Activist Responds to Dent County's Anti-LGBT Rhetoric With the Missouri Courage Scholarship

Categories: LGBT, Politics

Image via
On July 13, leaders in Dent County, Missouri voted to fly flags at half-staff on two public buildings to protest the "despicable Supreme Court travesty" of allowing gay people to marry each other.

Facing a national backlash, the Dent County Commission ditched the plan the very next day. But resident Jacob Wilson decided to capitalize on the attention by launching The Missouri Courage Scholarship. His idea was to recognize high school seniors who stand up for the LGBT community and for all other marginalized groups.

Wilson set up a fundraiser on the website Crowdrise. His goal: Raise a thousand dollars a day for every day the Commission had voted to lower the flag (so, twelve days in all).

Riverfront Times is pleased to report that he has succeeded.

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Sen. Dixon Says His Former Homosexuality Was Caused by Child Abuse; Won't Let "Evil" Win

Categories: LGBT, Politics

Bob Dixon and his wife Amanda.
Less than two weeks into his campaign to become the GOP's pick for governor, state senator Bob Dixon continues to field questions about his past.

As we reported last week, Dixon stood up at a 1991 Springfield city council meeting to claim a "religious experience" turned him straight after five years spent living as a homosexual. His comments were preserved in a 1992 Springfield News-Leader article.

Despite his previous public statements, Dixon's struggles with his sexual identity were not well-known. When we spoke to him on Thursday, Dixon did not deny the details in the old News-Leader article, but he declined to elaborate or answer specific questions.

In a subsequent statement provided to St. Louis Public Radio (KWMU 90.7 FM), Dixon appears to link his former homosexuality -- what he refers to as "teenage confusion" -- with a traumatic childhood abuse.

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Bob Dixon, GOP Candidate for Governor, Reportedly Lived as Gay Man Until "Religious Experience"

Categories: LGBT, Politics

On Monday, when state senator Bob Dixon stood on his front porch in Springfield and announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for governor, he delivered several lines that drew applause, including this one: "I've spent almost 23 years as a strong supporter of traditional marriage."

He didn't elaborate at the time, but it's been a long journey up to this point for Dixon, 46, who reportedly once lived as a gay man until a spiritual epiphany turned him straight.

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Dent County Backs Away From Plans to Lower Flags Over Gay Marriage "Abomination"

Categories: LGBT, Missourah

Photo courtesy of Flickr/J. Stephen Conn
The courthouse in Salem, Missouri. Now that the county commission has changed its mind, flags will remain at full mast even on the 26th of the month.

That was fast.

Dent County, Missouri has retreated from plans to lower its flags to mourn the "abomination" of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, the Salem News Online reports.

But it's not because the county commission, which backed the plan unanimously as recently as yesterday, has changed its mind about same-sex marriage or anything.

Oh, no. The reversal is "out of respect for veterans and those currently serving in the military," the newspaper reports.

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Dent County, Missouri Will Lower Flags to Half-Mast to Mourn Gay Marriage "Abomination" (UPDATE)

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Susan Ujka's Collection
Half-mast flags are a common sign of mourning. But have they ever mourned something a Supreme Court decision?

UPDATE: The county commission has already backed away from its plans to lower the flag. See our latest post for the most recent information.

Original story follows ....

The County Commission of Dent County, Missouri, voted unanimously today to lower flags on two county buildings to protest the U.S. Supreme Court's June 26 decision legalizing gay marriage -- or, as the county's presiding commissioner puts it, "the U.S. high court's stamp of approval of what God speaks of as an abomination."

Those flags, on the Dent County Courthouse and Judicial Building, will be lowered below half-mast on the 26th of each month until June 2016, so that "all who see these flags at this lowered position be reminded of this despicable Supreme Court travesty," per a letter written by Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles and first reported in the Salem News Online.

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St. Charles, Jefferson Counties Not Ready to Marry Same-Sex Couples Just Yet (UPDATED)

Categories: LGBT, Missourah

Photo by Sarah Fenske
St. Louis City Hall has been handling same-sex marriages for some time now. St. Charles? Not so much.

UPDATE: We heard from the ACLU of Missouri, which has been in touch with St. Charles County and believes the Recorder has made a commitment to start issuing licenses. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the latest.

Original post follows....

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal nationwide, barring states from refusing to perform or recognize LGBT unions.

But two Missouri counties aren't ready to start processing same-sex marriage licenses just yet. Jefferson County said it wouldn't be ready to do so until July 6. And St. Charles County said it could need as much as a month.

"We are working with our software providers and form printers to align our systems for it, so we will begin no later than July 20," a clerk told Daily RFT on Friday.

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Missouri Rejoices as Supreme Court Rules Gay Marriage Is Legal Nationwide

Categories: LGBT

RFT Street Team
A couple gets engaged at a previous Pridefest.

In a landmark decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court today, gay marriage has been legalized in all 50 states.

Missouri has had a ban on gay marriage since 2004, although court cases have carved out exceptions in the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and Jackson County. Now all Missouri counties are expected to begin issuing gay marriage licenses to same-sex couples, effective immediately.

The timing in St. Louis couldn't be better -- Pridefest is this weekend, and the Supreme Court's ruling provides much to celebrate.

Here's what Missouri activists and officials are saying about the decision.

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Springfield Says Yes to Anti-Gay Discrimination

RFT Street Team
A couple getting engaged at St. Louis' PrideFest.
Last year, the city council of Springfield took a historic stand, extending the city's non-discrimination ordinance -- which governs housing, employment and public accommodations like parks and city pools -- to gay, lesbian and transgender men and women.

Last night, voters repealed it.

In a narrow margin, 51.43 percent voted to repeal the LGBT protections, while 48.57 percent voted to keep them.

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This Missouri Mayor Had the Perfect Reaction to Kansas' Latest Anti-LGBT Antics

Categories: LGBT

Kansas City Mayor's Office
Kansas City mayor Sly James.
If Kansas' LGBT state workers don't want to work in a place where they can be fired or harassed for their sexuality or gender identity, they're welcome to cross the border to Missouri.

That was the message from Kansas City mayor and LGBT ally Sly James, who reached out to Kansas' LGBT community online:

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Republicans' "St. Louis Resolution" Asks Presidential Candidates To Stop Gay Bashing

Categories: LGBT, Politics

david_shankbone via flickr
Meghan McCain, a pro-LGBT Republican and daughter of 2008 presidential nominee John McCain.
As the 2016 presidential race nears, three prominent Republicans who support LGBT rights hope a resolution signed in St. Louis will prevent candidates from using homophobic or gay-bashing rhetoric during the campaign.

Author and activist Meghan McCain told Washington University students Tuesday how two gay friends helped her through the difficult days after her father John McCain lost his 2008 bid for president.

"I just thought, if I can't follow up and give them the same love and support, then I can't live with myself," she said, according to Wash. U. student newspaper Student Life. She's been a gay-rights advocate ever since, even serving on the board of GLAAD, an LGBT media watchdog.

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