Darrin Gayles Hub




Wednesday Speed Read: Barack Obama, DNC, NRCC, Darrkn Gayles, Staci Yandle

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

A PASSIONATE POLITICAL MOMENT: Lgbt_obama

A crowd of LGBT supporters gave President Obama a rousing welcome in New York Tuesday night, with standing ovations and applause that often drowned out one of the most passionate speeches he’s ever delivered to an LGBT audience. President Obama took his expected victory lap through the unprecedented list of accomplishments on LGBT-related issues during his administration, including Monday’s announcement that he will soon sign a long-awaited executive order to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors. But he also promised to “keep fighting” for equality in the workplace and around the world, for people vulnerable to HIV and to hostile governments abroad. The fundraiser was sponsored by the Democratic National Committee and held at the Gotham Hall.

RETURNING THE THANKS:

While President Obama took credit for a great deal of the progress seen on LGBT issues in recent years, he didn’t hog it. In a particularly poignant part of his speech to the LGBT-DNC fundraiser, he said that much of the progress has come because the minds of many Americans have been changed. “And for many people whose minds have changed, it was love that did it -- love for the child or the grandchild, or the friend or the coworker who sat down one day and held their hands and took a deep breath and said, I’m gay. Almost everybody in this room was that child or grandchild or friend or coworker at some point.  And you may not have known it at the time -- it may have seemed like an individual act -- but in those moments when you summoned that courage and reached out with that hopeful love, you were doing it for everybody. And that’s why I’m here tonight, to say thank you for helping make America more just and more compassionate.”

GOP PUMPS MONEY INTO FOUR GAY RACES: Tisei

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Tuesday it will spend at least $18 million trying to win Congressional seats in 16 specific districts. Four of those districts have openly gay candidates in the running. NRCC says it will spend $2.2 million trying to unseat incumbent Democrats John Tierney in Massachusetts, Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire, and one other NH Democrat. Tierney’s Republican opponent is expected to be openly gay Richard Tisei (pictured), who lost to Tierney in 2012 by less than one percentage point. Shea-Porter has two Republican challengers who will face off in a September primary, including openly gay candidate Dan Innis. NRCC says it will also pour $1.7 million into the race to defeat incumbent Democrat Scott Peters in San Diego. Peters’ Republican challenger is expected to be Carl DeMaio, an openly gay former San Diego Councilman. And according to politico.com, NRCC says it will also spend just over $1 million to keep Republican incumbent Chris Gibson in his New York Congressional district seat, who openly gay Democrat Sean Eldridge is hoping to beat.

GaylesSENATE CONFIRMS TWO TO BENCH:

The U.S. Senate confirmed two openly gay people to federal district court seats Tuesday. On a 52 to 44 vote, it confirmed the first openly gay person to a federal judgeship in Illinois: Staci Yandle, who will serve the U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois. On a 98 to 0 vote, it confirmed Darrin Gayles, the first openly gay African American man to be named to the federal bench. Gayles will serve the U.S. District Court in Miami. Gayles and Yandle now bring to 11 the number of openly gay appointees to the federal bench under President Obama.

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


Tuesday Speed Read: Obama, James Costos, Colorado, Brunei, Charlie Crist, Phil Bryant

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

Blue_obamaOBAMA PREPS EXECUTIVE ORDER:

The White House indicated Monday that President Obama has “directed his staff” to prepare an executive order to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The White House official could not say how soon President Obama intends to sign the executive order. But the news comes during Pride Month, just two weeks before the White House hosts its annual reception in celebration of Pride Month, and just one day before President Obama is scheduled to be at an LGBT-related fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in New York.

HIGH MAINTENANCE HOUSE GUESTS:

CostosThe openly gay U.S. ambassador to Spain and his partner hosted President Obama, the First Lady, and eldest daughter Malia at their house in Rancho Mirage, California, over the Father’s Day weekend, according to the Desert Sun. Ambassador James Costos and his partner, White House decorator Michael Smith, have a home in a gated community known as Thunderbird Heights. The President and First Lady headed back to Washington on Monday morning.

