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July 23, 2009

Controversial prof cancels visiting appointment at NYU Law

Li-ann Thio, the "human rights" professor who sparked controversy with her disparaging remarks about homosexuality, apparently has canceled her plans to serve as a visiting professor at NYU Law School.

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July 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2009

Is hate-crime law a potential tool for abuse?

Gail Heriot, a law professor at the University of San Diego and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer that federal hate crime legislation making its way through Congress "is an exercise in political grandstanding" and a potential tool for abuse by prosecutors.  She adds:

Our criminal-justice system is designed to err on the side of acquittal, which helps ensure that the innocent remain free. The wholesale federalization of crime - of which the vague and misleading hate-crimes proposal is a prime example - is a threat to that principle.

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July 22, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2009

WashPost calls for activism to end DADT

The Washington Post editorializes that an end to Don't Ask, Don't Tell will require voter activism:

Gay rights activists are right to hold Mr. Obama to his promise to overturn the ban. But they are wrong if they think he isn't trying. The president has met at least twice with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to tell them that he wanted the ban lifted. This month, the Pentagon announced that its general counsel was reviewing the "don't ask, don't tell policy," and Adm. Mullen acknowledged discussing with his staff how he might implement a change in policy. This is the necessary work to get military support for allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly, as they do in 24 countries, including Israel and Great Britain.

What is also necessary is that the activism aimed at Mr. Obama also be directed at Congress. Mr. Murphy has started http://www.letthemserve.com/ to harness that grass-roots ire to get more House colleagues to support his bill. As Mr. Murphy told us, "You can sit, bitch and moan, or you can bring about the change in policy our country needs." A majority of Americans believe that gay men and lesbians should serve openly in the military. It's time they got to work to help get it done.

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July 21, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pew Forum issues new report on same-sex marriage

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has issued a report sketching the history of the same-sex marriage debate in the U.S.  Additional resources are available on the Forum's gay marriage page.

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July 21, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2009

Navigating a sea of gay lawsuits over marriage

Until recently, the real litigation action over same-sex marriage was in state courts.  Groups like Lambda Legal, GLAAD, and the ACLU were careful to bring suits articulating only state-law theories, not federal constitutional claims.  But that has changed, and the newspaper Southern Voice has a guide for the bewildered through the multiple suits recently filed in federal courts challenging discrimination against same-sex couples in the ability to marry or to have their existing marriages recognized.

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July 20, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2009

Visiting anti-gay human rights law prof causes stir at NYU

Brian Leiter reports on the controversy over Li-ann Thio, a Singapore professor who will be teaching human rights law at NYU this fall, who is captured on video arguing at length against the decriminalization of homosexuality.  An update on her response to critics appears here.

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July 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sotomayor mostly mum on gay marriage

She got one question on the topic in her hearing, and her answer, as on most things, was "evasive but prudent," a Brookings scholar tells the Des Moines Register.

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July 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack