Major #Prop8 development: CA Supremes to hear standing issue

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*more as we get it

*From AFER:

Breaking: California Supreme Court Accepts Certified Question

For Immediate Release

February 16, 2011

Statement by the American Foundation for Equal Rights on California Supreme Court Response to Ninth Circuit

Los Angeles, CA – American Foundation for Equal Rights Board President Chad Griffin issued the following statement after the California Supreme Court’s response to the question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case:

“More than six months ago, the federal district court declared unequivocally that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and that it causes grave harm to gay and lesbian couples and their families each day that it is in effect. We look forward to assisting the California Supreme Court reach an answer to the question before them so that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals can affirm the district court’s ruling and end the state-sanctioned discrimination of Prop. 8.

“The American Foundation for Equal Rights is committed to achieving the freedom to marry for all Americans. We look forward to taking this case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which 14 times before has declared that marriage is a fundamental right for every American.”

About the American Foundation for Equal Rights

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of the Perry case. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through federal district court and is now leading it through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before the case is brought to the United States Supreme Court. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality.

For more information visit www.afer.org

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*From Lambda Legal:

Lambda Legal Calls On California Supreme Court to Confirm Prop 8 Proponents Cannot Press Appeal

“THEY ARE NOT LAW ENFORCERS AND HAVE THE SAME LIMITED RIGHTS AS EVERYONE ELSE TO LITIGATE ONLY WHEN THEIR OWN RIGHTS ARE AT STAKE, NOT MERELY TO ASSERT THEIR OPINIONS ABOUT OTHERS’ RIGHTS.”

(San Francisco, February 16, 2011) — Today the California Supreme Court agreed to answer a question by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on whether or not supporters of a California ballot measure can continue litigation about that measure’s constitutionality when state officials decide against doing so. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certified the question in the Prop 8 case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, on January 4. In response to today’s announcement, Marriage Project Director Jennifer C. Pizer of Lambda Legal issued the following statement.

“Because the federal appeals judges said they need clarification, we look forward to a decision by the California Supreme Court confirming that initiative proponents lack legal standing to continue the Perry case. They are not law enforcers, and have the same limited rights as everyone else to litigate only when their own rights are at stake, not merely to assert their opinions about others’ rights.”

Initiative proponents also cannot step into the shoes of the attorney general, the governor or other state officials. The reason for this is basic: the governor and attorney general are elected by the people to represent all the people, not just one point of view on one issue, out of countless, competing concerns. Most importantly, state officials swear an oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions, including their abiding promises of equal protection and due process for everyone. Initiative proponents take no such oath, and have no such duties.

Empowering initiative proponents with a special, new exception to these rules would be mistaken in any circumstances but the error is especially stark in this case. Prop 8’s proponents claim to represent “the people,” but in fact they only represent some seven million voters in a state of 38 million residents. Moreover, according to the U.S. Census, the tiny group of same-sex-couple residents targeted by Prop 8 is only around 200,000 people, or less than 2% of the population.

The state high court’s previous decision to allow the initiative power to be used in the unprecedented way Prop 8 did – to strip a terribly vulnerable minority of a fundamental constitutional right – also stripped the equality guarantees out of the California Constitution. Yet another departure now from bedrock California law to allow proponents an exception from the “legal standing” rules would invite further, deeply problematic consequences. It would mean proponents could enter every case about an initiative to argue against the state’s position. They could refuse ever to compromise about anything concerning the litigation process. And they could object to every settlement plan based on ideology about what the law should be, rather than what it is.

If the California Supreme Court rules that initiative proponents do indeed lack standing, as we believe is proper, we hope it brings a prompt end to the barrier facing lesbian and gay couples, who only wish to love and care for each other with their government’s equal blessing in civil marriage.”

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Good As You

—  David Taffet

NH preps for House marriage hearing; we want public to hear what, exactly, leading state group wants to repeal (*Hint: It’s more than marriage)

In anticipation of Thursday’s marriage equality hearing before the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee, the National Organization For Marriage is asking readers to email that body’s members, House Speaker Bill O’Brien, and House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt:

Urgent Alert: Marriage Hearing in Concord this Thursday!!! [NOM]

And for once, we totally agree with NOM. Because we think fair-minded New Hampshirites and all concerned neighbors should also email all of those same people and ask why the state’s most prominent anti-equality/pro-repeal group, the NOM-aligned Cornerstone Action (sure to be represented at Thursday’s hearing), is encouraging scientifically discredited ‘ex-gay” therapy on its website:



Why is New Hampshire’s Cornerstone Policy pushing ‘ex-gay’ myths? [YouTube]

And unlike NOM, we won’t make you use a form email message. Because we trust your independent brain to say the right thing. Email addresses below:

LaCasse, Paul (Republican), New Hampshire House Sullivan 04 , NH

paul.lacasse@leg.state.nh.us

Weber, Lucy (Democrat), New Hampshire House Cheshire 02 , NH

lwmcv@comcast.net

Sorg, Gregory (Republican) – Representative , New Hampshire House Grafton 03 , NH

greg.sorg@leg.state.nh.us

O’Brien, William (Republican), New Hampshire House Hillsborough 04 , NH

william.obrien@leg.state.nh.us

Rowe, Robert (Republican) – Representative , New Hampshire House Hillsborough 06 , NH

rh.rowe@comcast.net

Souza, Kathleen (Republican) – Representative , New Hampshire House Hillsborough 11 , NH

