September 11, 2009
Same-sex unions account for 13% of Iowa marriages; 46% are from out of state
According to this report, "of 5,214 marriage certificates issued statewide between April 27 and July 27, 676 were for same-sex couples. Gender was concealed on 339 marriage certificates. Of the 676 same-sex couples, 312 were not from Iowa. Data show 57 were from Illinois, 38 from Nebraska, 37 from Missouri and 36 from Minnesota."
Great Britain apologizes for treatment of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing, convicted for his homosexuality
Law Dork blogger Chris Geidner reports on Gordon Brown's statement.
NY congressman will introduce bill to repeal DOMA
The Advocate reports that "Democratic representative Jerrold Nadler of New York will be introducing legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act next Tuesday. A Democratic aide confirmed that a press conference to announce the bill will be held September 15 at 11 a.m. at the House Triangle."
September 10, 2009
Philandering California GOP lawmaker was (surprise!) a proponent of "family values" and foe of same-sex marriage
From a statement by L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean:
Even as he resigns in shame, former California Assemblymember Michael Duvall is wallowing in hypocrisy. While engaging in extra-marital affairs, he used "family values" as a justification to vote against every bill that would have provided any measure of equal treatment or fairness to LGBT people. He used the same justification to support taking away the lawful right of same-sex couples to marry.
Lithuania moves to criminalize discussion about homosexuality
Decades of life under Soviet oppression gave Lithuanians a deep yearning for freedom and self-determination. But in Lithuania, that respect for freedom and individual rights does not extend to gays and lesbians. Or perhaps life under the jackboot somehow creates a taste for oppressing others.
As Amnesty International reports, as the rest of the world is moving away from criminal prohibitions on sodomy and toward greater openness about homosexuality, "the Lithuanian parliament prepares to debate during its autumn session legislative amendments that would criminalise the 'promotion of homosexual relations in public places.'"
This isn't about public sex. Rather, according to AI, the proposals "would permit the prosecution of an extremely wide variety of activities, including campaigning on human rights issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, providing sexual health information to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people or the organization of gay film festivals, or Pride events."
The proposed amendments follow the adoption in July this year of the discriminatory "Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information". This law bans materials that "agitate for homosexual, bisexual and polygamous relations" from schools or public places and media where they could be viewed by children. The new amendments go even further as they would potentially criminalise almost any public expression or portrayal of, or information about, homosexuality.
The amendments would effectively prevent LGBT people from accessing the appropriate information, support and protection to enable them to live with their sexual orientation and gender identity. They are also likely to lead to increased discrimination and other human rights abuses, in a range of areas, including employment and the access to goods and services.
"Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, the Lithuanian parliament is turning the clock back by imposing draconian limitations on the flow of information and the freedom of expression and stigmatising part of the population," [AI Europe and Central Asia Programme Director] Nicola Duckworth said.
September 9, 2009
ACS to host Washington panel on DADT and military readiness
The American Constitution Society will host a panel discussion on Don't Ask, Don't Tell at noon September 29 at the National Press Club. Click here for more information or to register. According to the announcement:
With the House of Representatives considering the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, and a commitment from Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to hold a hearing on the topic this fall, the policy and its effects are being debated anew. Policymakers are examining questions such as: Is the policy discriminatory? Does the policy harm our nation's military readiness? Is the policy really necessary for troop morale and unit cohesion? What are the proper procedural steps for changing the policy, i.e., if official repeal legislation must come from Congress, are there actions that can be taken by the executive branch that can stop dismissals in the interim? A group of military experts, advocates, and scholars will discuss these and other questions in a lively, frank discussion
The panel discussion will include:
- Moderator, Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Senior Advisor, Center for Defense Information
- Eric Alva, Former Marine Staff Sergeant
- Nathaniel Frank, Senior Research Fellow at the Palm Center
- Aubrey Sarvis, Executive Director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
- Charles “Cully” Stimson, Senior Legal Fellow, Heritage Foundation
September 8, 2009
September Lesbian/Gay Law Notes now available
The September issue of Professor Art Leonard's indispensable Lesbian/Gay Law Notes is available here. The lead story discusses the unanimous ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit that a plaintiff's sexual orientation may not be the basis for rejecting his claim that he has been subjected to unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII because of his failure to conform to the gender stereotypes held by his employer.