Why ‘Gay Marriage’ Is Dead but the Battle Just Became Much Bigger
“Gay marriage,” as a term, is dead, and we should all stop using it. Ditto for “same-sex marriage.” As of Friday, June 26, with the majority decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a right for all Americans and there aren’t two different kinds. Generations will grow up calling marriage, whether between two men, two women or a man and a woman, the same thing: marriage. That’s a great and amazing effect of the ruling, and the implications are enormous for young people, who won’t see any delineation in the future.
But this is also where things get very complicated and even dangerous, and where we have to pay attention more than ever. When anti-equality conservatives can’t blatantly use bigotry or even name a group they’re targeting because of a profound cultural shift in favor of acceptance, they resort to the dog whistle. And we’ve seen this time and again around issues of race and gender as voting rights, affirmative action, and pay equity are attacked using coded language, while the more naked bigotry still plays out on the streets in the form of violence that coded language and symbols often still embolden.
“Religious liberty” is one term we’ve seen enemies of equality trotting out as code for the supposed threat of LGBT rights. I watched them testing it out over the past several years at gatherings like the Conservative Political Action Conference and the Values Voters Summit. It will be a mantra moving forward, and they’ll surely come up with more.
I’ve seen too many self-assured articles in recent days claiming that the battles over abortion rights and even gun rights can’t be compared to the battle over gay marriage in discussing how things will proceed. Marriage as a right for gays, these arguments contend, will end as a debate, because opponents can’t claim that a right of another is infringed upon by it, or that there’s any harm to anyone else, as they do with abortion (pointing to the fetus or the woman herself) or gun rights (pointing to gun owners).
But I’ve found these arguments to be naïve and, more so, apples-and-oranges comparisons, particularly when they imply that the battle over LGBT rights and acceptance itself is finished while the battle over women’s rights continues. Yes, marriage as a right itself cannot be chipped away at or restricted in the way abortion has been. That’s true even though we’re seeing judges and clerks resisting marriage equality in these first days after the ruling. Every couple — gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight — must be able to marry after the high court’s ruling, and this will work its way out. States and localities that have resisted are already falling in line.
But just because gays and lesbians have the right to marry, does that mean that a particular county clerk or judge must perform it if it offends his or her religious convictions, and if that couple could go to some other clerk who would officiate over their wedding? A few weeks ago North Carolina legislators said “no” and passed a billoverriding the governor’s veto, allowing public officials to opt out of performing certain marriages based on their religious beliefs. The law doesn’t mention gays or gay marriage, but it allows discrimination based on “sincerely held religious objection.” Sure, this can’t apply to federally and state-protected groups, such as people of certain faiths or races, but LGBT people are not a protected group, federally or in the state of North Carolina, so the question is open. On the same day Michigan’s GOP governor signed a law allowing state-funded adoption agencies to turn away gay couples — who now have the right to marry in the state — based on the agencies’ religious beliefs. Again, the law doesn’t name gays and lesbians as a group, but clearly it was meant to apply to them, especially since it can’t apply to other protected groups, and gays and lesbians aren’t protected in Michigan.
And how do gays and lesbians actually get those protections in the 29 states where they don’t have them, even in pro-gay localities in those states where they might find support, since there are no federal protections? Well, Arkansas, for one, made that pretty difficult, passing a law last spring that anti-gay forces saw as a model, a law that doesn’t allow cities or towns to pass anti-discrimination ordinances protecting any group that doesn’t already have statewide protections. Again, the law doesn’t single out gays as a group; it uses wording that could allow it to stand up in court. These are the ways that anti-gay conservatives will continue to attempt to inhibit or restrict LGBT rights. And I’m sure they’re crafting others right now.
Justice Kennedy’s powerfully written majority decision in Obergefell, like those decisions he’s written in the past that support gay rights, doesn’t make it clear just how far-reaching the marriage decision is with regard to other rights, even as it talks much about dignity and equal protection under the law. As constitutional scholar Adam Winkler and others have noted, the court did not use “heightened scrutiny,” the highest standard with regard to discrimination, in its decision, though doing so would have done much to insure that cases that seek to sanction anti-LGBT discrimination aren’t even brought to court. Kennedy’s decision will likely be interpreted in a variety of ways by lower court judges, including those who want to allow for discrimination in the name of “religious liberty.”
