Oklahoma: LGBT groups merge to fight anti-gay bills

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two of Oklahoma’s most prominent LGBT advocacy groups announced Monday they are merging to form a united voice to fight what they called a number of “hate-filled” measures pre-filed for the 2015 session.

“The LGBT community of Oklahoma is under attack and we’re here to tell you we plan on fighting back, Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, said during a Capitol press conference Monday.

Oklahoma: 8 bills attack LGBT people and their families

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Freedom Oklahoma on Monday strongly condemned eight shocking anti-equality bills filed in the Oklahoma legislature.

Submitted moments before the filing deadline, these appalling bills viciously target LGBT families and young people across the state.

Virginia: Lesbian couple win right to have names on twin's birth certificates

RICHMOND, Virginia -- When Maria Hayman delivered her twins, Merida and Finn, on June 13, 2013, at St. Francis Medical Center, there was no doubt in her mind as to who the other parent was.

Her wife, Joani Hayman, had contributed eggs that were placed in Maria after being fertilized with sperm from a donor who had revoked his parental rights.

But Joani’s name was not allowed on the children’s birth certificates because egg donors do not have parental rights, according to the Code of Virginia.

Illinois bill would banish conversion therapy for LGBT youth

CHICAGO – Equality Illinois on Tuesday announced an initiative to pass legislation banning ineffectual and dangerous conversion therapy during this new term of the Illinois General Assembly in order to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children.

ACTION ALERT! Stop draconian "religious freedom" bill in Virginia

RICHMOND, Virginia -- The ACLU of Virginia is rallying the troops to stop in its track a bill that would be devastating to the LGBT community.

Rabidly anti-gay Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) has proposed HB 1414, a draconian measure that would go far beyond any "religious freedom" bill that has been proposed in the United States.

Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of ACLU of Virginia, blasted the proposed bill.

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Saving San Diego’s LGBT historic sites

SAN DIEGO, California -- Home to the Kumeyaay people for 12,000 years and discovered by Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542, San Diego is one of America’s most historic cities. And in modern times, the LGBTQ community has had an important place in the past of America's Finest City.

Utah: Gay rights vs. "religious freedom" in competing proposals

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- After being shelved during the last legislative session, the clash over a statewide anti-discrimination law will likely be aired during the upcoming session.

Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund said Republican senators meeting in closed-door caucus Wednesday discussed the anti-discrimination law that will be sponsored by Sen. Steve Urquhart, along with a few competing "religious liberty" proposals that are expected to be introduced.

Inquest: Lesbian teen killed self over "misplaced" fears her parents might disapprove

DIDSBURY, England -- The parents of a teenage girl from Didsbury have spoken of their anguish after she hanged herself over fears of telling them she might be gay.

In the months before her death, 14-year-old Elisabeth Lowe, known as Lizzie, had confided to pals that she thought she may be a lesbian, an inquest heard.

Her friends said she was scared of telling her parents and had struggled to reconcile her feelings with the family's strong Christian faith.

But Lizzie's dad said her fears were "misplaced" and that she would have received a "wealth of love and acceptance."

Petition drive urges Texas governor-elect to implement PREA

DALLAS, Texas -- Lambda Legal today launched a petition drive calling on the state of Texas and Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott to implement and abide by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), the federal law signed by former President George W. Bush to address the problem of prison rape across the country.

Gay veterans group allowed to march in St. Patrick's Parade in Boston

BOSTON, Massachusetts -- Organizers of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade on Monday night voted 5-4 to approve an application to march by OUTVETS, a group honoring LGBT military veterans.

The vote by the Allied War Veterans Council, which won a landmark US Supreme Court ruling in the past that allowed organizers to ban marchers who proclaimed their sexual orientation, could be a significant development in the annual dispute over the inclusiveness of the parade.