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Friday Speed Read: ENDA, Utah, NOM, IRS, Puerto Rico, Patricia Todd, Uganda, Immigration

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

Finalvote_endaTWO MORE GROUPS DISS ENDA:

The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality Illinois issued separate statements Thursday, joining the chorus of those who say the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) “falls short.” Equality Illinois says that, while it supports ENDA, its members “strongly oppose including any exemptions that would give LGBT people less protection than other protected groups already enjoy under federal civil rights law.” NCLR said it is “confident the current discriminatory religious exemption in ENDA will not be part of the final legislation,” but added it would “not continue to support ENDA if it is not changed to be consistent with Title VII’s religious exemption."

UtahTENTH CIRCUIT STAYS RECOGNITION ORDER:

The Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed Thursday to a temporary stay of a federal district court judge’s ruling that Utah must recognize, for the purpose of state benefits, the 1,300 marriages performed for same-sex couples in the state prior to a U.S. Supreme Court stay of a decision striking the state ban. The appeals court is expected to decide by June 12 whether to grant a more permanent stay, in Evans v. Utah, until the Tenth Circuit can rule on the state’s ban, in Kitchen v. Herbert.

NOM-logoJUDGE DISMISSES MOST OF NOM-IRS LAWSUIT:

A federal district court judge in Virginia on June 3 dismissed most of a lawsuit by the National Organization for Marriage that claimed an employee of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service deliberately leaked a confidential tax document from NOM to the Human Rights Campaign. Judge James Cacheris said NOM failed to provide any evidence that the disclosure was deliberate and politically motivated; but, he said the IRS may bear some responsibility for the legal expenses NOM incurred as a result of that error and scheduled that issue for trial June 30. Story to follow later today.

RodriguezLESBIAN NOMINATED TO P.R. SUPREME COURT:

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla on Wednesday nominated lesbian attorney Maite Oronoz Rodríguez to serve on the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. Rodríguez is director of legal affairs for the city of San Juan, served as deputy solicitor general for PR and briefly as its acting solicitor general. Lambda Legal issued a statement applauding the nomination of the “first openly lesbian judge” to the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. The nomination now goes to the PR senate for confirmation.

ToddMORE ELECTION WINNERS:

Openly gay Alabama state Representative Patricia Todd beat out two Democratic challengers in a primary race Tuesday, seeking her third term to represent Birmingham. Todd, the state’s first and only openly gay elected official, took 64 percent of the vote. And Richard Garcia was elected mayor of Long Beach, California, becoming the city’s first openly gay mayor.

Chad_griffinHRC URGES OBAMA ACTION AGAINST UGANDA:

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin sent President Obama a letter June 2, urging him to take “immediate, concrete” action to “illustrate the United States’ commitment to protecting human rights in Uganda.” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act in February. President Obama said at the time that the law would “complicate” U.S. relations with Uganda and the administration began an “internal review” of those relations.  “Delay is putting lives at risk,” wrote Griffin. “…The world is waiting for action….”

GROUPS URGE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION:

The Human Rights Campaign and 14 other groups signed onto a letter to President Obama June 3, urging him to take “swift executive action to suspend mass immigration detention and deportations.” The letter says Immigration and Custom Enforcement “has failed to take adequate steps to protect LGBT people from abuse and inhumane isolation in detention centers….”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


10th Circuit Grants Temporary Stay of Ruling Ordering Utah to Recognize Gay Marriages

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has extended a stay of a Utah ruling ordering the state to recognize gay marriages performed after the same-sex marriage ban was struck down, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

UtahLess than 24 hours after Utah announced its intent to fight a federal judge’s ruling that ordered the state to honor and recognize all same-sex marriages performed in Utah, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals halted any movement toward marriage recognition beyond the three weeks initially imposed last month by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball.

The court will decide whether a more permanent stay — that would be in effect until the Evans v. Utah appeal is resolved — is merited in this case.

If a stay is imposed, the more than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples whose marriages were issued and solemnized in Utah will continue living in the "legal limbo" of not knowing whether their marriages are, or will be, recognized under Utah law.

If the appeals court denies the state’s request, married same-sex couples may begin applying for spousal benefits once the temporary stay expires on June 12.

To receive a permanent stay, the state will have to convince the appellate court they need the stay to maintain order and have a high chance of likelihood on appeal.

Whew. Stay tuned.


Thursday Speed Read: NOM, Oregon, UCC, DeMaio, Kuehl, Utah, Aiken

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

KennedySUPREME COURT SAYS NO TO NOM:

The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday denied a request to stop same-sex couples in Oregon from marrying. The request came from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and was directed to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles motions from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The one-sentence order Wednesday noted that Kennedy referred the matter to the full court. NOM had sought a stay of a May 19 federal district court ruling declaring Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. NOM had also asked the federal district court for the right to serve as intervenor in a case to defend the state ban after the governor and attorney general made clear they would not. NOM said Wednesday it would continue pressing its appeal for intervenor status to the Ninth Circuit.

