News You Should Know July 14

BTL Staff

UTAH - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit denied Utah's request to suspend a lower court's ruling ordering the state to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who were legally married after a federal court struck down a state ban. The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted additional marriages from taking place. Over 1,000 same-sex couples married in Utah during that time period. In May, a federal court ordered the state to recognize those marriages as legally valid, but Utah had asked that the lower court's order be suspended as the appeals process continued. The ruling from July 11 denies that request, but does give the state 10 days to decide to seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit is separate from the original federal case challenging Utah's marriage ban, which was also recently struck down by the 10th Circuit.

NATIONAL - CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Chuck Wolfe, released a statement on the Advocate, stating that LGBT candidates are wanted, regardless of party identification. Wolfe mentions how many of the LGBT members of Congress are Democratic, but there are some LGBT Republicans seeking seats in Congress. In the past, party divide has defined where the LGBT political members race, but as Wolfe discusses, there is room and a need for more Republican LGBT members in the political arena.

SINGAPORE - State-run Singapore libraries have deemed a children's book, inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in the New York zoo, inappropriate, and the state's information minister said he supports the destruction of all copies of this book. Two more books were added to the list of "to be pulped" by order of the National Library Board, due to complaints of content that goes against Singapore's family values. This decision has triggered an online petition and open letter to spare the books. Some are even calling for a boycott of the libraries and their events. The three titles flagged include: "And Tango Makes Three," a story about a gay penguin couple raising a baby; "The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption," a story about a lesbian couple; "Who's In My Family : All About Our Families." It is not clear when the books will be destroyed.

TENNESSEE (AP) - There are new signs Republican governors are softening their positions on gay marriage. While the Republican Party's religious conservatives continue to fight same-sex unions, some governors are backing off--at least in what they have to say. Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker says the party isn't fighting gay marriage anymore. He and governors from other states say Republicans are better served by focusing on economic issues. They are trying to strike a delicate balance. The shift comes as many Republicans, including Walker, wage court fights to ban same-sex marriages. Walker explained that taking his state's case to an appellate court is a governor's obligation to defend his state's constitution. The Republican National Committee wants party leaders to be more inclusive of social issues such as gay marriage.

CHARLESTON, W. VA. (AP) - Two transgender women say they were ordered to take off their makeup, jewelry and wigs at West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles offices or they would not get new driver's license photos. Under West Virginia law, the two women will need to see a judge first, according to the division's acting commissioner Steven Dale. Like several other states, West Virginia requires a circuit court order for someone to change gender on a driver's license. A judge has to acknowledge the person completed gender change procedures.

NATIONAL - On July 11, Empire News published a story stating that the Netflix hit show, Orange Is The New Black, was going to be cancelled due to an internal conflict between the show's creator and Netflix's co-founder. The viral piece turned out to be a hoax. The report took off like wildfire on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, being retweeted and shared by users unaware that Empire News is a satirical website. Orange Is The New Black will return in 2015 with season three.


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