Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by D.C. Marriage Equality Opponents

Today we applauded the Supreme Court’s rejection today of a last-ditch appeal  by marriage equality opponents determined to put the rights of same-sex couples in D.C. up for a public vote. Last March, D.C. became the sixth jurisdiction in the nation to permit same-sex couples to marry.

“Today’s action by the Supreme Court makes abundantly clear that D.C.’s human rights protections are strong enough to withstand the hateful efforts of outside anti-LGBT groups to put people’s basic civil rights on the ballot,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “For almost two years, the National Organization for Marriage and the Alliance Defense Fund, along with Bishop Harry Jackson, have fought a losing battle to shamelessly harm gay and lesbian couples in D.C. who seek nothing more than to share in the rights and responsibilities of marriage.  The D.C. Council and Mayor courageously made marriage equality a reality last year, and the courts have since upheld the rights of D.C. residents to govern ourselves and take the necessary steps to eliminate discrimination in our community.”

The Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari today leaves standing a D.C. Court of Appeals decision issued last July that determined the Council acted within its authority when more than thirty years ago it established a requirement that proposed ballot initiatives may not authorize, or have the effect of authorizing, discrimination prohibited by the D.C. Human Rights Act.  The Court further held that an initiative on same-sex marriage would impermissibly permit discrimination against gays and lesbians in the District.

In December 2009, the D.C. Council overwhelmingly passed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Act of 2009.  The bill was signed by Mayor Adrian Fenty, transmitted to Congress for review and became law on March 3, 2010. The first marriages between same-sex couples were performed less than a week later. Since then hundreds of same-sex couples have been married in D.C.

With today’s decision from the Supreme Court, marriage equality opponents have reached the end of their legal wrangling.  The D.C. Board of Elections, Superior Court, Court of Appeals and now the U.S. Supreme Court have rejected their meritless and tired arguments that they should be permitted to impose a discriminatory ballot measure on D.C. voters.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Sup. Court Rejects Antigay Marriage Vote

SUPREME COURT SCOTUS JUSTICES 2010 X390 (FAIR USE) | ADVOCATE.COMThe U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Tuesday from antigay advocates
seeking to overturn Washington, D.C.’s marriage equality law, enacted
in 2009, the Associated Press reports.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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FOX News rejects pro-Gay ad regarding DADT

Big surprise that Fox News adds another example of how unfair and unbalanced they are. Media Matters reports:

Once again proving that Fox News has a love/hate (perhaps more hate/hate) relationship with the LGBT community, the right-wing network has rejected an advertisement from the Palm Center featuring openly gay troops discussing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), according to a press release obtained by Media Matters.

Palm Center’s communications consultant Cathy Renna told Media Matters that Fox News’ ad department wrote in an email explaining their rejection of the ad, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is still on hold, so claiming the military is planning repeal is incorrect.”

Renna countered, saying “the ad is a demonstration by Palm that the experience of allied militaries has been that having openly gay service members by their side does not undermine combat effectiveness. The important thing is that these are our allies talking about their experience.”

The Palm Center was trying to get a diverse audience to view the ad, hence their approaching Fox News. Fox News isn’t having any of that kind of thing.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Omaha City Council Rejects LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Omaha, Nebraska has rejected an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance:

Omaha "The measure failed on a 3-3 vote. Councilman Franklin Thompson, who has called for a public vote on the issue, abstained. Councilmen Ben Gray, Pete Festersen and Chris Jerram voted in favor of the ordinance; Jean Stothert, Garry Gernandt and Thomas Mulligan were opposed. Gray, author of the ordinance, proposed that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people be a protected class under city code — protection they don't currently have under state or federal law. He amended tjhe proposal to exclude religious organizations, but members of the Omaha business community also opposed the ordinance.The council held a public hearing Tuesday on Thompson's proposal to put the issue to a public vote, in the form of an amendment to the City Charter. The vote on Thompson's measure is expected next week…Gray's ordinance would allow homosexual and transgender residents who believe they have been fired or suffered other workplace discrimination, or have been refused service at a restaurant, hotel or other place that serves the public, to file a complaint with Omaha's Human Rights and Relations Department, Assistant City Attorney Bernard in den Bosch has said."


Towleroad News #gay

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Calling DOJ Arguments “Vague” & “Insufficient,” Judge Phillips For Now Rejects DOJ’s Stay Request

From The Advocate‘s Judge Skeptical of Govt. Arguments

A federal judge issued a tentative ruling Monday denying the government’s request for a stay in the injunction against “don’t ask, don’t tell” but will issue a final ruling by late Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

During a 25-minute hearing in Riverside, Calif., U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips wasted no time in rejecting the government’s position that barring DADT immediately would be an undue burden on the military, calling the arguments “vague” and “insufficient.”

