News You Should Know August 4, 2014

BTL Staff

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A small but growing number of American Muslims are challenging the long-standing interpretations of Islam that defined their parents' world. These Muslims believe one can be gay and Muslim, that the sexes can pray shoulder-to-shoulder, that females can preach and that Muslim women can marry non-Muslims. They point to Quran passages to back them up and say the stricter version of Islam found in many immigrant mosques isn't representative of their faith. Nearly 40 percent of the estimated 2.75 million Muslims in the U.S. are American-born and the number is growing. The organization Muslims for Progressive Values is among those groups pushing for a more inclusive American Islam.

VIRGINIA (AP) - A county court clerk in northern Virginia is seeking to delay a federal appeals court ruling striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban. A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Monday [July 28] that Virginia's gay marriage ban approved by voters in 2006 is unconstitutional. In a filing Friday, Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele B. McQuigg asked the court to stay the decision while she appeals to the Supreme Court. Without a stay, marriage licenses could be issued to Virginia's same-sex couples 21 days after the ruling.

VIENNA (WashingtonBlade) - One of the five openly gay U.S. ambassadors currently serving overseas wed his partner Saturday in a Vienna ceremony. Daniel Baer, U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe, married Brian Walsh, who works as an agronomist and environmental economist for the International Institute for Applied System Analysis. Baer isn't the first U.S. ambassador to enter into a same-sex marriage while serving in his post. In August 2013, U.S. ambassador to Australia John Berry wed his partner, Curtis Tate, in a D.C. ceremony.

WASHINGTON D.C. - President Obama turns 53 today and will celebrate with a light public schedule. Want to sign his birthday card? Sign the e-card here. There is a choice of three different styles one even includes a cute pup with sunglasses.

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Special Section: World AIDS Day
Study Finds Significant Racial Disparities For HIV Infection Among Black And White MSM

A study published in the journal The Lancet HIV reports that there is a significant disparity in HIV prevalence between black and white men who have sex with men. The study was published on Nov. 18 and found a startling 32 percent prevalence rate for black men who have sex with men, compared with only eight percent for white men who have sex with men.

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