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Dramatic Footage Shows Arizona Man Dragged by Car in Hit and Run After Altercation Involving Alleged Gay Slur: VIDEO

Phoenix

A dramatic altercation outside a Phoenix record store was caught on video Wednesday, with the victim claiming the situation escalated into a hit and run after he was called a gay slur.

24-year-old Justin Finch can be seen in the video getting slammed by a car in reverse. Finch is then pinned between the car and another vehicle before the car speeds off with Finch clinging onto the trunk.

Phoenix's Fox 10 reports:

FinchFinch says it all started as he was walking out of the record store.  He says the group called him a gay slur which led to a physical fight and he admits he slammed one of the guys to the ground.  Eventually, Finch says police stopped the car a half mile away.

Police ended up letting everyone go as no one wanted to press charges.

"They said it was a mutual thing, but I don't think it was a mutual thing because I didn't come at them, they came at me," explained Finch.

But those in the other group say Finch isn't the victim.

"I turned around to walk outside and he assaulted me, he picked me up and I started defending myself," said 16-year-old Orlando Munoz, who was one of the people inside the white car.  He was with his uncle and his uncle's girlfriend, who he says was driving.

Munoz's mother, Yvette, who is gay, says her son never used a gay slur and this was no hate crime.

"I think it's foolishness.. both parties should have walked away," she said.

The case is now being forwarded to the Phoenix unit that investigates hate crimes. Finch said he wants the people in the car to face charges.

Watch the video and a Fox 10 report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Scruff Posts Huge Gay Ad On Billboard Outside University Of Phoenix Stadium Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

Scruff1

It looks like Scruff is appealing toward its “masc4masc” demographic as the dating/hookup app bought a billboard outside of University of Phoenix Stadium ahead of the Super Bowl and posted a 48-foot ad featuring two guys in a locker room sizing each other up with the slogan "Play On Our Team," reports Refinery29. A press release from Scruff explains why they bought the Super Bowl themed ad.

Said Scruff:

"At a time when professional NFL players like Michael Sam and Kwame Harris bravely come out to the world and some coaches admit to not wanting gay players on their teams, [Scruff]... is sending a message to the NFL — by putting up a Phoenix billboard advertisement that’s certain to start a conversation about perception and acceptance among both gay and straight sports fans."

Scruff's bold move to challenge the NFL on its homophobia may elicit homophobic criticism and condemnation from sports fans and players alike, that is if the scores of straight men pouring into the stadium on Sunday can even figure out what Scruff even is. 


Arizona Cardinals Video Director Rob Brakel Comes Out As Gay

Brakel2

Rob Brakel, video director for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, said the response has been overwhelmingly positive since he came out publicly as gay this week.

"Reception has been unreal," Brakel told Towleroad. "Couple players that know were awesome. The head coach, GM, and our owner Michael (Bidwill) have been nothing short of AMAZING. They have my back and are happy for me." 
 
But Brakel, who came out Wednesday in an interview with OutSports before the Cardinals' game against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, also said that for him, the decision hasn't really sunk in yet.  
 
"Busy with game last night, flying back, went to bed at 4am and just woke up to phone going crazy," he told Towleroad on Friday. "I do need a few more hours of sleep but I have to get to work soon. In time I think it will be great for me." 
 
The Cardinals defeated the Rams and are atop the NFC at 11-3, adding to what Brakel called "the biggest year for me." 
 
Brakel, a 17-year veteran of NFL video crews, told OutSports he was inspired to come out publicly while reading gay MLS player Robbie Rogers'' book, "Coming Out To Play," on the team plane Wednesday. OutSports reports: 

"I don't care anymore," Brakel said from his hotel room, the shaking coming through his voice over the phone. "Everyone around me knows who I am. I'm a guy who will give the shirt off his back to help you. I'll do whatever I can to help people. And I've had enough." ... 

As Brakel read the book, the rest of the Cardinals filed past him on the plane. He knew some might look down and see his choice of reading material, but he didn't care. Not only was he engrossed in the story, many of them already knew or suspected he was gay.

Those who've known Brakel was gay include Cardinals head coach Bruce Ariens, to whom Brakel came out at the NFL combine as Michael Sam made his NFL debut earlier this year. And those who've suspected include star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who did "the gay math" on Brakel. 

Brakel acknowledged it's tough being gay around the NFL, and he's thought about quitting at times.

A Twitter search for "gay" and "Cardinals" over the last few days shows exactly Brakel and others are up against — and why it's so important for them to come out.