…Phillips said there were “significant failings” in the evidence submitted by the Justice Department following her injunction issued last week. Though the government declined to put on evidence in the Log Cabin Republicans’ trial against “don’t ask, don’t tell” in July – instead relying solely on the legislative history of the statute – DOJ attorneys submitted a declaration to the court last week from a top Pentagon personnel official who warned against any abrupt change in the policy.  

“[T]he military should not be required to suddenly and immediately restructure a major personnel policy that has been in place for years, particularly during a time when the Nation is involved in combat operations overseas,” the official, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley, wrote. “The magnitude of repealing the DADT law and policy is demonstrated by the Department’s ongoing efforts to study the implications of repealing DADT[.]”

From the Los Angeles TimesJudge tentatively rejects ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ stay request The federal government had asked to delay enforcement of the ruling allowing gays to openly serve in the military. A final decision will be made later Monday or Tuesday:

A federal judge in Riverside who halted the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on Monday issued a tentative ruling rejecting a federal government’s request to stay enforcement of the landmark ruling while the government appeals.

Paul Freeborne of the U.S. attorney’s office had urged the judge to halt implementation of the injunction while the federal government appealed the decision.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips said she would issue a final decision later Monday or Tuesday.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Judge Rejects Government’s Request for Stay of DADT Injunction

Judge Virginia Phillips has rejected the government's request for a stay in the injunction against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at a hearing in Riverside, California.

The Advocate reports: Dadt

"During the 25-minute hearing, Phillips wasted no time in rejecting the government's arguments that barring dadt immediately would be an undue burden on the military and called the justice department's declarations to the court both vague and insufficient. Assistant U.S attorney Paul Freeborne asked the court for a five day administrative stay so it can pursue an appeal of the injunction to the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit."

The AP adds:

"Phillips called (the DOJ) request 'untimely,' saying the government had plenty of opportunity to modify her injunction before she ordered it last Tuesday. She also balked at their admission of a Rolling Stone article to support its argument that the abrupt change in the policy would hurt military readiness. 'I hardly need to say more than that,' Phillips said of the article. 'It's hearsay. It's not reliable.' Phillips also said the Justice Department also did not present evidence at the trial to show how her order would cause irreparable harm to U.S. troops. Justice Department attorney Paul Freeborne told her the government had no reason to respond until her order came down. He said her nationwide injunction is unrealistic. 'You're requiring the Department of Justice to implement a massive policy change, a policy change that may be reversed upon appeal,' Freeborne told her. Freeborne said the government would go to a higher court if she denied their request to temporarily freeze her injunction."

Phillips is expected to issue a formal ruling later Monday or early Tuesday.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Video: NOM affiliate vid looks to mid-’90s, rejects ‘Friends’ from NBC (Non-Biased Congress)

“One Man, One Woman,” the splinter group that runs the National Organization For Marriage’s official Facebook page, has created a new campaign video targeting senators for casting one single vote fourteen years ago:

So wait, voters are supposed to knock out Boxer and Feingold solely because they opposed a measure that courts are increasingly seeing as unconstitutional, that numerous onetime supporters (including the president who signed it) have since come out against, and that serves no purpose other than to divide a nation that is in crucial need of coming together to fight common societal ills? Only in the contrived “protect marriage” world could a principled stand against unwarranted bias be seen as a liability!

***

**Oh, and this NOM affiliate has posted the above video to the same YouTube page where, in another video, they claim that gays are seeking “polygamy, pedophilia, and prostitution”:

(1:18 mark)




Good As You

—  John Wright

Soccer Team Rejects Gay French Player

Yoann Lemaire x390 (fair) | ADVOCATE.COMA 14-year French soccer veteran who took a brief hiatus from his team
after fellow players publicly made homophobic remarks says his requests
to rejoin the team have been rejected.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

California Appeals Court Rejects Attempt to Force Schwarzenegger and Brown to Defend Prop 8

Beckley

A conservative group called the Pacific Justice Institute petitioned the 3rd District Court of Appeal on Monday, seeking to force California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to defend Prop 8 in court, something both have said they will not do.

According to a notice posted to the court's website, that petition has been denied. Presiding Justice Arthur Scotland rejected the petition without comment.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

CA Court rejects right wing effort to force Gov. and AG to defend Prop. 8

The latest effort by the right wing opponnets of same-sex marriage in California have lost another one.

As reported earlier this week, the Pacific Justice Institute went to court in an attempt to force Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown to defend Prop. 8. The Governor is the named defendant, but both he and Brown have refused to defend Prop. 8. The supporters of Prop. 8 are worried about their standing to appeal the case, hence, this legal “Hail Mary.”

It didn’t work.

Today, the California Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, rejected the Pacific Justice Institute’s suit.

H/T Wockner.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright