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Gay Marriage Opponents Concerned Utah Appeal Might Be Dismissed Over Standing

Questions have being raised about standing in the 10th Circuit appeal of Kitchen v. Herbert, the ruling striking down Utah's ban on gay marriage, and some believe the court could dismiss the case because the proper defendants were not named in the suit.

SchaerrThe plaintiffs named the governor, the attorney general and the Salt Lake County Clerk in the case.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

On Tuesday, Utah’s lead counsel Gene C. Schaerr (pictured)  drew attention to a question posed to both sides by a three-judge panel at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals last week regarding whether the lawsuit targeted the appropriate state and county officials...

...If the court finds that they’re not, the appellate judges may decline to rule in the case, leaving Judge Robert J. Shelby’s ruling to stand as law in Utah.

Questions from the court during arguments last week have led some to believe they are considering this, the paper adds:

During Utah’s arguments last week, Judge Jerome A. Holmes — widely considered to be the "vote to get" in the case — asked Tomsic to explain why the defendants her plaintiffs had singled out were appropriate.

Further, he asked whether the state continued to have the right to appeal the case, given that Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen declined to appeal Judge Shelby’s Dec. 20 decision to overturn Utah’s same-sex marriage ban.

"You sued the clerk of court," Holmes said, referring to Swensen. "But the clerk of court is not on the appeal, and, it would seem to me that creates a fundamental basis for concern about where jurisdiction lies in this case. "

Schaerr insists that the officials named have standing to defend the case:

The explanation several Utah county clerks gave was they were waiting on direction from the attorney general or governor’s office as to how they should handle the situation.

This, Schaerr states in his letter to the court, is further proof that with or without the Salt Lake County clerk, the governor and the attorney general are within their jurisdiction to appeal the case to the 10th Circuit and, perhaps, beyond.

"Utah marriage licenses are issued by county clerks [...] not by court clerks," Schaerr wrote. "Plaintiffs’ suit thus satisfied the demands of Article III standing."

Posted Apr. 19,2014 at 9:46 AM EST by in Gay Marriage, News, Utah | Permalink | Comments (9)

Ugandan Men to Go on Trial for Homosexuality

UgandaThe Guardian is reporting that two Ugandan men will go to trial next month accused of violating the country’s anti-homosexuality laws

Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they had sufficient evidence against Kim Mukisa and Jackson Mukasa, who denied the charges when they first appeared in court earlier this year. They have been held in Luziro prison in Kampala since December.

Mukisa, 24, a businessman, was charged with "having sexual knowledge of a person against the order of nature" and Mukasa, 19, with permitting a person to have sexual knowledge of him against the order of nature.

While the country’s recently enacted anti-gay law punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail, Mukisa and Mukasa have been charged under the 1950 Penal Code Act which prescribes life imprisonment for persons found guilty of homosexual acts. 

Posted Apr. 19,2014 at 9:29 AM EST by in News, Uganda | Permalink | Comments (5)

Italian Town Votes to Recognize Gay Marriage

The city council of Latina, a small commune in central Italy, has voted in favor of a motion to support the recognition of a same-sex couple’s marriage.

Agere per Formulas reports:

Garullo ottocentoAntonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento [pictured] were the first Italian gay couple to be married more than 10 years ago in Holland. In 2004 they asked the Ufficio dello Stato Civile of the Comune of Latina to register their marriage but their application was turned down. So the couple sued theComune of Latina, but in 2005 the Tribunale of latina rejected their complaint. Then they appealed the Court decision to the Court of Appeal of Rome where they found a second denial. Eventually the couple appealed the second negative decision to the Supreme Court of Cassation. In 2012 this court rejected their appeal but delivered a landmark opinion for LGBT rights. That Court said that the Italian laws should treat gay and straight couple equally. 

Antonio and Mario asked the Comune of Latina to record their marriage on April 15 and this afternoon the Council of the Latina approved in a 14-2 vote (1 absentee) a motion in support of the record of their marriage.

The motion is addressed to the Italian Government, which will decide whether or not the commune of Latina can register the marriage. 

Posted Apr. 19,2014 at 8:50 AM EST by in Gay Marriage, Italy, News | Permalink | Comments (4)


South Carolina Police Chief Says Homophobic Mayor Fired Her for Being Gay: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 3.36.50 PM

The city council of Latta, South Carolina is investigating the circumstances surrounding the firing of Police Chief Crystal Moore by the town’s mayor. Moore claims she was fired because of her sexual orientation.