The Hobby Lobby decision, which Kennedy joined, should give us all pause, as the court is far from abandoning the notion that discrimination based on religion is allowable. As Paul Waldman noted, Kennedy, in his marriage equality decision, referenced religious liberty, again with words that are open to interpretation:
[I]t must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.
That means the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people beyond marriage will continue to be fought in the courts — including back at the Supreme Court, where we hope Justice Kennedy, if he hasn’t been replaced by a more conservative justice appointed by a Republican president, will be clearer on the issue, and in the state legislatures and Congress.
And we’ve got to stop the apples-and-oranges comparisons between abortion rights and LGBT rights. Abortion is just one among many rights that women have obtained, but one that is and has been in contention for a long time, as is pay equity, rape culture and others. But issues like suffrage or anti-discrimination protections for women are not. It’s unlikely that we’ll see any attempt to take away the vote for women anytime soon, just as it’s unlikely that marriage equality will ever go away now that it’s here. The fact is that women and minorities have secured some rights that are here to stay — different for each group — while other rights are still elusive or being stripped away. There is always a backlash to equality, and it could last a very long time, as bigotry doesn’t die easily. Like every group, LGBT people have to remain vigilant.
Michelangelo Signorile’s new book, It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality, is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Source: The Huffington Post Blog, “Why ‘Gay Marriage’ Is Dead but the Battle Just Became Much Bigger,” by Michelangelo Signorile, Gay Voices Editor-at-Large, Posted: 07/07/2015 12:47 pm EDT | Updated: 2 hours ago
Presidential Proclamation– LGBT Pride Month, 2015
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2015
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
From the moment our Nation first came together to declare the fundamental truth that all men are created equal, courageous and dedicated patriots have fought to refine our founding promise and broaden democracy’s reach. Over the course of more than two centuries of striving and sacrifice, our country has expanded civil rights and enshrined equal protections into our Constitution. Through struggle and setback, we see a common trajectory toward a more free and just society. But we are also reminded that we are not truly equal until every person is afforded the same rights and opportunities — that when one of us experiences discrimination, it affects all of us — and that our journey is not complete until our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.
Across our Nation, tremendous progress has been won by determined individuals who stood up, spoke out, and shared their stories. Earlier this year, because of my landmark Executive Order on LGBT workplace discrimination, protections for Federal contractors went into effect, guarding against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Federal Government is now leading by example, ensuring that our employees and contractors are judged by the quality of their work, not by who they love. And I will keep calling on the Congress to pass legislation so that all Americans are covered by these protections, no matter where they work.
In communities throughout the country, barriers that limit the potential of LGBT Americans have been torn down, but too many individuals continue to encounter discrimination and unfair treatment. My Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors because the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that it can cause substantial harm. We understand the unique challenges faced by sexual and gender minorities — especially transgender and gender non-conforming individuals — and are taking steps to address them. And we recognize that families come in many shapes and sizes. Whether biological, foster, or adoptive, family acceptance is an important protective factor against suicide and harm for LGBTQ youth, and mental health experts have created resources to support family communication and involvement.
For countless young people, it is not enough to simply say it gets better; we must take action too. We continue to address bullying and harassment in our classrooms, ensuring every student has a nurturing environment in which to learn and grow. Across the Federal Government, we are working every day to unlock the opportunities all LGBT individuals deserve and the resources and care they need. Too many LGBTQ youth face homelessness and too many older individuals struggle to find welcoming and affordable housing; that is why my Administration is striving to ensure they have equal access to safe and supportive housing throughout life. We are updating our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to better address the disproportionate burden HIV has on communities of gay and bisexual men and transgender women. We continue to extend family and spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. And because we know LGBT rights are human rights, we are championing protections and support for LGBT persons around the world.
All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our Nation, we honor those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2015 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
Source: The White House, “Presidential Proclamation– LGBT Pride Month, 2015,” Office of the Press Secretary, May 29, 2015
New organization name
On March 21, 2000, The Four Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance was officially incorporated, and over the last 15 years, our community has grown and expanded. It was with this is mind that the Board of Directors felt the name of the organization should better reflect our entire community.
After a community vote on the three names suggested by the Board of Directors, we are excited to announce the new name for our organization:
Four Corners Alliance for Diversity
In the coming weeks, we will be writing a new Mission Statement that better reflects the many concerns and needs of our members and the role of the organization in the communities in which we live.