SENATE AGREES TO VOTE ON NOMINEES:

GaylesThe U.S. Senate voted 55 to 37 Monday to proceed to a vote on the confirmation of Darrin Gayles to the U.S. district court in Miami and, in a separate but identical vote, to proceed to a vote on the nomination of Staci Yandle to a district court seat in Illinois. If confirmed, Gayles will become the first openly gay African American to be appointed to a federal court bench. Yandle won’t be the first openly lesbian African American appointed to the bench but, if confirmed, she will be the first openly gay federal judge named to the bench in Illinois. The confirmation votes for both are  scheduled for 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

ColoradoCOLORADO JUDGE HEARS TWO CASES:

A state district court judge in Denver on Monday heard two consolidated lawsuits challenging the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The Denver Post reported that Adams County District Court Judge Scott Crabtree expressed skepticism for the state’s contention that 15 federal and state judges before him erred in finding similar bans unconstitutional.

LETTERS PILE ON AGAINST BRUNEI:

KerryMore than 100 members of the U.S. House signed onto a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last Thursday, urging that the U.S. halt negotiations with the government of Brunei on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Noting Brunei’s recent adoption of draconian penalties for being gay, the letter argues that such agreements must insist that participating nations “adhere to internationally recognized civil, political, and human rights standards.” All seven openly LGBT members of the House signed on. Four national LGBT groups also sent a similar letter last week to President Obama regarding Brunei’s brutal laws against LGBT people.

CristEQUALITY FLORIDA AND HRC ENDORSE CRIST:

The statewide LGBT group Equality Florida and the Human Rights Campaign both made independent announcements last Thursday that they are endorsing Democratic candidate Charlie Crist for the Florida governor’s race in November. Crist has a primary in August but is expected to win the nomination easily against two little-known candidates.

BryantCENTRAL PARK GREETING:

A small group of protesters followed Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant around Central Park Saturday to express their unhappiness with the state’s new “religious freedom” law, which goes into effect July 1. The protesters, which included members of GetEQUAL Mississippi, staged a mostly silent protest, and some hosted their own “Big Gay Mississippi Welcome” dinner, according to the Hattiesburg American.

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


Monday Speed Read: Darrin Gayles, Barbara Crabb, Wisconsin, AMA, Rick Perry, Chris Christie

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

TEST VOTE TODAY ON NOMINATION: Gayles

The U.S. Senate will hold a vote today on whether to proceed with consideration of Darrin Gayles, President Obama’s nominee to a U.S. district court seat in Miami. If the Senate votes to proceed, then it will vote Tuesday morning on whether to confirm. If confirmed, Gayles will be the first African American openly gay man named to the federal bench.

WISCONSIN RULING STAYED: Crabb

U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb issued an order Friday, saying she “cannot ignore” the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay a challenge to a same-sex marriage ban in Utah, and so she must grant a stay of her own decision in a similar case in Wisconsin. In the 13-page order, Crabb also set out the specifics of what her ruling requires, if and when it does go into effect: that Wisconsin county clerks cannot deny a marriage license to a couple because both applicants are the same sex. But she denied plaintiff couples’ request to stipulate that, on the birth certificates of children born to married same-sex couples, the names of both parents be listed. Crabb said that issue would have to be resolved in “another forum.”

Wisconsin555 COUPLES ALREADY MARRIED:

The Associated Press reported that, as of last Thursday, 555 same-sex couples had gotten married in Wisconsin, following federal Judge Barbara Crabb’s June 6 ruling that the state ban on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional.

AMA SUPPORTS BIRTH CERTIFICATE POLICY:

AmaThe American Medical Association announced this month that the annual meeting of its House of Delegates adopted a policy opposing the requirement that a person certify he or she has undergone surgical gender reassignment in order to obtain “clinically appropriate” birth certificates. The policy approved June 9 supports allowing for a change in sex designation “based upon verification by a physician that the individual has undergone gender transition according to applicable medical standards of care.” Currently, only California, Vermont, and Washington state allow corrections to birth certificates without certification of surgery. The final resolution has not yet been posted by the AMA but its initial report can be read here.

