Wednesday Speed Read: Oregon, Affirmative Action, Georgia, Jo Becker, Fun Home, Virginia

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

RosenblumOREGON HEARING TODAY:

Openly gay U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane convenes a hearing today to hear arguments in two lawsuits challenging Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage. But McShane said yesterday he would not issue his decision until attorneys for the National Organization for Marriage submit a brief attempting to demonstrate NOM has standing to serve as intervenor to defend the ban. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (pictured) announced in February she could not defend the constitutionality of the ban. McShane denied NOM’s motion, filed late Monday night, to postpone today’s arguments, saying the motion was “untimely” filed. McShane said that, if intervenor status is ultimately granted, he would schedule a second hearing.

SUPREMES UPHOLD A BAN:

SupremesThe U.S. Supreme Court upheld Tuesday a voter-approved ban in Michigan against considering race when determining who should be admitted to public universities. Lambda Legal joined in a friend-of-the-court brief in Schuette v. Coalition to Defeat Affirmative Action, arguing that the ban should be struck. But Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda, and others said they don’t believe the court’s willingness to uphold a ban on affirmative action will necessarily mean it will be willing to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage. “The Court,” said Davidson, “did not rule that voter-approved constitutional amendments are immune from attack or entitled to more deference than laws passed by legislatures. Instead, a majority of the judges simply (and quite troublingly) do not recognize bans on affirmative action as comparable to invidious discrimination against a minority group.”

GeorgiaLAMBDA SUING GEORGIA:

Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit in federal court in Georgia Tuesday, challenging that state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The lawsuit, Inniss v. Aderhold, was filed on behalf of three couples and one widow. It is now one of more than 50 lawsuits pending against state bans around the country. And it reduces to four the number of states that do not have a lawsuit pending against their bans.

PROP 8 BOOK TRIGGERS OUTRAGE:

There has been a tremendous pile-on of criticism this week for a book released Tuesday about the Proposition 8 litigation. Critics fault New York Times reporter Jo Becker’s Forcing the Spring for exaggerating the credit due to Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin and legendary conservative attorney Ted Olson for winning marriage equality through their organizing of the lawsuit against California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Others, including former senior advisor to President Obama David Plouffe, fault the book for various factual errors. See full story.

FunhomeCAROLINA CONFLICT INTENSIFIES:

The public College of Charleston staged a musical version of lesbian author Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home off-campus Monday night to a cheering standing-room-only crowd. Republican state lawmakers characterized the performance as a deliberate provocation in response to the legislature’s cutting the budgets of the college and another public school because they included Bechdel’s book as part of their curriculum. According to the Charleston Courier and Post, several state legislators threatened to cut more funds from the college’s budget in retaliation for Monday’s performance.

THREAT TO VIRGINIA A.G. GETS FINE:

A Virginia man who threatened the state attorney general because of his support for allowing same-sex couples to marry was found guilty Monday of a misdemeanor and fined $250. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, the man was initially charged with making a threat over the phone but, in a plea bargain, had the charge reduced to “curse and abuse.”

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Calling Michigan's law an "affirmative action ban" is disingenuous. It demonizes the law without understanding what's written in it. Just because something is promoted or put into law by a conservative does not automatically make it evil. I am as liberal as they come but I don't believe race, gender, etc. should be a factor in hiring or school, whether that means not hiring someone because they're black or hiring someone because they're black.

    Posted by: WOLF | Apr 23, 2014 9:52:41 AM


  2. @WOLF:" I am as liberal as they come but I don't believe race, gender, etc. should be a factor in hiring or school, whether that means not hiring someone because they're black or hiring someone because they're black."

    In what world do you live in? Race and gender have always been a factor in hiring. The question is, should it be a discriminatory factor? The answer is no. But it can used positively when hiring to ensure a diverse workforce or student body.

    Contrary to popular belief, the biggest benefactors of AA have been women in jobs, colleges, law, medicine and dental schools.

    Posted by: ben | Apr 23, 2014 10:11:21 AM


  3. @BEN: "In what world do you live in? Race and gender have always been a factor in hiring. The question is, should it be a discriminatory factor? The answer is no. But it can used positively when hiring to ensure a diverse workforce or student body."

    I know that, which is why I believe in anti-discrimination statutes... and I'm not saying affirmative action hasn't done good, but it was never meant to be permanent, and if someone is white and/or male and has equal skill or credentials, should a women or person of color NECESSARILY be hired over them? No, they shouldn't. You cannot ascribe true equity to affirmative action, because it isn't. It's compensatory elevation.

    Posted by: WOLF | Apr 23, 2014 10:28:32 AM


  4. @BEN: "In what world do you live in? Race and gender have always been a factor in hiring. The question is, should it be a discriminatory factor? The answer is no. But it can used positively when hiring to ensure a diverse workforce or student body."

    I know that, which is why I believe in anti-discrimination statutes... and I'm not saying affirmative action hasn't done good, but it was never meant to be permanent, and if someone is white and/or male and has equal skill or credentials, should a women or person of color NECESSARILY be hired over them? No, they shouldn't. You cannot ascribe true equity to affirmative action, because it isn't. It's compensatory elevation.

    Posted by: WOLF | Apr 23, 2014 10:28:45 AM


  5. Sorry about the double post. The site didn't indicate it posted on the first click.

    also, *woman

    Posted by: WOLF | Apr 23, 2014 10:32:04 AM


  6. @WOlF: As someone that just finished interviewing for a job all over the country, I can tell you that no two people possess equal credentials. Even two students with the same perfect GPA and SAT have dissimilarities. Was one a star sports player? A recognized instrumentalist? class president? Came from hardship and succeeded or did one have an army of tutors at his side?

    I'm more impressed with a minority from an inner city finishing high school with a 3.5 gpa than a preppy white kid with the same gpa. It's easy to buckle up and study when you have no financial or social worries. When you're the first in your family to finish high school, it takes an incredible amount of self-determination to push through.

    I will agree with you that AA is not the best solution. But it's all we have right now. If we were to pick out medical and law students based on scores then Asians will make up majority of the student body even though they represent only 4% of the overall population.

    Posted by: ben | Apr 23, 2014 11:08:48 AM


  7. I look forward to the coming lawsuits in Michigan brought up by persons rejected due to their name or extracurricular activities as going against this voter-approved constitutional amendment.

    Posted by: Sam | Apr 23, 2014 12:09:34 PM


  8. "... the judges simply (and quite troublingly) do not recognize ..."

    Why "quite troublingly"? Discrimination is wrong. You can't fix discrimination by switching the groups who are discriminated against.

    There is no fundamental right to receive favorable treatment based on race. But there is a fundamental right to marriage. On due process grounds, we should be OK.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 23, 2014 2:02:47 PM


  9. This should be a lesson to all black people the gays are not on your side

    Posted by: James | Apr 24, 2014 2:33:38 AM


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