UccUCC LAWSUIT GAINS ALLIES:

Three more religious groups joined the United Church of Christ’s lawsuit in North Carolina this week. The Central Conference of American Rabbis (2,000 rabbis), the Alliance of Baptists (130 congregations), and the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (90 congregations) signed on as plaintiffs in UCC v. Cooper, arguing that the state ban on same-sex couples marrying violates the free exercise of religion for clergy who conduct ceremonies for same-sex couples. On May 27, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper asked the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina to delay hearing the case until after the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rules on a case against a similar ban in Virginia.

DemaioDEMAIO ADVANCES IN HIS PRIMARY:

Openly gay Republican Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio advanced in his primary Tuesday in San Diego. DeMaio came in second behind incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat, but in California’s primaries, the top two vote getters proceed to the November ballot. DeMaio received 36 percent of the vote, compared to Peters’ 42 percent, but he handily beat out two other Republicans who garnered a combined 22 percent.

KUEHL IN RUNOFF WITH SHRIVER:

KuehlOpenly gay California Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s primary for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. She will face second place Bobby Shriver on the November ballot. Kuehl earned 36 percent of the votes in the eight-candidate race, followed by Shriver with 29 percent, and openly gay former West Hollywood Councilman John Duran with 16 percent. No one’s called the race for state controller yet, but it appears openly gay former California Assembly Speaker John Perez may have secured a spot on the November ballot. Perez appears to have come in second behind Republican Ashley Swearengin.

UtahUTAH APPEALS RECOGNITION ORDER:

As expected, the attorney general of Utah filed notice Wednesday that the state will appeal a May 19 federal district court judge’s preliminary injunction requiring that Utah recognize the marriages of an estimated 1,300 same-sex couples that took place before a U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in another district court judge’s decision striking down the state’s ban. Judge Dale Kimball (a Clinton appointee) delayed his order 21 days to give the state time to appeal his injunction in Evans v. Utah to the Tenth Circuit. A Tenth Circuit panel has already heard arguments in Kitchen v. Herbert, which challenges the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying.

AikenCLAY AIKEN BLAMES PRESIDENT:

Openly gay Congressional candidate Clay Aiken of North Carolina said in a recent interview with CNN that the buck stops with President Obama on the Veterans Administration’s failure to provide medical care to veterans in a timely fashion.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT): 'Gay Marriage is Going to Be the Law of the Land'

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was interviewed on KSL' Radio's Doug Wright Show today and said that it's certain the United States will adopt marriage equality, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

HatchSaid Hatch:

"Let’s face it, anybody who does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn’t been observing what’s going on. There is a question whether [the courts] should be able to tell the states what they can or cannot do with something as important as marriage, but the trend right now in the courts is to permit gay marriage and anybody who doesn’t admit that just isn’t living in the real world."

Hatch, who supports a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, says he's not surprised by the recent rulings in favor of it:

"How do you blame the judge for deciding a case in accordance with what the Supreme Court has already articulated?"

He added:

"Sooner or later gay marriage is probably going to be approved by the Supreme Court of the United States, and certainly as the people in this country move toward it, especially young people. I don't think that's the right way to go, on the other hand, I do accept whatever the courts have to say."

(Mormon heads explode).


LGBT Group Accuses Utah Gov. Herbert of ‘Hate Speech’, Demands Apology Over 'Anarchy’ Remarks

Herbert

Utah Governor Gary Herbert is under fire for controversial comments made Thursday at a news conference in which he called other states’ decision not to defend their same-sex marriage bans the “next step toward anarchy”

Via The Salt Lake Tribune:

"To suggest that allowing gay marriage is the foundation of anarchy, to us, is hate speech," said John Netto, who heads the Utah Pride Center board. "We think he is uneducated ... on current scientific positions in regard to human sexuality."

Herbert was also criticized for implying that homosexuality is a choice at the news conference.

Asked about the oft-used comparison between banning same-sex marriage and once-illegal interracial marriage, Herbert said: "What you choose to do with your sexual orientation is different than what you’re born with as your race."

Herbert later backed off, saying there may be "different gradations" in sexuality.

Herbert’s office did not respond Friday evening to calls for comment.


Utah Gov. Gary Herbert: Officials Refusing to Defend Gay Marriage Bans Court ‘Anarchy’ - VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 1.22.25 PM

Utah governor Gary Herbert isn’t too pleased with elected officials like Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum for refusing to fight rulings against their states' bans on same-sex marriage in court. In fact, Herbert is convinced these officials are a threat to democracy itself.

The Advocate reports:

“For elected officials, governors, and attorneys general, to say pick and choose which laws they will enforce, I think, is a tragedy and the next step toward anarchy,” Herbert said Thursday at his monthly press conference, televised by public TV station KUED.

Herbert was referring to decisions in states such as Oregon and Pennsylvania, where governors and attorneys general have either not defended marriage bans in court at all or declined to appeal judicial decisions striking them down. Both states saw their bans voided by federal judges this week.

“I find it very disappointing,” he said of these officials’ actions. “Voices here in our community, media and others, ought to, in fact, call them on the carpet and say, ‘You have a responsibility to defend the law that’s been put on the books by the people.’”

And what of the responsibility of these public officials to call out these bans for what they really are - unconstitutional?

Watch Herbert's news conference, in which he goes on to waffle on the question of whether or not being gay is a "choice," AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Utah Gov. Gary Herbert: Officials Refusing to Defend Gay Marriage Bans Court ‘Anarchy’ - VIDEO" »


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