Living in Massachusetts it is easy to forget that there are cities and states around the country that do not have LGBT non-discrimination laws on the books.
While homophobia exists everywhere, there is power in having the law on your side and over time those laws influence behavior and help to change attitudes because the LGBT community is more welcomed and as a result able to live more openly.
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Outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Friday that the Department of Justice would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold same-sex marriage rulings from lower courts.
Don’t think elections count? Think again. Can you imagine any Republican President’s administration arguing on behalf of and in defense of LGBT rights?
More on this here.
There are a number of conservative commentators who continue to receive a fair amount of mainstream (and left-leaning) media attention, virtually every time they open their mouth and I’m left scratching my head to wonder why. Their views are documented, no longer shocking and frankly uninteresting.
Shy of them saying they believe in science, nothing they say is either surprising or newsworthy anymore so don’t pretend it is and stop giving them the attention they crave. It is annoying.
I firmly believe that if they were no longer given air time (aside from that already provided on their talk radio shows and other conservative outlets like FOX News) they would quickly fade into obscurity. Whatever they once were, they are now essentially ratings whores looking for attention and saying whatever they think might create outrage and get them on major news networks. So can we just stop talking about them – that goes especially for left-leaning sites like MSNBC, Huffington Post, etc…
Today a federal appeals court panel struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. The decision is significant because it also means similar marriage bans in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia (states also part of the 4th Circuit) are considered unconstitutional.
Today’s ruling also impacts NC, SC and W VA.
This marks the second time an appellate-level court has ruled on state marriage bans and it sets the stage for a showdown in the US Supreme Court to consider state-level laws.
More information here.
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the January 2014 decision from U.S. District Judge Kern in Bishop v. Smith that Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
The state of Oklahoma now has the right to appeal before the full bench of the Tenth Circuit or it can do as the State of Utah did for the Kitchen case few weeks ago and appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Either way, an appeal of some sort is to be expected but this remains great news for marriage equality advocates. Oklahoma is one of America’s most conservative states and if marriage equality is legal here – it can and will be legal everywhere (and quickly too).
Read more about this here.
So who wants to get hitched in Key West?
Today Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled against Florida’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. Garcia wrote in his ruling, “This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right to the individual.” The ruling was stayed until Tuesday, July 22, at which point same-sex couples in Monroe County can begin obtaining marriage licenses, unless a stay is requested by the state attorney general and granted by the state court of appeals or Florida State Supreme Court.
I think it is safe to assume some form of protest by those opposed to marriage equality is likely but this is a great first step. Hopefully couples in Monroe County will not be blocked from seeking marriage licenses on Tuesday. More info here.
On Wednesday, a district court judge ruled against Colorado’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.
Just last week I mentioned six same sex couples had filed a federal lawsuit. I hadn’t expected that I’d be writing so soon that Colorado would become the 23rd state to have ruled in favor of marriage equality advocates in the past 12 months.