Discrimination Hub




Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Says For-Profit Wedding Chapel Can Discriminate Against Gay Couples

Hitching post

The Coeur d'Alene, Idaho wedding chapel that has become the right-wing poster child for the clash between LGBT non-discrimination ordinances and anti-gay religious beliefs will now be permitted to turn away gay couples seeking marriage licenses, city officials announced today. 

Boise State Public Radio reports:

Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d'Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps’ attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt.

But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.

“After we've looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

Court filings show the Hitching Post reorganized earlier this month as a “religious corporation.” In the paperwork, the owners describe their deeply held beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Joshua Block, attorney for ACLU's LGBT Project writes:

As Jeremy Hooper notes, before the reorganizing the chapel billed itself as a place for "wedding ceremonies of other faiths as well as civil weddings." Leave it to the gays getting equal marriage rights though to throw right-wing religious folks into a full-blown tizzy. 


Nigerian Court Dismisses Challenge to Powerful Anti-Gay Law

Nigeria

On Wednesday, Nigeria's federal court dismissed a challenge to the nation's powerful anti-gay law, the Anti-Same Sex Marriage act, signed into law January 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan.

As David Mixner wrote earlier this year, "Not only does the law ban marriage equality but also any LGBT relationship. If discovered, gay couples will be sentenced to fourteen years in jail. That is bad enough. However, it also provides for ten years in jail for forming any LGBT organization or supporting the formation of one. The law criminalizes even meetings between homosexuals."

AlimiThe court tossed the case out because they said the person who brought the case could not prove he was effected by it — the man in question does not live in Nigeria and is married to a woman with wife and children. His name is Teriah Joseph Ebah, 42, and he's lived the last 14 years in the UK. Said Ebah to Buzzfeed News: “I decided I wasn’t going to accept a Nigeria that was discriminatory.” His official complaint cites a violation of human rights protections of Nigerian Law.

On the bright side, Buzzfeed reports, this may not be such a setback for Nigerian LGBT activists as you might expect. They say Ebah brought the case independent of them without consulting them. Buzzfeed quotes Nigerian activist Bisi Alimi (pictured), who says the dismissal “opens a better door for us to challenge the law."

[photo via Facebook]


Russian Gay Activists File Complaint With European Court of Human Rights Over Banned Rally

AlexeyevA group of Russian gay rights rights activists has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The group made an application in October 2013 to hold an equal marriage rally in central Moscow. The request to hold the rally was denied, with officials citing the country’s laws banning "gay propaganda."

The group has attempted to appeal the decision, but it was to no avail. Moscow’s Tverskoy District court upheld the ban of the rally.

The activists hope to have more luck with the ECHR, where they will be citing the ECHR charter's Article 11 (the right to freedom of assembly and association). They will also cite Articles 13 and 14, which ensure the right to an "effective remedy" and forbidding of discrimination, respectively.

Russian LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist Nikolai Alexeyev (pictured) is working with the activists. Via Pink News, Alexeyev says that in the last year, there have been 90 similar applications go through the same process.  In addition to the "gay propaganda" law, police have pulled one from the Serbian playbook, citing  a risk of violence to ban the events.


ACLU Sues San Bernardino Sheriff's Department Over Anti-LGBT Discrimination

San bernadinoLGBT inmates at the West Valley Detention Center, both current and former, have filed suit against the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department for discrimination and abuse faced behind bars. The prison system often separates LGBT inmates for their own safety, but that discrepancy should not reinforce and legitimize the difficulties they have faced according to the suit, from name calling to longer jail sentences. 

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The suit cites several cases in which gay inmates were allegedly denied equal access to drug rehabilitation and educational programs. Gay inmates were allowed less time out of their cells and were unable to participate in work programs that would reduce their sentences, the suit claims.

"In the United States, we punish people because of the crime they commit, not because of who they are," said Melissa Goodman, an ACLU attorney who filed the suit along with the law firm Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP.

The 'Althernative Lifestyle Tank' where LGBT inmates are kept became a personal hell for the fifteen people filing suit alongside the ACLU, including Peter Guzman who claims he was kept in his cell for up to 23 hours each day.  

