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Monday Speed Read: Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, G-7 Commitment, Capital Pride

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

WisconsinWISCONSIN BAN STRUCK, APPEAL COMING:

A federal judge in Wisconsin Friday struck down the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying and, while some clerks began issuing marriage licenses immediately, the state attorney general said he would seek an emergency stay. In Wolf v. Walker, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb (a Carter appointee) said the ban violates the constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. She said she would address the state’s motion for a stay after she receives briefs from both parties later this month as to how they think she should word an injunction against enforcement of the ban.

WHAT THIS IS NOT ABOUT: Crabb

In her 88-page decision in Wolf v. Walker, Judge Barbara Crabb addressed concerns of opponents head on: “This case is not about whether marriages between same-sex couples are consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of a particular religion, whether such marriages are moral or immoral or whether they are something that should be encouraged or discouraged…. Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.”

NOT ABOUT THE LAWS OF NATURE:

Judge Barbara Crabb also had this to say about conservative organizations’ argument that marriage is essentially about procreation: “Civil marriage is a legal construct, not a biological rule of nature, so it can be and has been changed over the years….”

NorthdakotaNORTH DAKOTA LAWSUIT FILED:

A private attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court in North Dakota Friday, making that state the last one whose ban on same-sex marriage is under challenge by a lawsuit. Joshua Newville of Minneapolis filed the lawsuit, Ramsay v Dalrymple, on behalf of seven couples in Fargo.

IOWA SUPREME COURT GETS PLEA: Iowa

The owner of a wedding business in Des Moines has appealed to the state supreme court to stop an investigation by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission of the business’s refusal to serve same-sex couples. Lambda Legal announced June 5 that it had filed a brief with the Iowa Supreme Court on behalf of a same-sex couple who had been refused service by the Gortz Haus Gallery. The group notes that the Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations.

G-7 SUMMIT COMMITMENT: G7countries

The language was not part of the G-7 agenda going into the June 4-5 meeting, but the “Declaration” issued June 5 by the seven nations of the G-7 summit calls for the promotion of “all human rights.” The final statement says: “We reaffirm our commitment to the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including religious freedom, for all persons. We recognize the need to show unprecedented resolve to promote gender equality, to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, to end child, early and forced marriage and to promote full participation and empowerment of all women and girls.” The G-7 nations include Canada, France, German, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

OVER THE RAINBOW: Dc

Washington, D.C.’s Pride parade Saturday was sponsored by the Marriott Hotels, whose owner is from a devout Mormon family and contributor to the Mitt Romney campaign.  The parade was led by a U.S. military color guard. And in an address to celebrate Pride Month at the Pentagon June 5, DOD Deputy Secretary Robert Work singled out several people for recognition. Among them were Brigadier General Tammy Smith, the first openly gay general officer in the U.S. military; Amanda Simpson, the highest ranking transgendered civilian appointee to the DOD; and Eric Fanning, Under-Secretary of the Air Force.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Here is Video of Wilson HS Principal Pete Cahall Coming Out as Gay to His School: WATCH

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Earlier today we reported that Principal Pete Cahall  at Wilson High School in D.C. shocked his students when he came out of the closet at a school Pride event.

StudentCahall was flanked Mayor Vincent C. Gray and David Catania, the D.C. Council’s first openly gay member.

Here's some great video of Cahall making the announcement, his hands shaking, then doubling over with relief as his students cheer and then rush the stage to give him hugs.

Cahall is 50 years old. He told ABC7 that he felt it would have been hypocritical for him to host a school Pride event while holding on to his secret, and that he found courage in the recent disclosures by NBA player Jason Collins and NFL player Michael Sam.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Hug

Continue reading "Here is Video of Wilson HS Principal Pete Cahall Coming Out as Gay to His School: WATCH" »


Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) to Speak at NOM’s Anti-gay ‘March for Marriage’ Rally in D.C.

Tim_HuelskampRepresentative Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) has become the first member of Congress to sign up to speak at the National Organization for Marriage’s 'March for Marriage' next month in Washington D.C. - a rally that bills itself as "an essential and indispensable vehicle for voicing the values of pro-marriage Americans in a way that cuts through the biased media narrative"

Huelskamp, you may recall, blasted last summer’s Supreme Court DOMA ruling as an attack on Jesus Christ and harmful to children. He also reintroduced the Federal Marriage Amendment last year, which (if passed) would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage nationwide.