Mayor Earl Bullard fired Moore earlier this week after giving her seven written reprimands in one day (the first reprimands in her 20-plus years on the job).  Some elected officials and city residents, however, have rallied to Moore’s side, believing that Bullard has held a long-standing vendetta against Moore because she’s gay.

WBTW reports:

"I can't believe that we still have no equal rights. That's the biggest issue. I've been harassed, intimidated. This is the first time it's been this public. I'd tried living a quiet decent life and do what I'm supposed to," Moore said.

In an audio recording provided to WBTW by city councilman Jared Taylor, Mayor bullard is heard saying he’d rather have an alcoholic be responsible for his kids than a gay person with a “questionable” lifestyle:

Bullard“I would much rather have someone who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children, because that ain’t the damn way that they’re supposed to be,” Bullard says on the call. “I don’t agree with some of the lifestyles that I see portrayed and I don’t say anything because that’s the way they want to live. But I’m not going to let my child be around. I’m not going to let two women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it, and I’m not going to see them do it with two men neither. I’m not going to do it, because that ain’t the way the world works.”

The city council held a special meeting Thursday and voted for a referendum to weaken the mayor’s power. City residents will now be able to vote on the measure. 

Watch WBTW's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "South Carolina Police Chief Says Homophobic Mayor Fired Her for Being Gay: VIDEO"

Posted Apr. 18,2014 at 7:30 PM EST by in Discrimination, News, South Carolina | Permalink | Comments (21)

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1562

RUPAUL DRIVES: NYC nightlife queen Susanne Bartsch.

SPACEX: Test flight of the F9R reusable rocket (like the one that took off to the ISS today).

ONION: 14 percent of Americans now intolerant to the word 'gluten'.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: A new featurette.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Posted Apr. 18,2014 at 6:30 PM EST by in News, Towleroad Guide to the Tube | Permalink | Comments (0)

News: Don Lemon, Wisconsin, Jared Leto, Teen Wolf, Playbill

RoadNew Oregon marriage licenses available for gay couples.

Jesus_letoRoadJared Leto and Jesus, together at last.

RoadWill Prince William wear a fashionable Alpaca wig?

RoadRich Juzwiak interviews Ira Sachs about his forthcoming film Love is Strange: "I've been close to two or three couples, gay and straight, who have been together for 45 years. I have a sense of the chapters in those stories. I think as a screenwriter, you want to reveal that history as organically as possible."

RoadMilwaukee couple files suit challenging Wisconsin's gay marriage ban. "According to court documents, plaintiffs Katherine and Linda Halopka-Ivery of Milwaukee County said the case should go directly to the Supreme Court because the issue of the constitutionality of the ban is one of great public interest (or “publici juris”). This means the Supreme Court has the right to take original jurisdiction on the matter."

RoadIn case you are getting nostalgic about old Coachella posters.

KelleyRoadTeen Wolf star Ryan Kelley shows off his six-pack.

RoadNorwegian plumber stabbed his workmate after gay jibe: "The 42-year-old man and his younger colleague had been working on a job together in the summer of 2012, when the younger man began attacking him about his sexuality, telling him that he had heard rumours that he had a secret male lover."

RoadPlaybill to switch up logo to support gay pride.

RoadNamibia says foreign gays cannot claim refugee status: "We will not accept them. They are not part of the criteria we use."

RoadKim Novak writes open letter to Oscar bullies: "For days, I didn’t leave the house, and it got to me like it gets kids and teenagers.I’m not going to deny that I had fat injections in my face. They seemed far less invasive than a face lift. In my opinion, a person has a right to look as good as they can, and I feel better when I look better.”

Lemon1RoadDon Lemon's modeling pics.

RoadFlorida marriage equality plaintiff invited to White House Easter Egg roll: "Melanie & Vanessa Alenier, one of the plaintiff couples in the lawsuit for marriage equality in Florida, will be attending the 136th annual White House Easter Egg Roll with their family. This event, hosted by the First Family, is being held on Monday, April 21st, 2014."

RoadGay man is 'allergic' to the Kardashians: "He breaks out in a cold sweat whenever he sees or hears the famous family and says the sight of a semi-naked Kim even makes him vomit with disgust."

RoadQuestions arise over American plane spotted on Tehran runway: "The Federal Aviation Administration said it had no information about the investors in the aircraft or who was operating it. Officials waiting at the gangway at Mehrabad Airport said only that the aircraft was 'V.I.P.' ... Iranian officials also declined to comment on the purpose of the plane’s visit or passengers’ identities. A spokesman for Iran’s United Nations mission in New York, Hamid Babaei, said: 'We don’t have any information in this regard. I refer you to the owner.'"

Posted Apr. 18,2014 at 5:00 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (9)

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