Obama names NCLR’s Minter to commission


Shannon Minter

President Barack Obama has appointed Shannon Price Minter to be a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Minter is legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a position he has held since 2000. He has served at NCLR since 1993, first as a National Association of Public Interest law fellow and then senior staff attorney.

Minter has lectured and served as an adjunct professor at various universities, including Santa Clara Law School in 2004, the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2003, and Stanford Law School in 2001. He is a member of the board of directors of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute and the board of directors of Gender Spectrum.

NCLR is based in San Francisco with an office in Washington, D.C. and was founded in 1977.

In 2009, Minter testified in the first-ever congressional hearing on gender identity discrimination.

NCLR has been involved in a number of cases over the years. In 2011, it convinced the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in the new state healthcare exchanges.

—  David Taffet

Alabama Supreme Court defies federal courts, orders judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

The Alabama Supreme Court late today (Tuesday, March 3) ordered all of the state’s probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of orders from a federal district court judge overturning the Alabama same-sex marriage ban, and a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to block the district judge’s order.

The Alabama Supreme Court is headed up by right-wing Chief Jerk… uh, Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has fought marriage equality tooth and nail. He has told probate judges they didn’t have to follow the federal court rulings, and last month told Fox News he has a moral responsibility to defy the U.S. Supreme Court if the court violates “God’s organic law” by ruling in favor of marriage equality.

The state’s highest court said Alabama wasn’t bound by this “new definition” of marriage, though marriage equality has “gained ascendancy in certain quarters of the country,” including the federal judiciary.

The supreme court’s ruling said: “As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for ‘marriage’ between only one man and one woman. Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”

The court also said, “ … state courts may interpret the United States Constitution independently from, and even contrary to, federal courts.”

Probate judges have five days to respond to the order.

Lawyers who represented same-sex couples seeking the right to marry in Alabama decried the ruling.

Shannon Minter with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the organizations representing same-sex couples fighting for marriage equality in Alabama, called the ruling “deeply unfortunate” that “the Alabama Supreme Court is determined to be on the wrong side of history.”

—  Tammye Nash

National Center for Lesbian Rights ED Kate Kendell visits Dallas on Friday

Kate Kendell

Get ready to bet big this Friday at a poker and blackjack tournament in Dallas benefiting the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

NCLR’s Executive Director Kate Kendell  and Deputy Director Arcelia Hurtado will be in attendance to speak about the work the organization has done to create positive change in the lives of many.

The event is Friday and is hosted by Kelli Herd & Kim Deneau at Tower Aqua Lounge at the Heights at Park Lane, 8066 Park Lane. The benefit is from 6-8 p.m. with the tournament following from 8 p.m. to closing.

There is a suggested donation of $100 for those who attend, as well as a $100 donation for poker and blackjack buy-ins.

To RSVP, go here. For more info, email Eleanor Palacios at epalacios@nclrights.org and include “NCLR in Dallas” in the subject line or call 415-365-1309.

—  Dallasvoice

Judge to rule within 24 hours on Prop 8 motion

Judge James Ware

U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware plans to issue a written ruling within 24 hours on a motion to vacate Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional. And it sure sounds like Ware intends to rule against Prop 8 supporters, who say Walker should have recused himself because he’s gay and was in a long-term same-sex relationship.

Reuters reports that Ware, who’s African-American, sharply questioned attorneys for Prop 8 supporters during today’s hearing on the motion. “If a reasonable person thought a black judge should recuse himself from a civil rights case, that would be sufficient to recuse the judge?” Ware said.

The LA Times reports that Ware also noted there is no evidence Walker ever wished to marry his partner.

From the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the groups that filed a brief in May opposing the motion:

“Today’s hearing made it crystal clear that the Prop 8 proponents’ central claim — that Judge Walker should have recused himself from the case because he is in a same-sex relationship — is absolutely baseless. During the hearing, Judge Ware pointedly asked the attorney for the proponents whether an African-American judge would have to recuse himself from a race discrimination case because some people might view him as biased. As Judge Ware’s question artfully showed, our legal system does not assume that judges who are in the majority with respect to their race, religion, sexual orientation or any other personal characteristic are the only ones who can be unbiased. Judges take an oath to be impartial and do their job faithfully. It is outrageous and offensive to suggest that a gay judge is incapable of fulfilling that vow, or that Judge Walker did not do so in this case. We are hopeful that the ruling will dismiss this bigoted attempt to discredit Judge Walker’s eminently sound ruling that concluded correctly, after weeks of trial and months of careful consideration, that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.”

NCLR also noted that today’s hearing included argument on a motion by Prop 8 supporters to force the plaintiffs’ lawyers to return their copies of the video recordings of the trial. Ware announced that he intends to issue a written ruling denying that motion and permitting the lawyers to keep the tapes.

—  John Wright

Constance is going to the prom

Constance McMillen
Constance McMillen

Constance McMillen is finally going to the prom.

Each year the National Center for Lesbian Rights holds what they call “the lesbian prom” in San Francisco. McMillen has been invited to the May 1 event and NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell said the group will pay for her travel.

Can you imagine being a high school senior and experiencing the ups and downs she’s gone through. First the uproar in her town that resulted in the cancellation of her school prom, just because she wanted to wear a tux and take her girlfriend.

Then she became an instant celebrity, highlighted by an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres show where she was awarded a college scholarship.

Back home, to show just how nasty and spiteful they could be, a secret prom is scheduled and she’s invited to a fake prom. Rather than just plan a private party, her classmates decided that a nice bit of humiliation was necessary.

But now she gets to attend a prom in San Francisco. Hmmm … rural Mississippi or San Francisco. No matter what her classmates (and school officials) have planned for her next, this comeback kid is going to one up them with the entire LGBT community backing her.online mobile gamesсервис для проверки позиций сайта

—  David Taffet