kathleen.souza@leg.state.nh.us

Peterson, Lenette (Republican), New Hampshire House Hillsborough 19 , NH

lenette.peterson@leg.state.nh.us

McClarren, Donald (Republican), New Hampshire House Hillsborough 21 , NH

donald.mcclarren@leg.state.nh.us

Palmer, Barry (Republican), New Hampshire House Hillsborough 26 , NH

Email N/A

Silva, Peter (Republican), New Hampshire House Hillsborough 26 , NH

PSilva372@aol.com

Giuda, J. Brandon (Republican), New Hampshire House Merrimack 07 , NH

brandon.giuda@leg.state.nh.us

Potter, Frances (Democrat) – Representative , New Hampshire House Merrimack 10 , NH

frances.potter@leg.state.nh.us

Watrous, Rick (Democrat), New Hampshire House Merrimack 12 , NH

rick.watrous@leg.state.nh.us

Bettencourt, David (Republican), New Hampshire House Rockingham 04 , NH

DJ.Bettencourt@leg.state.nh.us

Tregenza, Norman (Republican), New Hampshire House Carroll 02 , NH

norman.tregenza@leg.state.nh.us

Hagan, Joseph (Republican), New Hampshire House Rockingham 07 , NH

Email N/A

Wheaton, Gary (Republican), New Hampshire House Rockingham 14 , NH

gary.wheaton@leg.state.nh.us

Murphy, Brian (Republican), New Hampshire House Rockingham 18 , NH

brianm@siaa.net

Andolina, Donald (Republican), New Hampshire House Strafford 06 , NH

district6.dover@comcast.net

Wall, Janet (Democrat) – Democrat Caucus Leader , New Hampshire House Strafford 07 , NH

janet.wall@leg.state.nh.us

**Email ALL at once




Good As You

—  David Taffet

Let’s Hear A Homosexual Executive At Target Defend The Company’s Reputation With The Gays

Daniel Duty is the Director of Enterprise Strategy at Target. In 1992, Duty was appointed by Target's CEO as a co-sponsor of the company's LGBT business council. Duty provides an insider's perspective on being gay at Target and how the company overcame public and media backlash for supporting a candidate that opposed gay rights. Here, he discusses the clusterfuck that is Target's relationship with the LGBT community after it donated money in a failed attempt to elect proud bigot Tom Emmer governor of Minnesota.

What is it like to be gay at Target? What is the general attitude towards LGBT people?

Duty: It's funny that you ask that question. I couldn't imagine working anywhere else as a gay person. I've had a fantastic career here for the last 10 years. I started many, many pay grades below where I am today. Target has been nothing but supportive of me and my career. As an out gay man who has been advocating very intentionally both inside and outside the company for inclusiveness, the only things that I've gotten back from Target are praise, reward, and support. And you could hear that story from people across this company, because I talk to them all the time.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  David Taffet

Supreme Court to decide this week whether to hear case on DC marriage law

The Supreme Court will meet in private this Friday and announce on Tuesday whether it will hear the challenge brought by Bishop Harry Jackson (a resident of neighboring Maryland) to marriage equality in Washington DC. Bishop Jackson’s efforts to put marriage equality up for a public vote has been rejected by every previous court that has considered the challenge.

So what does this mean? From The Washington Blade:

City attorneys defended those restrictions in a brief submitted before the Supreme Court on Dec. 17. The attorneys, among other things, argued that the case involves a local matter pertaining to the city’s initiative and referendum law. They noted that the high court has a longstanding precedent of deferring to state or D.C. appeals courts on cases that don’t have a national impact.

If the Supreme Court rejects Jackson’s request to take on the case, the D.C. Court of Appeals decision remains in force to permanently prevent a ballot measure on the same-sex marriage law.

If it accepts the case, it would become the first time the Supreme Court addresses a same-sex marriage-related issue. But the case would not address marriage itself or whether same-sex marriage is protected under the constitution — only the question of whether D.C. voters should be allowed to decide the issue through a ballot measure.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Court to Hear Prop. 8 Appeal

OLSON AND BOIES TAKE ON PROP 8 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMAttorney Ted Olson (pictured left, with co-lead counsel David Boies) will argue Monday that a federal appeals court should let stand a lower court decision that struck down the antigay ballot measure.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Federal Court Rules Students Must Hear Pledge Of Allegiance

A federal appeals court has ruled that a New Hampshire Patriot Act requiring the “voluntary” recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance does not force religion on students. The Freedom From Religion Foundation had argued that even a so-called voluntary recitation of the words “under God” violated the Constitution and made outcasts of students unwilling to participate.

The panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Friday rejected the claim that exposing children to group recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance violated their constitutional rights. The judges, a Clinton nominee, a George W. Bush nominee and an Obama nominee, agreed the pledge references religion, but they said its purpose is to encourage patriotism. The ruling affirms a 2009 ruling by U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe at the federal court in Concord. “In reciting the Pledge, students promise fidelity to our flag and our nation, not to any particular God, faith or church,” wrote Chief Judge Sandra Lynch. “The New Hampshire School Patriot Act’s primary effect is not the advancement of religion, but the advancement of patriotism through a pledge to the flag as a symbol of the nation.”

Christianist website World Net Daily hailed the decision with this headline: “Court: Constitution ‘does not require complete separation of church and state’.” In 1954 the words “under God” were added to the Pledge after the Knights Of Columbus pressured members of Congress to make the change.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Gay Inc. Chose Not to Hear Barack Obama Is Going To Change His Mind On Marriage

In his first meeting with a single member of the LGBT press since being elected, President Barack Obama dropped this doozy of a message: he's "evolving" his views on gay marriage. What, no applause from the Human Rights Campaign?

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  admin

Vlog #2 is up…in space, no one can hear you scream…as the alien fibroid devours you

Second opinion doctor: A-OK to ‘rip that beast out’. I have a summary along with the video.


Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Chinese Court Will Hear HIV Case

China Mapx390 (Photos.com) | Advocate.comA court in Anhui province will hear a discrimination case brought by a man who
claimed he was fired from his job because he is HIV-positive — likely
a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in the country.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright