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CA Governor Jerry Brown Signs Bill Allowing Children to Have More Than Two Legal Parents

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On a busy bill-signing day last Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown gave his signature of approval to legislation that will allow children in the state to have more than two legal parents. LA Times reports that Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) authored the bill to better address the custody and financial responsibilities of same-sex couples who have a child with an opposite-sex biological parent.

Mark Leno"Courts need the ability to recognize these changes so children are supported by the adults that play a central role in loving and caring for them," Leno (pictured right) said. "It is critical that judges have the ability to recognize the roles of all parents so that no child has to endure separation from one of the adults he or she has always known as a parent."

The bill was partially a reaction to a 2011 court decision involving a lesbian couple that briefly ended their relationship, according to Leno's office. One of the women was impregnated by a man before the women resumed their relationship. A fight broke out, putting one of the women in the hospital and the other in jail, but the daughter was sent to foster care because her biological father did not have parental rights.

Conservative groups in the state, including the Pacific Justice Institute, opposed the measure on the grounds that it was an attack on the traditional family and would be detrimental to children.

"This is in the long run going to be a mistake," [PJI president Brad] Dacus said. "The ones who are going to pay the price are not the activists, but it's going to be children, who will see greater conflict and indecision over matters involving their well-being."

Brown vetoed a similar bill last year that allowed a judge to recognize a third parent "in the best interest of the child." This year's version was narrower and will allow such a declaration only when the judge finds that failing to recognize more than two parents would be harmful to the child. 


CA Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Into Law Landmark Protections For Transgender Students

6a00d8341c730253ef019103dad489970c-800wiCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law a bill that will provide unprecedented protections for transgender students in the Golden State, the San Jose Mercury News reports:

California on Monday became the first state to enshrine certain rights for transgender K-12 students in state law, requiring public schools to allow those students access to whichever restroom and locker room they want.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he had signed AB1266, which also will allow transgender students to choose whether they want to play boys' or girls' sports. The new law gives students the right "to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities" based on their self-perception and regardless of their birth gender.

Supporters said it will help reduce bullying and discrimination against transgender students. It comes as the families of transgender students have been waging local battles with school districts across the country over what restrooms and locker rooms their children can use, disagreements that have sometimes landed in court.

Prior to signing the bill, Governor Brown received a petition from transgender high school student Ashton Leigh who had garnered 6,000 signatures in support of the proposed legislation. The bill, named the School Success and Opportunity Act, was introduced by assembly member Tom Ammiano and coauthored by Senator Mark Leno and Senator Ricardo Lara. Carlos Alcala, a spokesman for Ammiano, commented that the bill will help transgendered students have a more normal life during their high school tenure:

Dunk"They're not interested in going into bathrooms and flaunting their physiology...Clearly, there are some parents who are not going to like it. We are hopeful school districts will work with them so no students are put in an uncomfortable position."

Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's national spokesman, praised the bill's passing:

"Well done California for passing a law that protects transgender students from discrimination in their own schools and affirms their identities. This is another step to ensuring that transgender students have the same opportunities at learning and school involvement as all other students."

This comes as the second victory for transgender students in California within the last month. At the end of July, the Departments of Education and Justice found that transgendered students were protected under Title IX and Title VII. The DOJ and DOE's findings were related to a discrimination complaint brought against Arcadia Unified School District in California.


CA Governor Jerry Brown Orders State's Counties to Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples ASAP

California Governor Jerry Brown issued this statement today on the Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8:

Brown"After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California. In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state's counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted."

The Governor's office adds:

The effect of today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling is that the 2010 federal district court's decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional is left intact and the law cannot be enforced.

In response, the Governor has directed the California Department of Public Health to advise county officials today that the district court's injunction against Proposition 8 applies statewide and that all county clerks and county registrar/recorders must comply with it. However, same-sex Californians will not be able to marry until the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirms the stay of the injunction, which has been in place throughout the appeals process, is lifted.

In preparation for this outcome, Governor Brown sought an opinion from California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on whether the state, through the California Department of Public Health, can advise county clerks and registrar/recorders that they are bound by the federal district court's ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

The Attorney General concluded that the California Department of Public Health "can and should" instruct county officials that they "must resume issuing marriage licenses to and recording the marriages of same-sex" couples. The Department will issue another letter to county officials as soon as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirms the stay is lifted.

The Department of Public Health letter to county officials can be found here. Harris's letter to Brown can be found here.


Same-Sex Marriage To Resume In California Within Weeks

In the wake of today's Supreme Court ruling on Prop. 8, overturning it on the grounds of standing, Governor Jerry Brown has announced that same-sex marriage is to resume in California within weeks, the LA Times reports:

California“'I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted,' Brown said in a statement."

Local officials in California say they're prepared to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as they get the official go-ahead:

“'We’re pretty much ready to go,' said Cathy Darling Allen, the clerk for Shasta County and the head of the California Assn. of Clerks and Election officials. 'In 2008, we had some assistance from the state Department of Public Health in making marriage license forms gender neutral. We continue to use those forms today. So the mechanics of the process are ready to go.'"

The LA Times also reports that California Attorney General Kamala Harris will be issuing a statement later today providing further details as to the state's plans for re-implementation.  Though rulings issued by the Supreme Court tend to take 25 to 30 days to take effect, there is some speculation that same-sex marriage could resume sooner given that the lower courts had already ruled against Prop. 8.


California Gov. Jerry Brown Appeals 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Ban Injunction

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The Los Angeles Times reports that California Gov. Jerry Brown, a long-time LGBT ally, today filed an appeal against a court order that halted a California state law banning ex-gay therapy for minors.

The notice of appeal was filed on behalf of Brown and the Medical Board of California by state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided Dec. 21 to block the law that took effect Jan. 1 pending a decision on its constitutionality.

A small group of therapists and religious groups argued that the law infringes on their rights to free speech, but Harris has called conversion therapy "unsound and harmful."

Harris asked the court Wednesday to look at a recent decision by U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller upholding the law.

"Defendants wish to apprise the 9th Circuit of a related case currently pending before it … denying a motion for a preliminary injunction that would have enjoined enforcement of Senate Bill 1172," Harris wrote. "Both appeals involve the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1172 and raise the same and/or closely related legal issues."


News: Walmart Madness, Morsi, Pot Plant, 'Downton'

1NewsIcon Egyptians are protesting across the country after President Mohamed Morsi elevated himself to the top of the governmental chain in a "constitutional coup" to take care of "weevils" he claims are corrupting the nation. Opponent and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei said "Morsi today usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh. A major blow to the revolution that could have dire consequences."

MikeRowe1NewsIcon Discovery pulled the plug on Dirty Jobs, leaving dreamy host Mike Rowe in a lurch.

1NewsIcon British radio host Rubina Nasir has been fined for saying gay people are "evil" and deserve to be beaten. "What should be done if they do [practice homosexuality]? If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture," she said, citing the Quran as her source.

1NewsIcon Argentine politician Gabriela Cerruti is being called a "drug pusher" after posting a picture of a pot plant on her Twitter as a means of starting a conversation about decriminalizing marijuana. The pot plant was a gift from gay activist Alex Freyrem.

1NewsIcon Bad lesson: "On Monday, 62 per cent of Alberta school boards voted against adopting a sexual minorities policy at the Alberta School Boards Association conference. Both the Calgary Catholic School District and the Calgary Board of Education voted against, and they were joined by 37 other school boards."

On Monday, 62 per cent of Alberta school boards voted against adopting a sexual minorities policy at the Alberta School Boards Association conference.

Both the Calgary Catholic School District and the Calgary Board of Education voted against, and they were joined by 37 other school boards.

The view of many in the majority, according to various officials, is that individual groups shouldn’t be singled out, and that school board policies cover all variety of discrimination and harassment.



Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/School+boards+reject+separate+policy+sexual+minorities/7597793/story.html#ixzz2D4y52Ajy

On Monday, 62 per cent of Alberta school boards voted against adopting a sexual minorities policy at the Alberta School Boards Association conference.

Both the Calgary Catholic School District and the Calgary Board of Education voted against, and they were joined by 37 other school boards.

The view of many in the majority, according to various officials, is that individual groups shouldn’t be singled out, and that school board policies cover all variety of discrimination and harassment.



Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/School+boards+reject+separate+policy+sexual+minorities/7597793/story.html#ixzz2D4y52Ajy

1NewsIcon After a tumultuous few weeks (to say the least), Chevy Chase is leaving NBC's Community.

Far-from-the-tree_original1NewsIcon Gay author Andrew Solomon discussed his new book, Far from the Tree, a rumination on the varied effects of biological differences of all kind, including homosexuality and deafness, with NPR: "I had felt very lonely, in some ways, in dealing with being gay, and then all of a sudden I discovered that I had something in common with all of these other people. And I felt all of them seemed to be lonely in their particular identities, and I thought, I wonder whether I can possibly describe what it was like to have to go through my experience and what our experiences have in common.

1NewsIcon Now that they were finally able to return to Sandy-ravaged Fire Island, residents vow to rebuild.

1NewsIcon California Gov. Jerry Brown made history by appointing Jim Hume as the state's first openly gay appellate justice.

1NewsIcon Another burning, itching question for the GOP: "Are Republican immigration reform opponents losing clout?"

1NewsIcon The Republican Party's conservatism is too single-minded for many Latino voters.

1NewsIcon John Waters say save The Roxie.

1NewsIcon "The Beautiful Ones."

1NewsIcon Want to be punched in the face for 25% off? Go to any number of Walmart locations, where riots, would-be shootings and other bedlam have been happening since Black Friday began this morning.

Dowager21NewsIcon The Dowager Countess will spit wit for at least one more season: Downton Abbey has been renewed for a fourth go-round.

1NewsIcon The Obama campaign's couture collaboration with fashion big-wigs paid off: "While President Barack Obama's re-election campaign took heat for launching a high-fashion clothing line as a fundraising tool earlier this year, it turns out the move may not have been such a far-fetched idea. The Obama team's campaign manager, Jim Messina, recently said the line ultimately brought in 'just north of $40 million' –a notable chunk of the more than $644 million raised by the campaign."

1NewsIcon Remember when Paris Hilton met Dame Judi Dench? 2006 was a wild, wild year.


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