Law - Gay, LGBT Hub




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" »


Fourth Circuit Affirms Virginia's Ban on Gay Marriage Unconstitutional: An Analysis of the Dissent

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

NiemeyerToday, the Richmond, Virginia-based Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court judge's decision striking down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. When last we discussed this case, a three-judge panel was hearing oral argument and one judge, Paul V. Niemeyer (right), was using his time questioning the pro-equality advocacy to spout particular offensive rhetoric.

Not surprisingly, Judge Niemeyer is in the minority today, writing a lone dissenting opinion to the majority's affirmation that banning gays from marrying denies them a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. That fundamental right -- the right to marry -- is denied to gay persons when a state says that they cannot marry the person they love, that they could be forced to deny the equality of their love and union (by being relegated to a civil union or worse) or could easily marry a stranger as long as that stranger is of a different gender.

The majority opinion sounds pretty familiar: the appellants have standing, Baker v. Nelson does not foreclose a federal decision on the merits, and Virginia's ban violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by denying gays the fundamental right to marry, a right that the Supreme Court has affirmed and reaffirmed more than 15 times.

We have covered all those matters before. AFTER THE JUMP, I want to spend a few column inches on the dissent, a diatribe that is dimissive, at best, and hateful, at worst.

Continue reading "Fourth Circuit Affirms Virginia's Ban on Gay Marriage Unconstitutional: An Analysis of the Dissent" »


Russia Designates LGBT Rights Group As A 'Foreign Agent'

Coming out russia

On July 21st, a court in St. Petersburg, Russia designated LGBT rights group Coming Out as a “foreign agent,” reports 76Crimes.com.

Organizations registered as "foreign agents" in Russia are subject to extra governmental audits and other measures that limit their efficacy.

Coming Out has been fighting the designation for 16 months.

Following the ruling, the group issued a statement on Facebook which reads in part:

"The label 'foreign agent' on all the public materials of the organization would be a sign for wider society that the idea of protecting the rights of LGBT people is something 'foreign', and, therefore unnecessary and even harmful. An organization registered as a 'foreign agent' would also be subject to extra governmental audits, and further measures that would limit its capabilities to work.

"'Coming Out' will appeal the court’s decision, but there is no guarantee that the organization will not be registered by the Ministry of Justice in the nearest future, as it happened also with five major human rights organizations.

"This decision marks an end of the 16-month saga during which 'Coming Out' invested considerable time, effort, and resources to explain to the courts, mass media, and the general public that defending universal human rights of Russian citizens is in the interests of those citizens, and of Russia. We are hoping that, regardless of the final outcome, this message was able to reach the hearts and minds of many people.

According to The Advocate, although Coming Out did not directly mention Russia's ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" as the source of the initial complaint, reports suggest that the law has created an untenable situation for LGBT Russians.


Gay Texas Foster Children Caretaker Fired For PDA With His Fiance: VIDEO

Casey stegall

A caretaker for foster children in Lubbock, Texas, was fired recently after he introduced some teenage clients to his fiance during an outing at a water park on the Fourth of July, reports Lone Star Q.

Officials at the Children’s Home of Lubbock, which is affiliated with a Christian church, accused Casey Stegall of engaging in a public display of affection with another man.  

Speaking to The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Children’s Home president Lynn Harms said:

“When you are implementing life training and so forth — particularly with children — to put a confused message out there is counterproductive. If you want to try to force our culture to meet your expectations, that’s not going to go well. I don’t feel like the culture here has to meet an individual’s desire for the world to be different.”

Harms also said that gay employees who “fly under the radar” are accepted but that other gay employees have been fired because of “how they conduct their business.”

Devastated by his termination, Stegall has since contacted attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

Although cities around the U.S., including Houston, have introduced municipal ordinances banning anti-LGBT employment discrimination, Lubbock has not done so.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination by private employers, remains stalled in the U.S. House. However, last week the Washington Blade reported that Democratic House Representative Jared Polis is preparing to initiate a discharge petition for (ENDA).

Watch a video of Stegall discussing the termination of his contract, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Texas Foster Children Caretaker Fired For PDA With His Fiance: VIDEO" »


60 Percent Say Irish Baker Who Refused To Make Cake Supporting Gay Marriage Should Not Face Legal Action

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A ComRes poll commissioned by the Christian Institute shows that 60% of respondents think no legal action should be taken against a bakery in Northern Ireland that refused to make a cake for an LGBTI activist group, reports Pink News.

Earlier this month we reported that Ashers Baking Company refused an order for a cake which was to be decorated with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage,” a logo for QueerSpace, and an image of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland said that refusing to make the cake amounted to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and wrote to Ashers asking that it remedy the situation within seven days or be taken to court.

However, the Christian Institute poll shows that 60% do not approve of legal action against the bakery.  Additionally, 80% of those polled over the aged of 65 disagree with legal action.

In a similar ongoing case in Colorado, Denver baker Jack Phillips has appealed an order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission requiring him to prepare wedding cakes for same-sex couples. Phillips said that although he has no problem with LGBTI people, he disagrees with same-sex marriage.  He has also stated that he would rather close down his business than make cakes for same-sex weddings.


Saudi Man Sentenced To Three Years And 450 Lashes For 'The Practice Of Homosexuality'

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to three years in prison and 450 lashes for “the practise of homosexuality,” after attempting to arrange to meet another man using Twitter, reports LGBTQ Nation.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transexual Rights UAEArabic newspaper Al-Watan said that “the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice...tracked down the owner of the account” of the man who was trying to arrange sex with another man.

The man’s phone, which contained pornographic images, was also confiscated.

Abdulla, the chair of the United Arab Emirates LGBT group said:

“It is infuriating and disheartening when a country that was elected not too long ago to become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council arrogantly and nonchalantly violates its core principles and harms its own citizens. Not only is the fundamental human right for privacy breached but the entrapment and sentence also breaches several human rights charters."

Abdulla continued that “if the man survives this ordeal he will find himself an outcast and will be in danger for life after he completes this harsh sentence.”

Saudi Arabia is known for its harsh anti-hay laws. In 2011, Ali Ahmed Asseri, a gay former Saudi diplomat living in Los Angeles in fear for his life, was denied asylum. Asseri's appeal earlier this year was successful.


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