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NATIONAL
March 4, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Lawyers will appeal a federal judge's ruling that Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, but they won't be state Atty. Gen. Jack Conway's lawyers. In a news conference Tuesday that ended with tears streaming down his face, Conway said that defending the state's ban "would be defending discrimination. "  Conway, a Democrat, began choking up when he mentioned his wife and how he had prayed over a tough decision. (Video of his news conference is shown above.) "In the end, this issue is really larger than any single person, and it's about placing people above politics," Conway told reporters.
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NEWS
March 3, 2014 | By Joel Silberman, guest blogger, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
In the wake of a federal judge striking down Texas' gay marriage ban and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoing an anti-gay bill, I feel compelled to confess something uncomfortable: I was totally wrong about gay marriage. I never opposed gay marriage on principle. I have always believed -- and continue to believe -- that a legal contract available to one pair of people should also be available to another pair of people. Because of equality.  But after seeing how the words “gay marriage” fired up conservative voters in 2004, I found myself arguing with friends both gay and straight that it was the wrong issue at the wrong time.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Walt Disney Co. said it will stop financial support for Boy Scouts-related organizations beginning next year because of the Scouts' policy banning adult leaders who are gay. The Boy Scouts said it is "disappointed" with the move. The company's decision was made public after the president of a Boy Scouts council in Apopka, Fla., sent local troops a memo on Disney's move. Robert Utsey's letter was posted on a website for Scouts for Equality, an organization advocating against the ban on gay leaders, according to the Associated Press.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Starting in 2015 the Boy Scouts of America's policy banning adult leaders who are gay will cost the organization donations from the Walt Disney Co. Though Disney doesn't provide money to the Boy Scouts' national or local councils, the Burbank-based company with major theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando, Fla., provides small grants to local troops and packs, said Deron Smith, a Boy Scouts spokesman. “We believe every child deserves the opportunity to be a part of the Scouting experience and we are disappointed in this decision because it will impact our ability to serve kids,” Smith said in a statement.
OPINION
March 2, 2014
Re "A clear message in Arizona veto," News Analysis, Feb. 28 The Times explains the motives behind Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of the anti-gay bill recently passed by the state's legislature. Prominent Republicans urged Brewer to veto the bill because of the need to focus on the economy rather than divisive social issues, which could hurt the party in the November midterm elections. What they didn't make a big deal about was that the bill was bad because it was mean-spirited and bigoted.
NATIONAL
March 1, 2014 | By Paresh Dave and Michael Muskal
In Arizona, corporate presure might have helped persuade Gov. Jan Brewer this week to veto legislation derided as anti-gay. Now in Boston, this weekend, political pressure appears to be reopening a door for gays to one of the major events in the city, the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Gay rights groups haven't been invited to march in the annual parade in South Boston since 1993, and the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of organizers to keep openly gay marchers out. But new Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said this week that he would boycott the March 16 parade, in keeping with the tradition of his predecessor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2014 | By Sam Farmer
The ability to disguise is valued in football, as it is essential to fooling an opponent. In a sense, offensive lineman Roy Simmons was better at concealing than most. Simmons hid his homosexuality from his New York Giants and Washington Redskins teammates throughout his career, and in retirement became the second NFL player to announce that he was gay. "If Roy had come out when he was a player, he would have been accepted," former Giants teammate Harry Carson said last week.
NATIONAL
February 28, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - Mark Phariss almost didn't file the lawsuit that led a judge to overturn the Texas ban on same-sex marriage this week . One reason: Phariss, a Dallas corporate lawyer seeking to marry his partner of several years, has long been friends with one of the conservative state officials he sued: Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott. The two men grew up about 50 miles apart in conservative country - Phariss in Lawton, Okla., Abbott to the south in Wichita Falls, Texas. Later, they became friends during law school and stayed in touch over the years with an occasional meeting or Christmas card.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
South Carolina lawmakers voted Wednesday to cut $69,000 in funding to two public universities that had assigned gay-themed books as reading for incoming students. The books are "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award, and "Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio," a collection of stories broadcast on a South Carolina radio show. The University of South Carolina Upstate would lose $17,000 for assigning "Out Loud," while the College of Charleston would lose $52,000 for assigning Bechdel's "Fun Home," a memoir told in graphic novel form, to incoming freshmen.
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