Please make sure to bookmark our new website at www.4CAllianceforDiversity.org.
AND, with the new name, we are in need of a new logo and are excited to announce a logo contest. So, get those creative juices flowing and help develop a new look to take the organization into the next 15 years. The deadline for new logo concepts is April 1, 2015; all designs may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to all of you who help to make our community the very colorful and vibrant one that it is.
After gay son’s death, a new mission | Evangelical couple seek to affirm faith, accept same-sex relationships
Rob and Linda Robertson did what they believed was expected of them as good Christians.
When their 12-year-old son, Ryan, said he was gay, they told him they loved him, but he had to change. He entered “reparative therapy,” met regularly with his pastor and immersed himself in Bible study and his church youth group. After six years, nothing changed. A despondent Ryan, cut off from his parents and his faith, started taking drugs and in 2009, died of an overdose.
“Now we realize we were so wrongly taught,” said Rob Robertson, a firefighter for more than 30 years who lives in Redmond, Washington. “It’s a horrible, horrible mistake the church has made.”
The tragedy could have easily driven the Robertsons from the church. But instead of breaking with evangelicalism – as many parents in similar circumstances have done – the couple is taking a different approach, and they’re inspiring other Christians with gay children to do the same. They are staying in the church and, in protesting what they see as the demonization of their sons and daughters, presenting a new challenge to Christian leaders trying to hold off growing acceptance of same-sex relationships.
“Parents don’t have anyone on their journey to reconcile their faith and their love for their child,” said Linda Robertson, who with Rob attends a nondenominational evangelical church. “They either reject their child and hold onto their faith, or they reject their faith and hold onto their child. Rob and I think you can do both: be fully affirming of your faith and fully hold onto your child.”
It’s not clear how much of an impact these parents can have. Evangelicals tend to dismiss fellow believers who accept same-sex relationships as no longer Christian. The parents only recently have started finding each other online and through faith-oriented organizations for gays and lesbians such as the Gay Christian Network, The Reformation Project and The Marin Foundation.
But Linda Robertson, who blogs about her son at justbecausehebreathes.com, said a private Facebook page she started last year for evangelical mothers of gays has more than 300 members. And in the last few years, high-profile cases of prominent Christian parents embracing their gay children indicate a change is occurring beyond a few isolated families.
Advocates for acceptance
James Brownson, a New Testament scholar at Western Theological Seminary, a Michigan school affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, last year published the book Bible, Gender, Sexuality, advocating a re-examination of what Scripture says about same-sex relationships. His son came out at age 18.
Kathy Baldock, a Christian who advocates for gay acceptance through her website CanyonwalkerConnections.com, said evangelical parents are speaking out more because of the example set by their children. Gay and lesbian Christians increasingly have been making the argument they can be attracted to people of the same gender and remain faithful to God, whether that means staying celibate or having a committed same-sex relationship. The annual conference of the Gay Christian Network has grown from 40 people a decade ago to an expected 1,400 for the next event in January.
Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian, has attracted more than 810,000 views on YouTube for a 2012 lecture he gave challenging the argument that Scripture bars same-sex relationships.
“These kids are now staying in the churches. They’re not walking away like they used to,” Baldock said.
Rejecting ‘reparative therapy’
The collapse of support for “reparative therapy” also is a factor, Shopland said. In June of last year, Alan Chambers, the leader of Exodus International, a ministry that tried to help conflicted Christians repress same-sex attraction, apologized for the suffering the ministry caused and said the group would close down.
At a conference on marriage and sexuality last month, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, the Rev. Al Mohler, said he was wrong to believe that same-sex attraction could be changed. Baldock, The Marin Foundation and the Gay Christian Network all say Christian parents have ben reaching out to them for help in notably higher numbers in the last couple of years.
“If it doesn’t work, then parents are left with the question of ‘What is the answer?’” Shopland said. “If I can’t change my kid into being a straight Christian, then what?”
Bill Leonard, a specialist in American religious history at Wake Forest Divinity School, said church leaders should be especially concerned about parents. He said many evangelicals began to shift on divorce when the marriages of the sons and daughters of pastors and “rock-ribbed” local church members such as deacons started crumbling. While conservative Christians generally reject comparisons between the church’s response to divorce and to sexual orientation, Leonard argues the comparison is apt.
