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HRC Warns 12 States ‘Don’t Repeat The Mistakes Of Indiana' In New Media Campaign

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The Human Rights Coalition launched a new ad campaign asking 12 state governors to reject bills that target LGBT people like the one Gov. Mike Pence passed in Indiana. HRC's new campaign comes after a study conducted by the organization yielded results stating that a majority of Hoosiers believe Pence’s bill is damaging Indiana’s economy. JoDee Winterhof, HRC's vice president for policy and political affairs, warned of the repercussions states could endure if they follow Pence’s example.

Said Winterhof:

"Gov. Mike Pence found that experimenting with anti-LGBT bills that allow businesses to discriminate killed his approval ratings and damaged the Hoosier economy. Governors who go down the same path as Mike Pence and put their state economy at risk in an attempt to further discrimination are going to find themselves at risk of being rejected by the voters."

The results of HRC's study reflects Winterhof's warning as a majority of voters (70% to 24%) believe that businesses should not discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity. Surprisingly a majority of Republican voters (58% to 36%) concur. Pence’s approval ratings have since plummeted, allowing for a potential Democratic challenger to make gains in the state. HRC's media campaign officially began today on social media in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Although Pence attempted to clarify that official language in the new law would prevent LGBT discrimination, HRC isn’t buying it, noting that the state’s laws are still devoid of any clear LGBT anti-discrimination laws that would grant full protections to LGBT people in the state.


Alabama's Gay 'Prancing Elites' Dance Troop Kicks Off Reality Series Tonight on Oxygen: VIDEOS

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Towleroad readers may recall the Prancing Elites, a dance team from Alabama which caused controversy after appearing in a local Christmas parade.

2_prancingelitesOne onlooker told FOX10 at the time: "I was outraged and appalled. I never expect anything like this at the Semmes Christmas parade. If they were gonna put this kind of activity in the parade, they should have notified the people of Semmes so that we had a choice whether we wanted out children to attend and see something like that."

Now the troop is the subject of a reality series, The Prancing Elites Project, on Oxygen which premieres tonight at 10/9c. From its synopsis:

Set in the high-stakes world of Southern dance teams, this show chronicles the story of the Prancing Elites—an all-male competitive dance team in Mobile, Alabama who are looking to go from a one-click-wonder to a national sensation. With big personalities and even more heart, these five best friends will navigate the pitfalls of stardom and interpersonal drama all while attempting to break down the stereotypes and barriers put in their path towards success.

In tonight's episode, the group gets some encouragement from (and freaks out upon meeting) Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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545 Gay Couples Were Married in Alabama While It Was Legal

Alabama

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health Department, 545 gay couples married in Alabama while it was legal to do so from February 9 to March 3, the AP reports.

The Alabama Supreme Court put a halt to the marriages on March 3 when it issued a ruling to probate judges ordering them to halt issuing marriage licenses.

HRC released a statement at the time: "The Alabama state Supreme Court does not have the authority to interfere with a federal court order. This order is outrageous and baffling, and no amount of legalese can hide the bare animus that forms the foundation of this extralegal ruling."


Alabama Bill Would Allow Faith-Based Adoption Agencies To Refuse Gay Couples: VIDEO

A bill introduced last week to the Alabama Legislature could allow adoption agencies, including those with state contracts, to refuse to place children with gay couples on religious grounds, reports Beaumont Enterprise.

AllenSponsored by Republican Senator Gerald Allen (right), the bill would also prohibit Alabama from refusing to license or contract with groups refusing services to people on religious grounds.

The bill is wide-ranging in scope as it does not specify gay couples. Rather, it allows faith-based groups to refuse services that violate any of their religious beliefs.

Allen said the bill aims to protect religious groups, including children's homes affiliated with the Baptist and Catholic churches, in anticipation that the Supreme Court could legalize same-sex marriage later this year.

Eric Johnston, an attorney who worked on the bill, said that it allows religious groups to observe their own rights and beliefs but does not discriminate against gay couples.

However, opponents claim it would provide legal cover for discrimination against a diverse array of families seeking to adopt.

Human Rights Campaign Alabama state director R. Ashley Jackson said that "decisions about prospective parents should be based on the best interest of the child, not on discriminatory factors unrelated to good parenting.”

Johnston added that legislation is likely to soon be introduced to provide civil protections to florists, bakers and others who refuse to provide services at same-sex weddings.

Earlier this week, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (above, right) said that if he didn't speak out against same-sex marriage, he'd be guilty of treason.

Watch Moore compare same-sex marriage to slavery, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Alabama Federal Judge Refuses To Stay Gay Marriage Ruling

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07efa2c1970d-500wiU.S. District Judge Callie Granade has refused a request from a county judge to stay her ruling which struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage. Granade's order compels Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis (pictured right) to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Reuters reports:

Alabama's all-Republican Supreme Court had contravened that ruling earlier this month. It ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that the ban was constitutional.

The clashing court orders underscore the depth of opposition to gay marriage in socially conservative Alabama. The gay-marriage ban was passed in 2006 by 81 percent of voters.

Davis, in the face of the contradictory directives by a federal judge and the state Supreme Court, had halted issuing all marriage licenses, to same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and asked Granade to stay her ruling. She declined.

"Although the court would agree that the developments in these same-sex marriage cases has at times seemed dizzying, the court finds that Judge Davis has not shown that a stay is warranted," Granade wrote in the order.

Judge Granade's order seems to make clear that her ruling, not the State Supreme Court's, should take precedence.


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's Son Arrested on Drug Possession Charges

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's 24-year-old son Caleb was arrested Sunday for drug possession near the scene of an attempted break-in in the town of Troy, AL.com reports:

Caleb mooreAccording to court documents, officers responded to the 1200 block of Allen Street in Troy to a report of an attempted home break-in. They found five men, including Moore, outside near a pickup truck that smelled strongly of marijuana.

After the men said there were no drugs in the vehicle, officers searched the truck and found a bag of marijuana in the glove compartment, along with Moore's passport. Several Xanax pills also were found in the bag.

Moore was arrested and taken to the city jail. He was released on bond totaling $8,500.

Roy Moore, who is bringing his fight against gay marriage to Texas later this month, declined to comment saying his son's arrest was a personal matter. 

Joe.My.God notes this is Caleb's third arrest. 


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