Upcoming Supreme Court decisions could affect LGBT community

Supreme-Court(5)By Lisa Keen

June is the final month of the U.S. Supreme Court’s current session and, while anticipation is not nearly so great this year for the LGBT community as it was last year, there is some concern in the air.

Last year, the wait was about marriage: whether the Supreme Court would declare the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s ban on same-sex couples marrying to be unconstitutional. It declared DOMA unconstitutional and, on a legal technicality, it allowed a lower court decision striking California’s Proposition 8 to stand.

This year, anxiety surrounds two consolidated cases in which employers are seeking the right to discriminate against employees in the provision of health benefits based on the company owner’s personal religious beliefs. It is the type of conflict –religious beliefs versus non-discrimination laws– that has arisen time and again in recent years by employers seeking to discriminate against LGBT people.

Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood v. HHS are lawsuits brought by the owners of for-profit commercial enterprises –a furniture maker, an arts and craft store, and a bookstore (the latter selling Christian-oriented books). The owners of the company object to a requirement by the Affordable Care Act that employers’ health plans include coverage for contraception. They say they’re not trying to stop the use of contraception; they just don’t want to be involved in funding it.

The Family Research Council submitted a brief in support of the Hobby Lobby employers, arguing that “commercial activity does not preclude or excuse religious observance and often can be a means of exercising religion.”

But an article on salon.com reported the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga owners are involved in political efforts to stop the use of contraception, as well as marriage for same-sex couples, through its donations to the National Christian Charitable Foundation, which funnels millions of dollars into organizations such as the Alliance Defending Freedom which has defended many state bans on same-sex marriage.

LGBT legal activists seek two major concerns with a ruling in favor of the employers in these cases. One is that it could open the door for employers to seek exemptions from providing coverage for other health benefits, such as coverage for the same-sex spouses or partners of employees, reproductive services for lesbian couples, testing and treatment for men at risk of HIV infection, transgender treatment for people with gender dysphoria. And the other is that employers and individuals might seek exemptions to other laws, such as laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Given these implications, the Hobby Lobby case is indeed another major moment for the LGBT community,” wrote National Center for Lesbian Rights Policy Counsel Ashland Johnson, in an article for NCLR’s website. “The Supreme Court’s resolution of the case will directly affect our reproductive rights and other health care needs. Equally concerning, it could result in devastating exceptions to protections for LGBT people at the state and local level, jeopardizing literally decades of advocacy and progress.”

Following oral argument in March, Lambda Legal’s director of Law and Public Policy, Jenny Pizer, expressed concern that the court may give certain for-profit companies –those closely held by families or small groups of people (also known as S-corporations)— the ability to claim the same sort of religious exemption to ACA that is currently afforded to religious institutions.

“If they say any for-profit can claim religious [exemptions], obviously, that’s very bad,” said Pizer in March. “If they say only S-corporations can have a religious exemption, that’s less bad, but it’s still bad. There are an awful lot of family-owned businesses.”

Adding to that worry: On May 5, the Supreme Court surprised some when it ruled in favor of allowing a town board in Greece, New York, open its meetings with a prayer that is specific to a particular religion, usually Christianity.

To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures that sponsor prayers and the courts that are asked to decide these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech, a rule that would involve government in religious matters to a far greater degree than is the case under the town’s current practice of neither editing or approving prayers in advance nor criticizing their content after the fact,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for a 5 to 4 majority in Town of Greece v. Galloway.

Other decisions LGBT legal activists will likely be watching for in the next few weeks include:

• National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. The case involves the president’s right to make appointments during Congresssional recess – a tool President Obama has used to get a number of openly gay people into positions. He used it to get lesbian legal activist Chai Feldblum cleared onto the Equal Emloyment Opportunity Commission and to install gay nominee Richard Sorian as assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

• McCullen v. Coakley. The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights both signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a Massachusetts that attempts to protect the safety of women seeking abortions by creating a 35-foot setback for any protest outside such facilities.

• Riley v. California. No LGBT group filed a brief in this case, but the gay friendly American Library Association did, arguing that police should not have a right to search a person’s smartphone contents without a warrant, incident to an arrest. Noting that smartphone users store sensitive personal data about themselves and their interests on their smartphones, the ALA brief said, “Smartphones are personal computers in every sense of the word: if every arrest of a person with a smartphone … allows police officers to rummage painstakingly and intrusively through the contents of personal libraries, the loss of constitutionally protected privacy will be great indeed.”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

 

 

—  David Taffet

Utah same-sex marriage case goes to court

10th CircuitThe 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals this week will become the second federal appeals court to tackle the question of whether statewide laws banning same-sex couples from marrying violate the U.S. Constitution.

