April 24, 2009
Ethics complaint filed against anti-marriage Iowa lawmaker who urged clerks to break the law
An ethics complaint has been filed against an Iowa legislator alleging that he violated his oath of office by urging county recorders to defy a court ruling legalizing gay marriage. The complaint also questions whether public money was used to promote an anti-marriage petition circulated by the Iowa Family Policy Center urging county recorders to defy the law by refusing to allow same-sex couples to marry.
April 23, 2009
CT legislature approves same-sex marriage bill
Connecticut’s legislature voted Wednesday night to update the state’s marriage law to conform with October’s state supreme court ruling that same-sex couples have the right to marry. The bill would turn all previous civil unions into marriages starting in October 2010. It also contained protections for religious organizations. The ABA Journal has a report and more links.
The religious-conservative case against federal hate crimes legislation
John Whitehead of the religious-conservative group The Rutherford Institute argues against federal hate crimes legislation currently pending in Congress. Whitehead argues that:
- hate crime laws favor a particular class of individuals for protection and seek to punish certain prejudices;
- such laws have a chilling effect on free speech;
- hate crime laws create a new class of investigative techniques by government agents and the police; and
- hate crime laws are redundant, because there are "already a host of stiff penalties on the books for those who commit acts of unspeakable horror, whether the crimes are based on an individual's race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation."
Tenth Circuit reverses immigration judge's gay stereotyping
Tarik Razkane remained in the United States beyond the period authorized by his non-immigrant visa. After the government sought to remove him, Razkane argued before an immigration judge that if he were returned to his native Morocco, he would be persecuted because of his homosexuality.
That's when things got interesting. According to an opinion issued Tuesday by the 10th Circuit US Court of Appeals, at Razkane's hearing,
In its decision reversing the Board of Immigration Appeals, the 10th Circuit chastised the IJ's reasoning.
April 21, 2009
Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock hosts "Transgender People and the Law" on Mon., April 27, 2009
"Transgender People and The Law," Monday, April 27, 2009, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm in Room 323.
Co-sponsored by Bowen Lambda and
the ACLU of
Arkansas Student Chapter
this program seeks to promote an understanding of what it means to be
transgender and of the challenges transgender people face. Program
includes the following speakers and topics:
Olivia Powers' personal story as an individual who transitioned from male to female; a survey by Mike Lauro of how courts treat transgender litigants; Prof. Terri Beiner's analysis of transgender sexual harassment and employment discrimination; and perspectives on mental health by Margaret Morgan. We will suggest ways to make laws and policies more fair and how society can be more inclusive of transgender people.
This event is free and open to the public.
Individual boxed lunches will be catered
by Milford Track.
(see below, RSVP required if you want a free lunch)
Please read the following important notes:
(1) Lunch RSVP
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a boxed lunch AND specify your sandwich choice: Chicken; Ham; Turkey; Roast Beef; Combo Meat; Veggie; Garden; Grilled Cheese.
Lunch includes sandwich, chips, pasta salad, cookie, and bottled water. Your name will be on the boxed lunch and available before and during the program.
(2) Awards Presentation
The event will start with recognition of the 2009-2010 officers for both groups and the presentation of Bowen Lambda's 2009 Pride Awards.
(4) Class Capture
This event will be recorded by the class capture system and a link to the recording will be emailed out after it is published.
Federal gay rights legislation: time for a new, more sweeping approach?
Tired of what they see as a too-timid incremental approach by Congress and leading LGBT rights groups, two gay philanthropists are advocating an omnibus federal LGBT rights bill. According to the Washington Blade,
. . .
The draft Equality & Religious Freedom Act released last week on the eQualityGiving.org web site also includes: language repealing the Defense of Marriage Act; a provision repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;” a provision incorporating the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act; and a provision incorporating the Uniting American Families Act, which would give the same immigration rights to foreign-born same-sex domestic partners of American citizens that currently are given to heterosexual foreigners married to Americans.
April 20, 2009
Transgenders born in CA may change sex on birth certificates, state appellate court rules
Transgender people born in California will be able to change the specified sex on their birth certificate, even if they live outside the state, a state appellate court ruled last week. The Advocate reports.
Legal lessons from the Vermont marriage-equality vote
At Huffington Post, Yale law student Aaron Zelinsky suggests three lessons from the Vermont legislature's vote in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples: federalism can be progressive; legislatures, and not just courts, also enforce rights; and a single vote can make a difference.
April 19, 2009
UCLA's Williams Institute offers fellowship in sexual orientation public policy
The Williams Institute will offer a Public Policy Research Fellowship to a recent graduate school graduate (including law school) who is interested in public policy research and writing on sexual orientation issues. The Williams Institute is a national think tank at UCLA School of Law dedicated to advancing critical thought in the field of sexual orientation law and public policy. More information is available at http://www.law.ucla.edu/WilliamsInstitute/Fellowships/Public%20Policy%20Research%20Fellowship%202009.pdf.
Frank Rich on the sweeping changes in anti-gay politics
The governor of Utah endorses civil unions. Rick Warren disavows anti-marriage activism. Glenn Beck celebrates the Vermont marriage vote. NYT columnist Frank Rich assesses the current state of anti-gay politics and finds that "homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain-dead."