February 26, 2014 |
TUCSON - In a victory hailed by gay rights advocates, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have bolstered a business owner's right to refuse service to gays and others on the basis of religion. The veto, delivered the same day a federal judge struck down a law against same-sex marriage in Texas, came amid an intense national outcry by the gay community, its supporters, business owners and Arizona political leaders. "Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona," Brewer said in televised remarks from Phoenix.
February 25, 2014 |
As Arizona awaits its governor's decision on a religious freedom bill cast by critics as anti-gay, civil rights advocates in Indiana bashed its state's own foray into controversial legislation: A measure that would exempt many faith-based organizations from a law that prevents religious discrimination in employment decisions. But while the furor grew in Arizona, Indiana lawmakers quickly nixed their measure Tuesday. "The amendment is dead,” said Republican caucus spokeswoman Tory Flynn.
February 20, 2014 |
TUCSON -- Say a gay couple in Phoenix walks into a bakery to order their wedding cake. The baker refuses to take their order because of his deeply held religious beliefs. Under a measure that passed the Arizona Legislature this week, the baker would have greater protection to invoke religion to shield himself from a discrimination lawsuit. The bill, approved by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday and the GOP-led House on Thursday, would bolster a business owner's right to refuse service to gays and others if the owner believes doing so violates the practice and observance of his or her religion.
February 4, 2014 |
SOCHI, Russia -- The honorary mayor of the mountain village at the 2014 Sochi Olympics said Tuesday that the Games should not be used as a platform to protest about gay rights. "For the spectators, it is more important who wins than whether he or her is homosexual or not," said Svetlana Zhurova of Russia, a gold-medal speedskater at the 2006 Turin Games. Gay rights have been an issue because of a Russian laws that criminalizes "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" in the presence of minors.
January 26, 2014 |
Sochi Friendship Grove looked like a pleasant place for reflection on a Friday afternoon, a chance to ponder the ideals and beliefs of the Olympic movement with the opening ceremony exactly three weeks away. Uniformed high-school students, classes done for the day, streamed across the street past the park. The lemon-filled Friendship Tree, planted in 1992, was a short skateboard ride away, and to get there, you could go past a wall mural with the Olympic rings and snow-peaked mountains.
January 16, 2014 |
As the 2014 Sochi Olympics draw near, Russia's anti-gay legislation continues to be a hot-button issue. Earlier this week, the U.S. Olympic Committee declined to take an official stance on the laws, saying it would defer to the Olympic Charter, which bans political demonstrations by athletes and coaches at the Games. On Wednesday, an International Olympic Committee member was quoted by Italian media as saying that President Obama's decision to include openly gay athletes on the U.S. delegation to Sochi is "absurd.