“The churches love those individuals, and because they know them, those churches may look for another way,” Leonard said.
Moving toward acceptance
Some evangelical leaders seem to recognize the need for a new approach. The head of the Southern Baptist public policy arm, the Rev. Russell Moore, addressed the issue on his blog and at the marriage conference last month, telling Christian parents they shouldn’t shun their gay children. Mohler has said he expects some evangelical churches to eventually recognize same-sex relationships, but not in significant numbers.
Linda Robertson said the mothers who contact her through her Facebook page usually aren’t ready to fully accept their gay sons or daughters. Some parents she meets believe their children can change their sexual orientation. But she said most who reach out to her are moving away from the traditional evangelical view of how parents should respond when their children come out.
“I got a lot of emails from parents who said, ‘I don’t know one other parent of a gay child. I feel like in my community, I don’t have permission to love my child,’” she said. “They have a lot of questions. But then they’re going back to their churches and speaking to their pastors, speaking to their elders and speaking to their friends, saying, ‘We have a gay child. We love them, and we don’t want to kick them out. How do we go forward?’”
Source: The Durango Herald, “After gay son’s death, a new mission | Evangelical couple seek to affirm faith, accept same-sex relationships,” By Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer, Article Last Updated: Friday, December 05, 2014 8:38pm
Former Downtown Farmington Bookstore to Get a New Face || Identity Inc. hosts benefit to raise money for future community center
Congratulations to Identity, Inc! and their soon to be open community center in Farmington, NM, slated to open in January 2015. All of us at at 4cGLAD and in our Four Corners Region are so happy for everyone in the Farmington area and so very delighted to see the success of the many volunteer hours of hard work to make this a reality.
Check out the latest NM Community Voice Newsletter, Volume #4 Issue #12 /December, 2014: Newsletter December 2014
North Carolina Attorney General Will Not Defend State’s Marriage Ban
Following today’s historic ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that he would stop defending the state’s marriage equality ban.
Today’s ruling applies to the entire Fourth Circuit, which includes North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. There are currently two cases in North Carolina challenging the state’s marriage ban.
In remarks earlier today, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said:
After reviewing the 4th Circuit decision and consulting with attorneys here, I have concluded that the State of North Carolina will not oppose the cases moving forward. In addition, the State of North Carolina will acknowledge the 4th Circuit opinion that marriage is a fundamental right and that our office believes that the judges are bound by this 4th Circuit decision.
In all these cases challenging state marriage laws, our office along with other attorneys general and state attorneys across the country have made about every legal argument imaginable. Since the US Supreme Court ruled in the Windsor case, all the federal courts have rejected these arguments each and every time. So it’s time for the State of North Carolina to stop making them.
Attorney General Cooper’s announcement follows a sweeping ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that determined that strict scrutiny review dictates that marriage bans are unconstitutional on the basis of both equal protection and due process.
Source: HRC Blog, “North Carolina Attorney General Will Not Defend State’s Marriage Ban,” July 28, 2014 by Hayley Miller, Digital Media Associate
Federal Court Issues Strict Scrutiny Marriage Ruling on Basis of Equality Protection, Due Process
In a historic first, today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a sweeping ruling affirming the February 2014 decision from U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen in Bostic v. Schaefer that the amendment to the Virginia Constitution barring marriage for same-sex couples violates the U.S. Constitution, and further determining that strict scrutiny review dictates that marriage bans are unconstitutional on the basis of both equal protection and due process. In a 2-1 decision authored by Judge Henry F. Floyd and joined by Judge Roger L. Gregory, the court declared in its ruling that:
We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.
On page 39 of the decision, the majority opinion confirmed that, “nder both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, interference with a fundamental right warrants the application of strict scrutiny.”
“The Fourth Circuit has affirmed that equality is not just a California value, or a New York value – it’s a fundamental American value,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin. “No state should have the right to enforce this type of discriminatory amendment that singles out thousands of loving couples for unfair treatment, simply because they are gay or lesbian. As we’ve seen with an undefeated string of federal court rulings over the last year from judges appointed by both Democrats and Republicans, the U.S. Constitution is on the side of equality and justice for all Americans – not just some.”
