2. The nation just inched closer to having the first black, gay federal judge after getting the seal of approval from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Rubio submitted his “blue slip” to the Senate Judiciary Committee signaling his support for the appointment of Darrin Gayles. The Florida senator drew scorn from the LGBT and black communities last year when he refused to turn in his blue slip for another black, gay Florida judicial nominee named William Thomas. Rubio had prevoiusly recommended Thomas to Pres. Obama, then later turned around and blocked him.
4. President Obama hit Russian President Vladmir Putin on LGBT rights again during a press conference in Brussels. He criticized the “gay propaganda” law passed in Russia before the Olympics, then said, “Instead of targeting our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, we can use our laws to protect their rights. Instead of defining ourselves in opposition to others, we can affirm the aspirations that we hold in common. That’s what will make America strong. That’s what will make Europe strong. That’s what makes us who we are.” Pres. Obama is in the midst of a trip where he has met with European leaders on the Russia-Crimea situation, and today he met with Pope Francis for the first time.
5. “Our faith is in a loving and compassionate God who does not condemn love, and in our experience, there is holy goodness in the love of gay and lesbian couples and their families.” The Detroit Free Press ran an op-ed by several bishops of the Episcopal Church of Michigan. A U.S. District Court Judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban last week, but the ruling was stayed upon appeal, and Gov. Rick Snyder says the state will not recognize the over 300 marriages performed in the days following the court’s decision.