Supreme Court Hub
HRC Apologizes for Mistreatment of Trans Activists and Undocumented Queer Immigrants at SCOTUS Marriage Arguments: VIDEO
The Human Rights Campaign today posted an apology for its mistreatment of trans activists and undocumented queer immigrants during last week's Supreme Court marriage hearings.
In the midst of a tremendously historic week for our community, two unfortunate incidents at the United for Marriage event at the Supreme Court last week have caused pain in the community. In one case, a trans activist was asked to remove the trans pride flag from behind the podium, and in another, a queer undocumented speaker was asked to remove reference to his immigration status in his remarks.
HRC joined in a coalition statement on Friday apologizing for these incidents and the individuals involved have personally offered their apologies to those affected. But to be perfectly clear, HRC regrets the incidents and offers our apologies to those who were hurt by our actions. We failed to live up to the high standard to which we hold ourselves accountable and we will strive to do better in the future. Through both our legislative and programmatic work, HRC remains committed to making transgender equality a reality.
HRC's statement, which follows apologies from the United for Marriage Coalition (HERE) and a statement from GetEQUAL (HERE) comes after reports of the two incidents surfaced on the internet. The blog Transition Transition demanded an apology for the flag removal incident, and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) posted a video asking for one as well.
Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...
Fred Luter, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, agreed with religious right talk show host Rick Wiles late last week that there is probably a connection between Kim Jong-un's sabre-rattling against the United States and the Supreme Court's consideration of marriage equality and the debate over gays in the Boy Scouts, Right Wing Watch reports:
Wiles: You know at precisely the same time the Supreme Court is hearing these arguments on same-sex marriage in Asia a crazy man in possession of nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-un, is openly saying: I have ordered our military to position our rockets on US targets in Hawaii, Japan, Guam and the mainland of the United States. He has gone into a full state of war this week. I don’t know, Pastor Luter, I don’t know if anybody is — I know they’re not — they’re just not putting this together. You got this happening over here and you got this happening over here: could the two be connected? Could our slide into immorality be what is unleashing this mad man over here in Asia to punish us?
Luter: It could be a possibility, I’m not that strong in prophecy but I would not be surprised that there’s not a connection there simply because of the fact we’ve seen it happen in scripture before. I would not be surprised that at the time when we are debating same-sex marriage, at a time when we are debating whether or not we should have gays leading the Boy Scout movement, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that we have a mad man in Asia who is saying some of the things that he’s saying.
Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...
'Meet the Press' Covers the Supreme Court and Marriage with Al Sharpton and NOM Bigot Brian Brown: VIDEO
Pete Williams, Al Sharpton, AFER board member Rob Reiner, Peggy Noonan, and NOM bigot Brian Brownjoined Chuck Todd for a roundtable on SCOTUS and marriage equality yesterday.
Said Sharpton to Brown's tooting about NOM's North Carolina win:
"Public opinion and votes have nothing to do with this. The challenge of the court is not what they're going to do with votes. the challenge of the court is are they going to protect people's rights? When you look at the DOMA case and you look at miss Windsor who was not able it -- who was forced to pay over $350,000 in estate tax because she did not have the right of a partner who had passed on, who they had built this wealth together, her rights were violated. So there are many people who may agree with traditional marriage as people define it but feel they don't have the right to have an unequal situation with others and, therefore, define for them their life. My battle with Brian is not over marriage. My battle is he doesn't have the right to impose his definition of marriage and therefore make inequality on other people."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Jack Montgomery and his husband Kelly have three adopted kids from D.C.'s foster care system. In a powerful letter and video, he begs the Supreme Court to do the right thing on Prop 8 and DOMA.
Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...
And read along, below:
Dear Justice Scalia as well as your distinguished peers serving on the Supreme Court,
First let me thank you for hearing the historic cases this week on California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). My husband, Kelly Vielmo, and I adopted three beautiful siblings from DC's foster care system last year. Being an inter-racial, same-sex family we are used to being conspicuous and sometimes the center of attention on a local level depending on where we happen to be. With the cases being heard in the Supreme Court this week our family is now on debate at the national level. With that said I am following with interest your ruling on these cases. One comment that stuck with me was the speculation of potential "deleterious" effects of kids having same-sex parents. After I looked up deleterious (adj. causing harm or damage) I had to reflect on the harm and damage that has been done to my children. I know that you are listening to these cases from a nationally-scaled legal point of view, but the intent of this letter is to offer you the lens and point of view of one individual family your rulings will affect.
Children who are placed in the care of foster systems throughout this nation have suffered from either the neglect or the abuse of their biological families. For all intents and purposes, we will call this deleterious parenting. Sadly my children were born into these circumstances. They further had statistics against them. The adoption rates of both African American children and sibling pairs (not to mention trios) are greatly reduced. When my husband and I looked at our options for growing our family, DC's Child and Family Services Administration seemed to be our natural choice. We knew we wanted siblings, had no racial preference for our children, and living in the District were able to help our local community at the same time.
I do not want to go into too much detail of my childrens' history for the sake of their privacy. When our children arrived we welcomed a five-year-old who was not potty trained, a two-year-old who was withdrawn, and an almost two-year-old who never learned to walk. Please understand that there were no biological impediments to the development of these children. Their situation was entirely brought on by deleterious parenting. Since their arrival our children quickly graduated from the need of any additional services to include physical, speech, and play therapy. They are now happy and active members of their community.
I do not tell you these facts to paint ourselves as the saviors of these children. These children have done more for us than we have for them. Having the extraordinary privilege of watching these childrens' souls grow and thrive despite the obstacles placed before them has been the lesson of our lives. I tell this story to establish myself as an expert witness to the effects of deleterious parenting. As you prepare your response on Proposition 8 and DOMA you now have the opportunity to decide what further obstacles will face these children. What are the deleterious effects your decision will have on my children? What states within our nation can these children live in and still declare their family legal? Next year during tax season will their parents have to hire a CPA to determine who and how to list the children as dependents? When the first of their parents passes away will their family's assets and property be preserved and passed between parents as a married family or be treated as legal strangers?
I am not naive enough to think that any verdict of your court will change the opinions or hearts of the individuals we encounter on a daily basis. I accept that the stares our family receives walking down the street on a daily basis elicits both judgment and inspiration. What I do not accept is that the United States of America is willing to devalue my childrens' family more than others and have a separate grouping of laws and benefits. I pray that as you rule on these cases that you keep Cardel (6), Raine (4), and Ravyn (3) in your hearts and do all in your power to keep deleterious obstacles from their lives.
Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...
The American Foundation for Equal Rights has released a poignant behind-the-scenes video about the days before and after the Supreme Court's hearing on the Prop 8 case. Among those interviewed in this clip are of the several plaintiffs and their families, David Boies, Cleve Jones as well as Dustin Lance Black, who ends the video with the following quote:
"We're not done in this movement for LGBT equality. Next is, let's get back to work and keep fighting to make sure the next generation's lives are better than ours."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP.