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GOP Introduces Resolution To Kill Anti-LGBT Discrimination Ban In D.C. Religious Schools: VIDEO

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A GOP representative has introduced a resolution in the U.S. House calling on Congress to kill a bill passed by the Washington, D.C. City Council that would ban discrimination against LGBT students in religious schools, reports the Washington Blade.

220px-Mark_Meadows,_Official_Portrait,_113th_CongressThe resolution presented by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) was co-sponsored by Reps. Bill Flores (R-Tex.) and Values Voter Summit attendee Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) (right).

In a statement issued Wednesday explaining her opposition to the D.C. Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014, Hartzler - who has compared same-sex marriage to polygamy, incest and pedophilia - said:

“By passing this act, the D.C. City Council has infringed on the fundamental right of religious freedom. No faith-based school should be forced to endorse, fund, or sponsor groups that do not share their beliefs.”

The 2014 legislation calls for repealing a provision in the 1989 D.C. Human Rights Act exempting religious schools from having to comply with the Human Rights Act’s ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Hartzler has also introduced a resolution seeking to kill the D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act which would ban employers from discriminating based on their personal reproductive health decisions.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has scheduled a markup hearing to finalize the second resolution. It is not yet known if the committee intends to markup Hartzler’s resolution targeting the Human Rights Amendment Act during that same hearing.

Hartzler opponents said the resolutions are unlikely to pass. Instead, she aims to gain support for the ultimate goal which is to kill both bills by persuading Congress to attach an amendment to the D.C. appropriations bill blocking the city from implementing the two measures.

In 2011, Hartzler told a gay med student that he "shouldn't feel bad" about a constitutional amendment she helped pass banning same-sex marriage in Missouri because gays were already banned from marrying by statute.

Watch her try to explain her opposition to same-sex marriage to the student in question, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GOP Introduces Resolution To Kill Anti-LGBT Discrimination Ban In D.C. Religious Schools: VIDEO" »


Gay Men Married To Straight Women Defend 'Traditional Marriage' In Bizarre SCOTUS Brief: VIDEO

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Won’t somebody think of the children? The sky fairies say its wrong. The thought of two men together, well it’s just icky. All common arguments against marriage equality. How’s this one for you: the Supreme Court should not rule in favor of striking down bans on same-sex marriage because to do so would demean marriages between gay men and their wives.

An amicus brief filed by a group of “same-sex attracted men and their wives” argues that “same-sex marriage can only come at the cost of marginalizing and demeaning the marriages and families” of gay men married to straight women.

The brief aims to prove that gay people can have fulfilling marriages by marrying someone of the opposite sex, thereby rendering same-sex marriage unnecessary.

It provides the personal testimonies of ten openly gay men who are married to straight women. One of the petitioners says that admitting his “same-sex attractions” to his wife has brought “renewed closeness” to their relationship.

Earlier this year, TLC aired Mormon-centric reality “My Husband’s Not Gay” which followed - to much derision - a group of openly gay men who are married to straight women.

Read the bizarre brief and watch a trailer for “My Husband’s Not Gay,” AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Men Married To Straight Women Defend 'Traditional Marriage' In Bizarre SCOTUS Brief: VIDEO" »


This Supercut of 20+ Years of LGBT Legal Victories Proves Without a Doubt that Love Rules: WATCH

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We're less than 20 days away from when the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in the four gay marriage cases that will decide whether there's a constitutional right to same-sex marriage nationwide. But we didn't get to this place overnight. For the past 20+ years Lambda Legal has been at the forefront of the LGBT community's legal fight for equality. 

Take a look back on Lambda Legal's two decades of milestones and victories that led us here, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: tears and/or feelings of extreme elation may occur while viewing)

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Continue reading "This Supercut of 20+ Years of LGBT Legal Victories Proves Without a Doubt that Love Rules: WATCH" »


Openly Gay California Police Chief Accused Of Harassing And Firing Subordinate

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Chris Magnus, the openly gay and married police chief to the city of Richmond, California, is being sued by a former officer who alleges that Magnus repeatedly made untoward sexual advances before firing him. Thomas Hauschild (pictured right), the officer who filed the lawsuit last Friday, claims that Magnus was responsible for a bogus internal investigation that ultimately led to his being fired.

Screenshot 2015-04-07 03.18.32Issues between the men, the lawsuit recounts, first began when the police department received word of a potential attack on Magnus’s house. Hauschild was assigned to a special team responsible for guarding Magnus’s residence and one night, during Hauschild’s rounds, the police chief allegedly touched his arm and upper leg.

