November 5, 2009
Marriage equality movement ponders future after Maine setback
On the heels of a 53-47 percent vote in Maine to repeal same-sex marriage, you can find a roundup of news, analysis, and reaction here.
November 2, 2009
Privacy-in-petitioning debate overshadows Washington state vote on domestic partnership
The New York Times reports:
On Tuesday, voters in Washington State will decide whether to extend to registered domestic partners the same rights married couples have, short of marriage. But the campaign over the referendum, placed on the ballot by opponents of same-sex marriage, has been overshadowed by one issue: whether the individual names of the petitioners should be made public, and ultimately, circulated on the Web.
Story quotes UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, among others.
November 1, 2009
Prof. Sherry Colb: hate crimes are not the same as thought crimes
FindLaw columnist and Cornell law professor Sherry Colb takes strong issue with a commonly-heard objection to the proposed bill, which President Obama signed this week, that would expand the scope of the federal hate crimes law to encompass hatred based upon gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The objection contends that to ban a hate crime is to ban a "thought crime," when we all ought to have freedom of thought and speech. Colb responds that, to the contrary, to look to a perpetrator's motivation for committing a proven crime is a far cry from criminalizing thought or speech alone. She also covers the Supreme Court's two key hate crimes case, explicating the reasoning of the two and explaining why the Court accepts punishment enhancements based on motivation. Finally, she points out that conservative critics of the bill's emphasis on crimes' motivations are plainly comfortable with looking to motivation in other contexts -- such as in a sui! t alleging that an employer has committed so-called "reverse discrimination" against a white employee -- and thus, she suggests that their real discomfort must be with gay rights, not with the bill's focus on motivation.