Other speakers at the hate rally include Mike Huckabee, NY state senator Ruben Diaz, Gary Bauer, and Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. 

[via Good As You]


Gay D.C. Council Candidate Marc Morgan Receives Anti-Gay Slur-Laden Threat in the Mail

Morgan

Marc Morgan, an out gay candidate for the D.C. Council, received a threatening letter in the mail, Metro Weekly reports:

Morgan, a Republican running for the At-Large seat on the Council being vacated by Independent David Catania, sent Metro Weekly a photo of the letter, which he says was stuffed into his mailbox sometime between midnight Wednesday night and 10 a.m. on Thursday morning. He says he grabbed the unopened letter out of his mailbox and took it with him as he was traveling to work this morning, but did not immediately read it. Later, he opened it to discover the letter’s contents.

Read the letter in the image above.

Morgan received several anti-gay tweets around the same time he took the letter from his home, but its unknown if they are related. Police are investigating the letter.


Speed Read for Wednesday: Mississippi, Darrin Gayles, D.C., Virginia

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

MISSISSIPPI PASSES BIAS BILL:

BryantThe Mississippi House and Senate Tuesday adopted a final version of a religious bias bill, sending the measure to Republican Governor Phil Bryant for his signature. The final Mississippi Religious Freedom Act will enable any “person” to violate any state or local law or regulation (such as non-discrimination laws) by asserting the law burdens his free exercise of religion. The act carves out business exceptions, saying, “Nothing in this act shall create any rights by an employee against an employer if the employer is not the government.” If signed by Bryant, the bill goes into effect July 1. Opponents say some people will use the law to refuse services gays, blacks and others. There are no laws in Mississippi to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but the Human Rights Campaign says some universities have non-discrimination policies and the new law could allow pharmacists to refuse to provide HIV and hormone replacement drugs. Jennifer Riley-Collins, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi, said her group remains “hopeful that courts throughout the state will reject any attempts to use religion to justify discrimination.”

GAYLES’ GETS SMOOTH HEARING:

GaylesOpenly gay U.S. District Court nominee Darrin Gayles had smooth sailing Tuesday in his confirmation hearing. Senator Bill Nelson, in introducing Gayles and other nominees, noted that there was an emergency need for a judge in the Southern District of Florida, where Gayles is nominated. Senator Marco Rubio said Gayles has “dedicated himself to public service,” including two years at the Immigration Naturalization Service. Gayles noted that his life partner Raymond Zayas and other family members had accompanied him to the hearing. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Gayles what model he would use when interpreting the constitutional. Gayles replied that he’s always “followed the law and never interjected my own personal beliefs.”

GAY D.C. COUNCILMAN LOSES:

Four-term D.C. Councilman Jim Graham lost his Democratic primary Tuesday night to newcomer Brianne Nadeau. Graham, an openly gay councilmember who once led the LGBT community’s Whitman-Walker Clinic, was apparently hurt by a reprimand he was given by the D.C. Council last year for improperly involving himself in a lottery contract dispute.

JUDGE CANCELS VA. TRIAL:

VirginiaA federal judge hearing a class action suit against Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage announced Monday he was scratching the June 2 trial date and putting the matter on hold, pending a ruling from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in another case. The plaintiffs in Harris v. Rainey, represented by the ACLU and Lambda, are now considered intervenors in the Fourth Circuit case, Schaefer v. Bostic, a case led by Ted Olson and David Boies and several Virginia attorneys. The Bostic case comes before the Fourth Circuit on May 13.

VIRGINIA IS FOR MARRIAGE:

A poll of Virginia voters March 19-24 found 50 percent support allowing same-sex couples to marry in Virginia, 42 percent oppose, and seven percent are undecided. The poll was conducted by Quinnipiac University with 1,288 voters and a margin of error at plus or minus 2.7 percent. Similar to other polling, the survey found that people under 30 and Democrats were much more supportive (69 percent each) and people over 65 and Republicans were more opposed (56 percent and 70 percent, respectively).


Gay D.C. Councilman David Catania to Run for Mayor

Davidcatania

David Catania, the gay councilman who authored D.C.'s marriage equality bill, will run for mayor, the AP reports:

Catania could pose a challenge to the Democratic nominee in this year's general election, even though the district is heavily Democratic. Catania is a gay former Republican with a progressive record. He first won a citywide at-large council seat in 1997 and has been re-elected four times.



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