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Friday Speed Read: Utah, Boulder, St. Louis, Indiana, Recess Appointments, Buffer Zones

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

UTAH HEADING TO SUPREME COURT NEXT: Reyes

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes issued a statement late Wednesday saying his office intends to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the Tenth Circuit panel decision striking down the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples.

BOULDER KEEPS ROLLING:

Boulder, Colorado, continued issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Thursday, even after the state attorney general said the licenses are invalid.

SPECIAL MESSAGE:

From July 1 through Labor Day, Speed Read will publish on a weekly basis. When a breaking news story is of great importance, we will get it to you as quickly as possible.

MarriagesST. LOUIS BEGINS ISSUING LICENSES:

In a move reminiscent of former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004, officials in St. Louis, Missouri, on Wednesday issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples, in open defiance of the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples. The ceremony for the first couple was held in Mayor Francis Slay’s office, officiated by Municipal Judge Joseph Murphy. City officials said they would use the marriages to launch a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban, according to the St. Louis Dispatch. Meanwhile, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster launched a counteroffensive, filing a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis County official who granted the marriage licenses.

Gay_indianaWITHOUT A STAY, INDIANA MARRIES MORE:

Federal Judge Richard Young has still not responded to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s motion for an emergency stay of the June 25 ruling striking the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples. The Indianapolis Star reported another 200 couples married in Indianapolis Thursday, along with more than 100 in other counties. Zoeller on Thursday filed an appeal with the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

RECESS APPOINTMENT CURTAILED: Supremes

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision Thursday that narrows the opportunities for a president to make a recess appointment. Recess appointments have been a means for some presidents to get controversial nominees into office and have them confirmed later. President Clinton used a recess appointment to install gay philanthropist James Hormel as the U.S.’s first openly gay ambassador. President Obama used them twice for gay appointees in 2010 –Chai Feldblum as EEOC Commissioner and Richard Sorian as HHS Assistant Secretary. The high court’s decision, in NLRB v. Noel Canning, limits recess appointments to times when the Senate is in recess for at least 10 days. The decision was unanimous and written by Justice Stephen Breyer.

BUFFER ZONE STRUCK DOWN: J_roberts

The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights submitted a brief in support of a Massachusetts law that attempted to protect women seeking abortions by creating a 35-foot setback or “buffer zone” for anti-abortion protests outside such facilities. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday said such buffer zones violate the First Amendment. Chief Justice John Roberts authored the opinion, McCullen v. Coakley, noting that public sidewalks are the “traditional public fora” for “assembly, communicating thoughts be­tween citizens, and discussing public questions” and “government may not ‘selectively…shield the public from some kinds of speech on the ground that they are more offensive than others.’” Roberts’ decision characterized protesters as seeking to hand out literature and to make offers of help to women entering the clinics. But the brief from GLAD, NGLTF, and NCLR noted the buffer zones are not to stifle expression but to protect the safety of women. “Women should be free to seek comprehensive medical care—including birth control and abortion—without the fear of harassment and violence from protesters,” said NGLTF Executive Director Rea Carey.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


St. Louis Mayor Defies Missouri Ban, Hosts Gay Marriages in His Office

  Marriages

On Wednesday, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and other  officials challenged Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage by issuing four marriage licenses and marrying gay couples in Slay's office. 

One of the newly married couples, John Durnell and Richard Eaton, have been in a relationship for 39 years. Durnell said before the ceremony: “We hope in 20 years people don’t even think about it. We take our freedoms for granted once we achieve them.”

Slay told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“It makes me proud as a citizen and as a mayor. I, and all of us standing here, are doing this to force the issue and to get the law settled for everyone who wants to get married in the state of Missouri.”

Attorney General Chris Koster, who is charged with enforcing the state’s constitution, went to court today seeking to stop the marriages.  Although St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison denied a temporary restraining order, at a later date he will consider whether to grant an injunction.

Officials have agreed to not issue more marriage licenses to gay couples but they plan to challenge the statewide ban all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

Along with Durnell and Eaton, the other couples to marry yesterday were David Gray and Tod Martin, Miranda Duschack and Karen Davis, and Bruce Yampolsky and Terry Garrett.

Watch a video at the St. Louis Dispatch.

Missouri voters approved the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2004.


Michael Sam Signed to Four-Year, $2.65 Million Contract with St. Louis Rams

Sam

The St. Louis Rams have officially signed gay NFL rookie Michael Sam and the rest of the Rams' Rookie class, NFL.com reports:

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Thursday that the Rams have signed all 11 players selected by the team last month at Radio City Music Hall, according to a team source.

The complete list of signed Rams rookies includes: OT Greg Robinson, DT Aaron Donald, CB Lamarcus Joyner, RB Tre Mason, SS Mo Alexander, CB E.J. Gaines, QB Garrett Gilbert, OT Mitchell Van Dyk, FS C.B. Bryant, DE Michael Sam and C Demetrius Rhaney.