The Denver-based court will hear oral arguments Thursday in the Utah same-sex marriage case Herbert v. Kitchen.

By order of the court, there will be no audio or video recording, broadcasting, photography, blogging, tweeting, emailing or any other broadcast mechanism or wireless communication anywhere in the courthouse during oral arguments.

In that crowded courtroom, a three-judge panel will scrutinize the Dec. 2013 decision of U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby (an Obama appointee). Shelby ruled that the state constitution’s definition of marriage as being only between “a man and a woman” is not permissible under the U.S. Constitution. He said the law’s prohibition of same-sex couples marrying violates the due process and equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. He said the ban denies gay and lesbian citizens their “fundamental right to marry and, in doing so, demean[s] the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.”

While this case is the first to reach a federal appeals court since the 9th Circuit heard Brown v. Perry in 2012, it is just one of almost a dozen that have reached the federal appeals level. They are spread across five circuits. The Utah Kitchen case is a pacesetter at the moment. Here’s a look at the players in Thursday’s hearing:

The judges: The three-judge panel tasked with hearing the appeal includes two Republican and one Democratic appointee.

Judge Paul Kelly (an appointee of George H.W. Bush) is considered conservative. Judge Carlos Lucero (a Clinton appointee) is considered liberal. But both judges voted with the majority at the 10th Circuit in the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius case. They said the owners of the retail store were allowed, under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment free exercise clause, to cite their religious beliefs in order to deny contraceptive services in their health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Judge Jerome Holmes (a George W. Bush appointee) is the wild card. He was recused from the Hobby Lobby case. He was one of two judges in the 10th Circuit to deny an emergency request from the state of Utah to stay a district court decision pending appeal. They said a stay was “not warranted.”

The attorneys: Attorneys for the two parties in the case — the state of Utah and the plaintiff couples — have 30 minutes each to present their arguments.

Peggy Tomsic, a lawyer at the private Salt Lake City firm of Magleby & Greenwood, will be presenting arguments for the plaintiff couples. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Tomsic asked her life partner Cindy Bateman to marry her shortly after Shelby issued his decision. She and her law firm partner Jim Magleby (straight and married) are known for taking on large, complicated cases. Most recently, they won a $134 million award against PacificCorp, one of the leading utility companies on the West coast.

Gene Schaerr, who was hired by the state attorney general in January specifically to lead Utah’s defense of the marriage ban, will argue for the state and Gov. Gary Herbert. Schaerr resigned his partnership at a private law firm to become Special Assistant Attorney General for Utah. In a memo to his firm upon his departure, Schaerr said he was leaving to “fulfill what I have come to see as a religious and family duty: defending the constitutionality of traditional marriage in the state where my church is headquartered and where most of my family resides.” Schaerr has been a sometimes contributor to the Mormon magazine Meridian, including an article urging opposition to a marriage equality ballot measure in Maryland in 2012.

The plaintiffs: The three plaintiff couples are Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity, who have not yet married; Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge, who married in Utah during the brief window of opportunity this year; and Kate Call and Karen Archer, who obtained a marriage certificate in Iowa.

The organizer behind the lawsuit is Mark Lawrence, director of Restore Our Humanity, a group established specifically to mount this lawsuit. According to a profile in the Salt Lake City Tribune, Lawrence, an information technology specialist who lives with his parents to care for his father who has Alzheimer’s, was inspired by the Proposition 8 lawsuit to tackle something similar here.

After Thursday’s hearing, the 10th Circuit also has scheduled oral arguments in another marriage equality case: Bishop v. Smith out of Oklahoma. That will be on April 17.

On May 12, the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in Bostic v. Schaeffer, a case led by Ted Olson and David Boies for the American Foundation for Equal Rights and a team of attorneys against Virginia’s ban.

The 6th Circuit has four marriage equality appeals pending before it, and one of those, Michigan, just asked the court to skip over the three-judge panel phase and go directly to a full “en banc” review. If the 6th Circuit agrees, that could enable the Michigan case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court before Utah. But getting to the high court first does not guarantee the justices will choose that case to decide the issue at stake in all these cases: whether states can deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

— Lisa Keen

—  Steve Ramos

Report shows LGB people face additional health risks, transgender issues require another report

health-rainbow2_0A report released recently by the Boston-based Fenway Institute has found important health-related risks within the LGB community that are not well-documented or well-known and not addressed by prevention and treatment programs.

