gay rights

On a beautiful June afternoon in the Blue Ridge Mountains, dozens of tiny rainbow flags lead the way toward a park pavilion. A couple walks up to the pavilion, each holding a gallon of iced tea. In the parking lot, people are unloading their lawn chairs.

The small city of Hendersonville, N.C., celebrated Pride for the first time. Unlike many Pride celebrations in bigger cities, there was no parade or festival. It was a potluck picnic.

facebook.com/okcpridefest

For the first time in history, Oklahoma City officially recognizes Pride Week to celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community.

Botswana's high court has thrown out a colonial-era law that criminalized same-sex relations in a landmark ruling lauded by activists. People who broke the law had faced the threat of a seven-year prison sentence.

The case was brought by a young activist who said Botswana's society had changed since sections of the country's penal code were enacted, banning the "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature." On Tuesday, the court agreed.

Fifty years ago this month, police raided a gay bar in New York City called the Stonewall Inn.

It was a common occurrence at the time, but on this night, patrons – trans women of color, lesbians, drag queens and gay men – said "enough." The raid ignited six days of protests and became known as the Stonewall Riots – largely credited with sparking the modern gay rights movement.

Peter Nunn is 32 and he's happy. He lives just outside Atlanta with his husband Monte, his dog Amelie, and their cat Hollow.

The dining room is decorated with a photo gallery wall of family — his husband dancing with his mother at their wedding and pictures of the couple. But it took a long time and work to get to a place where Nunn said he accepted and loved himself.

As a gay man, Nunn said, his father tried to change him.

The Supreme Court has accepted three cases that ask whether federal anti-discrimination laws should apply to sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, putting the court on track to consider high-profile LGBTQ issues after its next term begins this fall.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Thursday that it was reversing its controversial 2015 policy that classified people in same-sex marriages as "apostates." The church, widely known as the Mormon church, had also barred the children of such marriages from blessing or baptism until age 18.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Harsh criminal and anti-LGBT laws went into effect on Wednesday in Brunei amid outcry from human rights groups and celebrities.

Brunei's interpretation of Islamic law now imposes death by stoning as a punishment for sex between men and adultery, as well as amputation of limbs for theft. Lesbian sex can carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail, the BBC reports.

Faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan that benefit from taxpayer funding will no longer be allowed to legally turn away same-sex couples or LGBTQ individuals based on religious objection, under the terms of a settlement in a lawsuit alleging the practice constituted discrimination.

For decades, the United Methodist Church has officially judged homosexual activity to be immoral, barred gays and lesbians from serving as clergy, and opposed same sex marriage.

Those conservative doctrinal positions went against prevailing cultural and social trends, at least in the United States, but they didn't split the church into rival conservative and progressive camps because church leaders rarely enforced them.

No more.

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