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ACLU and Lambda Legal Ask Supreme Court to Review 6th Circuit Ruling Upholding Gay Marriage Bans

Scotus

As expected, the ACLU and Lambda Legal have filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the Sixth Circuit's anti-equality ruling that upheld gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky. 

Said Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation for Lambda Legal via press release:

We have reached a tipping point, and the lives of thousands of same-sex spouses and their families hang in the balance. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling shines a spotlight on our divided country, where married same-sex couples are either respected or discriminated against, depending on where they live or even where they travel. As we have learned from other historic cases like Loving v. Virginia and Lawrence v. Texas, there comes a time when the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in, and provides the answer,--on the question of marriage for same-sex couples we believe that time has come.

Read the petition below via Equality Case Files:


Man Arrested And Charged With Brutal Assault Of Transgender Toledo Woman

Transgender attack

Toledo's Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center released 33-year-old transgender Ohio resident Candice Rose Milligan Thursday after a brutal midday attack from three men left her with a broken mandible and head injuries. Milligan, a prominent transgender activist, underwent two surgeries and had her jaw wired shut; she is currently heavily medicated. Milligan was walking 13th Street and Madison Avenue when the three men accosted her on Monday afternoon.

The Toledo Blade reports:

Ms. Milligan was walking on Madison when three men approached her, made derogatory comments, and then one of the men punched Ms. Milligan in the face, mouth, and head, according to a Toledo police report. Once Ms. Milligan was on the ground, the other men kicked and punched her. One of them grabbed a cell phone from Ms. Milligan’s hand and then fled.

Police said they arrived to find Ms. Milligan with a large bump on her forehead and her mouth bleeding. Nearby witnesses were able to provide police with vague suspect descriptions.

Toledo police have arrested and charged 20-year-old Christopher Temple with robbery, attempt to inflict, or threaten serious physical harm on another; Temple has yet to divulge the names of the other two associated with the attack.

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund issued a statement on Thursday calling for statewide nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. 

Said Rev. Darlene Nipper, the deputy executive director for the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund,  in a statement:

“We are outraged with the continued anti-transgender violence taking place across the country. The recent brutal attack against a transgender community activist underscores the need for strong nondiscrimination laws to prevent violent anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. Our thoughts and prayers are with Candice, her friends, and family. We hope for a quick and healthy recovery. We will continue to monitor the situation in Toledo as we call on the local authorities to use every tool in their power to bring justice to Candice and the transgender community.”
 
The Blade also reports that Toledo Councilman Jack Ford is calling for an immediate amendment to Ohio's hate crime laws to include gender identity and expression as a protected class after Milligan's attack. A bill that will amend the current law to include these protections, House Bill 300, is currently pending in the the state legislature, but has only received a single hearing on the floor thus far. Ford and three fellow councilmen are calling for the U.S. Justice Department to conduct an official investigation on the attack.
 
Since the attack, gofundme and TransOhio have been raising funds to pay for Milligan's medical bills.

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.


Televangelist Rocked By Accusations He Abused Male Church Members, Forced Vasectomies - VIDEO

Angley

A series of reports in The Akron Beacon Journal has detailed decades of abuse and cover-ups by Ohio televangelist Ernest Angley.

Angley, pastor at Grace Cathedral Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, has been accused by former church members of performing genital "examinations," encouraging abortions and vasectomies, and arranging a marriage between a congregant and a convicted child molester.

Reporter Bob Dyer said that he had heard rumors about Angley for a long time but it wasn't until July when he received a recording of a church service in which Angley admits to examining the private parts of males that he began looking into the reports.

GraceDuring the July 13th service, addressing accusations that he is gay and has abused both his associates and members of the congregation, Angley said “I’m not a homosexual. God wouldn’t use a homosexual like he uses me. He calls me his prophet, and indeed I am. ...

On the issue of urging men in his congregation to submit to vasectomies, Angley said:

“I’ve helped so many of the boys down through the years. They had their misgivings. Sure, I’d have them uncover themselves, but I did not handle them at all. And I would tell them how that would work. And they’d have to watch it. I’d have some of them come back to me that I felt needed to. And I would tell them, I would look at them, their privates — I, so I could tell how they were swelling.”

