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Group behind Ariz. religious freedom bill meeting with GOP conservatives

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Ross D. Franklin, APJo Beaudry holds up a sign as she joins nearly 250 gay rights supporters protesting SB1062 at the Arizona Capitol, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Phoenix.
The social conservative group behind the now infamous 2014 legislation that would have allowed people to refuse to serve gays in the name of religion has been meeting with Republican lawmakers to craft its 2015 agenda in the Arizona Legislature. [...]

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Wyoming state House gives initial approval to religious freedom bill

Friday, January 30, 2015
Wyoming
The bill would allow businesses to deny services when their religion disagrees with another person’s actions, including potentially allowing county clerks to deny issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [...]

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GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights ahead of Supreme Court marriage ruling

Saturday, January 24, 2015
In this Jan. 13, 2015 photo, Michael O'Hara, a retired Fulton County firefighter and current Coweta County paramedic attends a rally to support former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran following his termination in Atlanta. Even as the U.S. Supreme Court gets ready to decide whether gay couples can marry, lawmakers in the South and West are doubling down on the culture wars, backing longshot legislation targeting gay rights.
Lawmakers in a handful of states are backing long shot legislation targeting gay rights. Most, if not all, of the efforts are led by Republicans. [...]

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St. Louis Archdiocese opposes hospital group’s benefits for same-sex spouses

Thursday, January 22, 2015
Mercy
Echoing concerns voiced last week by the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is also criticizing a Catholic-based hospital group’s plan to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of employees. [...]

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Dispute over Bible cake with gay slurs raises charge of religious discrimination

Thursday, January 22, 2015
Bakery owner Marjorie Silva stands for a photo inside her own Azucar Bakery, in Denver. Silva is facing a discrimination complaint with Colorado’s Civil Rights Division because she refused to write hateful words about gays on a cake for a customer.
A dispute over a cake in Colorado raises a new question about gay rights and religious freedom: If bakers can be fined for refusing to serve married same-sex couples, can they also be punished for declining to make a cake with anti-gay statements? [...]

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Mario Cuomo’s lesson on challenging the political authority of the Church

Sunday, January 18, 2015
New York Gov. Mario Cuomo speaks at the University of Notre Dame in 1984.
The first thing I thought of when I heard that former New York governor Mario Cuomo had died was his extraordinary speech at the University of Notre Dame in 1984. I was not alone. ... It was a speech from which Americans who disagree with teachings of their religious tradition [...]

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Mormon man faces excommunication over website, support for gay marriage

Thursday, January 15, 2015
John Dehlin sits in his basement studio where he broadcasts his podcast at his home in North Logan, Utah. Dehlin is a Mormon who is well-known for advocating for gay rights and questioning some church policies.
John Dehlin, who runs the website and podcast Mormonstories.org, said a regional church letter informed him that a disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 25, at which he's likely to be censured or excommunicated. [...]

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North Carolina GOP leader to advance anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ bill

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Paul Stam
State Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, who was re-elected speaker pro tempore of the House on Wednesday, has announced that House leaders will hold a legislative briefing Jan. 28 on a proposed “religious freedom” bill. [...]

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Charlotte Catholic diocese fires gay teacher for saying he’ll marry his partner

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Charlotte Catholic High School
The local Roman Catholic diocese has come under fire again for anti-LGBT discrimination, this time firing a gay teacher after he announced he would marry his same-sex partner later this year. [...]

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Why we can’t get religious freedom right

Monday, January 12, 2015
religious-freedom
Baking a cake, arranging roses, running an inn, are all public acts -- not matters of private belief or worship -- and a person’s religious beliefs should not trump any laws otherwise governing such activities. [...]

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