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Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear Six Marriage Equality Cases in One Day on August 6

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is lining up the cases for a pretty impressive combo score on August 6th and will be hearing six discrete marriage equality cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

6thcircuitFrom the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

On August 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear oral argument in six marriage equality cases--the most marriage cases that any federal circuit court has ever heard in a single day, and the fourth argument to be heard by a federal circuit court since the United States Supreme Court's decision last summer striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Federal Judges Martha Craig Daughtrey, Jeffrey S. Sutton, and Deborah L. Cook will hear the challenges to laws banning marriage equality in Kentucky (two cases), Michigan, Ohio (two cases), and Tennessee. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is representing plaintiffs in Tennessee, American Civil Liberties Union is representing plaintiffs in Ohio, and Lambda Legal is representing plaintiffs in Ohio.

Oral arguments will begin at 1pm ET at the Potter Stewart Courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Henry And George, Together Over 50 Years, Featured In New Ohio Marriage Equality Ad: VIDEO

OhioMarriage1

Henry Hawley and George Vassos were married in New York City last October, on their 50th anniversary. Their commitment to each other is not recognized in their home state of Ohio, though, and they are looking to create change. The adorable couple is featured in a new advertisement from Why Marriage Matters Ohio, and if their easy chemistry and clear adoration of one another does not convince you of love's universality, perhaps nothing will.

Check out Henry and George's testimony, AFTER THE JUMP...

And head over to the Why Marriage Matters Ohio website to make a contribution to the cause.

OhioMarriage2

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Ohio Posters Advertising 'Straight White Guy Festival' Annoy Locals

Straight_pride

Misspelled posters advertising a "straight white guy festival" recently appeared near a gay-friendly neighborhood of Clintonville in Columbus, Ohio. The festival, ostensibly scheduled for September 20, will "celabrate [sic] our enjoyment of being straight, white and male" at Goodale Park.

The posters could be a hoax since city officials have reportedly received zero event permit requests for the park. 

The UK Mirror states:

The event has been taken by some as a homophobic backlash against the gay pride festival held at the park last month... Many have reacted with outrage, claiming every day is a straight white guy festival. Others have defended the unknown organisers, arguing that they have the same right to celebrate their sexuality and heritage as the LGBT community and other minorities.

In 2007, "straight pride" supporters marched in a Pride parade in Telluride, Colorado. Meanwhile, in 2011 the local government of Sao Paulo, Brazil approved a "straight pride day... protest against the privileges the gay community enjoys." 

But proponents of "straight pride" responses to gay pride events may want to consider CNN contributor LZ Granderson's thoughts on the matter:

Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution... So instead of wondering why there isn’t a straight pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.


Gay Family Denied Entry to Public Pool in Ohio: VIDEO

Melody Mohn

The Heise Park Pool in Galion, Ohio is a popular destination for residents during the summertime and offers a discounted pass for families. Melody Mohn and her wife applied for a Family Pass so that they could take their three children swimming, but were denied and told that the city ordinance defines a family as a mother, a father, and up to three children.

Normally this is where the story would bring up a lawsuit being filed, possible involvement by the ACLU, and a divided community. Instead, Mohn started an online petition, wrote to the mayor, and brought up the issue at a city council meeting to discuss a change in the wording of the ordinance. Mohn's pleas did not fall on deaf ears, and while it doesn't seem likely that change will happen in time for this summer, City Council Member Sarah Capretta said:

They want to make sure that they word [the ordinance] properly so that it can include more people in the city of Galion. We have a lot of grandparents taking care of grandchildren, aunts and uncles taking care of nephews and nieces and we want to make sure that we include all of those people to make everybody eligible to be able to use the facility because that is what it is there for.

You can watch the WBNS-10TV report AFTER THE JUMP...

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Federal Appeals Court to Hear Gay Marriage Challenges from MI, OH, KY, and TN on August 6

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled hearings for five marriage cases in four states on August 6, the Washington Blade reports:

LmcIn four separate notices on Monday, the Sixth Circuit, which is located in Cincinnati, announced that arguments for the cases in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee will take place on August 6 at 1 pm.

James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT project, said his organization welcomes the developments for each of the cases. His organization is assisting with litigation in the Ohio case.

“We’re happy to see the Circuit taking up this issue so quickly,” Esseks said. “All the cases together reinforce how sweeping and widespread are the harms that come from the marriage bans.”

Every case seeks same-sex marriage recognition rights of some sort, except the case from Michigan, which seeks to win the freedom for gay couples to marry in the state.

According to Equality on Trial:

Michigan: Arguments in DeBoer v. Snyder will be one hour, with 30 minutes per side.

Ohio: Arguments in Henry v. Himes and Obergefell v. Himes will be one hour, with 30 minutes per side.

Kentucky: Arguments in Bourke v. Beshear will be 30 minutes, 15 minutes per side.

Tennessee: Arguments in Tanco v. Haslam will be 30 minutes, 15 minutes per side.

In related news, DOMA attorney Roberta Kaplan had filed a motion to intervene in the Ohio case but she has been denied:

According to the eight-page notice handed down from the court, Kaplan was denied the ability to participate because the cases is too far advanced at this point.

The state of Ohio and the ACLU had objected to Kaplan's motion to intervene.


Cincinnati Teacher With Gay Son Resigns Over Local Archdiocese's New 'Morality Clause': VIDEO

Gayazz

Catholic first grade teacher Molly Shumate has taught for 14 years in the Cincinnati Archdiocese. But citing her support of her 22-year-old openly gay son Zach, this year will be her last, namely because she refuses to sign the archdiocese’s new contract forbidding teachers from the personal practice or public endorsement of the “homosexual lifestyle.”

In a video interview with Cincinnati.com, Shumate said:

“As soon as I heard the wording of the new contract, I knew it was something that I wouldn’t be a part of. It was really a no-brainer for me. The difficult part is I love teaching, I love the school I teach at, I love the children that I teach.

“However when Zach came out to me on that very difficult day for him, the world lifted off of his shoulders as well as lifting off of mine and God gave me a gift that day. He changed me as a person to be so much more accepting of so many other people and to see people’s differences.

“The fact that my life changed that day and I swore to Zach as well as our entire family that I would accept him and love him for whomever he is, it was at that moment that I said I will not go back on my word. The way that the contract is worded is telling my son that I don’t support him and I don’t stand behind him 100 percent. And to me, that’s just taking too many steps backward that I won’t do at this point in my life or in his.”

Cincinnati.com elaborates on the clashes over the new contract and the Church's refusal to re-negotiate its terms:

The "morality" clauses – though not unique among Catholic schools nationwide – were a first for the 19-county Archdiocese school system.

It ignited a raging public battle, including a protest march Downtown and online petitions signed by thousands. And this week, 12 billboards opposing the contract dot the area… The 12 billboards were paid for by the Cincinnati Voice of the Faithful, which for more than a decade has criticized the church's alleged lack of transparency and accountability regarding the sexual abuse of children... 

While Shumate is the first teacher to publicly resign in protest of the new contract, hundreds of Cincinnati students, teachers and parents have publicly protested it as well.

Watch the interview AFTER THE JUMP...

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