Kenny Montgomery, a former usher at the church, who like many others interviewed by Dyer who compared Angley with cult leader Jim Jones, said “that place is a textbook cult. I’m really scared for my friends and family that still go there.”

Becky Roadman, who quit the church in 2013, said that members are not allowed to have children, an accusation backed up by another former church member Angelia Oborne:

“My husband and I can’t have children because my husband had a vasectomy. We were looking at getting it reversed, but I’m 35 years old and ... may not be able to have children anymore. And that breaks my heart, because that choice was made for me, because of the brainwashing, the mind control. We weren’t allowed to have children. If you turned up pregnant, it’s almost as if you had sinned.”

Oborne added that many church members have been forced into having abortions.

Former member Greg Mulkey said that Angley doesn’t want his congregation to have children “because it would take their time and money away from [the church]. He really forced people into abortions through scare tactics, as if he were a medical doctor. It turns my stomach.”

Mulkey added that male members were often forced to have vasectomies.

Watch Bob Dyer discuss the allegations against Angley, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

Continue reading "Televangelist Rocked By Accusations He Abused Male Church Members, Forced Vasectomies - VIDEO" »


Ohio Gay Teen Crowned Homecoming Queen

Cooper robar

A high school in Lakewood, Ohio, has crowned a gay male student as homecoming queen, reports Cleveland.com.

Last September, a transgender student in Huntington Beach, California, was crowned homecoming queen. In August 2013, two out gay students in Illinois were named homecoming king and queen.

Instead of naming a traditional king and queen, Lakewood High School decided to crown three people after Cooper Robar won the race for homecoming queen. Also named as members of “royalty” were Tess Jones, who received the most votes among girls, and Xavier Pedro, who was elected king.

Cooper’s mother Wendy explained that what started out as a joke turned into a statement on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community:

"It was him being a goofball and saying wouldn't it be fun if he could be queen. I was pretty shocked [that we won]. I was surprised by the roaring of applause and the yelling for Cooper….We are very proud of him being able to stand up for himself and tell the world he is who he is and have no misgivings about it.”

She added that although Cooper is popular at school, she was surprised he didn't encounter any serious backlash from critics.

Lakewood Principal Keith Ahearn said there was nothing in the rules preventing a boy from running as queen and deciding to name three members of royalty was the fairest way to handle the situation.


Lesbian Couple Suing Sperm Bank After Giving Birth to Mixed-Race Baby

CramblettJennifer Cramblett and Amanda Zinkon, a lesbian couple living in Uniontown Ohio, are suing the Midwestern Sperm Bank, after one of the women unbeknowingly gave birth to an interracial baby.

According to documents provided by the sperm bank operating in Downers Grove the couple initially requested genetic specimen from donor No. 380, a white man, to conceive their child. Ultimately the women mistakenly received specimen from donor No. 330, a black man. By the time the lab’s error had been caught Cramblett was already pregnant.

“On August 21, 2012, Jennifer gave birth to Payton, a beautiful, obviously mixed-race baby girl,” the recently filed lawsuit reads. “Jennifer bonded with Payton easily and she and Amanda love her very much. Even so, Jennifer lives each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton’s future.”

Though the Midwestern Sperm Bank refunded the couple and issued a written apology upon being made aware of their mistake, Cramblett is suing claiming wrongful birth and breach of warranty. Additionally she is seeking damages for the economic impact that her particular situation is having on her’s and her child’s lives.

The community in Uniontown that Cramblett and Zinkon have been raising their child, the lawsuit explains, is sorely lacking in racial diversity. Cramblett expressed that her own family errs on the side of racial intolerance and bigotry much in the same way that most of Uniontown does. Cramblett’s therapist has strongly advised her to move out of the town before Payton, who is now two, is old enough to be enrolled in the school system.

“Though compelled to repress her individuality amongst family members, Payton’s differences are irrepressible, and Jennifer does not want Payton to feel stigmatized or unrecognized due simply to the circumstances of her birth. Jennifer’s stress and anxiety intensify when she envisions Payton entering an all-white school.”


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