Missouri Same-Sex Marriage Case Moves Up to Federal Court

Categories: LGBT

Courtesy of the mayor's office
Miranda Duschack and Mimo Davis are the first lesbian couple to be married in Missouri.
One of the three legal challenges against Missouri's ban on gay marriage will move up to a federal court at a time when federal appellate judges are knocking down same-sex marriage bans state by state.

Attorney General Chris Koster intervened in the case and bumped it out of state court and into a federal court, according to the Associated Press.

"We wanted at least one of the cases (from Missouri) to be considered in a court of broader jurisdiction," Koster spokesman Eric Slusher tells the AP.

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Darryl Jackson Arrested for Emailing Threats to Vital Voice: "I Will Exterminate All You Faggots"

Darryl Jackson, 40.
Vital Voice gets its share of hate mail. As St. Louis' premiere LGBT magazine, plenty of homophobic emails find their way into the Vital Voice inboxes.

But the message that came in from a St. Louis Community College account was different, says associate publisher Jimmy Lesch.

"This was more specific than the usual 'God hates fags' rhetoric," Lesch tells Daily RFT.

The message, sent from a St. Louis Community College email account, read: " "I WILL EXTERMINATE!....YOUR LEADER AND ALL OF YOU FAGGOTS AND WEASELS..."

Fearing for the magazine staff's safety, Lesch alerted the community college, which roped in the police. Late last month, officer Jerod Breit was investigating at the Forest Park campus when he saw a man preparing to send another threatening email to the magazine.

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Michael Sam Admits Thinking He Shouldn't Have Come Out During NFL Draft

Categories: LGBT, Sports

Michael Sam in his Mizzou days.
As the 2014 NFL draft went into its third and final day, Michael Sam says he was afraid his decision to come out publicly would mean he'd never hear his name called.

The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year admits he feared his sexuality would stop him from achieving his dream of playing professional football during an interview with Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts.

"I was kind of second-guessing myself, whether, you know, maybe football turned its back on me," Sam says. "I was like, 'Maybe I shouldn't have done what I did.'"

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Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Probably Be Legal in Missouri By Next Year

Categories: LGBT

Mayor Slay's Office
Miranda Duschack and Mimo Davis are the first lesbian couple to be married in Missouri.
Arkansas. Florida. Oklahoma. Idaho.

Courts across the country are striking down bans against same-sex marriage so quickly that it's become a running gag in the Midtown offices of PROMO, a leading LBGT advocacy group in Missouri.

"Almost every Friday, we see something major moving forward -- another state, another decision comes down," says A.J. Bockelman, PROMO's executive director.

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Video: Michael Sam Stuns ESPYs Crowd With Emotional Award Speech

Categories: LGBT, Rams

St. Louis Ram Michael Sam just keeps making history.
There wasn't a dry eye in the house after Michael Sam walked off the stage at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles Wednesday night with the 2014 Arthur Ashe Courage Award grasped in his right hand.

"This year I have a lot of experience being part of something a lot bigger than myself. At times I've felt like I've been living in a massive storm, and I know the storm will end," said Sam in his opening remarks, reflecting on the whirlwind journey that took him from a childhood marred by hardship to the NFL, the first openly gay player drafted in the league's history.

"To anyone out there, especially young people feeling like they don't fit in and will never be accepted, please know this," he said, concluding the speech in a voice breaking with emotion -- "great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself."

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Ex-Cop Sentenced to Probation for Harassing LGBT Couple At Home, On Craigslist

Jeffrey Leveque.
A former St. Louis police officer will spend a year on supervised probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of harassing an LGBT couple in the Tower Grove neighborhood.

If Jeffrey Leveque, 45, breaks his probation, he'll be sentenced to six months in prison, according to court documents. Judge Steven Ohmer also barred Leveque from contacting the victims and ordered him to attend anger management services.

Leveque was charged with felony harassment in January after police said he and another man parked outside the home of Meg Hensley, 27, and her partner Kendan Elliot, 34, and yelled threateningly at them as they tried to leave for work. Hensley told Daily RFT afterward that Leveque was angry at the couple's gay pride flag, which looks like a rainbow version of the American flag.

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St. Louis 6-Year-Old's Heart-Melting Video About Loving Yourself Goes Viral

Categories: Arts, LGBT

Courtesy of Noah Rosenberg
Harlow Rosenberg shows off her Kinky Boots fashion before seeing the musical.

Sometimes the message the world needs to hear isn't delivered by political leaders or big-name activists. No, sometimes the wisest, simplest words of peace and equality come from a six-year-old St. Louis girl in sparkly red boots.

Having internationally acclaimed vocalist Cyndi Lauper and the cast of Kinky Boots agree is just a bonus.

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State Rep. Candidate Natalie Vowell Kisses Ladies, Not Babies, On Campaign Trail

Categories: LGBT, Politics

All photos by Allan Crain
Natalie Vowell hot on the campaign trail.
While other politicians were sitting in parade floats and booths at PrideFest St. Louis, House of Representatives candidate Natalie Vowell was putting her support for LGBT rights where her mouth is.

Vowell, challenging incumbent Penny Hubbard for a seat in the 78th district, toured Pride this weekend, giving smooches to any lady who'd let her. She got the idea when a woman asked for her number and tried to kiss her.

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Pride with Brides: The Best Pictures and Tweets from PrideFest St. Louis 2014

Categories: LGBT

Theo Welling
See all our photos from St. Louis Pride 2014 in our RFT slideshow.
Wedding bells were ringing this weekend as St. Louis celebrated its LGBTQ pride and the four gay couples who married in secret (and technically illegal) ceremonies in the mayor's office.

The newlywed couples spent their holiday weekend like the rest of St. Louis' gay, transgender and allied community: celebrating love at PrideFest St. Louis.

See also: Meet the First Four Gay Couples to Marry in St. Louis

New husbands John Durnell and Richard Eaton rode in the pride parade Sunday with Mayor Francis Slay, who organized the top-secret nuptials for more than a year to directly challenge Missouri's Constitutional ban.

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Pride Guide: 5 Reasons to Celebrate PrideFest 2014 in St. Louis This Weekend

Categories: LGBT

Steve Truesdell
It's pride time!
Happy pride, St. Louis!

Now in its 35th year, PrideFest St. Louis kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday with the official wreath-laying ceremony on the steps of Soldiers Memorial. The gay-pride festival also honors LGBT troops with an official military entry in the Wells Fargo Grand Pride Parade, the city's second-largest parade, on Sunday.

"In my lifetime, I never thought I would witness the gay community being allowed, by law, to serve their country openly, and have pride in doing so, in the U.S. Armed Forces," says Master Sergeant Steve Zeiger, who leads the wreath-laying ceremony. "This is how it is supposed to be. We are truly living what our constitution declares."

See also: Journalist Refuses to Cover Pride Event at Fort Leonard Wood, "Comes Out" as Anti-LGBT

With four stages, dozens of participating community partners and side parties at St. Louis' local gay bars, this year's celebration is destined to be a great time. If you need more convincing, here are five reasons to celebrate Pride in 2014:

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