Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #805


LUCK: Did these people have the best luck in 2010?

HATE GROUP LEADER TONY PERKINS: The Senate has blood on its hands for 'DADT', says the man with bloody hands.

FRC: Tony Perkins' hate group says it plans to file lawsuits to block DADT repeal.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #802

LOUIE GOHMERT: The Ed Show on the Texas lawmaker's hateful words about gays.

QATAR: FIFA President Sepp Blather's remarks about gays and the World Cup get the Next Media Animation treatment.

MARY TWEETED JOSEPH: The digital story of the Nativity.

UP IN FLAMES: Model's hair catches fire live on UStream at Diddy's album release party.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #795

KILL ZONE: What's at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico?

ALL THEY WANT FOR CHRISTMAS: The 'Party in the FIP boys are back for the holidays.

SURPRISE!: You'll be cleaning up for weeks!

DUCKS, DUCKS IN THE WIND: All they are is ducks in the wind.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Towleroad News #gay

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2011 Buying for Workplace Equality Guide Released

Just in time for your Holiday shopping, today we released the 2011 version of the Buying for Workplace Equality guide. The guide offers  shoppers a perspective of how consumer based companies ranked on our annual Corporate Equality Index, which measures policies that guide workplace equality.

The guide breaks down products into easy to find categories and ranks companies into Green, Yellow and Red groups based on their scores. The system allows shoppers to pick products and companies that favor workplace equality and to avoid those that do not.

You can download the guide now at iPhone users can download the updated App to their phone as well.

Included in this year’s guide are estimated scores for companies that have repeatedly failed to respond to our workplace surveys. Visit our website to find out more about this years guide.

For those who want to do more to encourage companies to adopt fair workplace practices, both the web and iPhone versions of the guide now contain contact information for many businesses that are featured in the guide. Tools to reach out to companies are also available at:

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #787: It Gets Better Edition

California Assembly Speaker John Pérez, Justin Bieber, the Boston gay flag football league, and the Gay Men's Chorus of DC speak out against anti-gay bullying, lending their voices to the "It Gets Better" project.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #788

NICOLAS CAGE: Shows us what acting's all about.

SARAH PALIN: Joy Behar, Andy Kindler, Hal Sparks and Galina Espinoza discuss Palin's new book.

VOLT: GM tells Rush Limbaugh driving and Oxycontin don't mix.

MUTANT: District 9 director Neil Blomkamp's trailer buried in the latest iPad issue of Wired.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #786

SICKO: Wendell Potter apologizes to Michael Moore for smears regarding his healthcare doc.

METROPOLIS II: My 10-year-old self would kill for Chris Burden's latest art project.

DAN SAVAGE: On the "It Gets Better" project.

CGI: Nothing you see here is real.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube #784

ROYAL WEDDING: Clark and Dawe on the William and Kate hubbub.

FERRARI: Race car drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso test the new world's fastest roller coaster at the Ferrari theme park in Abu Dhabi.

ARI EMANUEL: At the Web 2.0, Hollywood "super agent" Emanuel speaks about the web's impact on the entertainment industry.

WGN FAIL: When a live bridge implosion is the highlight of your morning news hour, you'd better keep your eye on it.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Towleroad News #gay

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Towleroad Guide to the Tube #783

THEY GIVE A DAMN: Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Pete Wentz, Rebecca Romijn, Eden Riegel and Cyndi Lauper speak out for homeless LGBT youth.

WILLOW PALIN: Joy Behar discusses Palin’s anti-gay slurs with Judy Gold, Dick Cavett and Ereka Vetrini.

HIGHER: The video for the new duet from Taio Cruz and Kylie Minogue.

RANDY RAINBOW: His chat with George W. Bush and Kanye West.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Towleroad News #gay

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Concise Guide to Gay Marriage Lawsuits

[Cross-posted at the Gay Law Report, where I discuss LGBT laws and related news.]

Earlier this week, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in New York alleging that the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause. The number of gay marriage lawsuits has been adding up, so it’s worth reviewing them all. Here’s what you need to know.

Perry v. Schwarzenegger

Overview: The lawsuit to overturn Proposition 8. It’s also the most well-known out of all the lawsuits challenging gay marriage bans. At the most basic level, the lawsuit is a federal challenge to a state marriage ban. The suit alleges that marriage is a constitutional right, and that the government doesn’t have a good enough reason (rational basis is the legal term) for denying that right to same sex couples.

The couples filing the lawsuit are Kristin Perry & Sandra Stier and Paul Katami & Jeffrey Zarrillo. Also notable are their attorneys, Ted Olsen and David Boies, who were on opposite sides of the Bush-Gore election court battle in 2000.

