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Former University of New Mexico Student Files Lawsuit Claiming She Was Ostracized For Anti-gay Views

A former University of New Mexico student who claims she was shunned by school officials for making anti-gay remarks in a class paper can proceed with her First Amendment lawsuit against the school, a federal judge ruled late last month.  

The Albuquerque Journal reports:

UnmChief U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo denied UNM’s motion to dismiss the case, rejecting the argument that restrictions the university placed on the student were “reasonably related to legitimate pedagogic concerns.”

Monica Pompeo filed the suit last year, claiming UNM acted improperly when she was kicked out of [professor Caroline Hinkley's] class for describing lesbianism as perverse in a critique of a lesbian romance film. [...]

After Hinkley graded the critiques, she advised Pompeo to pick up her paper from the cinematic arts office and “ponder the responses” she had written on Pompeo’s paper.

Those responses included a comment that the critique was “inflammatory and offensive.” She also blasted Pompeo’s view that a lesbian character in the film had a “perverse attraction to the same sex” and a “barren womb.”

The lawsuit alleges Hinkley violated her own syllabus, which called for “open minds” to examine “representations of a plethora of genders and sexualities.” Instead, Pompeo says, Hinkley accused her of resorting to “hate speech” and refused to grade her paper. The professor also made it clear that it would be in Pompeo’s best interests not to return to the class, Pompeo alleges.

The Associated Press adds:

Armijo's ruling questioned whether a "university can have a legitimate pedagogical interest in inviting students to engage in `incendiary' and provocative speech on a topic and then punishing a student because he or she did just that."

"Simply because Plaintiff expressed views about homosexuality that some people may deem offensive does not derive her views of First Amendment protection," the judge wrote.


Homeschoolers Target Pro-Gay Marriage New Mexico State Rep.

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Pro-equality New Mexico state Representative Bill McCamley (D) is being targeted by a local homeschool co-op for his stance on LGBT rights.

From ProgressNowNM:

In the legislature, McCamley has been a strong supporter of LGBT equality.  That’s no surprise given Dona Ana County’s prominence in the national marriage debate following the decision by County Clerk Lynn Ellins to begin issuing New Mexico’s first licenses to same-sex couples in 2013.

Nearly 900 same-sex couples have received licenses in Dona Ana County, which includes McCamley’s district, since last year.

So, it’s not surprise that marriage equality could be an important issue in House District 33. McCamley recently started handing out a campaign walk piece featuring his position on the issue and that has his opponent fired up and ready to lead an army of children (literally) against McCamley in their “critical” quest to defeat the progressive candidate in HD33.

HooksA member of the homeschool co-op, formed to “connect local homeschool children and share instruction”, recently sent out an email to other members of the group, asking for help enlisting homeschooled children in distributing campaign literature for McCamley’s opponent, creationist Republican Neal Hooks [right], who, as Joe.My.God points out, believes "The push of homosexual agenda in our schools are destroying us”:

I would like to ask the Homeschool group for young people, who can walk in Neal’s District and hang Neal’s door hangers.  We will start this Friday, August 1st at 9:00 AM at my house (920 Raleigh Rd). Our walk will be very safe & organized, 4 – 6 young people per adult in a car…My house will be the “hub” where we will all meet, have refreshments, & go out again.  We will finish between 11-11:30…I am sure this could be counted as community service and Government extracurricular activities.

Apparently, taking a stance against equality now warrants school credit. 

(top photo via Facebook)


New Mexico Mother Physically And Sexually Abused Daughter For Being Gay: VIDEO

Magdo Haro

A 40-year-old Las Cruces, NM mother Magdo Haro was taken into custody on Tuesday for physically and sexually abusing her 17-year-old daughter in response to her daughter being a lesbian.

The daughter's name has been kept secret to protect her. She alleges that her mother refused to let her wear "boy" clothes, forced her to undress in front of her, and then perform sex acts on herself to show "she was a woman, and not a man." The daughter complied out of fear that her mother would sexually assault her, as her mother allegedly said that she would use a plunger to make her feel what it's like to have sex. Her brother allegedly overheard the exchange and saw Haro undress her daughter.

Haro was arrested late Tuesday afternoon on charges of criminal sexual penetration and child abuse. She was transported to the Doña Ana County Detention Center where she was released three hours later on a $25,000 secured bond.

You can watch KFOX14's report AFTER THE JUMP...

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Supreme Court Declines Anti-Gay Discrimination Case Involving New Mexico Photographer

ElanephotographyThe U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not take up the case involving Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin (pictured), who refused to photograph the commitment ceremony of Vanessa Willock, a resident of Albuquerque, on the grounds that same-sex marriage conflicts with Christian beliefs.

