 file photo, Rick Nelson Flor, right, holds a flower bouquet as he stands next to his partner Robert O'Rourke before their wedding ceremony in West Hollywood, Calif.
Utah’s decision to ask the nation’s highest court to review a federal appeals court ruling in favor of gay marriage nudges the issue closer to the U.S. Supreme Court. State officials said Wednesday they plan to ask the justices to review a June 25 ruling from a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found Utah’s same-sex marriage ban ...

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Obama faces pressure over religious exemption in anti-bias order

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014
lgbt-white-house
In the intensifying debate over religious liberty, President Barack Obama faces pressure from opposite flanks as he prepares to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in hiring. Many religious leaders and conservative groups want him to exempt religious organizations from the order...

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Six national LGBT rights groups drop ENDA support over religious exemptions

| Tuesday, July 8, 2014
AP
WASHINGTON — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced Tuesday that it is withdrawing its support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), fearing that broad religious exemptions included in the current bill could compel private companies to cite objections similar to those that prevailed in last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case brought by Hobby Lobby.

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