Many studies have shown that gay men have a higher risk of HIV infection and that LGBT youth are at higher risk of being bullied and considering suicide. But the new Fenway policy brief  shows that the LGB community has a higher rate of tobacco use than the general public, that lesbians have an increased risk of being overweight and that LGB elders have an increased risk of disability.

The Fenway report is based on data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through an annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Surveys (BRFSS) in all 50 states, reaching 506,000 people. CDC provides the core questionnaire for each state to administer, asking questions about such health-related matters as diet, physical activity, smoking, immunization and sleep.

CDC does not include a question about a survey participant’s sexual orientation on the core questionnaire or on a list of additional optional questions states can add. Only 27 states have, on their own initiative, begun asking questions about sexual orientation and/or same-sex sexual behavior, according to the Fenway report.

Because sexual orientation data is not collected in all 50 states, says the Fenway report, “it is impossible to compare their health behaviors to those of other groups.”

“Without this information, states may miss the opportunity to develop programs, policies and services to address local health disparities.”

The Fenway report urges all states “to include, at a minimum, a sexual identity measure, and, whenever possible, to also include a sexual behavior measure.” Due to the “nuances and complexity of measuring gender identity, and the unique and understudied health disparities transgender people face,” said the Fenway report, “a comprehensive assessment of these issues” requires another report.

Some of the specific findings of Fenway’s analysis of the data collected by the 27 states that do ask questions about sexual identity and/or same-sex sexual behavior include:

  • Lesbians and bisexual women are less likely than heterosexual women to obtain mammograms and Pap tests
  • Gay men have higher rates of alcohol and drug use
  • LGB people have higher rates of tobacco use and are more likely to lack health insurance
  • LGB older adults have increased risk of disability, excessive drinking and smoking
  • 18 percent of doctors in California are “sometimes” or “often” uncomfortable treating gay patients
  • 9.4 percent of men who identified themselves as “straight” in New York City had sex with another man during the past year.
  • 76 percent of self-identified lesbian sexually active adolescents reported having had sex with a male

Of the 27 states which have asked people about their sexual orientation, some have asked the question in only one year; some every year. The 27 states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The report urges all 50 states to begin asking about sexual orientation.

“Collecting sexual orientation data at the state level,” says the report, “can propel the federal initiative forward and enhance states’ ability to document and work toward eliminating health disparities experienced by their own populations.”

LISA KEEN  |  Keen News Service

—  Steve Ramos

Judge strikes down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban

Unknown

Judge Bernard Friedman

LISA KEEN  |  Keen News Service

A federal judge in Detroit ruled Friday that Michigan’s ban against same-sex couples marrying violates the couples’ constitutional rights to equal protection.

The Michigan decision, from U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman (a Reagan appointee) falls squarely in line with rulings from federal district court judges in eight other states in the past year since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) with U.S. v. Windsor. The other eight are all on appeal to their various courts of appeal. Some suggest the Michigan case, DeBoer v. Michigan, may have a better chance at reaching U.S. Supreme Court appeal because, unlike the others, it involved a two-week-long trial.

Friedman issued the DeBoer ruling two weeks after hearing closing arguments in the trial that gave the state of Michigan a chance to establish a rationale for banning same-sex couples from marrying.

Judge Friedman said he found the testimony from the state’s star witness, California sociologist Mark Regnerus, to be “entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration.” He said he was unable to accord the testimony of three other state witnesses with “any significant weight,” because it was “largely unbelievable” and represents “a fringe viewpoint that is rejected by the vast majority of their colleagues across a variety of social science fields.”

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed an emergency request for a stay of Friedman’s decision and an appeal of the decision to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said the Michigan decision shows that the “momentum for marriage equality is undeniable.”

DeBoer v. Michigan started out as a lawsuit to challenge a state law barring unmarried couples from adopting. April DeBoer and longtime partner Jayne Rowse were seeking to adopt three children they had been raising together, but while hearing arguments in that case last year, Judge Friedman suggested the plaintiffs amend their lawsuit to challenge the law barring same-sex couples from marrying.

The 10th Circuit will hear oral arguments in a case from Utah, Utah v. Kitchen, on April 10.

Earlier this month, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals removed the Nevada and Hawaii consolidated cases from the court’s calendar for April 9 in San Francisco.