The New Mexico Supreme Court had ruled that Elane Photography was violating the antidiscrimination provisions of the New Mexico Human Rights Act in August.

The Washington Blade reports:

In orders published Monday morning, the court listed the case, Elane Photography v. Willock, without comment among as the cases it won’t consider.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Elane Photography, which was found to have violated New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law for refusing to take a photo for the same-sex wedding ceremony for Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth in 2006. (The wedding was only ceremonial because the incident took place before the state legalized same-sex marriage.)

Elane Photography filed lawsuit in state court, alleging that its refusal to photograph a same-sex wedding is protected on religious grounds. However, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the claims, saying the businesses service can be regulated because it’s a public accommodation. Following that decision, Elane Photography asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the lawsuit based on First Amendment protections under the U.S. Constitution.


Thursday Morning Speed Read: Mississippi, Lesbian Chef, Tammy Baldwin, New Mexico, Scrutiny Rehearing

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

MississippiLGBT RALLY FOR VETO:

LGBT groups will hold a rally on the lawn of the State Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, at noon CDT today, in protest over the passage of a religious bias bill by the state legislature Tuesday. The groups, which include the national Human Rights Campaign, Equality Mississippi, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Lesbian and Gay Community Center, among others, will also hold a candlelight vigil this evening. As of Wednesday night, Republican Governor Phil Bryant has said he will sign the bill.

COURT UPHOLDS LARGE AWARD:

A state appeals court in New York on March 20 upheld a $1.6 million award to a lesbian chef whose boss who made repeated anti-gay statements, including saying all gay people were going to hell. A lower court judge granted the award for Mirella Salemi in 2012 against Edward Globokar, who owned the Manhattan restaurant at which she worked. The appeals panel said Globokar’s actions violated the New York City Human Rights Law by staging mandatory prayer meetings at work and “subjecting [Salemi] to an incessant barrage of offensive anti-homosexual invective.”

BaldwinBALDWIN INTROS FAIR EMPLOYMENT BILL:

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin also introduced the Fair Employment Protection Act (FEPA) March 13, to improve the law for the victims of workplace harassment. FEPA is specifically aimed at expanding an employer’s liability for workplace harassment. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, an employer’s liability for harassment perpetrated by a supervisor is greater than if perpetrated by another employee. But last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that for a court to consider an employee a supervisor, the employee authorized to take tangible actions against an harassment victim. If the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is ever passed, LGBT workers would be able to benefit from the anti-harassment laws strengthened by FEPA.

NewmexicoNEW MEXICO BLASÉ:

A Public Policy Polling survey of 674 registered voters in New Mexico between March 20 and 23 found that 76 percent said the legalizing of marriage for same-sex couples has had either no impact or a positive impact on their lives. The poll also found voters closely split on whether they support (47 percent) or oppose (45 percent) allowing same-sex couples to marry. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.8 percent.

SCRUTINY DECISION RE-HEARING?:

At least one judge on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals bench has asked the full appeals court to review an historic panel ruling in January that said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which struck the Defense of Marriage Act, “requires that heightened scrutiny be applied to equal protection claims involving sexual orientation.” The court last week asked both parties in SmithKline v. Abbott to submit briefs on whether the case should be reheard by the full court. But Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, he seriously doubts a majority of the Ninth Circuit would vote to rehear the case.


Santa Fe Elects First Openly Gay Mayor

New Mexico's capital city has elected its first openly gay mayor. On Tuesday, Javier Gonzales was elected mayor of Santa Fe by a wide margin, taking in more than 43 percent of the vote.

JaviergonzalesThe Santa Fe New Mexican reports:

Gonzales made history as the city’s first openly gay mayor and will preside over a City Council on which two of the eight members are openly gay women — mayoral opponent Patti Bushee and newly elected Signe Lindell.

According to The Albuquerque Journal, this was also a first for the state: 

In what almost certainly a first in New Mexico, two of the mayoral candidates were openly gay — [Patti] Bushee has been “out” since before she entered public life two decades ago and Gonzales declared he was gay last year.

Their sexual orientation wasn’t an issue, at least publicly. While Bushee and Gonzales fought over issues like commitment to Santa Fe’s local “living wage” of $10.66 and hour, and there were ethics complaints filed against each of them (both ruled unfounded by the city’s ethics board), Dimas stayed quietly out of the fray, bypassing public candidate forums and staking out more conservative positions.

Gonzales, a Democrat, will be inaugurated into his new post on Monday.

Watch Gonzales and his supporters celebrate his win, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Santa Fe Elects First Openly Gay Mayor" »


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