New & Noteworthy:

LGBT Rights

LGBT rights are human rights and civil rights, although legal protections and laws affecting LGBT people vary greatly by country or territory. LGBT rights laws include, but are not limited to, the following: government recognition of same-sex relationships (such as via same-sex marriage or civil unions), LGBT adoption, recognition of LGBT parenting, anti-bullying legislation and student non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT children and/or students, immigration equality laws, anti-discrimination laws for employment and housing, hate crime laws providing enhanced criminal penalties for prejudice-motivated violence against LGBT people, equal age of consent laws, and laws related to sexual orientation and military service.

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WATCH: Pastor attacks church leader’s hypocritical stance on gay people

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
"Go find every song that's been written by a gay person for the last 100 years and don't sing it in church," Pastor E. Dewey Smith said during an impassioned sermon. "Let's see how many songs you can minister on that Sunday."
"We demonize and dehumanize the same people that we use," Smith cried to a cheering congregation. ...

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Rio de Janeiro prisons seek to protect transgender inmates

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
"In Brazil, even regular prisoners are an invisible to society at large. Transgender prisoners are doubly invisible . and vulnerable," said Claudio Nascimento, who heads the Rio Without Homophobia advocacy group.
Brazil's penitentiaries are notorious for rampant overcrowding and violence endured by all inmates. But advocates say few prisoners are as vulnerable as transgender people. ...

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Here are 13 heart-breaking stories of amazing people thrown out of the Scouts simply for being gay

Monday, July 27, 2015
This weekend, Scouts for Equality have been Tweeting the personal touching stories of men and women who've been fired from the BSA.
Get to know some of the countless men and women who've been fired from the Boy Scouts of America for being gay. ...

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Boy Scouts expected to lift its ban on gay leaders today

Monday, July 27, 2015
The Boy Scouts' membership policy has been increasingly scrutinized in recent years, with prosecutors in New York and Colorado actively investigating the organization's hiring practices.
However, even under this new policy, church-led scouting groups will still be able to limit leadership jobs to heterosexuals. ...

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Conference unites black activists; focuses on transgender lives

Sunday, July 26, 2015
Elle Hearns, a transgender woman who helped organize the conference, said transgender women live on the margins and are too often victims of violence.
The movement is paying special attention to youth, women and people who identify themselves as lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender. ...

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Ethiopia leaders oppose Obama’s stance on gay rights

Sunday, July 26, 2015
An Ethiopia national flag, left, is seen next to a U.S. flag, center, in a busy street ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
"Oppose the president if he raises the gay issue here," said the Ethiopian Orthodox Church-linked Weyiniye Teklehaimanot Association. ...

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The Michigan Constitution says only heterosexual couples can marry

Saturday, July 25, 2015
Michigan state capitol in Lansing.
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan wants to erase this part of the constitution; says it's "dead." ...

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LGBT rights activists mark landmark 1965 demonstration

Sunday, July 5, 2015
Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the same-sex marriage case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, speaks during the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The event marks the 50th anniversary of a protest outside Independence Hall that would be a milestone in the fight for gay rights.
LGBT rights activists gathered in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July to mark the progress of their movement and pay tribute to those who launched it a half-century ago - but also made it clear ...

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Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban to remain in state constitution

Sunday, July 5, 2015
Idaho Statehouse in Boise.
Removing the language will likely be an uphill battle. Amending the Idaho Constitution first requires approval from the Republican-dominated Legislature. The proposal must then win a simple majority in a voter referendum. ...

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Mixed reaction to scrapping of anti-gay law in Mozambique

Saturday, July 4, 2015
Mozambique
Earlier this week, Mozambique scrapped a colonial Portuguese law demanding "security measures to be taken against anyone practicing vices against nature." The move is seen as part of the more liberal social stance of recently elected President Filipe Nyusi. ...

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