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Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Pledges To Stand Up To Gays, Immigrants: VIDEO

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Arizona gubernatorial candidate Andrew Thomas just released his first campaign ad. It states, “he’s the only candidate who has stopped illegal immigration, stood up to the gay lobby, and opposed liberal judges.”

Thomas helped write Arizona’s infamous “show me your papers” law requiring police to racially profile anyone they suspect of looking like an undocumented immigrant.

In 2010, he resigned as Maricopa County Attorney to run for attorney general of his state and lost. In 2013, he was stripped of his legal license and disbarred as an attorney. AZ Central explains why:

Among the most serious findings were that he and his former prosecutors pressed unwarranted criminal charges, obtained indictments, filed a federal racketeering lawsuit and initiated investigations against his political enemies and those of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio from 2006 to 2010.

On the “Push Back against Liberal Bullies” section of Thomas' issues page, it reads:

Liberal professors and other zealots in higher education, subsidized by federal tax dollars, indoctrinate young people and stifle free political expression by conservatives and others at our colleges and universities.

Gay-rights activists assail anyone who believes in marriage between a man and a woman.

Unelected activist judges, appointed and egged on by Obama, rule by decree, gutting or throwing out our laws against illegal immigration.

Thomas ignores the fact that the judge who blocked key provisions of his “show me your papers” law was in fact appointed by former President Bill Clinton. And he has 

Not that it matters. Current polling has Thomas far behind Arizona’s other GOP gubernatorial candidates Ken Bennett and Doug Ducey — neither of whose websites even mention LGBT rights.

See Thomas’ ad AFTER THE JUMP…

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Study Finds Gay Marriage Could Bring Arizona $62 Million

To many, the "sincerely held religious belief" rhetoric that's made the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby so controversial may have sounded familiar. In March, Arizona legislature was abuzz with the same phrasing.

ArizonaWhile the legislature from the state of Arizona may object to gay rights for moral reasons, would they object as much if they knew how much it would add to the state's economy?

A new report from The Williams Institute, a think tank at the UCLA School of Law, has released a new study that predicts the economic impact of legalizing same-sex marriage in Arizona. The report estimated same-sex couples would generate a total of $47.5 million in direct wedding spending over the first three years of legalized marriage, and that marriage would bring $5.1 million in sales-tax revenue alone. An especially enticing fact for unemployed AZ citizens: new spending on wedding ceremonies could lead to nearly 520 new jobs in the state.

Speaking with AZcentral, Rocco Menaguale, an artist and designer from Phoenix, pointed out that legalizing gay marriage could lead specifically to new jobs in the state's burgeoning creative industries. Said Menaguale:

The architecture, interior-design and even construction industries are just starting to bounce back from the recession... Supporting marriage equality would start to attract more people to Arizona who want to live here, buy stuff here and come in for travel. It really would effect the whole creative community.

Head to AZcentral for a more in-depth breakdown of the statistics, including a state-by-state comparison of how gay marriage impacts the economy.


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Says She Would Consider Bill Protecting Gays from Discrimination

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Governor Jan Brewer, who four months ago was at the center of a contentious debate in her state surrounding a bill (SB1062) that would have allowed religion-based discrimination against gays (she vetoed it), told Capitol Media Services on Tuesday that she would consider expanding the state's civil rights laws to cover gay people if a bill were presented to her:

On Tuesday, Brewer said the question of whether Arizona should expand its anti-discrimination laws comes down to looking at the issue from the opposite perspective of SB1062: Is there a real problem with discrimination that drives a need for such a change?

“That’s something we don’t see a lot of anymore, because of people’s changing patterns of discrimination,” she said.

The governor suggested that state lawmakers might want to hold hearings on the issue.

“If it needs to be addressed, it needs to be debated in the Legislature,” Brewer said.

“Testimony needs to be presented,” she continued. “Let the representatives of the people who have been elected by the populace of the state of Arizona determine and get it up to the governor.”

And what would she do with it?

“I don’t know what would be in that bill or how they would write it,” Brewer said. “But I certainly would evaluate it and do what I thought was the right thing to do for the state.”


