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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oklahoma gay marriage ban is just wrong

Tallgrass Prairie Nature Preserve in Osage County, Oklahoma

A federal court judge has ruled Oklahoma’s state amendment to ban gay marriage unconstitutional, but local gay cowboys and cowgirls will have to wait before they break their backs to put a ring on the finger of that special person. Unlike Utah, where there was an immediate window to marry before the U.S. Supreme Court put a temporary block in place, U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern stayed his ruling pending an appeal. Kern said Oklahoma’s same-sex-marriage ban is an "arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit." Arbitrary and Irrational? In Oklahoma?! No way!

Nigeria's new anti-gay law spreads fear

Lagos, Nigeria

Human rights activists say police in northern Nigeria are torturing gay men to get the names of other LGBT Nigerians to prosecute under a the country's new anti-gay law. Many activists fear a spike in homophobic violence. The law, pushed through by conservative religious groups, also targets HIV-AIDS prevention programs and health care for those who are infected.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gay groups ask Apple to cut ties with Russia’s Euroset over spokesperson’s extreme homophobic comments

A Euroset shop in Moscow

Several Russian LGBT organizations have formed a coalition to pressure Apple to break ties with Russia-based mobile phone retailer Euroset. Ivan Okhlobystin, Euroset’s creative director and spokesperson, recently suggested burning all gays alive in furnaces, followed by more homophobic comments on Twitter. The coalition wrote an open letter to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. The groups are also asking Euroset vendors in Europe and Asia to reevaluate their partnerships.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Supreme Court temporarily blocks Utah gay marriages

United States Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court has temporarily blocked same-sex marriages in Utah until a federal appeals court rules on whether the state law banning the marriages violates the Constitution. The process could last several weeks.

Friday, January 3, 2014

‘Equality Means Business’ in Memphis

Elvis statue at Beale and Main Street, Memphis

A Tennessee group wants to encourage LGBT equality through the power of the gay purse. The Tennessee Equality Project’s campaign, ‘Equality Means Business,’ enables companies to promote solidarity with gay customers with a window sticker. Participants also receive recognition online and through a business list. The group says some Memphis businesses have been discriminating against LGBT people.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gay couples fight Kansas tax law

Wichita, Kan.

The Kansas Department of Revenue is being sued by two same-sex couples over unequal treatment when filing taxes. In Kansas, married gay couples must file two separate returns—one for federal, which recognizes the marriage as legal, and one for Kansas, which considers the union invalid.