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Southern hospitality, or not

Three Southern states took action on LGBTQ rights. One did the right thing and two pulled the welcome mat out from underneath the community.

Georgia: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a “religious liberty” bill saying the legislation didn’t match the “character of our State and the character of its people.” He also said he saw no examples of religious liberty problems in the state.

Business groups, including Salesforce, Disney, Unilever and Intel, as well as tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Dell opposed the measure.

North Carolina: North Carolina effectively legalized discrimination against LGBTQ people with a law signed by Governor Pat McCrory.

The law prevents cities from passing anti-LGBT discrimination ordinances and requires schools to designate single-sex bathrooms based on “biological sex.”

PayPal, Dow Chemical, the NBA, Google, American Airlines and other businesses oppose the law.

The NCAA, which had planned to host at least 20 high-profile games in the state in 2017 and 2018, opposes the law. “We’ll continue to monitor current events, which include issues surrounding diversity, in all cities bidding on NCAA championships and events, as well as cities that have already been named as future host sites.”

Facebook, which has a data center in the state, said it was “disappointed” by the law. “We believe in ensuring the rights of LGBT individuals and oppose efforts that discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” a company spokesperson said.

Rock idol, Bruce Springsteen canceled an appearance in the state.

Mississippi: Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill which offers protection for Christians who adhere to traditional views of marriage and gender roles. Governor Bryant said the law “protects sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.” The law allows some private businesses and religious groups to refuse service to LGBTQ people.

Bryan Adams has cancelled a concert in Mississippi over the religious liberty law, saying he could not “in good conscience” perform in the state.

March Madness has its gay on

Derrick Gordon, 24, made history as the only out player to ever compete in the NCAA tournament.

At a press conference before the game the Seton Hall University player told reporters that he longs for a day when his sexual orientation won’t make news.

“It’s always going to be a story until somebody else does it,” Gordon told reporters. He said he didn’t mind being the only out player: “I just hope one day when somebody else comes out that it’s not as big of a deal. “

Gordon came out last year while playing for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He had support from his coach and fans who staged a counter-protest when members of the Westboro Baptist Church decided to picket at one of his games.

Vatican boots Kim Davis supporter

The Vatican replaced the ambassador to the United States, who arranged the meeting between Pope Francis and anti-gay Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò will leave the position of apostolic nuncio, the equivalent of an ambassador.

During the pope’s visit to the United States last year, Viganò arranged for the Pope to meet with Davis, infamous for shutting down all marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

Vatican officials also said the Pope’s only private meeting during his stay in America was with a former student from his time in Argentina. That student is a partnered gay man who now lives in Washington.

At last underwear advertising for the ‘Dad Bod’

The “Dad Bod” craze has arrived in fashion magazines advertising men’s underwear. American Eagle has launched a men’s underwear line called Aerie  for the “Dad Bod.”

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The company unveiled the new line with an ad campaign that celebrates bodies of all types. Aerie, which also makes underwear for women, has become known for not using retouched photos in its ads. The tagline for the promotion of Aerie men is a reaffirming one: “The real you is sexy.”

A huge sigh of relief was heard as men ceased holding in their bellies at the gym, bars and pool parties.

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