Dallas gets $1.28M HUD grant for HIV/AIDS

Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have announced the allocation of nearly $9 million in grants to projects in seven states that provide permanent and transitional housing and support services to people with HIV/AIDS.

Of that total, $1,287,500 will be allocated to the city of Dallas’ Housing and Community Services Department, the only city or agency in Texas to receive one of the seven HUD grants. The money will be used to provide transitional housing support to 60 ex-offenders over the next three years. According to the HUD press release, the Housing and Community Services Department will be working with the city’s Project Reconnect and the Department of Justice’s Second Chance Act in providing the housing and services.

And the city has committed to “creating an Integrated HIV/AIDS Housing Plan through a comprehensive community planning effort that involves 20 local partners operating in the eight county Dallas Metropolitan Statistical Area,” according to HUD. No word yet on whether those partners will include AIDS Services of Dallas, which is located in Oak Cliff and provides housing for as many as 225 men, women and children impacted by HIV/AIDS through 125 units in four complexes.

The largest of the grants, $1,375,000, is going to the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV. The city of Portland, Ore., gets the second-largest total with $1,365,900. River Region Human Services Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla., is getting $1,353,743, and the Corporation for AIDS Research Education and Services Inc. in Albany and Rochester, N.Y., gets $1,344,375.

Dallas is next on the list, followed by Justice Resource Institute Inc. in Boston, which gets $1,223,377. Rounding out the recipient list is the Frannie Peabody Center, a statewide organization in Maine, that is receiving $930,909.

The seven recipients were chosen “through a national HOPWA competition to identify special projects of national significance that will help advance understanding and improve the delivery of housing and care for persons with HIV,” according to HUD.

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Ninth Circuit Grants Stay of Injunction, DADT Still In Place

cross-posted at the Great Orange Satan.

Damn it.

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” restriction on gays in the military will be enforced while a federal appeals court reviews a judge’s decision that the rule is unconstitutional.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco said today that ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” must be delayed while it considers whether the policy violates the free speech and due process rights of gays and lesbian seeking to serve in the military. The case could take weeks or months to decide.

Stay in your closets, troops. DADT isn't going away for a very, very long time.

Anyone who wants to read the appeal, it's up at Metro Weekly (opens as pdf). This is rich. Two of three Appeals panel judges claimed to support granting a stay of the injunction for three reasons:

  1. “Acts of Congress are presumptively Constitutional, creating an equity in favor of the government when balancing the hardships in a request for a stay pending appeal.” In other words, screw the people who are suffering under a law, since Congress did it, it must be fine and dandy.
  2. “'Judicial deference…is at its apogee' when Congress legislates under its authority to support and raise armies.” We're not touching this one with a fifty-foot pole wrapped in Saran Wrap.
  3. “[T]he District' Court' analysis and conclusions are arguably at odds with the decision of at least four other Circuit Courts of Appeal: the First, Second, Fourth, and Eighth.” All the other Circuits have curbstomped the queers, and we see no reason to buck the trend.

Let's not forget the conclusion:

Accordingly, we conclude that the government's colorable allegations that the lack of an orderly transition in policy will produce immediate harm and precipitous injury are convincing.

Hear that, LGB troops? Your very presence is so dangerous that it will cause immediate harm and precipitous injury.

I could vomit, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Reactions below the fold.

 

From the Plaintiffs, Log Cabin Republicans and their counsel, White & Case:

Dan Woods, White & Case

“The court’s ruling is a disappointment not only to us, but also to all homosexual servicemembers who bravely put themselves in harm’s way so that we can all enjoy the constitutional rights and freedoms that they themselves are being denied,” said Dan Woods, White & Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans. “The decision only slows the day when military service will be available to all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, who want nothing more than to serve their country honorably and patriotically. We will continue to fight on for the constitutional rights of these Americans and look forward to a favorable decision on the merits of the appeal.  Meanwhile, we will discuss the court's order with our client to determine whether we will ask for a review of the order by the US Supreme Court.”

R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans

“Log Cabin Republicans is disappointed that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will continue to burden our armed forces, undermine national security and limit the freedom of our men and women in uniform,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans. “Despite this temporary setback, Log Cabin remains confident that we will ultimately prevail on behalf of servicemembers’ constitutional rights.  In the meantime, we urge President Obama to use his statutory stop-loss power to halt discharges under this discriminatory and wasteful policy.  The president claims to want to see ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ended.  It is time that he stop talking and start working to make a real difference for gay and lesbian Americans by pushing for repeal when Congress returns.”

 

From SLDN:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), released a statement today on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issuing a stay pending appeal of the judgment in the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States case, which found DADT unconstitutional. Last month, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ordered an injunction that suspended and discontinued all investigations and discharges under the law.

Statement by Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:

“Today’s decision is a major disappointment, and it underscores the urgent need for the Senate to act this month in the lame duck session to end this confusion and bring about the finality that is needed. We continue to warn service members that it is unsafe to come out as long as this law remains on the books.”

###

WARNING: Gay and lesbian service members OR those interested in signing up to serve who have questions should contact the SLDN legal hotline to speak with an attorney: 202-328-3244 x100.  SLDN also re-issued its warning to active-duty service members, including those in the reserves and the national guard, to know they’re at risk.  Anyone with questions or concerns should call our hotline or visit: www.SLDN.org/StillAtRisk.

From Lambda Legal:

Lambda Legal Disappointed: Ninth Circuit Puts Injunction Against Don't Ask, Don't Tell On Hold

“The pressure is now on Congress to repeal this fundamentally un-American law.”

In response to today's procedural ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal permitting”Don't Ask, Don't Tell” to remain temporarily in effect during an appeal, Lambda Legal issued the following statement from  Staff Attorney Peter Renn:

“Today's ruling means additional months or even years of needless suffering by lesbian, gay and bisexual service members, who must continue to live in fear of discovery until the appeals process is complete – or until Congress or the President steps up to the plate.  But it's important to remember what today's ruling was not:  a consideration of the merits of the case. That remains for another day.

“Each day that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' remains in effect, it destroys lives and careers, undermines national security, and forces the discharge of the very personnel our military needs in a time of war. The pressure is now on Congress to repeal this fundamentally un-American law – and on the President, who can issue a stop-loss order to put an immediate end to discharges under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'”

Lambda Legal filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, brought by Log
Cabin Republicans, urging the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to leave
in place pending appeal an injunction against the law, saying that its
impact extends far beyond those in uniform, to include lesbian, gay, and
bisexual adults and youth, who must contend with the consequences of the
discriminatory message perpetuated by”Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

For more information, please go to http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/lcr-v-usa.html.

From Servicemembers United:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, issued the following statement today in response to the Ninth Circuit's acceptance of the government's request for a longer stay of the injunction barring enforcement of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy:

“It is really unfortunate that the government has tricked the Ninth Circuit into believing that 'enormous consequences,' 'immediate harm,' and 'irreparable injury' will result from a continuation of the injunction,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the only named veteran plaintiff in the case. “By the government's own admission elsewhere, none of these predicted consequences or injuries have come to pass while the law has been enjoined, and the Defense Department has even voluntarily created a de facto moratorium on discharges by further increasing the level of discharge authority. It is concerning that the government can so blatantly pull one over on an appeals court, and it is equally frustrating that such a distinguished court would allow itself to be fooled so obviously and so publicly in the name of 'deference.' Abdication is more like it.”

In light of this stalling of justice, the very narrow legislative path remains the only way by which the President, administration officials, and the congressional leadership can keep their promise to end “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” this year. In order for there to be any chance for legislative success, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid absolutely must bring the National Defense Authorization Act back up on the Senate floor before the Senate recesses for Thanksgiving.

In a video released online late last week, Servicemembers United's Executive Director explained the very narrow path available to achieve a legislative victory on “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” by the end of the year. The video can be viewed on Servicemembers United's YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/ServicemembersUnited.

