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Lambda Legal Sues For Unconstitutional Deprivation Of Veterans Benefits To Same-Sex Spouses

VA

Lambda Legal has filed suit against the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on behalf of the American Military Partner Association, an advocacy organization dedicated to supporting partners and spouses of LGBT troops and veterans.

Lambda argues that the denial of benefits to same-sex spouses of veterans living in states that refuse to recognize their marriages violates the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The petition argues that the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor striking down Section 3 of DOMA specifically flagged as unconstitutional the deprivation of veterans benefits to same-sex spouses.

The petition further states:

“Having weathered the federal government’s past, longstanding discrimination against them, lesbian and gay veterans and their families find themselves once again deprived of equal rights and earned benefits by the government they served and the nation for which they sacrificed.”

Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal, said:

“Gay and lesbian veterans have served their country and risked the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill their duty to this nation. Married veterans and their spouses, wherever they live, need critical veterans benefits, earned through years of often perilous service, to take care of their families. No member of our community should be left behind just because their home state continues to discriminate against their marriage.”

Read the petition HERE.


'Ex-Gay' Stephen Bennett: 'Anyone With A Brain' Is Against LGBT Equality - LISTEN

Gay

Speaking on Understanding the Times With Jan Markell last weekend, “ex-gay” activist Stephen Bennett and wingnut conservative radio show host Linda Harvey railed against the “handful of powerful homosexual activists” who are fighting for equality, reports Right Wing Watch.

Claiming that “two and a half percent of the population is gay,” Bennett said that “maybe five percent are militant activists who are trying to turn this country upside down.”

Bennett continued that LGBT activists are demanding equality but that “anyone with a brain” realizes that homosexuality is not equal to heterosexuality.

Bennett also weighed in on same-sex marriage, claiming that “marriage isn’t to be decided by a government or judges or courts; this is God, God is the one who designed this.”

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Ex-Gay' Stephen Bennett: 'Anyone With A Brain' Is Against LGBT Equality - LISTEN" »


Gay Couple To Live With Homophobic Pastor For New Documentary Series - VIDEO

Living with the enemy

A gay couple in Australia will live with a homophobic pastor as part of a new documentary series that aims to "test Australian values", reports Same Same.

The first episode of Living with the Enemy, examining the issue of marriage equality, will see Melbourne couple Michael Barnett and Gregory Storer living with David, an Anglican minister who does not agree with same-sex marriage. 

The trailer suggests that things get fairly explosive.

The episode is due to air on September 3rd.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Couple To Live With Homophobic Pastor For New Documentary Series - VIDEO" »


Christian Broadcasting Network Profiles Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Jack Phillips - VIDEO

Jack phillips denver baker

The Christian Broadcasting Network yesterday profiled Jack Phillips, a Denver baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple.

According to the broadcaster, “Jack’s Christian faith landed him in trouble with the law. His crime? Adhering to his biblical belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Phillips, who says that making the cake would violate the Christian principles by which he runs his business, claimed, “I did not discriminate against [the same-sex couple], just that event I chose not to participate in.”

Earlier this month, Phillips appealed an order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) requiring him to prepare wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

In May, the CCRC rejected his appeal of an earlier ruling that he “unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake” in 2012.

Watch the Christian Broadcasting Network report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Christian Broadcasting Network Profiles Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Jack Phillips - VIDEO" »


SC Attorney General Will Continue to Defend State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has said that he will continue to fight a lawsuit aiming to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite a ruling by a federal appeals court, reports The Daily Journal.

Unlike Wilson, yesterday North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced he would no longer defend the state's ban in court. There are four lawsuits currently challenging it in North Carolina.

South Carolina passed a law banning same-sex marriage in 1996. Voters approved a similar constitutional amendment in 2006.

Yesterday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling has jurisdiction over South Carolina which is in the circuit, along with North Carolina and West Virginia.

The lawsuit against South Carolina was filed by a Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin who were legally married in Washington, D.C., and are now living in South Carolina. The case has been on hold while the appeals court considered the Virginia case.

Mark Powell, a spokesman for Wilson, said he sees no need to change course because the U.S. Supreme Court will likely make the final decision.

"Ultimately, this will be a decision for the U.S. Supreme Court. People should not rush to act or react until that time, when a decision is made by the highest court in the land.”

However, according to Ryan Wilson, executive director of South Carolina Equality, the ruling brings the state one step closer to same-sex marriage and “confirms that gay and lesbian couples are no different from straight couples.”

Last October, Linda Oliver, the mayor of West Union, South Carolina, came under fire for saying that she didn't want "queer" marriages "rammed down her throat."

Watch a Wavy.com report on the striking down of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "SC Attorney General Will Continue to Defend State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


150 Anti-Gay Bigots Protest as Lesbian Couple Attempts to Get Marriage License in NC: VIDEO

North carolina

A same-sex couple has been denied a marriage license in Marion County, North Carolina, reports Campaign For Southern Equality.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in North Carolina.

The action was part of the WE DO campaign where same-sex couples have tried to get a marriage license across the state.

BigotsAlthough an estimated 150 anti-gay protesters turned out at the McDowell County Register of Deeds’ Office, the couple - Keisha and Dericka - was surrounded by friends and supporters and received a blessing from Rev. Christy Corna, who will officiate their wedding ceremony on September 6th.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, said:

“This is what courage looks like–for Keisha and Dericka and their friends to stand up publicly for equality when there is so much pressure to stay silent, when you are outnumbered by those who are protesting you.”

After the license was refused, Dericka said:

“I hope that what we did today can help my future children have a better life. I hope that no child has to encounter some of the struggles I have.”

Despite being denied a state marriage license, the couple plans to marry in Washington, D.C., later this week.

Watch an ABC News 13 report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "150 Anti-Gay Bigots Protest as Lesbian Couple Attempts to Get Marriage License in NC: VIDEO" »


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