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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Meet the First Four Gay Couples to Marry in St. Louis (PHOTOS)

Categories: LGBT

Courtesy Mayor Slay's Office
Miranda Duschack and Mimo Davis get hitched.
They're here. They're queer. And now they're married.

Gay marriage arrived suddenly in Missouri on Wednesday night when four gay couples wed in Mayor Francis Slay's office in a top-secret ceremony.

Each bride and groom knew they'd be jumping head first into a contentious and litigious public debate. By 7:30 a.m. the morning after the weddings, Attorney General Chris Koster was already asking for a temporary restraining order to stop the city from marrying more same-sex couples in violation of the Missouri Constitution.

See also: Four Gay Couples Just Got Married in St. Louis to Challenge Missouri's Ban

Despite the upcoming legal challenge, the four marriage certificates issued to gay couples Wednesday night remain valid, making those couples the only ones married in Missouri.
Meet the only four same-sex couples to be married in the Show-Me State:

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Four Gay Couples Just Got Married in St. Louis to Challenge Missouri's Ban (UPDATED)

Categories: LGBT

Tod Martin and his new husband David Gray at City Hall. | Lindsay Toler
Update 10:30 a.m.: The other shoe drops -- Attorney General Chris Koster responds to the city's actions. See update below.

If any city in Missouri is going to directly challenge the state's ten-year-old constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, it's St. Louis.

That was the message from St. Louis mayor Francis Slay Wednesday night when four gay couples married in his office, invoking what's sure to be a lengthy legal battle from Attorney General Chris Koster.

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The Gayborhood, St. Louis Radio's First Queer Talk Show, Debuts Just in Time for Pride

Categories: LGBT

Thumbnail image for gayborhoodbanner.JPG
We like to think Fred Rogers would approve.
June 2014 is turning into one the weirdest months in St. Louis radio history. It's got a bit of everything: An in-studio fistfight between KFNS/KXFN president Dan Marshall (now resigned) and radio host Brian McKenna? Check. An FM music station playing Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" on repeat for an entire freaking week? Double check.

Thankfully, the next big change to hit St. Louis' airwaves isn't another frat-rock channel suffering an untreated testosterone overdose (we're looking at you, 103.7 FM). Rather, it's KXFN 1380 AM's newest weekend segment, The Gayborhood, the city's first ever commercial talk radio show aimed at the LGBT community.

"There really aren't a lot of gay talk shows out there on commercial radio, if at all," says Christine Elbert, who'll be making her Gayborhood hosting debut at Pride Fest this Saturday alongside her co-host (and girlfriend) burlesque producer/performer Show Me Charlotte.

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