To find out more about Servicemembers United and “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Ninth Circuit Grants Stay of DADT Ruling Pending Appeal

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the government its request for a stay in the injunction barring enforcement of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' pending appeal, the AP reports:

Dadt "Monday's decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means gay Americans who disclose their sexual orientations still can't enlist in the armed forces and can be discharged. The panel granted the government's request for a stay while it challenges the trial court's ruling that the ban on openly gay service members is unconstitutional. The same panel imposed a temporary hold keeping 'don't ask, don't tell' in place last week. Monday's ruling also heightens pressure on the Obama administration to persuade the U.S. Senate to repeal the 1993 law before a new Congress is sworn in."

The Wonk Room notes:

In an eight-page decision, the justices identify “three reasons that persuade us to grant a stay pending appeal”:

- First, Acts of Congress are presumptively constitutional, creating an equity in favor of the government when balancing the hardships in a request for a stay pending appeal.

- Second, “‘judicial deference . . . is at its apogee’ when Congress legislates under its authority to raise and support armies.”

- Third, the district court’s analysis and conclusions are arguably at odds with the decisions of at least four other Circuit Courts of Appeal: the First, Second, Fourth, and Eighth.

Here's the order:

DADT Stay Order


Towleroad News #gay

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BREAKING: Ninth Circuit grants stay of Walker’s decision pending appeal

Just received this notice via email from the Ninth Circuit:

Filed order (EDWARD LEAVY, MICHAEL DALY HAWKINS and SIDNEY R. THOMAS) Appellants’ motion for a stay of the district court’s order of August 4, 2010 pending appeal is GRANTED. The court sua sponte orders that this appeal be expedited pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 2. The provisions of Ninth Circuit Rule 31-2.2(a) (pertaining to grants of time extensions) shall not apply to this appeal. This appeal shall be calendared during the week of December 6, 2010, at The James R. Browning Courthouse in San Francisco, California. The previously established briefing schedule is vacated. The opening brief is now due September 17, 2010. The answering brief is due October 18, 2010. The reply brief is due November 1, 2010. In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing. See Arizonans For Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 66 (1997). IT IS SO ORDERED. [7441574] (JS)

So, the motion to stay is granted, pending appeal. That means marriages won’t begin on Wednesday or anytime soon.

The appeal has been expedited. Arguments will be held in early December. One other thing: This order states that Ninth Circuit Rule 31-2.2 does not apply, meaning no extensions. Under Rule 31-2.2 (a), “If good cause is shown, the clerk or a designated deputy may grant an oral request for a single extension of time of no more than 14 days to file an opening, answering or reply brief. Such extensions may be applied for and granted or denied by telephone.” No one gets the 14 days extension. Sounds like the judges want this case to move ahead without delay.

And, the appellants, meaning the pro-Prop. 8 side, have to explain why they have standing. That remains a major issue for them moving forward. For more on this issue, see Prof. David Cruz’s post: Do the Prop. 8 proponents have Standing to Appeal?

I’m sure we’ll have more on this soon.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

DART accused of transphobia

Judge reversed order after transit agency fought longtime employee’s gender-marker change last year

John Wright | News Editor
wright@dallasvoice.com

TRANS FRIENDLY? | Judge Lynn Cherry, right, is shown alongside drag performer Chanel during Stonewall Democrats’ 2008 holiday party at the Round-Up Saloon. A few months later, Cherry ruled against a transgender DART employee and overturned a gender-marker change. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

DART stands accused of bigotry and transphobia after attorneys for the local transit agency intervened in family court last year to challenge a gender-marker change granted to an employee.

According to court records, a transgender DART employee obtained a court order in February 2009 directing all state agencies to correct their records by changing her gender-marker from male to female, including on her birth certificate.

As Dallas Voice reported last week, many Dallas County judges have been routinely granting gender-marker changes to transgender people who meet set criteria — including documentation from licensed medical personnel — since the Democratic sweep of 2006.

The DART employee, who’s name is being withheld to protect her anonymity, later presented the court order to the transit agency’s human resources department and requested that her personnel records be changed to reflect her new gender.