Today’s ruling applies to the entire Fourth Circuit, which includes Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. This is the third appeals court ruling striking down state marriage bans in just one month. Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit struck down Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban. The Tenth Circuit issued a similar decision on June 25th in a case out of Utah, ruling that statutes or amendments to state constitutions banning marriage equality are unconstitutional. Both rulings were stayed and the Utah Attorney General has already indicated the state will appeal its decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The defendants in Virginia now have the option to request an enbanc appeal before the full bench of the Fourth Circuit, which decides whether or not to grant that request. They may also bypass an enbanc session and appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.In July of 2013, Tim Bostic and Tony London went to the Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk’s office to obtain a marriage license, but they were turned away because of Virginia’s ban on marriage equality. Soon after, the couple filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. They are joined in the case by Mary Townley and Carol Schall, whose legal California marriage isn’t recognized by their home state of Virginia. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies on behalf of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER). Olson and Boies also successfully represented the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry challenging California’s Proposition 8 – a case that was ultimately heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In March of 2014, attorneys from Lambda Legal and the ACLU were permitted to intervene in the Bostic case on behalf of all Virginia’s same-sex couples, including their clients in another case challenging the state’s marriage ban – Harris v. Rainey.
A three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit heard argument in this case on May 13, 2014. Judge Paul V. Niemeyer was appointed to the Fourth Circuit by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Judge Roger L. Gregory was first appointed by President Bill Clinton in 2000, and later re-appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001, making him the first African-American judge to serve on the Fourth Circuit. Judge Henry F. Floyd was appointed in 2011 by President Barack Obama.
There are over 70 court cases challenging discriminatory marriage bans across the country in 30 of the 31 states where such a ban exists, plus Puerto Rico. Cases from ten other states are currently pending before four federal appeals courts. The Sixth Circuit holds the distinction of being the only federal appeals court to date that will consider marriage cases from all states within its jurisdiction. In total, 33 states either have marriage equality or have seen state marriage bans struck down as unconstitutional in court. Since the Supreme Court’s historic marriage rulings last year, there have been 19 consecutive federal court decisions that bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional. These rulings have come from judges appointed by both Democrat and Republican presidents.
The Supreme Court is under no obligation as to which case or cases – if any – it choses to hear on appeal.
Cases pending before federal appeals courts:
- DeLeon v. Perry, Texas [Argument date at the Fifth Circuit not set]
- Tanco v. Haslam, Tennessee [Arguments at the Sixth Circuit set for August 6]
- Bourke vs. Beshear, Kentucky [Arguments at the Sixth Circuit set for August 6]
- Obergefell v. Kasich, Ohio [Arguments at the Sixth Circuit set for August 6]
- Henry v. Himes, Ohio [Arguments at the Sixth Circuit set for August 6]
- DeBoer v. Snyder, Michigan [Arguments at the Sixth Circuit set for August 6]
- Wolf v. Walker, Wisconsin [Arguments at the Seventh Circuit set for August 26]
- Baskin v. Bogan, Indiana [Arguments at the Seventh Circuit set for August 26]
- Sevcik v. Sandoval, Nevada [Argument at the Ninth Circuit set for September 8]
- Latta v. Otter, Idaho [Argument at the Ninth Circuit set for September]
- Jackson v. Abercrombie, Hawaii [Argument at the Ninth Circuit set for September 8]
- Burns v. Hickenlooper, Colorado [Argument date at the Tenth Circuit not set]
Cases petitioned or likely to be petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court:
- Kitchen v. Herbert, Utah [Tenth Circuit struck down marriage ban June 25]
- Bishop v. United States, Oklahoma [Tenth Circuit struck down marriage ban July 18]
- Bostic v. Schaefer, Virginia [Fourth Circuit struck down marriage ban July 28]
Same-sex couples can legally marry in 19 states and the District of Columbia, while 31 states have a law or constitutional amendment restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. For more information on this and other marriage equality cases across the country, visit www.americansformarriageequality.org
GOP Rep. David Jolly Comes Out In Support Of Gay Marriage
GOP Rep. David Jolly (Fla.) announced his support of gay marriage Monday in a statement to the Washington Post.
While Jolly said he personally believes in traditional marriage because of his Christian faith, he thinks the government should support both traditional and same-sex marriages. He also noted his support of Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia’s decision to order the county’s officials to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples last week.
