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Same-Sex Couples to Appeal Sixth Circuit Ruling Directly to U.S. Supreme Court

Scotus

The plaintiffs in the Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee marriage cases will seek immediate Supreme Court review of yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling upholding the states' bans on same-sex marriage. 

Speaking to Buzzfeed, Abby Rubenfeld, the lead counsel for the Tennessee plaintiffs, said lawyers from all four state cases were in agreement about sending the issue to the Supreme Court.

“We just had a conference call with the attorneys from all four Sixth Circuit states on the marriage cases. We were all in agreement to apply for certiorari at the supreme court, and not to first seek en banc review in the Sixth Circuit,” she explained. “Given the significance of the issue, the reality that it will end up in the Supreme Court ultimately, and the harms that all of our clients are suffering each day that their marriages are not recognized, we want to get to the Supreme Court sooner rather than later.”

“We hope to file within two weeks, and hopefully sooner, so that we can still be on the docket for this term—which means resolution by june 30, 2015,” she added.


Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Vows to Continue Defending State's Gay Marriage Ban

Following yesterday's Sixth Circuit ruling upholding Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette announced their plans to continue to defend the ban in court.

SnyderMLive reports:

“When I became governor, I took an oath to support and defend our state constitution, without exceptions,” Snyder said in a statement, referencing the 2004 voter-approved amendment that defined marriage as between one woman and one man.

“My obligation to carry out that oath is not a matter of personal preference. As I have said throughout this process, I will respect the court’s decision as it examines the legality of same-sex marriage.”

The ACLU has pledged to appeal the Sixth Circuit's decision directly to the Supreme Court. 


Gay Advocacy Group Equality Michigan Receives $3 Million Donation From Co-founder's Estate

Equality michigan

LGBT advocacy group Equality Michigan has received a $3 million donation from co-founder Dr. Henry Messer, reports Lansing State Journal.

Messer, a neurosurgeon, gay rights activist and co-founder of Triangle Foundation, which merged with Michigan Equality to form Equality Michigan in 2010, died in February at the age of 86.

With his partner of more than 60 years Carl House, Messer was a lifelong LGBTQ activist who got involved in the movement after being discharged from the military during World War II.

 

Equality Michigan announced that more than $1 million was given directly to the statewide anti-violence and political advocacy organization to support policy and victim services work, while another $2 million went to the organization’s endowment.

In a statement, Joy Geng, vice chair of the Equality Michigan board of trustees, said:

Messer"Henry [pictured far right with partner Carl House] was one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and one of my dearest friends. He dedicated his life to helping those most in need and did not just dream of a future where all LGBT people could live safely and openly, but committed his time, talent, and resources to making that dream a reality.

“Out of the tragedy that he did not live to see his dream fulfilled comes an historic opportunity for Equality Michigan to finish the work he started and make that dream come true for future generations. I am confident that our team will not let him down, and that his legacy will live on through the organization he loved so much for decades to come."


MICHIGAN: Anti-Homophobia Art Piece Vandalized - VIDEO

Love does not harm

An art piece in Grand Rapids, Michigan that aims to raise awareness about how damaging homophobic rhetoric can be was vandalized last week, reports WOODTV.com.

The conceptual piece by Timothy Gabriel, which has since been restored, was damaged earlier this week when a passerby splattered some form of red paint or ink across the surface of the 8-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide installation.

The organizers of the event say that the work “depicts an androgynous silhouette, symbolizing the LGBT community, smeared with spiteful words on a cross of hateful quotes...The primary purpose of this piece is to raise awareness of the impact homophobic rhetoric has on the LGBT communities in Uganda, Russia, and around the globe. In many parts of the world, these minorities are oppressed, maimed, stoned, tortured, imprisoned for life, and executed. ‘Love Does Not Harm’ seeks to draw attention to the specific role many American Evangelicals play in this very real persecution.”

Explaining that he had allowed for a space on the back of the piece for feedback from locals, Gabriel said although most of the response has been positive, “it’s a shame that someone had to tarnish the front of it the way that they did.

He added:

"We were able to scrub most of it off the yellow section. But any attempt to move anything off the white left a stain or a residue. But it hasn't obstructed or destroyed it."

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "MICHIGAN: Anti-Homophobia Art Piece Vandalized - VIDEO" »


Check Out This Michigan Candidate's Awesome Response to Anti-gay Bigotry: READ

Josh derke 2

Josh Derke, a Democratic candidate for state representative from Michigan's 93rd House District, has made public an awesome pro-LGBT letter he sent to anti-gay listed hate group Public Advocate of the United States (PAUC) having received a survey from the group, reports The Advocate.

Derke says that when he received the "2014 Michigan Family Values Survey" - which he refers to as “a pile of excrement” - from the Michigan-based PAUC, his jaw dropped.

The survey demanded that candidates "pledge to refuse any donation from the Homosexual Lobby or their allies — especially from Tim Gill or Paul Singer” or face being accused of supporting the “Anti-Family Agenda."

Writing on his blog, Derke said:

"I have received some pretty outrageous letters and surveys before, but I just couldn’t be silent about this. I chose not to participate in their survey. I couldn’t. … I elected instead to send a letter. Their survey was hurtful; I have family, and many friends, that are LGBT. They’re not immoral, and they’re not seeking special privileges."

Derke's letter, directed to PAUC’s Eugene Delgaudio - who was recently censured by the Republican party for misuse of county funds - is one of the best and most entertaining replies to anti-gay bigots that are likely ever to read.

PhotoLast year, Delgaudio's group was sued for stealing a New Jersey couple's wedding photo  for use in an anti-gay political mailing [pictured right].

Apologizing to Delgaudio for his lack of support of the homophobic agenda, Derke says that the gays have “already dug their fabulously manicured claws into me, and I am afraid to report that I have been brainwashed into mindless support of the Homosexual Agenda.”

Worth quoting at length, the letter makes clear to the hate group that the “homosexual agenda” is “a phantom of your own creation":

“Would that it were that your erudite survey had reached my desk earlier, ere I succumbed to their influence, my mind might yet be unshackled from the horrible idea that all people deserve equal treatment and dignity.

“Let me tell you what pro-family is, Eugene. Pro-family is standing by your gay brother for merely being who he is. Pro-family is accepting your cousins, your friends, and homosexual parents across the globe for who they are. It is recognizing that all credible studies that have explored the issue of gay and lesbian parents have shown that they raise well-adjusted children who are just as successful as those raised by straight parents. Pro-family means that you’re not going to rip established families apart because you can’t see through the veil of your own self-defeating prejudices.

“Pro-family is not demonizing and dehumanizing people because they’re different than you are. It is not labeling a group of people immoral because you don’t understand human sexuality.

"I am far from silent on pro-family issues. I am, in fact, vociferous. I imagine that it is a voice you’d rather be silent. The truth is that there is no homosexual agenda. There is no homosexual lobby. There are only people — men, women, transgendered, and others — who deserve equal treatment under the law, and equal respect in our society. Human beings with dignity, who love and are loved, in return.

“You signed the letter as “HON. EUGENE DELGAUDIO,” but there is nothing honorable about your letter, your survey, or your conduct. You and your group should be ashamed of sending this pile of excrement. And I hope that if there is even a shred of humanity within you that you feel a twinge of guilt and shame for comparing loving couples and parents to pedophiles.”

Josh Derke now has a fundraising page up at JoshDerke.ruck.us. Read the cover letter to the survey he received from the PAUC, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Check Out This Michigan Candidate's Awesome Response to Anti-gay Bigotry: READ" »


Detroit Area Catholic High School Administrators to Review Policies After Firing Pregnant Gay Teacher

Webb

Administrators at a Detroit-area Catholic high school have announced they will review policies and procedures following the controversial firing of a gay teacher who claimed she was sacked last month because of her pregnancy, The Detroit News reports:

Mary Jane Herb, president of the Monroe-based Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in a letter to supporters this week referred to "the recent employment matter" and "a complexity of issues" facing the Catholic church and its schools. She did not specifically name Barbara Webb, the teacher who was terminated last month from the private, all-girls Bloomfield Hills school.

"Consequently, we need to have ongoing education and a new lens through which to view issues and situations that are emerging," Herb wrote in the letter dated Monday. "Pope Francis has brought a sense of hope to our lives and encourages us to look at our Church with new eyes. No, it is not likely that doctrine will change, however the Pope emphasizes that the values of mercy, inclusion and compassion need to be included in our response to complex situations."

Earlier this month, Webb revealed that her termination letter didn't give any reasons for the firing, but that previous conversations with school officials pointed to her violating a morality clause allowing for firing over public conduct of "lifestyle or action directly contradictory to the Catholic faith."

The Detroit News adds that a change.org petition asking the high school to end its discriminatory anti-LGBT policies has gathered nearly 70,000 signatures.


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