Speed Read: Religious bias rejected

AMERICANS DON’T BACK BIAS: A survey of 1,002 American adults has found that 81 percent said businesses should not be allowed to refuse service to gays. That number held steady even after the questioner asked, “What if the business says homosexuality violates its owners’ religious beliefs?” The poll, conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, also registered a new high — 59 percent – in support of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

LAWSUITS IN 25 STATES: The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a lawsuit in state court in Wyoming Wednesday, bringing to 25 the number of states whose bans against same-sex couples marrying are under active challenge. Four couples are bringing the case, Courage v. Wyoming, in Cheyenne, along with Wyoming Equality.

EMBASSY HOSTS LGBT GAMES IN RUSSIA: While tensions were escalating between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine, the U.S. embassy in Moscow Sunday hosted a basketball scrimmage between a group of LGBT Russian athletes and foreign diplomats. According to the Washington Post, the LGBT Russian athletes had been repeatedly thwarted from using various venues for sporting events as part of their “Open Games” event to improve LGBT visibility. So the U.S. embassy invited them to use the embassy’s court.

COLORADO MOVING ON MARRIAGE: Colorado’s openly gay Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino told a rally in Denver Monday that it’s time to seek marriage equality. The legislature approved a civil unions law last year. The statewide group One Colorado organized its rally to launch a campaign to build public support for a ballot measure in 2016 to repeal the state ban on same-sex couples marrying.

ELLEN’s JOKE ABOUT LIZA: There’s been some debate in various social circles about a “joke” Academy Award host Ellen DeGeneres delivered, pretending to believe that the real Liza Minnelli sitting in the front of the Oscar auditorium was a female impersonator. “Hello, to the best Liza Minnelli impersonator I’ve ever seen,” said DeGeneres, pointing to Minnelli. “Good job, sir.” Many viewers thought DeGeneres showed a lack of sensitivity for how it felt to Minnelli to be the butt of joke questioning her gender, before a global television audience. TMZ.com caught up with Minnelli outside a club the following night and asked her what she thought. “I think she went a little astray on it,” said Minnelli. She said she wished DeGeneres had acknowledged that she was the real person, “my friend Liza Minnelli,” but added, “I don’t think she meant any harm at all, and she’s a wonderful lady.”

THIRD MISS CITY SUPPORTS DIGNITY: A third city in Mississippi approved a resolution recognizing the “dignity and worth” of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The eight-member Oxford Board of Alderman approved a resolution Tuesday night, saying it is the policy of the city to “reject discrimination of any kind” based on various categories, including sexual orientation or gender identity. Last month, Starkville and Hattiesburg adopted similar resolutions.

BUMMED IN BOSTON: The head of Mass Equality, Kara Coredini, issued a statement Wednesday to say she was “extremely disappointed” that the Allied War Veterans group which organizes a St. Patrick’s Day Parade down the streets of Boston, has rejected allowing a gay contingent. Coredini said she had been surprised by the “abrupt and hostile” rejection issued by the War Vets Tuesday. The Allied Vets issued a press release Tuesday claiming it had been “misled” by a “ploy” attempting to enable gay veterans to march in the parade “under false pretenses.” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Wednesday he will not march in the parade.




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