On Thursday, the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals scheduled oral arguments in two lawsuits challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The American Foundation for Equal Rights case, Bostic v. Virginia, and the ACLU-Lambda case, Harris v. Virginia, will be heard May 13.

Like Michigan, the other four cases — from Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma — are just arriving at their respective circuit courts.

Interesting factoid: From 1996 to 1999, one of Judge Friedman’s law clerks was Judith Levy, the lesbian recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the Detroit federal court. Levy was sworn into office at the Detroit courthouse on the same day Friedman issued his decision in the DeBoer case.

—  Steve Ramos

Supreme Court to hear two cases that could affect LGBT community

HobbyLobbyBy Lisa Keen
Keen News Service

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases next week that test the degree to which employers may use their personal religious beliefs to deny certain health coverage for employees. Neither case involves any LGBT-related health coverage, but the decisions in both may affect whether employers will be able to cite religious beliefs to deny such services as alternative insemination and gender reassignment.

The cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood v. HHS, involve employers asserting religious beliefs as grounds for denying health insurance coverage for birth control. Both take issue with the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby challenges the ACA implementing regulations that require employer health coverage plans provide women on their plans with the “full range” of “contraceptive methods.” Those regulations also authorize an exemption for “religious employer” and “religious nonprofit organizations that have religious objections to providing coverage for some or all contraceptive services.”

“A religious employer,” noted HHS’s brief to the Supreme Court, “is defined as a non-profit organization described in the Internal Revenue Code provision that refers to churches, their integrated auxiliaries, conventions or associations of churches, and the exclusively religious activities of any religious order.”

Hobby Lobby Stores and Mardel are two stores challenging the regulations. Hobby Lobby is a national chain of arts and craft supply stores. Mardel is an affiliated chain of Christian bookstores. Both stores are owned by five people (referred to as The Greens) who excluded contraceptive coverage from the health plans for their combined 13,372 employees, saying contraception goes against their religious belief that life begins “when sperm fertilizes an egg.”

The Hobby Lobby-Mardel owners filed the lawsuit, arguing that the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act prohibits government from “substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion” unless the need to do so addresses a “compelling governmental interest” and is applied in the “least restrictive” way.

The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled for the Hobby Lobby-Mardel, saying they do count, under the Restoration Act, as “persons exercising religion” and that requiring them to provide contraceptive coverage does “compromise their religious beliefs.”

HHS is appealing, saying the beliefs held by the owners of the two companies do not justify an exemption for the companies to a “generally applicable law that regulates only those corporations and not their individual owners.”

—  David Taffet

Arizona governor vetoes anti-gay bill

The state’s business community, along with GOP leaders, told Gov. Jan Brewer the legislation would usher in an economic disaster

Jan-Brewer

PRESSURED | Gov. Jan Brewer said the law was unnecessary because there were no cases of religious discrimination in Arizona.

LISA KEEN  |  Keen News Service

PHOENIX —Republican Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the religious-bias bill Wednesday, after nearly all political pundits predicted she would. The bill would have allowed people to discriminate based on self-claimed religious beliefs, and even former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined the chorus of prominent Republicans who said she should.

Brewer vetoed a similar bill last year, but that was part of an overall threat to veto every bill until the Legislature passed a budget.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said Brewer’s veto “spared her state from institutional discrimination and economic catastrophe.”

The state is already paying a price for its Legislature’s willingness to back the religious-bias bill. The Hispanic National Bar Association’s board voted unanimously

Wednesday to pull its 2015 convention from the state — a conference of more than 2,000 lawyers.

The National Football League had warned it might pull the 2015 Superbowl, scheduled to be played in Arizona.

At a press conference late Wednesday, Brewer said she spoke with lawmakers and citizens on both sides of the issue, but she said little to suggest she disagreed with the legislation — only that the issue had not been a priority for her.

“When I addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear … among them are passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic comeback.” She said she also wanted legislation to fix Arizona’s “broken child protection system.”

“Instead, this is the first policy bill to cross my desk,” Brewer said. “Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated. The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.”

She reassured supporters of the bill that she understands that “long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before.”

“Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes,” Brewer said. “However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, and so is nondiscrimination.

“Going forward, let’s turn the ugliness of the debate over Senate Bill 1062 into a renewed search for greater respect and understanding among all Arizonans and Americans.”

In a letter to the president of the Arizona Senate, Brewer said the concerns that motivated the sponsors of the religious bias bill were “not unfounded.” Without explaining, she cited “actions taken by the Obama Administration” and “some federal and out-of-state courts” for making her “increasingly concerned about government’s encroachment upon religious freedoms.”

She also noted that some legislators who supported the bill’s passage “now do not want this legislation to become law.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 28, 2014.

—  Steve Ramos

Judge to Kentucky: Start recognizing same-sex couples’ marriage licenses

kentucky-same-sex-marriage-judge-john-heyburn-300x203

Judge John Heyburn

A federal judge in Kentucky on Thursday ordered the state to recognize marriage licenses obtained by same-sex couples from other states.

U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn, a nominee of George H.W. Bush, issued the final order on a ruling he made February 12. There were two questions at issue in the Bourke v. Beshear case. Heyburn said the state’s refusal to recognize valid licenses obtained in other states violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Today’s order instructs the state how to comply with that ruling: Start recognizing marriage licenses of same-sex couples.

Heyburn still must rule on whether the state’s refusal to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples is constitutional. Attorneys on both sides are submitting briefs on that issue, and a ruling could come in a few months.

If either or both questions are appealed, the case will go before the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Another case testing state bans, one from Ohio, is already petitioning the 6th Circuit.

Heyburn did not respond to the state’s request that he stay his order. If the state appeals to a higher court for a stay, Dan Conway, attorney for the plaintiff couples, has said he will oppose it.

LISA KEEN  |  Keen News Service

—  Steve Ramos

Never say die: House Armed Services committee members try again to delay DADT repeal

You gotta give it to those right-wingers; they are some persistent folk.

Rep. Buck McKeon, left, and Rep. Joe Wilson

On Monday, Sept. 12, less than 10 days until the date set for repeal of the military’s anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule to finally go into effect, House Armed Services Committee Chair Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California, and Military Personnel Subcommittee Chair Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, tried one more time to keep the repeal from happening. The two sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday, claiming that repeal can’t happen yet because “all the policies and regulations necessary for the transition are not yet final,” according to Lisa Keen with Keen News Service.

As Keen reports, McKeon and Wilson were particularly concerned that the Department of Defense had not yet sent them “revised regulations and a summary of all the specific policy changes, especially with regard to benefits, that will take effect upon repeal.”

(Just a side note: Wilson is the guy who made headlines in 2009 when, during a speech by President Obama to a joint session of Congress, he hollered out,”You lie!” He later apologized to the president, but was officially rebuked by his congressional colleagues.)

A DOD spokeswoman said Thursday, Sept. 17, that DOD officials have, indeed, apprised Congress of all the changes to policies and regulations associated with DADT repeal, that none of the service secretaries, service chiefs or combatant commanders had long ago submitted all their recommendations regarding repeal, that none of those folks had suggested a delay, and that repeal will most definitely go ahead as planned next Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Let’s hope the DOD folks are right and the right-wingers don’t manage to find a way to stall things, because DADT repeal parties have been planned across the country for next Tuesday, including one at Resource Center Dallas (and later at Pekers). Gay Air Force veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network board member David Guy Gainer will be at the RCD event, donating his collection of materials related to DADT and its repeal to the Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Library.

And while this will certainly be a day for celebration, SLDN is warning lesbians and gays still on active duty in the military that there are still plenty of dos and don’ts for them to keep in mind. You can read the SLDN’s guidelines on what parties lesbian and gay servicemembers should and shouldn’t attend here.

—  admin

LGBT leaders praise Ted Olson's performance during closing arguments in federal Prop 8 trial

Plaintiffs’ attorney says marriage ban causes ‘grave and irreparable’ harm; other side warns ‘no one can know’ consequences of overturning it

By Lisa Keen | Keen News Service

SAN FRANCISCO — There were so many people trying to get in to watch the final day of the landmark trial challenging California’s same-sex marriage ban, the court staff had to set up an additional overflow room for observers.

Those dozen or so members of the public who managed to snare seats in Courtroom 6 on the 17th floor of San Francisco’s federal courthouse building had to stand in line starting at 5:45 Wednesday morning to get them.

But gays in California are used to standing in line. They stood in line exactly two years ago – June 16, 2008 — to be among the first same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state. Now, they were watching closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a historic case challenging the November 2008 initiative that took away the right for gay couples to obtain marriage licenses in California.

—  John Wright

Breaking News: DADT update

Over on the main page, we’ve posted a very important, comprehensive update from Lisa Keen on the status of the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.” Read it by going here.

—  John Wright