In the following days Hauschild claims that Magnus made a number of phone calls directly to his cell phone for reasons unrelated to work. When Hauschild rejected his superior’s advances, he says, he was immediately punished--removed from the special SWAT detail, and subjected to heightened internal scrutiny.

An investigation was launched into Hauschild’s personal life in the wake of a domestic dispute that led to his arrest and the confiscation of eight unregistered firearms. Soon after, Hauschild was terminated from the police force. Hauschild alleges that Magnus engineered his dismissal as an act of retaliation for rejecting his sexual advances. 

"It appears that having assessed (that) some other claim of bias wasn't his best option, this officer and his attorney apparently decided to exploit the fact that as a police chief who happens to be gay, I would be 'vulnerable' to this particular type of accusation," Magnus responded in a lengthy Facebook post.

"If the goal of the plaintiff and his attorney is to embarrass, intimidate, or otherwise bully me for doing my job when it comes to addressing misconduct within my department, I can assure you it's not going to happen."


Why Indiana's Religious Liberty 'Fix' is No Fix At All: Legal Analysis

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

PenceWithin a week, voices of reason forced Indiana's Republican governor and legislature to back away from a law that would have allowed almost any private party to claim religious freedom when it wanted to discriminate against gays. But the "fix" signed into law on April 2 simply returns us to the status quo in a state where discrimination against gays is okay in all but 11 communities. To some extent, we should be happy we're back to where we started; Indiana's original "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (RFRA) was a terrible, odious, discriminatory law. But we started at a place where being gay was grounds for denial of a slew of rights, so there's little cause for celebration.

The biggest "fix" is an amendment that would prevent individuals from using their supposed religious beliefs as defenses to discrimination claims. So, if a florist denies service to a same-sex couple wishing to get married, that florist cannot wield the sword of "religious freedom" to defeat the lawsuit. But it only applies to jurisdictions that actually ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Consider two same-sex couples wishing to get married: one is in Bloomington, the other is in Goshen. Bloomington is one of 11 counties or municipalities in Indiana that have protections against antigay discrimination. So Bloomington's florists cannot deny service to Bloomington's gays. But Goshen's florists live in a town where there is no law against discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. So the Indiana's RFRA fix offers no help for the gay couple from Goshen.

There are two take-aways from this series of events:

First, we have so much more to do. In Indiana, like many other states in the country, gay and lesbian Americans can be fired because of their sexual orientation. The "fix" to Indiana's RFRA doesn't change that. 

Second, elections matter. We wouldn't be playing these rearguard actions--namely, marshaling our forces to prevent terrible things from happening--if we got out to vote and elected our allies. We may not be able to achieve perfect equality overnight: that's not only an impossible goal, it may not even be a good strategy. But, at a minimum, when our progressive allies are in office, we have the opportunity to work (and work hard) for progress. Indiana, dominated by conservative Republicans, can only be places where we prevent the worst; we operate at the rearguard, not the vanguard, in these states.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, by electing to enact a partial "fix" to the state's RFRA rather than a wholesale repeal, the state kept a dangerous law on the books. As I discussed in my previous post on Indiana's RFRA, religious freedom laws, especially as interpreted by the courts, are bloated weapons of discrimination. Originally passed to prevent the state from interfering with religious minorities, these laws have become tools of oppression by privileging religious freedom over equality imperatives and having the expressive effect of suggesting that religious freedom trumps all. In a democratic society imbued with constitutional values of equality and fair treatment, religious freedom is just one of many values. RFRAs, therefore, open the door to discrimination.

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Ari Ezra Waldman is a professor of law and the Director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and is concurrently pursuingWhat his PhD at Columbia University in New York City. He is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College and a 2005 graduate of Harvard Law School. Ari writes weekly posts on law and various LGBT issues.


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) Says Activists Should Be Thankful Indiana Doesn't Execute Gays: VIDEO

Tom Cotton

Appearing on CNN Wednesday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) said that critics of Indiana’s “right to discriminate” law should get “perspective” because the state doesn’t execute gay people, reports Think Progress.

Cotton also - incorrectly - suggested that Indiana’s law was the same as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) signed by President Clinton in 1993.

According to Indiana trial lawyer Matt Anderson, the Indiana law opens up “the path of least resistance among its species to have a court adjudicate it in a manner that could ultimately be used to discriminate.”

Yesterday, Dan Savage dismantled Cotton's argument in a segment over on MSNBC.

Watch both videos, AFTER THE JUMP...

Cotton has the dubious honor of support from the National Organization For Marriage.

Continue reading "Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) Says Activists Should Be Thankful Indiana Doesn't Execute Gays: VIDEO" »


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