Big Gay News: 501


BigGayNews from Virginia:
Appeals Panel Strikes Down Virginia Gay Marriage Ban

USA Today reports that a federal appeals court panel in Virginia became the second one this summer to strike down a state ban against same-sex marriage Monday, making it more likely that the Supreme Court will settle the issue as early as next year.

The 2 to 1 ruling, made by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, affirmed a decision already made by a district judge’s decision in February.

Judge Henry Floyd stated: “We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.”


BigGayNews from New York:
HIV Diagnoses Rate Fell By Third In US Over Decade

The Star Tribune reports that the rate of HIV infections diagnoses in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds.

The study was released on Saturday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, and is based on data gathered from HIV diagnoses pulled from the health departments of all fifty states.

Experts in AIDS research such as Patrick Sullivan of Emory University call the results encouraging.


BigGayNews from Washington, D.C.:
Obama Gives Protection To Gay, Transgender Workers reports that President Barack Obama on Monday gave employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, after being convinced by advocates of what he called “the irrefutable rightness of your cause.”

The President had taken his time on signing the executive action in hopes that the Congress would pass the more far-reaching Employment Non-Discrimination Act which is currently stalled.

Obama’s action does maintain a provision for religious groups that have federal contracts to hire or fire in regards to religious identity but they do not have exception to consider sexual orientation or gender identity.


BigGayNews from Missouri:
Gay, Married Church Worker Sues Missouri Catholic Diocese For Firing

Reuters reports that a Missouri church worker sued the Catholic diocese in Kansas City on Thursday claiming she was wrongly fired from her salaried position as a pastoral associate after her marriage to another woman was mentioned in a local newspaper.

Colleen Simon’s lawsuit alleges that the church knew of her sexual orientation and same-sex marital status when she was hired, but that she was later fired after an article in a local newspaper mentioned her work with a local food pantry as well as her marriage.

Simon has been married since May of 2012 when she and her partner wed in Iowa.


BigGayNews from the United States:
Tony Dungy: I Wouldn’t Have Taken Michael Sam

NBC Sports reports that former Colts and Buccaneers head coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy says that if he were still an NFL head coach, he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam, who became the first openly gay player in league history when the Rams selected him in May.

Dungy commented that his decision would not have been because he doesn’t believe that Sam should have a chance to play, but that he would not have wanted to deal with the distractions and media circus that having a gay player on his team would have entailed.

Dungy’s comments, especially coming from an African-American, would seem to be somewhat hypocritical, especially considering that, in years past, many several teams took a chance on hiring the first minority players, and the sport is better today for those decisions.


BigGayNews from the United States:
Final Fantasy Gamers Hold Gay Pride Parade

The Huffington Post reports that sometimes we see Pride in the most unlikely places.

Rough Trade Gaming Community, reportedly the largest GLBT gaming guild, decided to show their queer pride in the Final Fantasy XIV virtual universe.

The parade was apparently inspired by an earlier announcement from the game’s developers.


BigGayNews from Kansas:
The Incredible Story Of How Some Cookie Kindness Rescued This GLBT Charity

The Huffington Post reports that the air conditioning unit at Planting Peace’s Equality House, which is located across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka, Kansas, broke last week as temperatures hit the high-80s and mid-90s.

After the first company that the organization contacted gave them a quote of $3,000 for repairs, they decided to get a second opinion from local company A-Way Heating, Cooling and Electric.

After the technician came out to the famous rainbow house and made repairs, Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, was presented with a bill…asking only for cookies to be sent to A-Way’s office. When questioned, the repairman said that he was no fan of their neighbors (Westboro Baptist Church), and requested that Planting Peace and Equality House keep up the good work.


BigGayNews from Saudi Arabia:
Gay Man Sentenced For Twitter Debauchery In Saudi Arabia

Gulf News reports that a court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a homosexual man to three years in prison and 450 lashes for using his Twitter account to promote homosexual contacts.

The 24-year-old man had posted several tweets requesting meetings and his wishes to meet gay men which resulted in his arrest.

The young man was apprehended after being set up in a sting operation by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the religious police in the Middle Eastern country.

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