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February 25, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Apple is urging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto a bill that would make it possible for business owners to use their religious beliefs as a reason to deny service to gays and lesbians. The Cupertino tech giant weighed in on the matter because it now conducts business in the state. Late last year, Apple announced plans to open a manufacturing plant in Mesa, Ariz. News reports have suggested that the plant may be used to make the screens for the company's next iPhone. An Apple spokeswoman confirmed to the Associated Press the company had reached out directly to Brewer about vetoing Arizona SB 1062.
February 25, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
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 24, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Human rights groups and Western leaders condemned harsh anti-gay legislation signed into law Monday by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, calling it draconian, offensive and an affront to basic rights. But Ugandan officials and parliamentarians, including David Bahati, who introduced the law in parliament, celebrated the move. Bahati posted a thank you message to Museveni on his Facebook page: "If you are involved in the gay and lesbianism lifestyle you are liable to life imprisonment.
February 24, 2014 | By Daniel Rothberg
WASHINGTON -- Both of Arizona's senators have taken to Twitter, publicly calling on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto legislation that would allow businesses to use religion as a basis for denying service to gays and lesbians. " I hope Governor Brewer will veto #SB1062," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tweeted  Monday morning, repeating nearly word-for-word a tweet Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) sent out on Saturday. Amid a media firestorm over the bill, the senators' urging is the latest sign that the Republican establishment is seeking to distance itself from extreme conservative positions that might hurt the party in upcoming midterm elections.
February 24, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON - Three Republicans who supported a bill bolstering the rights of business owners to refuse service to gays and others on the basis of religion reversed course Monday and asked the governor to veto the controversial measure. Republican state Sens. Adam Driggs, Steve Pierce and Bob Worsley wrote a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer pleading for her to reject SB 1062. The measure is intended to support business owners who refuse service to gays and others because they believe serving them violates the practice and observance of their religion.
February 23, 2014 | By Dan Loumena
Jason Collins, a 35-year-old free agent, signed a 10-day contract Sunday with the Brooklyn Nets, which makes him the first openly gay athlete in one of America's four major sports leagues. The 7-foot center, who came out after playing last season with the Boston Celtics, is a 12-year veteran primarily known for his defense and rebounding. He had not previously been signed by any team this season. ESPN first reported that Collins was expected to sign Sunday and possibly play in the evening at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Lakers.
February 23, 2014 | By Kurt Streeter
Chelsea McInturff and Samantha Curley were eager for a public conversation about film, gay sexuality and Christian life, but they weren't sure whether it was the right time - or the right place. They stood nervously inside an auditorium at Pasadena's evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary last spring, worried the drama they were about to screen - - about a teen coming out as lesbian - would end up offending an audience of students and professors who didn't necessarily approve of its story line.
February 22, 2014 | Sam Farmer
INDIANAPOLIS  - Michael Sam stepped onto stage and looked into what might have been the largest media gathering in the history of the NFL scouting combine. Hundreds of reporters clustered in, and there were three rows of TV and video cameras. "I just wish you guys would just see me as Michael Sam the football player," the Missouri defensive end said, "instead of Michael Sam the gay football player. " Then again, it was Sam who generated the story with his announcement two weeks ago he is homosexual, telling his story to the New York Times and ESPN.
February 22, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON - Some Arizona business owners, still smarting from boycotts launched after the state passed a sweeping anti-illegal-immigration law, are trying to fend off a possible backlash from a new piece of legislation that has the gay community and its supporters in an uproar. Some businesses have taken to social media, saying that even if the bill does become law, they will welcome LGBT customers. The bill, approved by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday and the GOP-led House on Thursday, is designed to 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.
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