Discrimination | Law - Gay, LGBT | New York | News

Watch: Man Excused from Jury Duty for Being Gay


Jonathan Lovitz, a gay New Yorker, was excused from jury duty earlier this week. The reason for his dismissal is getting quite a bit of attention.

Here's what he told the judge: Since I can't get married or adopt a child in the state of New York, I can't possibly be an impartial judge of a citizen when I am considered a second class one in the eyes of this justice system." 

The judge agree. Lovitz appeared on MSNBC on Wednesday, where he discussed the jury duty incident, and was also given a nice plug for his upcoming LOGO reality show, Set-Up Squad.


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  1. not to be shallow . . . but he's really cute.

    Posted by: Daniel | Mar 11, 2011 1:29:57 PM

  2. i think we should all pay proportionally less taxes too. If we dont get the same rights, why should we pay the same taxes as straights ?

    Posted by: Paul | Mar 11, 2011 1:33:30 PM

  3. I'm pretty sure he's wrong about the adoption part... http://www.hrc.org/laws_and_elections/state/696.htm

    Posted by: Chris | Mar 11, 2011 1:36:56 PM

  4. OK, I was just called to serve. Should I do this? Should we all do this?

    Posted by: tommy | Mar 11, 2011 1:37:18 PM

  5. Why are you posting "old news", it's not like there isn't any today.

    And yes he is wrong about the adoption part.

    Posted by: Kenn I | Mar 11, 2011 1:41:08 PM

  6. I support what he did. I don't think there should be some mass call for civil disobedience along this regard but if you have a hard time weighing in on the civil rights of others while not being treated yourself equally under the law you should say so and let the judge decide if you should be removed. Questions of impartiality are personal.

    Posted by: Trasker | Mar 11, 2011 1:42:01 PM

  7. and the relation to the pit-smelling link above?

    Posted by: r | Mar 11, 2011 1:45:08 PM

  8. Does anyone do the right thing for the sake of doing it - and not for media attention to plug a new TV show?

    Posted by: tom a | Mar 11, 2011 1:45:34 PM

  9. He is definitely wrong about the adoption part. And while he can't get married in New York, his marriage performed elsewhere is fully recognized under New York State law. That said, good for both him and the judge.

    Posted by: Don | Mar 11, 2011 1:45:52 PM

  10. I think what he did was good; however I don't believe he did it purely because he thought that gays are discriminated but because he really wanted out of jury duty. I don't blame him. But he brings up a very good point; we can't get married, we can't donate blood, in some states we can't adopt, so we are second class citizens and how can we be impartial?
    To Daniel, you're right he is cute!!

    Posted by: Matt | Mar 11, 2011 1:46:38 PM

  11. Good for him!
    Look he said this is what HE thought...he feels like a Second Class Citizen as an openly Gay man who's civil rights are unequal to those serving with him.
    As a Juror you take an oath to answer these questions posed by the Judge and Officers of the Court.
    It would be wrong for him to answer any other way.


    Posted by: mcNnyc | Mar 11, 2011 1:47:30 PM

  12. I will definitely use this argument next time I am called to jury duty. Really how can I be impartial to a citizen who has more rights than I do?

    Posted by: Chadd | Mar 11, 2011 1:53:24 PM

  13. I think every gay person should do the same thing. I have been trying to figure out how to get a break on my taxes because of being gay. Hey, if they don't respect us, why should we fund them? Money is the only way to change things....let's use ours to stop the discrimination. I also think we should boycott companies that are based in states that discriminate against our community. I know, easier said than done.

    Posted by: Brad | Mar 11, 2011 1:55:34 PM

  14. I do kind of get why he did it, but I completely disagree with it. Just because we are treated as second class citizens because we do not have the same rights, does not mean that we should act like one. Be proud of who you are and show just why we are the same as everyone else and that we deserve to be treated the same.

    Posted by: Mary | Mar 11, 2011 1:57:47 PM

  15. So if this was a case involving a member of the LGBT community, we are effectively denying that person a jury of her peers.

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 11, 2011 2:02:49 PM

  16. HELL YES! Either we all get a toy in our Happy Meal if we're paying full price, or you give me the Second Class Happy Meal price! I mean, can you imagine going to see a movie with a straight person, and they made you wait an hour after the movie started to go take your seat, while your straight friend gets to go right in?


    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Mar 11, 2011 2:18:51 PM

  17. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/lovitz-250x454.jpg

    Here he is in a "safe for work" beefcake shot.

    Posted by: Windy | Mar 11, 2011 2:24:35 PM

  18. He has a good point. And he is nice to watch.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 11, 2011 2:27:52 PM

  19. "I think we should all pay proportionally less taxes too. If we dont get the same rights, why should we pay the same taxes as straights?"

    RIGHT ON, Paul. There are a number of ways you can reduce your taxable income legally, and of course the underground economy is thriving for those who know how to offer a service and be self-employed.


    Posted by: Gay Tax Protest | Mar 11, 2011 2:56:58 PM

  20. Come on, Towleroad. He wasn't excused for being gay, he was excused because he said he wasn't able to be impartial. Didn't you watch the video you posted? Please don't turn into Perez Hilton and "create" headlines as it diminishes our true fight. There is nothing wrong with his dismissal.

    Posted by: Jeremy | Mar 11, 2011 3:34:01 PM

  21. I love that he did this. It would be great if all queers could jump on this bandwagon. Why make things super-convenient for the State, which denies us full and equal citizenhood?

    As someone noted already, I think the only time we *shouldn't* engage in jury duty civil disobedience is in cases where a queer person is on trial or queer-related issues are at stake. Our voices are needed there.

    Posted by: Priscilla Queen of the Jungle | Mar 11, 2011 3:38:33 PM

  22. He did this to garner publicity for his TV show. The majority of you wouldn't look at him twice or give him nearly as much credit for doing something good if he didn't look good. Don't flatter yourselves or him.

    Posted by: Lee | Mar 11, 2011 3:50:55 PM

  23. And @ Don...
    when you say his out of state marriage is FULLY RECOGNIZED by the State of New York...Do you think that would apply to State Taxes? for one example?
    His and his spouse to file joint STATE of NY taxes
    as part of his Full Recognition in the state?
    The answer is NO.

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Mar 11, 2011 4:01:58 PM

  24. And @ Lee
    Does it also bother you that he elected to study LATIN in H.S. or that he got a double major in History in college as much as it is criminal that his parents mated and their genes produced a somewhat attractive male
    homo sapien?

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Mar 11, 2011 4:06:48 PM

  25. @Lee, it doesn't really matter why he did it if his message pushes us towards social justice. And it's already making people think, so job well done. And yes he is a HOT PIECE ;-).

    Posted by: Priscilla Queen of the Jungle | Mar 11, 2011 4:12:44 PM

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