A bill that would have expanded Montana's hate-crimes law to cover attacks based on sexual orientation, gender, and disability was rejected by the state’s house of representatives Monday. The bill had failed in a house committee earlier in the day, but Rep. Brad Newman (D-Butte) moved to have the whole house debate the issue. The motion failed, 47–52. “This bill does not chill...or threaten your First Amendment rights to believe what you want to believe,” Newman said.
A lesbian couple who once hobnobbed with the elite of British society despite having been former prostitutes who owned a brothel in Australia were sentenced Friday to prison for defrauding investors, The Scotsman reports. Australian Evelyn Burton was sentenced to five years in jail, while her partner, Lyla Andre, was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison. Burton secured an introduction to Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh by promising a £176,000 scholarship to the Royal Windsor Horse Show four years ago.
In more than a dozen cities and towns around the country, religious clergy members and other community leaders marked National Freedom to Marry Day on Monday by calling on the public to support the right of same-sex couples to marry, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said. National Freedom to Marry Day links the themes of love and equality as exemplified by Valentine’s Day and Lincoln’s Birthday to call for an end to discrimination in marriage.