Guzman, who spent seven months in West Valley awaiting trial in a fraudulent check-writing case, said that from his cellblock he could see that straight inmates were often out of their cells. Sometimes, violent offenders who were straight served food to the gay inmates as part of a work program that gay inmates were denied access to, Guzman said...

 
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, along with deputies and sheriff John McMahon, are being named in the suit, and for good reason: they either enforced or committed the in-jail discriminatory behavior.

Mckibben[Former Indiana sheriff deputy and West Valley inmate Dan] McKibben (pictured far right with partner Sean), 51, said he once saw deputies beating a gay inmate. Deputies, he said, regularly used gay slurs when addressing inmates.

McKibben, who spent about two months in the gay cellblock, said he was appalled at the behavior of those who'd taken an oath to uphold the law.

"When you're sworn, you're sworn. And I took that oath," he said. "These guys, every other minute, were violating that."


Gordon Klingenschmitt Warns Gay People 'Want You to Disobey God So You Go to Hell With Them' - VIDEO

Gordon Klingenschmitt

Colorado Republican state house candidate and homophobic wingnut Gordon Klingenschmitt said on his “Pray In Jesus Name” show yesterday that LGBT activists in Kentucky are forcing Christians to violate God’s law and end up in hell, reports Right Wing Watch.

His latest outburst comes following a situation in Kentucky in which a t-shirt printing business was found to have violated the city's non discrimination ordinance (NDO) by refusing to print t-shirts for a local gay organization.

Insisting that NDOs are a violation of the First Amendment, Klingenschmitt said that gay rights activists are driven by a demonic spirit (not t-shirts) that seeks to force Christians to "disobey God" so that they will wind up in Hell:

"They want your soul. They won't be satisfied with your money. They don't really want the t-shirts. They want your soul. They want you to disobey God so that you go to Hell with them. It's not enough that they go to Hell for disobeying God, they want you to disobey God so that we all go to Hell. That's the Devil's goal in the end.”

Watch Klingenschmitt’s ridiculous outburst, AFTER THE JUMP...

In recent months Klingenschmitt has claimed that same-sex marriage will allow for the “recruitment” of children, that the New York State Division of Human Rights is forcing Christians to “worship sodomy” and that transgender people shouldn’t be allowed into churches or public restrooms.

Continue reading "Gordon Klingenschmitt Warns Gay People 'Want You to Disobey God So You Go to Hell With Them' - VIDEO" »


Lesbian Veteran from Idaho Can Now Be Buried Next to Her Wife: VIDEO

Madelynn_taylor

Madelynn Taylor, a 74-year-old U.S. Navy veteran from Boise who has been battling for the right to be buried beside her late wife Jean Mixner in the Idaho Veterans Cemetery, has won her fight, NCLR reports:

Idaho officials agreed to Taylor’s request following the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ (NCLR) recent victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found that Idaho’s ban on marriage equality violated the U.S. Constitution. The court ordered marriages to begin on October 15, 2014, and directed the state to recognize the marriages of couples who married in other states.

Taylor served in the Navy from 1958 to 1964. In late 2013, Idaho officials denied Taylor’s request to be buried in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery together with her late wife, citing Idaho’s laws prohibiting marriage by same-sex couples. NCLR and Boise attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham of Ferguson Durham PLLC filed a lawsuit on Taylor’s behalf, challenging the exclusion as a violation of the due process and equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.

“Words can’t describe how incredibly grateful I am for all the work that went into making our wishes possible,” said Taylor. “Idaho is where some of our best memories together are and it’s where I want to spend eternity with Jean.”

Said Ferguson: “Lee deserves credit for shining a powerful light on the injustice and indignity caused by Idaho’s former exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Her persistence, visibility, and refusal to accept inequality are a model for us all.”

Taylor's story, as you may recall, inspired a fellow veteran named Barry Johnson to offer his burial plot to her when he heard of the disgusting discrimination and injustice she faced.

Watch a video on Taylor's battle, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lesbian Veteran from Idaho Can Now Be Buried Next to Her Wife: VIDEO" »


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