But DART’s attorneys objected to the gender-marker change and responded by filing a motion seeking a rehearing in court. DART’s objections prompted 301st Family District Court Judge Lynn Cherry to reverse her order granting the gender-marker change.

“Where does this stop when an employer can start interfering with your personal life and family law decisions?” said longtime local transgender activist Pamela Curry, a friend of the DART employee who brought the case to the attention of Dallas Voice. “She was devastated. This should be a serious concern to a lot of people — everybody — and I just think this story needs to be told.”

Judge Cherry, who received Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ Pink Pump Award for her support of the group last year, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment this week.

Morgan Lyons, a spokesman for DART, noted that Cherry reversed her order before the agency actually filed its motion for a rehearing. However, Curry alleges that DART’s attorneys met with Cherry privately and pressured her into reversing the order.

As is common with gender-marker changes, the case file has been sealed, but Dallas Voice obtained copies of some of the court documents from Curry.

In their motion for a rehearing, DART attorneys Harold R. McKeever and Hyattye Simmons argued that Texas law grants registrars, not judges, the authority to amend birth certificates. They also argued that birth certificates could be amended only if they were inaccurate at the time of birth.

“It’s not a DART issue, it’s a point of law,” Lyons told Dallas Voice this week, in response to the allegations of bigotry. “The lawyers concluded that the birth certificate could not be altered by law, unless there was a mistake made when the birth certificate was completed, and again, the judge changed the order before we even wound up going into court with it.”

Asked about DART’s LGBT-related employment policies, Lyons said the agency’s nondiscrimination policy includes sexual orientation but not gender identity/expression. The agency, which is governed by representatives from Dallas and numerous suburbs, also doesn’t offer benefits to the domestic partners of employees.

Lyons didn’t respond to other allegations made by Curry, including that the agency has fought the employee’s transition from male to female at every step of the way.

Curry, who helped the employee file her pro se petition for a gender-marker change, said the employee has worked for DART for more than 20 years and has an outstanding performance record.

The employee began to come out as transgender in 2003 and had gender reassignment surgery more than three years ago, Curry said. Curry said DART supervisors have at various times told the employee that she couldn’t have long hair, couldn’t wear skirts to work and couldn’t use women’s restrooms at work.

The employee has responded by showing up at work in her uniform so she doesn’t have to change and using public restrooms on her bus route, Curry said.

Supervisors have also told the employee she can’t talk to the media and can’t join political groups, such as Stonewall Democrats, Curry said.

“She’s intimidated and she’s scared,” Curry said. “One supervisor even suggested to her that if she doesn’t lay off it, they will mess up her retirement.”

Elaine Mosher, a Dallas attorney who’s familiar with the case, also questioned why DART intervened. Mosher didn’t represent the employee in the case but has handled gender-marker changes for other clients.

Mosher said the employee’s gender doesn’t have any bearing on her ability to do her job at DART.

“My argument in any gender marker matter is, the birth certificate was wrong, that’s why they had to go through the transition surgery, in essence to put them in the correct gender,” Mosher said. “All I can tell you is that it seems strange to me that DART would care one way or another what the gender marker of anybody that works for them is.”

Moster added that she believes someone at DART may have been “freaked out” by the employee’s transition from male to female and developed a “vendetta” against her.

“I wish I had a good explanation for why [DART got involved] other than the fact that I know there are people out there who are utterly blind and prejudiced for no other reason than they are,” Mosher said. “I compare it to some of the nonsense African-Americans had to live through in the ’60s.”

Mosher also said she’s “very surprised” that Cherry reversed the order granting the gender marker change.

Erin Moore, president of Stonewall Democrats, said she’s heard “bits and pieces” of the story but isn’t sure of all the facts.

Moore said in response to her questions about the case, Cherry told her she couldn’t talk about it because it’s still within the timeframe for a possible appeal.

“Lynn is a longtime supporter of Stonewall and I would think she would be fair in the case,” Moore said. “I’m confident she’s an ally to this community.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 19, 2010.

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