“But as a matter of Constitutional principle I believe in a form of limited government that protects personal liberty,” Jolly said. “To me, that means that the sanctity of one’s marriage should be defined by their faith and by their church, not by their state. Accordingly, I believe it is fully appropriate for a state to recognize both traditional marriage as well as same-sex marriage, and therefore I support the recent decision by a Monroe County Circuit Judge.”
Garcia initially ruled marriage licenses could be issued in Monroe County beginning Tuesday to gay couples. But that was blocked by an automatic stay triggered when Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately filed notice that the state will appeal.
Bondi’s office filed papers later Monday urging Garcia to keep the stay in place and preserve the status quo until all appeals are sorted out and Garcia agreed. That means no gay marriages can take place while Garcia’s original ruling is reviewed by the Miami-based 3rd District Court of Appeal, which could take weeks or months to issue a decision.
Jolly, who won the special election to fill the seat left vacant by the late Rep. Bill Young in March, is the eighth current Republican member of Congress to support gay marriage, according to the Washington Post.
Source: The Huffington Post, “GOP Rep. David Jolly Comes Out In Support Of Gay Marriage,” By Paige Lavender, Posted: 07/21/2014 6:03 pm EDT Updated: 1 hour ago
Obama Signs Executive Order On LGBT Job Discrimination
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order banning workplace discrimination against millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors and the federal government.
The executive order has two parts: It makes it illegal to fire or harass employees of federal contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and it explicitly bans discrimination against transgender employees of the federal government. The part targeting federal contractors affects 24,000 companies employing roughly 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the nation’s workforce.
“America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people,” Obama said during remarks at the White House just before signing the order. “I’m going to do what I can with the authority I have to act.”
The provision affecting federal employees takes effect immediately, while employees of federal contractors will have their new protections in place by early next year, according to senior administration officials.
To the relief of the LGBT community, Obama did not include a sweeping religious exemption in the executive order — something the community feared could happen in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.
Instead, Obama simply added the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing executive order that protects employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. President George W. Bush amended that executive order in 2002 to allow religiously affiliated federal contractors to prioritize hiring employees of their particular religion, however, and Obama is keeping that language intact.
Obama is fulfilling a 2008 campaign promise with his action targeting federal contractors. His action affecting federal employees, meanwhile, responds to what some have described as a shortcoming in existing governmental rules. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in 2012 that the federal ban on sex discrimination covers transgender discrimination, but those affected by that rule change say the government hasn’t been enforcing it and that they continue to be discriminated against.
It is still legal in 32 states to fire or harass someone at work for being LGBT. Congress could remedy that by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which already passed the Senate. But Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has refused to bring the bill up for a vote in the House.
Source: Huffington Post, “Obama Signs Executive Order On LGBT Job Discrimination,” by Jennifer Bendery, email@example.com, Posted: 07/21/2014 10:50 am EDT Updated: 18 minutes ag0
Boulder County begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses; AG says no
Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall announced Wednesday afternoon that her office will immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples now that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court has struck down Utah’s ban on gay marriage.
The Colorado Attorney General’s office said the licenses won’t be valid.
The clerk’s office said it would issue same-sex marriage licenses until 4:30 p.m. at its Boulder office, 1750 33rd St., and resume issuing licenses at 8 a.m. Thursday.
The clerk’s offices in Lafayette and Longmont will start issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Friday.
No mention was made in the clerk’s online news release about the stay the three-judge panel put on its ruling, pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the matter.
Carolyn Tyler, spokeswoman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, said any same-sex marriage licenses issued in Colorado will be invalid. Because the 10th Circuit decision was stayed, Colorado’s ban against gay marriage remains in effect, she said.
“It’s not binding on Utah let alone on Colorado,” Tyler said. “Boulder has a history of activism on this issue.”
“They are no more valid today than they were in 1975,” Tyler said.
The appeals court covers the territory of Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico and Kansas.
Hall said she is moving forward with the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses because the 10th Circuit has upheld “the fundamental right to marriage.”
“Couples across Colorado have been waiting a long time to have their right to marry the person they love recognized,” she stated in the release. “I want to act immediately to let them carry out that wish.”
Source: Denver Post, “Boulder County begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses; AG says no,” By John Aguilar, Posted: 06/25/2014 04:12:51 PM MD| Updated: 25 min. ago