Arizona Lesbian Couple Nelda Majors, Karen Bailey Marry After 57 Years Together: VIDEO

Majors

When they met in their college dorm in Texas in 1957, Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey never dreamed of telling anyone they were gay — let alone getting married. 

In fact, Majors and Bailey didn't come out publicly until they'd been together for 50 years — when they were inadvertently outed by lesbian Houston City Councilwoman Sue Lovell during an inauguration ceremony. 

After almost 57 years together, Majors and Bailey finally celebrated their marriage at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix on Sunday.

Majors and Bailey, who have two daughters, spent most of their lives in Houston, but retired to Arizona.  

They were among the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging Arizona's marriage bans, which were struck down in October. They also were among the first couples to receive marriage licenses

Majors and Bailey invited the public to the ceremony on Sunday, and hundreds showed up. 

From AZfamiliy.com

"They feel that 56 and a half years together is a long engagement, but today they now have 1,134 federal laws on their side to protect their relationship," the officiant said. … 

"Oh it's much more than what we envisioned," Bailey said. "I don't think we could have ever imagined the people that have helped us, the vendors that have helped us. Our wedding assistant was unbelievable and we could have never imagined that it would be as wonderful as it's been."

Watch the report, along with a 2012 video of the couple talking about their relationship, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Arizona Lesbian Couple Nelda Majors, Karen Bailey Marry After 57 Years Together: VIDEO" »


Arizona Wedding Planner Refuses to Do Business With Lesbian Couple - VIDEO

Crystal Allen and Kenyata White

A wedding planner in Phoenix, Arizona, has refused to do business with a same-sex couple planning to marry in December, reports AZ Central.

In February 2013, Phoenix, the sixth most populous city in the U.S., passed broad laws barring discrimination against LGBT residents.

Crystal Allen and Kenyata White had made contact with AffordableWeddingMinister.com, but Susan Latimer refused the business when she realized that the couple she was preparing to marry were two women.

In an email to the couple, Latimer wrote “we are very uncomfortable with same-sex marriage as it is directly against our beliefs. We would not be a very good fit."

Latimer’s website states:

“We really Love Jesus, God the Father and The Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus loves everyone and the concept he gave is ... Marriage is HOLY and right for one man and one woman.”

The website also claims that the company is “non-judgemental.” Susan Latimer

AZ Central goes on to recommend that the couple “don't play into the hands of those who are itching for a reason to bring back Senate Bill 1062, last year's debacle of a bill that attempted to legalize discrimination in the name of the Lord."

Attorney Brendan Mahoney, who co-wrote the city's LGBT anti-discrimination law, said that because Latimer is a licensed minister she can decide who she wants to work with.  Mahoney added that Allen and White would be best served to “go find a place that wants to marry you, that looks forward to marrying you, and have a happy wedding.”

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Arizona Wedding Planner Refuses to Do Business With Lesbian Couple - VIDEO" »


Three Arizona Cities Receive Perfect Scores In Human Rights Campaign LGBT Civil Rights Index

A report from the Human Rights Campaign's annual Municipal Equality Index indicates that the Arizona cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson received perfect scores of a 100 on a scale of 0-100 reports One Community. HRC's index scores 353 municipalities from all 50 states on how they treat their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents, specifically in regards to what cities promote inclusiveness and provide equal rights for LGBT residents and workers. The three cities also were among 23 others designated "All Stars," for excelling on matters of equality without relying on state law.

Picture 4In 2013 Tempe received a score of 72, however the city unanimously approved Proposition 475 this year that bans workplace discrimination against LGBT workers. Additionally the city also passed an ordinance earlier this year in February that bans LGBT discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels, but includes exceptions for religious organizations and social clubs. The cities of Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff have similar ordinances in place as well.

However, some local Arizona politicians fear an uphill battle is looming after state Republicans, including new Gov. Doug Ducey, saw big wins in the recent election. Tempe councilman Kolby Granville, a major proponent of gay rights, expressed the state legislature may further stall LGBT civil rights protections.

Said Granville:

"When you look at the makeup of our state Legislature, particularly given this election last Tuesday, the politics are not there for state change as it relates to employment discrimination, as it relates to equal treatment and as it relates to health benefits,"

"If the cities can muster the votes they should move forward and let the state catch up."

Arizona's total score average is 68 out of a 100 points, which is above the national average of 59. the city of Peoria received the lowest score with a total of 33 points. With the legalization of gay marriage in Arizona, the overall score of the state should rise in the future should marriage remain unchallenged. The full report, along with a FAQ page on why certain cities are chosen for the survey, is available on the HRC website.


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