National

HRC: No counties now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — As of noon on Wednesday, HRC Alabama was unable to confirm any Alabama counties that are issuing licenses to same-sex couples, in the wake of an order by the Alabama Supreme Court late Tuesday night.

This turnaround comes as the result of the confusion created by an emergency petition to the Alabama Supreme Court by two anti-LGBT groups, the Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program, who sought to stop probate judges from issuing marriage licenses.

BREAKING! Judge won't lift stay in Arkansas marriage lawsuit

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas -- Federal Judge Kristine Baker said today she would not be lifting her stay on gay marriage in Arkansas because her case is still pending before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Eighth Circuit issued stays in the Arkansas case as well as one involving Missouri, which is also in its jurisdiction.

Utah: LGBT, Mormon groups to announce compromise anti-discrimination measure

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- State lawmakers from both parties, Mormon Church leaders and local gay equality advocates are expected to announce proposed legislation Wednesday meant to protect from discrimination of LGBT people as well as opponents of gay equality who cite religion for their beliefs. LGBT and Mormon leaders say the collaboration of a traditional faith group and gay rights groups on the divisive culture war issue is historic.

BREAKING! Alabama high court orders halt to gay weddings, defying federal judge

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- The Alabama Supreme Court late Tuesday ordered the state's probate judges to stop issuing marriages licenses to gay and lesbian couples, in an attempt to halt gay marriages.

The anti-gay move defies federal court rulings and creates an immediate constitutional crisis over whether federal law trumps state law. In more than two centuries of American history, federal law has always led the way.

Alabama's high court is headed by the scandal-ridden Chief Justice Roy Moore, one of the most anti-gay activists in the South. Moore recused himself from the vote.

Alabama: "Religious freedom" bill would legalize discrimination

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- The legislative session in Alabama opened Tuesday with the introduction of a "religious freedom" bill that is far broader than existing exemptions in other states.

HB 56 would allow religious organizations to refuse solemnizing and recognizing any marriage, and prevents the government from penalizing organizations for their refusal to recognize marriage.

New York Fire Department to swear in first lesbian chaplain

NEW YORK -- Maybe it is her short, spiky hair, or the cigarettes, which she gives to the men repairing the wiring in her Brooklyn apartment. Maybe it is because she swears. For whatever reason, the Rev. Ann Kansfield does not fit the stereotype of a minister.

Not that she is worried about meeting anyone’s expectations for what a clergywoman should say or do.

“We shouldn’t have to hide ourselves or worry about being judged,” Kansfield, who ministers at the Greenpoint Reformed Church, said.

First Circuit revives bisexual worker's claims against Bank of America

NEW YORK -- A U.S. appeals court has reinstated claims against Bank of America Corp by a former call center employee who says the harassment she faced when she began dating a female coworker led to her termination.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said Shelly Flood, who worked at a Maine customer service center from 2006 to 2010, could proceed with wrongful termination and hostile work environment claims under the state's Human Rights Act.

Idaho: Silent gay-rights protesters arrested at Capitol

BOISE, Idaho – Nearly two dozen people were arrested in the Idaho state Capitol on Monday after they entered the House and Senate chambers and stood in silent protest over the lack of anti-discrimination protections for gays in Idaho, refusing to leave.

Legislation to outlaw discrimination against gay and transgender Idahoans was the subject of a lengthy public hearing in January, but was voted down on a party-line vote, with all Republicans on the House State Affairs Committee opposing it, and only minority Democrats supporting it.

Arkansas: AG urges judges to keep stays in place in marriage cases

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas -- Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has asked both a federal judge in Little Rock and the Arkansas Supreme Court to leave in place the stays they imposed months ago on rulings throwing out the state's bans on same-sex marriage.

North Carolina: Charlotte rejects LGBT-inclusive ordinances

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- Charlotte City Council rejected several proposed LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances, after attempting to approve a compromise that would have exempted restrooms, locker rooms, showers and changing rooms from public accommodations protections.

The 6-5 vote is the second time in two decades that Charlotte has rejected LGBT-inclusive protections. LGBT advocates are condemning the vote.