Missouri Same-Sex Marriage Case Starts Today, Challenges Constitutional Ban

Categories: LGBT

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Courtesy Tommy Wu
Alan Ziegler and LeRoy Fitzwater married in California in 2008.
Opening arguments begin today in a landmark case brought by the ACLU and ten gay couples who want Missouri to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

Gay marriage has been illegal in Missouri for ten years, after voters approved a Constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman. The state will have to defend the amendment in court, but if Judge J. Dale Youngs rules in favor of the gay couples, it would mean another step toward marriage equality for LGBT couples.

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Ozark Blocks Lesbian Fire Captain, Wife from Insurance Benefits

Categories: LGBT

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Courtesy of Andi Mooneyham
Ozark Fire Captain Andi Mooneyham married her wife in California last year.
Ozark Fire Captain Andi Mooneyham wants the same insurance benefits for her wife as any other firefighter's family gets in this southern Missouri town.

But after the Ozark Fire Board reluctantly decided to do nothing -- literally, nothing -- on the issue at a meeting this month, Mooneyham and her wife, who married in California a year ago, are stuck hoping a federal decision will eventually overturn Missouri's ten-year-old ban on same-sex marriage.

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Missouri Would Earn $23 Million Next Year By Legalizing Gay Marriage: Study

Categories: LGBT

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Courtesy Mayor Slay's Office
Miranda Duschack and Mimo Davis are the first lesbian couple to be married in Missouri.
If same-sex marriage became legal in Missouri tomorrow, gay couples marrying in the state would bring in more than $36.6 million in three years, including $23 million in the first year alone, according to a new study.

The Williams Institute, a think-tank housed at the University of California-Los Angeles, looked to census data and patterns from states that have legalized gay marriage for clues about how Missouri would be affected financially.


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Missouri to Supreme Court: Make a Decision on Gay Marriage Already!

Categories: LGBT

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Purple Sherbet Photography
I do or I do not? Which will it be, Supreme Court? Missouri wants to know.
Missouri, along with more than 30 other states and five major religious groups have a message for the U.S. Supreme Court: Please, pretty please, make a decision on same-sex marriage.

Colorado is leading sixteen other states that ban gay marriage -- including Missouri -- by filing a brief with the nation's top court asking for a clear answer on gay marriage. Oklahoma, Virginia and Utah all have cases waiting for the Supreme Court's review, and Missouri has three cases pending in lower courts.


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Catholic High School Cor Jesu Fires Gay Teachers, Former Students to Protest

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Google Maps
The all-girls Catholic high school Cor Jesu Academy: No boys or gays allowed.
For Olivia Reichert and Christina Gambaro, this was supposed to be a summer to remember. But not like this.

Earlier this summer the couple traveled to New York to get married, and upon returning to St. Louis signed a mortgage on a house together. By the end of July they were anticipating the start of the school year at Cor Jesu Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school near Affton where the newlyweds were employed as teachers.

But after the school got ahold of the couple's mortgage application, Reichert, a P.E. teacher and coach, and Gambaro, a social studies teacher, announced on a private Facebook group that the administration had terminated them both, citing a violation of school's morality clause.

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Missouri Same-Sex Marriage Case Moves Up to Federal Court

Categories: LGBT

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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"

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SLMPD
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

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via
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

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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

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via
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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