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Anti-Equality Forces Get 'the Posner Treatment' at Seventh Circuit Hearing

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Posner, Richard 08-10By now you have heard that the attorneys representing Indiana and Wisconsin got a shellacking from the famous Reagan-appointee, Judge Richard Posner. Sean brought us 7 classic outtakes from Judge Posner's questioning, but even those barely scratch the surface of what it must have been like. As someone who has had the privilege (and dread) of arguing before Judge Posner, as well as admiring him from afar, quoting his work, and disagreeing with some of his scholarship, I can say that this is just Posner being Posner. A brilliant scholar with strong views who's been around a long time, he does not suffer fools, whether those fools are seeking millions of dollars in damages or challenging the constitutionality of a ban on gays marrying. Do not think Judge Posner's obvious frustration with the anti-equality attorneys is evidence of a particular love of marriage equality, something he still calls "homosexual marriage," after all. This is how he would approach anyone who comes to him with a stupid argument.

And that is the greatest take away from the Seventh Circuit marriage equality hearings: the arguments against us are just stupid, and everyone appears to get that.

Let's start with Judge Posner, who seemed to relish the opportunity to inject some sanity into Wisconsin's and Indiana's arguments. He repeatedly said things like, "So you don't have an answer to that?" or "How can you brief it if you don't know anything about it," in response to Wisconsin's inability to support its arguments that heterosexuals would stop marrying if gays could, or "You don't seem to have any reasons" for banning gays from marrying, or, as Sean noted yesterday, "You don't have any sort of empirical or even conjectural basis for your law." Judge Posner followed that one with a little snark: "Funny." Mic drop.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Navy Officer Becomes First Member of Chilean Military to Come Out as Gay: VIDEO

Ruiz

At a televised news conference yesterday, Navy officer Mauricio Ruiz, 24, became the first member of the Chilean military to come out as gay.

Equally as groundbreaking was the fact that Ruiz' announcement came with the full backing of the Chilean armed forces.  

BBC reports:

Ruiz2"We can do anything, be marines or in any branch (of the military). We can do whatever profession, and we deserve as much respect as anyone else," he told reporters in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

"In life there's nothing better than to be yourself, to be authentic, to look at people in the eye and for those people to know who you are."

Rolando Jimenez, president of Chile's Movement for Integration and Homosexual Liberation, expressed his gratitude to the Chilean Navy.

"(The Navy is) telling the country and the members of the institution particularly that it is possible for gays and lesbians to be part of the armed forces and that they aren't going to suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation within these institutions," Mr Jimenez said.

Watch a Spanish-language report on Ruiz' announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

Chile remains a highly conservative, Catholic country - where even divorce wasn't allowed until 2004. And despite a 2012 law aimed at combating anti-gay discrimination and hate crimes, LGBT individuals continue to face prejudice and unequal treatment under the law. 

A law governing same-sex unions is currently being debated, with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet coming out in favor of marriage equality despite a majority of Chileans opposing the idea. 

Continue reading "Navy Officer Becomes First Member of Chilean Military to Come Out as Gay: VIDEO" »


9th Circuit Denies NOM Request To Halt Gay Marriages In Oregon: READ

OregonThe 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked a request from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to halt gay marriages in Oregon, The Oregonian reports:

The action comes in the wake of the May 19 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane in Eugene to strike down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage. Voters in 2004 passed an amendment to the state constitution, Measure 36, defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Supporters of same-sex marriage applauded Wednesday's decision.

"We're thrilled by the news but not surprised at all," said Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon. "There was never any merit to their proposal and they've been denied now at every turn."

Frazzini read the court's decision and called it "decisive."

NOM can now either appeal its case to the full 9th Circuit (a three judge panel issued today's decision) or the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court previously denied a request from NOM to get involved in the case back in June. Should NOM appeal to the Supreme Court, the justices would have another chance to intervene. 

Read the 9th Circuit's ruling for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "9th Circuit Denies NOM Request To Halt Gay Marriages In Oregon: READ" »


Gay Christian Couple To Compete In New Season of ‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ - VIDEO

Survivor

CBS has introduced the world to the cast members of its latest season of SurvivorSurvivor: San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water — and this year’s cast, like the last season of Blood vs. Water, features a gay couple, Joshua Canfield (32) and Reed Kelly (31). Both are singer/dancers who hail from Broadway, having worked on shows such as Spider Man and Wicked. Both Josh and Reed also happen to be Christians. 

Watch a video introducing the couple contestants, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Gay Christian Couple To Compete In New Season of ‘Survivor: Blood vs. Water’ - VIDEO" »


Australian MP Books Room In Parliament To Host Anti-Gay Marriage Conference

Kevin

Australian Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has booked out the main room of the country’s parliament house so that the anti-gay Australian Families Association (AFA), an organization closely linked to the World Congress of Families (WCF), can hold a conference on “strengthening the family” that “[commemorates] the tenth anniversary of the redefining of marriage as ‘between a man and a woman’ in the 2004 amendment of the Marriage Act,” according to The Guardian:

In past years the organisation has held public events at parliament house. This year’s affair is a private event with all MPs invited to attend. The committee room must be booked by a sitting member. Andrews booked the room for the organisation, but is not attending, a spokeswoman told Guardian Australia.

The AFA conference on Wednesday will hear from a number of speakers on “relationship literacy for youth, strengthening marriages, family-based taxation and the economics of the family”.

The organisation will call for the government to “renew a culture of strong and lasting marriages by educating young people about the benefits of marriage and getting government taxation and support structures right,” the AFA’s national president Terri Kelleher said in a statement 

The affiliated WCF has been struggling to find a venue for its annual conference in Australia having been turned down by four venues in Melbourne


Michael Sam Survives First NFL-Mandated Roster Cut

Sam

Michael Sam, the first out gay player to be drafted into the NFL, made it past a critical cut in the St. Louis Rams’ roster yesterday, keeping alive hopes that he will make the team’s final lineup. AFP reports:

The Rams trimmed four players from the active roster to reach the NFL-required limit of 75 players by Tuesday, but another 22 players must be dropped by Saturday afternoon to create the final 53-man roster for the regular-season openers.

The Rams play their final pre-season game Thursday at Miami and will open the regular season at home against Minnesota on September 7.

Sam, a rookie from the nearby University of Missouri, is among eight defensive ends competing for up to six expected spots at the position. He ranks third on the right side depth chart but injuries could see the Rams keep more players than usual at the position as a precaution.

Though Sam has had a strong pre-season showing, notably sacking Johnny Manziel on Sunday, Sam’s biggest hurdle to landing a spot on the roster could be another rookie on the St. Louis bench this year, Ethan Westbrooks, who, according to Business Insider and Sports Illustrated, “is playing out of his mind” and “is the apparent frontrunner to take the final roster spot for a defensive lineman.”

The Rams' will announce the final team roster this Saturday. 

(photo via Instagram)


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