News Briefs for August 26, 2015

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Foo Fighters 'Rickroll' Westboro Baptist Church

(CNN) – Foo Fighters won the Internet over the weekend.

The group turned the tables on Westboro Baptist Church members protesting outside the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday before the Foos' concert.

Lead singer Dave Grohl and the gang showed up in a pickup and "rickrolled" the protestors in person by blasting the Rick Astley '80s hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" from the speakers while holding signs that said "You got Rick roll'd (again)" and "Keep it clean."

The Topeka, Kansas, church is known for protesting funerals and other notable events, its members holding signs with inflammatory inscriptions such as "God hates fags."

The Foo Fighters' actions were met with cheers online, with many applauding the group for turning the tables on the protesters.

It's not the first time the group has counterprotested the church. Grohl serenaded them in 2011 outside the same venue.

This time around, it seemed like Westboro had a sense of humor about the incident. A Twitter account linked to the church posted, "Did @FooFighters just #rickroll us? Oh well!"

Michigan Couple That Challenged Gay Marriage Ban Wed

(AP) April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse - the two Michigan women who legally challenged the state's ban on gay marriage - exchanged vows Saturday during a ceremony in suburban Detroit.

Federal Judge Bernard Friedman, who overturned the state's ban in 2014, performed their wedding at a banquet hall in Southfield.

Between 250 and 300 family members and friends attended the wedding. DeBoer wore a cream-colored wedding dress and Rowse a black tuxedo. With their children and DeBoer's father as escorts, they walked down the aisle to late Beatle George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun."

"Little did I know that you would bring me four beautiful kids ... and drag me into the Supreme Court," DeBoer said, the crowd laughing as she read her vows. "I am honored to soon be your legal wife."

DeBoer and Rowse, both hospital nurses, are raising four adopted children at their Hazel Park home. The children read their own vows during the wedding and said they would take each woman as their "legal mommy."

In 2012, the couple sued the state, which at the time barred them from jointly adopting each other's children because same-sex couples couldn't marry in Michigan. Their case grew into a challenge to a 2004 Michigan constitutional amendment that recognized marriage only between a man and a woman.

US Marine Admits Choking Transgender Filipino, Denies Murder

A U.S. Marine charged with murder has testified in court that he choked a Filipino unconscious during a fight that started when he discovered that she was a transgender woman in a Philippine motel.

Lawyer Rowena Flores says Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton told the regional trial court Monday that Jennifer Laude was alive when he left her in a shower in October last year. Pemberton panicked after seeing her unconscious and left.

Flores says she and other defense lawyers will present evidence that raises the possibility that someone else killed Laude.

Government prosecutors charged Pemberton with murder, saying there was probable cause that he killed Laude, who had apparently been strangled to death.

Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade Attacker Charged With Murder

(AP) An ultra-Orthodox Israeli who fatally stabbed a teenage girl at a Jerusalem gay pride parade has been indicted on a murder charge.

Jerusalem's District Court indicted Yishai Schlissel for murder on Monday for last month's deadly attack, along with multiple attempted murder charges for those he wounded.

Schlissel, who had been freed from prison weeks earlier after serving a sentence for stabbing several people at the city's pride parade in 2005, stabbed six people at the July 30 parade. One of them, 16-year-old Shira Banki, later died of her wounds.

Jerusalem, known for its rich religious history and tradition, holds a modest gay pride parade annually in contrast to the large parade in the nearby liberal city of Tel Aviv, which drew over 100,000 people this year.

Islamic State Claims 30 Killed for Sodomy

(AP) The head of an international gay rights organization is telling the U.N. Security Council that the Islamic State extremist group has claimed responsibility for executing at least 30 people for sodomy.

Monday's event is the first time the council has met on gay rights. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power calls the closed-door meeting "historic."

The executive director of The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission says that courts established by the Islamic State group claim to have punished sodomy with stoning, firing squads, beheadings and pushing from tall buildings.

Jessica Stern, whose remarks were released publicly, says fear of the group has fueled violence by other militias and "private actors" against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals.

The Islamic State group holds large parts of Syria and Iraq.

Broward Health Officials Honored

(DOH Broward) The Florida Department of Health in Broward County (DOH-Broward) has recently received the Large Local Health Department of the Year award by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) at the 2015 Annual Conference. The award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of small, medium and large local health departments for their innovation, creativity and impact on their community. As an active partner in community health with DOH-Broward, Broward County Human Services Department congratulates them on a well-deserved recognition.