FOX Sports reports that Sam was offered a four-year, $2.65 million contract, with $46,000 of it guaranteed.

Sam tweeted on Thursday: "Grateful, humbled, and motivated after officially signing with all my Rams rookie brothers. Let's do this!! #RamUp "


St. Louis Archbishop Not Sure If He Knew Sex With Children Was A Crime: WATCH

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.29.47 AM

The Archbishop of St. Louis, Robert J. Carlson, claims he does not know if he knew sex with children was a crime and that he does not know when he learned it was a crime, according to video of his recent deposition released June 9.

The St. Louis Post-Distpatch reports that the deposition was taken "as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit in Minnesota involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, Minn. The plaintiff in the case, only identified as “Doe 1,” claims to have been abused in the 1970s by the Rev. Thomas Adamson at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Paul Park, Minn."

From the video:

Attorney: Archbishop, you knew it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid. 

Carlson: Umm, I'm not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not. I understand today it's a crime. 

A: When did you first discern that it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a kid?

C: I don't remember. 

A: When did you first discern that it was a crime for a priest to engage in sex with a kid who he had under his control?

C: I don't remember that either. 

A: Do you have any doubt in your mind that you knew that in the 70's?

C: I don't remember if I did or if I didn't. 

A: In 1984 you are...an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul in Minneapolis, you knew it was a crime then, right?

C: I'm not sure if I did or didn't. 

The Post-Dispatch reported on evidence that shows, however, that Carlson did know it was a crime then: 

In a 1984 document, for example, Carlson wrote to the then archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John R. Roach, about one victim of sexual abuse and mentioned that the statute of limitations for filing a claim would not expire for more than two years. He also wrote that the parents of the victim were considering reporting the incident to the police.

In another part of the deposition, Carlson says he knew it was a crime for a priest to touch the genitals of a child. Despite this, he says he never reported cases of sexual abuse that came before him—instead encouraging parents to report them on at least one occasion.

Watch the clip of the deposition, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "St. Louis Archbishop Not Sure If He Knew Sex With Children Was A Crime: WATCH" »


Michael Sam on His Teammates: ‘They Respect Me As A Human Being and As A Football Player’

Michael sam

USA Today takes a look at how Michael Sam has been holding up in NFL preseason training and how he is fitting in with his fellow teammates on the St. Louis Rams. 

"He's learning his role here. We've got such a deep D-line, he's going to fight for his position," [defensive end Robert] Quinn said. "He gives it 110% while he's out here. He wants to learn his playbook, wants to help his team win.

"He's a football player here. That's all that really matters." […]

The Rams also brought Wade Davis, a former NFL player and executive director of the You Can Play Project advocacy group for gay and lesbian athletes, in shortly after the draft to talk with Rams players about having a gay teammate.

Sam said he appreciated the gesture, though he didn't think it was necessary.

"They respect me as a human being and as a football player," he said of his St. Louis teammates.

Sam said with all the past attention and media spotlight, it’s a welcome change to be seen as just another rookie vying for one of the 53 spots on the final roster at the end of preseason.

He added: "I thought our defensive line at Mizzou was pretty tough. This is a whole new level. I've got to up my game."


Missouri College Refuses to Re-enroll Student Who Came Out as Gay Since He 'Misused God's Gift'

Martinson

Chase Martinson was halfway through his studies at Hannibal-LaGrange University when health issues forced him to take a break. When he reapplied the school said it wouldn't accept him.

Why? Because during the time he was on a break, he came out as a gay man.

The Riverfront Times reports:

Martinson reapplied to Hannibal-LaGrange, a small school about 120 miles north of St. Louis, a few months ago, quickly getting an acceptance letter and even a note saying he was eligible for the honors program. Everything was on track -- until the next letter came, putting his application on hold:

"Admittance is open to academically and morally qualified students," the school wrote Martinson on March 4. "Admission is open to students who are in agreement with the HLGU Student Life Guidelines."

The school directed Martinson to pages 20and 27 of the student-life guidelines, where the school's sexual impropriety rules are spelled out. Both pages explicitly forbid "homosexual activities." Page 27 even prohibits appearing to be gay.

"I just wanted to be me, and I never had any idea this would happen," Martinson tells Daily RFT. "I thought I was already in, but then they send me this letter saying, 'Just kidding.'"

The school's policy suggests that Martinson 'misused God's gift:

"It is God's intent that heterosexual union is the only acceptable expression of sexuality and must be reserved for marriage," says the school's standard of sexual conduct. "This expression of a self-giving love is viewed as a gift from God. All members of the University community should abstain from behavior which may lead to a violation of God's standards on sexual activities.

The school lists homosexuality -- along with sexual abuse, sexual harassment, incest and sexual assault -- as "misuses of God's gift."

Martinson is enrolling at University of Missouri - St. Louis.

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