The lines formed early to get into the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals building to hear oral arguments on three same-sex marriage cases this morning. Erin Moore is outside the courthouse and took these pictures:
Reporters asking questions as spectators line up to get a seat in the overflow rooms at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans (Erin Moore/Dallas Voice)
Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith outside the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (Erin Moore/Dallas Voice)
Lambda Legal’s community educator Omar Narvaez waiting to get into the 5th Circuit courtroom. (Erin Moore/Dallas Voice)
1. Gay Minnesota teen Lance Lundsten was laid to rest Tuesday night, but questions remain about what caused his death. Some news reports have suggested that Lundsten, 18, took his own life in response to anti-gay bullying at school. However, Lundsten’s father maintains that he died from coronary edema, a condition caused by an enlarged heart. Autopsy results will take several weeks.
2. A former San Antonio police officer accused of raping a transsexual prostitute was sentenced to one year in jail on Tuesday. The former officer, Craig Nash, pleaded guilty to official oppression after prosecutors agreed in exchange not to charge him with sexual assault by a police officer, which carries a life sentence. Prosecutors also agreed not to pursue an allegation by a man who said Nash raped him a few years earlier.
3. A federal appeals court in Louisiana today will hear a case involving two gay dads who simply want both of their names listed on their adopted child’s birth certificate. A federal district judge and a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have already ruled in the gay couple’s favor, but the bigoted state attorney general is appealing the decision. The couple is represented by Lambda Legal’s Ken Upton of Dallas, who warns of a “gaping loophole” in the doctrine of full faith and credit if the decision is overturned: “An exception that permits states arbitrarily to ignore legal parent-child relationships as families travel throughout the United States would create unprecedented chaos and harm.”