"The ability to measure the effectiveness of public health services is key to ensuring a quality of life for Broward County's more than 1.8 million residents. DOH-Broward has established itself apartment among public health programs nationally," said William Green, Broward County Health Care Services Administrator on news of the award. "We are extremely proud of our health partners when excellence is exceeded in the delivery of care in our community.”  

"We are proud to receive this award," said Paula Thaqi, M.D., M.P.H, Director of DOH-Broward. "The award is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team and to the support of the entire Florida Department of Health, Broward County Government and our community partners."

Bakery in Gay Wedding Cake Case Sends Gifts to LGBTQ Groups

(AP) The owners of a Portland-area bakery who were fined for denying service to a same-sex couple have sent cakes and copies of a Christian film to 10 LGBT groups on the West Coast.

Melissa and Aaron Klein, of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, told The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1J8LHx8 ) they sent the custom-designed cakes and copies of the movie "Audacity" to the groups as "an expression of love."

The packages also included $25 restaurant gift cards provided by Ray Comfort, a New Zealand evangelist and the film's executive producer.

The theme of "Audacity" is that Christians who speak up about their belief that homosexuality is a choice aren't trying to spread hate or hurt someone, but are doing it to warn people and save them from God's wrath.

The cakes, which have a red heart on top with 'We really do love you!' written across it in frosting, were sent to organizations in California and Nevada.

One of the groups that received a cake Thursday, Equality California, said it considered the package a publicity stunt. The group was planning to invite gay-friendly faith leaders to share the cake, spokesman Jason Howe said.

"I think the Kleins are continuing a false narrative that there's a conflict between LGBTQ and Christianity," Howe said. "There's a mainstream that thinks discriminating against people in places of business is wrong."

Melissa Klein said the cakes were not meant as a publicity stunt.

"Our purpose is to express our love for them as a Christian," Klein wrote in an email. "We don't hate them."

Illinois Enacts Gay Conversion Therapy Ban

(AP) Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday signed legislation banning therapists from trying to change a young person's sexuality.

Under the new law, those under 18 years old can get counseling to discuss concerns or thoughts about their sexuality, but professionals licenses by the state may not try to change the minor's orientation.

"These so-called 'therapies' treat homosexuality as a disease," Evanston Democratic Sen. Daniel Biss said in a statement after Rauner signed the bill Biss sponsored with state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat. "They're out of date and can be deeply destructive to youth. Outlawing these practices is a small step in our pursuit for LGBT rights, but it's an extremely important step in protecting young people in Illinois."

Backers of the measure were unsure how Rauner, a first-term Republican who has kept his stance on several social issues private, would act. Rauner has refused to discuss his views on same-sex marriage.

After announcing the bill's signing, spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said Rauner has no social agenda and believes the measure protects the children's interests.

"The administration carefully reviewed this legislation to ensure it would not prohibit or otherwise interfere with religious freedom or family access to religious counseling," Kelly said in a statement.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, has said Rauner met with a "survivor" of such therapy and appeared moved by what he heard.

Investigators to Recommend Caitlyn Face Manslaughter

(AP) Sheriff's investigators plan to recommend prosecutors file a vehicular manslaughter charge against Caitlyn Jenner for her role in a fatal car crash last February, officials said Thursday.

Investigators found that Jenner was driving "unsafe for the prevailing road conditions" because her SUV rear-ended a Lexus, pushing it into oncoming traffic, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.

Jenner was hauling an off-road vehicle on a trailer behind her Cadillac Escalade on Feb. 7 when she steered to avoid cars slowing for a traffic light in front of her on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

Jenner's SUV rear-ended two cars, pushing a Lexus into oncoming traffic and hitting a Prius.

The Lexus driver, 69-year-old Kim Howe, was killed when her car was struck head-on by a Hummer.

The case will be presented to prosecutors for final review next week, Nishida said. The district attorney's office will determine what charges Jenner ultimately faces.

If convicted of such a charge, Jenner could face up to one year in county jail.

Jenner's attorney Blair Berk declined comment.

The fatal crash occurred months before Caitlyn Jenner's transition. She was formerly known as Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and Kim Kardashian's stepfather.


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