Eagle Scout Loses Summer Job with Boy Scouts After Being Outed on Facebook: VIDEO

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Eagle Scout Garrett Bryant was fired from his job by the Boy Scouts after being outed on Facebook, NBC News reports:

Under Scouting policy, gay youth are welcome, but gay adults are not. As a 19-year-old college freshman, Bryant knew that his chance to work again at a Boy Scout camp this summer — and hold any other future leadership position — depended on how well he hid his status as a gay man from his friends and colleagues in Scouting.

But with one Facebook post, Bryant was out — out as a gay adult in Scouting and, according to three sources in local Scouting, out of that summer job.

He thought the post was vague enough: In a moment of exuberance last month over meeting his first boyfriend, Bryant changed his Facebook status to “in a relationship,” adding no comment or details. But the status change prompted revealing, congratulatory comments from non-Scouting friends who knew his sexual orientation, such as “Oh, good for you, man, what's his name?’”

Although Bryant deleted the comments it was over for him and camp leaders told him they would not hire him back to Camp Geronimo, outside of Phoenix, because they had seen the posts.

Bryant did everything he could to keep his sexual orientation private, and thought he wouldn't fall under the Scouts' discriminatory policy because of his age, but to no avail.

Bryant spoke with MSNBC's Ari Melber and Eagle Scout and LGBT ally Zach Wahls last night on The Last Word. His story was also covered by the Arizona Republic.

Watch both segments, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Democratic Arizona Senator To Gay Colleague: 'Act More Gay'

Senator Cajero BedfordNot all gay men are the obviously-gay Jack McFarland stereotypes, but this little-known fact came as a complete surprise to Arizona Democratic Senator Cajero Bedford when her colleague Senator Steve Gallardo came out of the closet.

She was so surprised by it that in a closed-door caucus meeting amongst the Democratic Senators she told him that he should, "act more gay," unaware that humans in general exhibit a wide variety of behavioral patterns.

She then proceeded to question Gallardo's integrity, even going so far as to call for a vote to oust Gallardo as the Senate's minority whip because him being in the closet was a matter of "honesty." The vote failed at 8-3.

Bedford, who is evidently utterly in the dark about gay rights in her own state, said that she questioned his honesty because,

"Why was he hiding it? It wouldn’t have made any difference."

Of course not. Because being gay doesn't have any detrimental impact on the lives of Arizona citizens.


Three New Lawsuits Seek the Freedom to Marry in Arizona and Indiana

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Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen, plaintiffs in the ACLU Indiana suit.

Yesterday we reported that the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Florida demanding recognition of gay marriages from out-of-state.

Also filed yesterday were two others, in Arizona and Indiana.

ArizonaflagFreedom To Marry has details, on Arizona:

Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Majors v. Roche - in Arizona on behalf of seven same-sex couples - and the surviving spouses of two other same-sex couples - seeking the freedom to marry or respect for legal marriage licenses received in other states.

"Every day that same-sex couples in Arizona are denied marriage, the government sends a message that their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect," Lambda Legal Senior Council Jennifer Pizer explained.

The plaintiffs include married same-sex couples, couples who want to marry in Arizona, and individuals whose same-sex spouses have passed away without Arizona ever respecting their status as a married couple. The lead plaintiffs are Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey (pictured), who are both in their 70s and have been together for more than 55 years.

IndianaAnd Indiana:

Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Baskin v. Bogan -on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana.

The plaintiffs include: Rae Baskin and Esther Fuller, who have been together for 24 years; Bonne Everly and Linda Judkins, together for over 13 years; and Dawn Lynn Carver and Pamela Eanes, together for 17 years. All of the couples are unmarried.

The named plaintiff, Rae Baskin, explained, "We just want what everyone else has in Indiana – a real, honest and legal marriage. We are a family. Esther loves me unconditionally and I can’t imagine life without her.”

And today comes news that the ACLU has filed ANOTHER, separate lawsuit in Indiana:

The American Civil Liberties Union, The ACLU of Indiana, along with attorney Sean Lemieux of the Lemieux Law Office in Indianapolis, have filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 15 plaintiffs seeking the freedom marry in Indiana.

The suit seeks to stop the state from enforcing the current discriminatory law, to require the state to recognize marriages that have taken place outside of Indiana and to allow same-sex couples to wed in Indiana.

These lawsuits around the country are proliferating so quickly it is becoming increasingly challenging to keep track of them all. But we'll do our best!


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