Rick_perryGOVERNOR PERRY ON BEING BORN THIS WAY:

At a public affairs forum in San Francisco last Wednesday night, Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked a question from an audience member who wanted to know, “Do you think homosexuals can be cured by prayer or counseling?” Perry looked genuinely stumped, saying, “I don’t know. I don’t. I’m not a psychiatrist or doctor….” “Is it a disorder?” asked the forum moderator. “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” said Perry. “…I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."

ChristieCHRISTIE DISAGREES WITH PERRY’S ANALOGY:

New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie was in San Francisco two days after Texas Governor Rick Perry compared being gay to alcoholism and reporters asked whether he agreed with Perry’s remarks. “I will just say that I disagree them,” said Christie, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “and I don’t believe that is an apt analogy and not one that should be made –because I think it is wrong. But you know, every governor or official needs to speak for themselves on these issues. I just spoke for myself.” Christie was in town campaigning on behalf of California’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari.

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


Friday Speed Read: Darrin Gayles, Indiana Marriage, Mike Michaud, Clay Aiken

GaylesNOMINEE ADVANCES OUT OF COMMITTEE:

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, by voice vote, recommended the confirmation of openly gay federal district court nominee Darrin Gayles. A vote on the nomination had been scheduled for last week, but Republicans on the committee held over the vote on Gayles’ nomination and that of three others to the district court in southern Florida. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) noted Thursday that both senators from Florida have given their consent to advancing all four nominees. The nomination of a previous openly gay African American man to the federal bench in Miami was killed when Senator Marco Rubio raised objections. If cleared by the full Senate, Gayles will be the first openly gay African American male to be confirmed to a federal bench seat.

INDIANA PRELIMINARY VICTORY: Sandler

A federal district court judge ruled Thursday that Indiana’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages harms a same-sex couple “in numerous tangible and intangible ways.” In doing so, Judge Richard Young ordered the state to recognize the marriage license obtained out of state by Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler to protect Sandler’s rights to care Quasney, who is near death from ovarian cancer. The order also requires Indiana, upon Quasney’s death, to list Sandler as her spouse on the death certificate. Young ruled that he doubts Indiana’s ban “will suffer a different fate than those around the country,” where other federal district courts have consistently found them unconstitutional. Last month, Judge Young granted a temporary restraining order requiring Indiana to recognize the Quasney-Sandler marriage license obtained in Massachusetts. Lambda Legal brought the case, Baskin v. Bogan, on behalf of several couples and the court must still consider the merits of the overall challenge to the state’s ban. Lambda staff attorney Paul Castillo, said that, “while this family is experiencing urgent, life-threatening medical circumstances, they’re just one of the thousands of same-sex couples in Indiana enduring real financial and dignitary harm due to the State’s discriminatory marriage ban. Our work in Indiana is not done.  All same-sex couples in Indiana need the security only marriage provides.”

DEM POLL SHOWS MICHAUD BACK IN LEAD: Michaud

Democracy for America, a group founded by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, announced Thursday that its poll of 754 Maine voters finds openly gay U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud four points ahead of incumbent Republican Governor Paul LePage. Asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 43 percent said Michaud, 39 percent said LePage, 15 percent said independent candidate Eliot Cutler, and three percent were undecided. Michaud and LePage have been running very close in polls in the past month. A Republican-leaning polling firm, Rasmussen Reports, called the race a tie based on data it gathered between April 23 and 25 from 830 “likely voters.” A Huffington Post analysis of 10 polls (but not the Democracy for America data) estimated Michaud at 40.6 percent, LePage at 37.9 percent, Cutler at 15.9 percent.

C_aikenAIKEN MAY FACE RUN-OFF:

There are 276 uncounted ballots in openly gay U.S. House candidate Clay Aiken’s Democratic primary race against two competitors in North Carolina’s Congressional District 2. That doesn’t give second-place candidate Keith Crisco a chance to catch up to Aiken, who has a 369-vote lead. But it could give him enough to drop Aiken’s vote tally below the 40 percent margin needed to avoid a run-off. And the Raleigh News-Observer reported Thursday that business Keith Crisco has not conceded the race and that, if a run-off is necessary, it will take place in July.

