Arkansas Legislature Pulls Out All the Stops to Block LGBT Equality — and Other Civil Rights, Too

The Arkansas House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that will block cities and counties from enacting their own policies to protect LGBT people from discrimination — or, for that matter, creating any civil rights ordinances outside those put in place by the state.

SB202 bars cities and counties in the state of Arkansas from ensuring civil rights protections for any group not already specified in the state law. Currently, the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 protects against discrimination based on the following characteristics:

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New Jersey Judge Rules Ex-Gay Conversion Therapy is Consumer Fraud

For the first time ever, a United States judge has affirmed what the American Psychiatric Association has been saying since 1973: Homosexuality is not a mental illness.

Judge Peter F. Barsio Jr. of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled last week against the conversion therapy provider Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH). Here’s the official ruling, short and sweet:

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Mike Huckabee Says Marriage Equality Is Like Swearing and Drinking: His Friends Do It, but He Doesn’t Condone It

Potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has come up with a new way to describe his opposition to same-sex marriage: like swearing or drinking, it’s something his “friends” may partake in, but not something he’ll ever condone.

He told CNN:



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Mormon Church Defends LGBT Protections — As Long As Religious Groups Can Still Legally Discriminate

At a press conference in Salt Lake City today, Mormon church officials requested a truce with the LGBT community.

The Mormon church will support nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in matters of housing, employment, and public services, one elder said, as long as those laws carve out protections for the expression of “religious freedom,” too. 

Essentially, they’re saying discrimination against LGBT people isn’t okay, unless it’s done in the name of religion.



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Oklahoma Rep. Proposes Dodging Marriage Equality By Outlawing Secular Marriage Licenses

Oklahoma State Rep. Todd Russ (below) has a solution to the pesky problem of gays trying to get married: outlawing secular marriage altogether.

Russ says he wants to “protect” court clerks from doing their jobs and providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, which they’ve been legally able to do since October. Under his proposal, marriage certificates could be signed only by a religious official, who would then pass the certificate along to the clerk. Judges could no longer perform legal marriages.

While couples who didn’t have a religious official handy could still qualify for a common law marriage, this still means only church-sanctioned relationships could be legally, formally recognized.

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