Location: California.

Status: The case went to trial, and Judge Walker decided against the gay marriage ban based on both the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution. The case has been appealed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where a 3 panel judge will issue an opinion. The court will hear oral arguments on December 6.

Outlook: Uncertain. No matter what the Ninth Circuit does, the case will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court. That process will take years. In the meantime, judicial orders will likely be stayed pending appeal, meaning that they have no effect while the case is still being resolved.

Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services

Overview: Unlike the other lawsuits, this lawsuit was not filed on behalf of particular people, but on behalf of the state itself. The Massachusetts government alleges that Congress didn’t have the authority to regulate marriage and pass the Defense of Marriage Act, the law prohibiting the federal government from recognizing gay marriages. In other words, it violates the Tenth Amendment, which says that unless the Constitution grants the federal government a specific power, the power is left to the states. Regulating marriage is one of these powers, Massachusetts alleged.

Location: Massachusetts

Status: Judge Louis Tauro ruled against the government back in August and declared DOMA unconstitutional for violating the Tenth Amendment. The judge said that the federal government cannot decide who gets to be married—instead, states do.

The case has been appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision is stayed pending the appeal.

Outlook: I like this case because it uses traditional conservative arguments (state rights) to support what is traditionally a liberal cause (gay marriage). On the other hand, it’s tough to say that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in marriage. The federal government has always been involved in marriage through the Internal Revenue Code (tax laws) and even the Social Security Act. Massachusetts will have to show why the government can define marriages through the tax code, but not through DOMA.

Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management

Overview: This case is about the financial benefits to being married. There’s multiple plaintiffs, but Joanne Pedersen is the main one. She’s legally married to her same sex spouse, but can’t put her on her health plan because of DOMA. The other plaintiffs, also legally married, can’t get Social Security benefits or benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act for their same sex spouses.

Location: Connecticut.

Status: This case was just filed this week.

Outlook: Pretty good. The lawsuit was based on Gill v. OPM, a Massachusetts, case in which the federal judge said that DOMA was unconstitutional because it violated the 10th Amendment (see below). In this case, the lawsuit alleges that DOMA violated the due process clause (found in the 5th and 14th amendments). Still, the attorneys for Pedersen modeled the case after Gill—so it’s basically the same laws with near the same facts. They might add the 10th Amendment argument later.

Gill v. Office of Personnel Management

Overview: This case is about whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. It was filed on behalf of same sex legally married couples who were denied federal benefits because of DOMA. In short, their state said they were married, but the federal government said they weren’t.

Still, this case does not ask the federal government to recognize a same-sex right to marry. Instead, it says that the government should get out of the business of defining marriage. It involves same sex couples who are already married, not who want to get married.

Location: Massachusetts

Status: Judge Louis Tauro, the same judge from Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services (see above), ruled against the government and declared DOMA unconstitutional for violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. In short, the judge said that the government didn’t have a good enough (or rational basis) reason for discriminating against same sex couples. The case is on appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Outlook: Like most of these cases, this one will probably end up in the Supreme Court. The case involves constitutional principles like equal protection and state rights, which are issues the Supreme Court tends to handle.

Windsor v. U.S

Overview: This is the case filed just this week by the ACLU. The plaintiff, Edie Windsor, had to pay 0,000 in estate taxes upon the death of her same-sex spouse, Thea Spyer. If she were married to an opposite sex spouse, she wouldn’t have to pay any of it. As the lawsuit says, if “Thea” were “Theo,” the estate could have passed to Edie tax-free.

Location: New York (they were married in Canada, but New York recognizes same sex marriages performed elsewhere)

Status: The case was filed just this week.

Outlook: What’s unique about this case is that it’s based on discrimination through the Internal Revenue Code. It reminds me what Kelly Erb, also known as the taxgirl, said a few months ago, that a proper and potentially winnable DOMA challenge requires a good set of facts. I’m not sure this is the right set of facts, here’s what the case has going for it:

  • There’s a lot of money involved (0,000)
  • You couldn’t as for a better plaintiff. Edie lost her same sex spouse after decades battle with multiple sclerosis and then a serious heart condition.
  • The facts are media worthy—news outlets will pick up on the sympathetic plaintiff and in the simplicity of the discrimination (If “Thea” were “Theo”…).
  • The remedy is financial. They want a check back from the government for the estate tax.

Still, like every other case here, don’t expect much until the Supreme Court touches it, which won’t happen for years.

[Cross-posted at the Gay Law Report, where I discuss LGBT laws and related news.]

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