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


Speed Read for Wednesday: Mississippi, Darrin Gayles, D.C., Virginia

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

MISSISSIPPI PASSES BIAS BILL:

BryantThe Mississippi House and Senate Tuesday adopted a final version of a religious bias bill, sending the measure to Republican Governor Phil Bryant for his signature. The final Mississippi Religious Freedom Act will enable any “person” to violate any state or local law or regulation (such as non-discrimination laws) by asserting the law burdens his free exercise of religion. The act carves out business exceptions, saying, “Nothing in this act shall create any rights by an employee against an employer if the employer is not the government.” If signed by Bryant, the bill goes into effect July 1. Opponents say some people will use the law to refuse services gays, blacks and others. There are no laws in Mississippi to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but the Human Rights Campaign says some universities have non-discrimination policies and the new law could allow pharmacists to refuse to provide HIV and hormone replacement drugs. Jennifer Riley-Collins, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi, said her group remains “hopeful that courts throughout the state will reject any attempts to use religion to justify discrimination.”

GAYLES’ GETS SMOOTH HEARING:

GaylesOpenly gay U.S. District Court nominee Darrin Gayles had smooth sailing Tuesday in his confirmation hearing. Senator Bill Nelson, in introducing Gayles and other nominees, noted that there was an emergency need for a judge in the Southern District of Florida, where Gayles is nominated. Senator Marco Rubio said Gayles has “dedicated himself to public service,” including two years at the Immigration Naturalization Service. Gayles noted that his life partner Raymond Zayas and other family members had accompanied him to the hearing. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Gayles what model he would use when interpreting the constitutional. Gayles replied that he’s always “followed the law and never interjected my own personal beliefs.”

GAY D.C. COUNCILMAN LOSES:

Four-term D.C. Councilman Jim Graham lost his Democratic primary Tuesday night to newcomer Brianne Nadeau. Graham, an openly gay councilmember who once led the LGBT community’s Whitman-Walker Clinic, was apparently hurt by a reprimand he was given by the D.C. Council last year for improperly involving himself in a lottery contract dispute.

JUDGE CANCELS VA. TRIAL:

VirginiaA federal judge hearing a class action suit against Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage announced Monday he was scratching the June 2 trial date and putting the matter on hold, pending a ruling from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in another case. The plaintiffs in Harris v. Rainey, represented by the ACLU and Lambda, are now considered intervenors in the Fourth Circuit case, Schaefer v. Bostic, a case led by Ted Olson and David Boies and several Virginia attorneys. The Bostic case comes before the Fourth Circuit on May 13.

VIRGINIA IS FOR MARRIAGE:

A poll of Virginia voters March 19-24 found 50 percent support allowing same-sex couples to marry in Virginia, 42 percent oppose, and seven percent are undecided. The poll was conducted by Quinnipiac University with 1,288 voters and a margin of error at plus or minus 2.7 percent. Similar to other polling, the survey found that people under 30 and Democrats were much more supportive (69 percent each) and people over 65 and Republicans were more opposed (56 percent and 70 percent, respectively).


Obama Nominates Second Gay Black Judge to Federal Bench

More than a year ago, Obama nominated Judge William Thomas to the Federal District Cour for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas would have been the first gay black judge on the federal bench had it not been for Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) who succeeded in blocking the Thomas nomination for political reasons.

GaylesNow, Obama has nominated a second out gay African-American judge to the federal bench.

Gayles' background, via the White House:

Judge Darrin P. Gayles has served as a Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida since 2011.  From 2004 to 2011, he was a County Judge in the same Circuit.  From 1999 to 2004, Judge Gayles served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and from 1997 to 1999, he served as an Assistant District Counsel at the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Judge Gayles began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 1997.  Judge Gayles received his J.D. in 1993 from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. in 1990 from Howard University. 

Gayles was endored by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund for his reelection in 2012, according to MetroWeekly.

They write:

If confirmed, Gayles, much like Thomas before him, would become the first out black man in the nation's history to serve on the federal bench. He would also be the second out African-American to serve as a federal judge. The first, Deborah Batts, was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Gayles was nominated today along with three other Florida judges to serve on U.S. District Courts.

Rubio does not take issue with any in the latest round of nominees, according to a statement.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged