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Lesbian Teen Crowned Homecoming Queen of Texas High School: VIDEO

Swartz-larson

Here's a sweet story straight out of northern Texas. On Friday night, April Swartz-Larson became the first open lesbian student to campaign for (and win!) McKinney High School's homecoming queen title.

Perhaps more notable than her sexuality was her choice to rock her own style for the award. Though she donned the obligatory tiara (above), she wore a tuxedo for the ceremony. Said Swartz-Larson:

Swartz-larson2It would have been funny to see me out there in a dress. [...] I'm not the typical choice for homecoming queen at all. I'm gay, first of all, and I'm gay living in McKinney.

Said the newly-crowned queen's father, Darrin Larson "First I was nervous, like I was afraid someone was playing a joke on her, but then when I found out it was serious I was just so happy for her." The friend who nominated Swartz-Larson said that her friend was "perfect" for this award, because she is the "kindest person I know."

A camera captured the moment at a Friday football game when the crowd went wild for Swartz-Larson. Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wendy Davis Argues In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage At Final Texas Gubernatorial Debate: VIDEO

WendyDavis

Fierce Texas state senator Wendy Davis met with attorney general Greg Abbott for a final gubernatorial debate last night. The nearly hour-long conversation about hot topics, ranging from abortion (Davis is pro-choice, Abbott pro-life even in the case of rape and incest) to confirmed Ebola cases in Dallas, eventually wound its way to same-sex marriage. 

A viewer named John from Forth Worth, TX posed the question: "If a 10-year-old girl asked you whether her two dads should be allowed to get married, what would you tell her?" The moderator asked whether the candidates would support legislation to overturn the ban currently placed on same-sex marriage in the state. The two candidates played their respective party roles, though Davis's direct approach and commitment to the issue clearly overshadowed Abbott's jovial dedication to preserving "traditional marriage." A 10-year-old might be confused by Davis's political jargon, but at least she wouldn't feel condescended to, Mr. Abbott.

MSNBC reports:

Davis argued in favor of marriage equality and noted Abbott has renewed the fight against same-sex marriage. She also said she’d welcome a bill that would give voters an opportunity to appeal the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. Abbott reiterated, “I believe in traditional marriage,” noting he’s been married to his wife for more than three decades and that more than 75% of Texans approved a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages in the state.

After Abbott opted to discuss his own happy marriage and an outdated public vote, the moderator simply asked: "Is that what you would tell to the 10-year-old?" "That's what I just told John," he replied, big grin plastered on his face (see below). 

Check out the video (skip to 44:00 for same-sex marriage discussion), AFTER THE JUMP...

GregAbbott

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MEXICO: 30,000 March Against Same-Sex Marriage In Coahuila - VIDEO

Anti-gay marriage march Mexico

Around 30,000 people have taken part in a protest against the legalization of same-sex marriage in Coahuila state, Mexico, reports SDGLN.com.

By a margin of 19-1, the Congress of Coahuila voted for marriage equality of September 1st. The new law, which alters more than 40 parts of the state's Civil Code, came into effect one week after the vote.

MarriageThe protest march in the capital city of Saltillo was organized by Casa de Rescate "Cristo Vive,” an evangelical group modeled on anti-gay religious groups in the U.S.

At the head of the march was a huge banner that read “Rescuing The Family.” Protesters were heard to chant “true love is found in mom and dad.”

According to El Universal, Casa de Rescate Pastor Carlos Pacheco quoted the usual, well-worn passages from the bible to condemn LGBT people and same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is currently also legal in two other Mexican states, the Federal District (which includes Mexico city) and Quantana Roo. Coahuila borders the U.S. state of Texas.

Watch a Spanish language news clip on the legislation approving same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Minnesota's First Openly Transgender Candidate Paula Overby Releases Campaign Video - WATCH

Paula Overby

Paula Overby, who is believed to be the first openly transgender person to run for Congress from Minnesota, has released a Western-themed campaign video “This Is Paula Country.”

A quality assurance analyst from Eagan, Minnesota, Overby ran uncontested for the Independence nomination in the primary on August 12, 2014.

Pulling no punches, Overby, who is running for 2nd District Minnesota, says:

“People are fed up….We need to bring back freedom, individual liberties and individual responsibilities. We need representation that represents the people.  We have one of those representatives who really is not doing very much in Washington. [Republican incumbent John Kline has] forgotten what its like to live in our district.  I think it’s time to send that Representative back to Texas.”

According to ontheissues.org, Kline has voted against gay employment protections, was twice in favor of amending the constitution with a gay marriage ban and has a 0 percent rating on gay issues from the Human Rights Campaign.

Earlier this month, Bill Maher announced that he will personally target Kline for defeat this November because he has voted to repeal Obamacare fifty-four times and is against - among other things - raising the minimum wage, stem cell research, same-sex marriage and funding for climate change studies.

Watch Overby’s campaign video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Louisiana State Officials Request 5th Circuit Fast-Track Appeal of Same-Sex Marriage Case

LAFollowing Federal Judge Martin Feldman's ruling earlier this month that upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage, the first federal ruling to uphold a marriage ban since the Supreme Court gutted DOMA in United States v. Windsor, state officials in Louisiana have asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to fast-track the appeal of Judge Feldman's ruling and lump it together with a similar case concerning Texas' ban on same-sex marriage already before the 5th Circuit. Equality on Trial reports:

The request notes that there’s already an appeal pending in one marriage case – DeLeon v. Perry, challenging Texas’ same-sex marriage ban – and the state asks the court to assign the same three-judge panel to both cases.

The request to put the case on a fast-track comes as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs are already being filed in the Texas appeal. The filing assumes that the Fifth Circuit will put at least the Texas case on the November argument calendar. There’s enough time for both appeals to be argued in November.

The request is unopposed.

Meanwhile, we now have the ruling from Louisiana State Judge Edward Rubin who, contrary to Judge Feldmand, recently found the state's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. READ it, AFTER THE JUMP...

However, same-sex couples in Louisiana still cannot marry despite Judge Rubin's ruling. As BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner reports, state officials claim that "final judgment" is still needed before the matter can move forward:

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High School Football Player Gives Rousing Motivational Speech, Says To 'Keep Smiling' - VIDEO

Football

High school running back Apollos Hester has been making headlines with a post-game interview he gave to a local news station in East View, Texas that quickly turned into a motivational speech on the importance of believing in yourself and never giving up. Says Hester,

“It’s an awesome feeling when you truly believe that you’re going to be successful. Regardless of the situation, regardless of the scoreboard, you're going to be successful because you put in all the time, all the effort, all the hard work and you know that it’s going to pay off…win or lose we realized we’re going to be all right…you can do anything you put your mind to, never give up on your dreams, keep smiling, no matter what you’re going through.”

Watch the high energy video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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