Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

Supreme Court: Love Wins, 5 to 4.

June 27, 2015

Supreme Court: Love Wins, 5 to 4.
On Friday the Supreme Court of the United States announced its ruling in Obergefell v. HodgesThe majority (Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan) held that the Due Process Clause of the 5th Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment guarantee marriage equality for same-sex couples in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the United States. The USA is now one of 21 countries with nationwide marriage equality.

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The Phase

April 11, 2015

The Phase

Cosmic balance returned to Barracks Row two weeks ago when the Phase 1 Bar and Nightclub was reopened after three months of  renovation. Founded in 1970, “The Phase” is said to be the oldest continually operating lesbian bar in the USA and the oldest LGBT bar in the Nation’s Capital. That’s pretty amazing, since America’s lesbian bars are an endangered species.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Hoosier Hospitality

March 30, 2015

Hoosier Hospitality

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a formerly prominent Republican, is flabbergasted by the uproar about Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. After all, it has the same name as a Federal law and laws in 19 other states.

There are three main differences:

1.  Indiana’s law explicitly allows for-profit businesses to assert a right to “the free exercise of religion.”

2. Indiana’s law allows businesses to assert such rights as a defense against lawsuits by private individuals, not just against actions brought by government.

“So, let’s review the evidence: … there’s ‘nothing significant’ about this law that differs from the federal one, and other state ones—except that it has been carefully written to make clear that 1) businesses can use it against 2) civil-rights suits brought by individuals.”

— “What Makes Indiana’s Religious-Freedom Law Different?” Garrett Epps, The Atlantic

3. Timing. Public opinion in America has swung in favor of same-sex marriage, and Indiana Republicans are out of step with their “freedom to discriminate” legislation.

More:

“Indiana’s Mike Pence is starting to look like Lester Maddox — without the spine,” Joan Walsh, Salon

Legal types can see a letter by 30 law school professors here.

Related:

“When ‘Religious Liberty’ Was Used To Justify Racism Instead Of Homophobia,” Ian Millhiser, Think Progress

“Disciples Of Christ Cancels 2017 Convention In Protest Of Religious Freedom Law,” Daniel Strauss, TPM Livewire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Indiana Welcomes … Some of You!

March 28, 2015

Indiana Welcomes ... Some of You!

The Indiana legislature passed a law, and Republican Governor Mike Pence is so proud of it that he boldly signed it when no one was looking. The so-called ‘Religious Freedom Restoraction Act‘ grants individuals and businesses the right to discriminate against people unlike them and claim their religion mandates their bigotry.

Wholesome, honest-to-goodness Hoosier intolerance. Who could be against that?

Everyone. The ACLU. The Disciples of Christ. The NCAA. The Indianapolis Chamber of CommerceUSA Track & Field. NASCAR. Corporations like YelpSalesforce, Ennis Communications, Cummins, Angie’s List, Twitter, Subaru, General Electric and Indianapolis-based pharma giant Eli Lilly & Company. The mayors of Indianapolis, South Bend, Evansville, Washington DC, Seattle and San Francisco. The governors of Connecticut, New York, and Washington. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL). Annual conventions like the AFSCME Conference and the $50 million Gen Con. The editors of the Indianapolis StarTim Cook. Audra McDonaldMiley Cyrus. Larry KingCharles BarkleyNick Offerman. David LettermanWilcoAshton Kutcher. Arnold Schwarzenegger. And many more.

There’s a petition, a boycott movement, and this:

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Alabama Supreme Court Secedes From Union Over Same-Sex Marriage

March 5, 2015

Alabama Supreme Court Secedes From Union Over Same-Sex Marriage

On Tuesday the Alabama Supreme Court ordered the state’s probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples, adding yet another wrinkle to a messy situation. The story so far:

On January 23rd Federal District Judge Callie Granade struck down two Alabama state laws banning same-sex marriage.

On February 8th Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered state probate judges to ignore the Federal court ruling.

On February 9th the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stay the District Court’s decision, and on February 12th Judge Granade ordered the Mobile County Probate Judge to issue licenses to same-sex couples, and he and most Alabama judges complied.

On March 3rd, on a 7-1 ruling, with Chief Justice Roy Moore recusing himself, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a 138-page order for probate judges to cease granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

So why are Alabama judges standing in the courthouse door to prevent same-sex marriage, in defiance of a Federal court order? Is it … Jesus? Is it the Klan? Is this an echo of Alabama’s 33-year refusal to allow interracial marriage or some kind of nostalgia for the Confederacy?

Maybe. Mostly, it’s just politics. Alabama Supreme Court Judges are elected partisans, and their election depends on symbolic appeals to the state’s Republican Party base.

 More:

“Alabama Supreme Court Throws Tantrum, Defies Federal Judge, Halts Gay Marriages,” Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

Related:

“I Was Alabama’s Top Judge. I’m Ashamed by What I Had to Do to Get There.” Sue Bell Cobb, Politico Magazine

“John Oliver digs into the ‘horrifying spectacle’ of judicial elections,” Sarah Gray, Salon

UPDATE: 

“Alabama GOP proposes bill to let judges opt out of marrying gay couples — and Jews and Muslims too!” Jenny Kutner, Salon

“Ala. Bill Would Let Judges Opt Out Of Performing Gay Marriages,” Caitlin MacNeal, TPM Livewire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Let’s Hear it for Good Old Nebraska

March 3, 2015

Let's Hear it for Good Old Nebraska

Judge Joseph F. Bataillon of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska has issued an injunction ruling that Nebraska’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, and that as of March 9th, “all relevant state officials are ordered to treat same-sex couples the same as different sex couples in the context of processing a marriage license or determining the rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage.”

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson has filed an appeal with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Alabama Probate Judges Get Remedial Legal Education

February 15, 2015

Alabama Probate Judges Get Remedial Legal Education On January 23rd Federal District Judge Callie Granade struck down two Alabama state laws banning same-sex marriage. On February 8th Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered state probate judges to ignore the Federal court ruling. On February 9th the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stay the District Court’s decision. On February 12th Judge Granade ordered the Mobile County Probate Judge to issue licenses to same-sex couples, and he complied. But while judges in 23 Alabama counties were issuing licenses to all couples, those in 18 counties were only licencing straight couples and 26 counties weren’t issuing any licenses at all. What gives?

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Marriage Equality in the Heart of Dixie

January 24, 2015

Marriage Equality in the Heart of Dixie

Federal District Judge Callie Granade has struck down two Alabama state laws banning same-sex marriage. Alabama is now the 37th state where same-sex marriage is legal.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kOo

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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South Dakota Marriage Equality

January 14, 2015

South Dakota Marriage Equality

U.S. District Court Judge Karen Schreier has ruled than South Dakota’s ban on same-sex marriage is in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. “Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry,” wrote Judge Schreier.  “South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.” The judge stayed her ruling pending appeals, which SD Attorney General Marty Jackley has promised. The attorney for the successful plaintiffs intends to appeal the stay.

More:

“Judge strikes down South Dakota gay marriage ban,” Reid Wilson, Washington Post

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kMQ

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Marriage Equality in Virginia. And 10 Other States.

October 7, 2014

Marriage Equality in Virginia. And 10 Other States.

The Supreme Court declined to reconsider federal appeals court rulings overturning bans on gay marriage in five states. Same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin. Six other states — Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming — bound by the same appellate rulings had stayed same-sex marriage pending the Supreme Court’s review, and should get with the program shortly. That means marriage equality is the law in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

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