gay rights

The Mormon church — or The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) — has been under fire for declaring earlier this month that members who enter into same-sex marriages will be deemed apostates and their children barred from baptism.

NPR's Michel Martin talks to Mitch Mayne, an openly gay Mormon, about the implications of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' ban on same-sex households. Also joining the conversation is NPR's religion reporter, Tom Gjelten.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

At first glance, the Boy Scout chapter at the Oklahomans for Equality community center in Tulsa, Okla., could be any other. Three boys hold an American flag as they lead a group in the Boy Scout Oath. These words are the same every Cub Scout pack uses to start a meeting. And the room, too — with its fluorescent lights and vinyl floor tiles — looks like any church parlor.

Pocatello, Idaho, and Laramie, Wyo., might not be the first places you think of leading the charge to protect the LGBT community from discrimination. But in these rural, Republican-led states, local governments are taking the matter into their own hands.

Twenty-year-old college student CylieAnn Erickson was in the room when the city council in Laramie passed its LGBT anti-discrimination bill earlier this year. She says that when the final vote was counted, she breathed a sigh of relief.

In September 1975, Time magazine featured decorated Vietnam veteran Leonard Matlovich on the cover. His name was clearly visible on his Air Force uniform, and the headline read: "I Am a Homosexual."

Matlovich — who had come out in a letter to his commanding officer before the cover ran — was challenging the military ban on gay service members.

Eloy Alonso/Reuters

Pop star Elton John told the BBC last week that he'd like to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin about his "ridiculous" attitude on gay rights.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The executive board of the Boy Scouts of America has ended its outright ban on gay scout leaders today, but there's a caveat. NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the resolution allows each scout unit to decide for itself whether to accept gay adult leaders.

Having clinched the long-sought prize of same-sex marriage in all 50 states, some long-time advocates are now waking up to the realization that they need to find a new job. At least one major same-sex marriage advocacy group is preparing to close down and other LGBT organizations are retooling.

They have grown from a ragtag group with a radical idea into a massive multi-million dollar industry of slick and sophisticated sellers of a dream. Today, their very success has made their old jobs obsolete.

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While gay people in America can marry, gay people in India face jail time

Jun 26, 2015
Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

When Manil Suri left India in 1979 and immigrated to America, he was drawn to the freedoms the country offered. But he was still denied the freedom to marry someone he loved. Until today.

"I was just overjoyed. I mean, it's been such a long time coming," Suri says. 

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