November 13, 2009
Compassion has its limits: Catholic Church blackmails DC over social services if it approves same-sex marriage
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has threatened to terminate the social service programs it runs for the Washington, DC, if the city doesn't change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care, reports the Washington Post:
Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.
Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.
November 12, 2009
November Lesbian/Gay Law Notes is available
The November edition of Professor Art Leonard's Lesbian/Gay Law Notes is available here. The lead story is the passage of gay-inclusive federal hate crimes legislation.
November 11, 2009
AMA opposes DADT, expresses concern about bans on gay marriage
The American Medical Association yesterday voted to
oppose the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and voiced the concern that prohibitions on gay marriage contribute to health disparities.
November 9, 2009
Symposium on law and gender issues for American Indians and immigrantsThe Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society is seeking original scholarship, from both scholars and practitioners that addresses the intersections of law and gender in the daily lives of two populations, each of which occupies a unique space in American law: American Indians and Immigrants.
Interested parties should send an abstract to WJLGS.Symposium@gmail.com by November 15, 2009. Those selected for the Symposium will be notified in early January 2010. The Journal’s Symposium issue will be published in Winter 2010.
November 8, 2009
House-passed health reform bill would bring fairness to taxation of same-sex health benefits
A little-noticed provision of the health care reform bill passed Saturday by the House would change the tax treatment of employer-provided health benefits for same-sex spouses and domestic partners, reports the New York Times:
Supporters of gay rights have long been trying to change the tax treatment of health benefits provided by employers to the domestic partners of their employees. In effect, such benefits are now treated as taxable income for the employee, and the employer may owe payroll taxes on their fair-market value.
Under the bill, such benefits would be tax-free, just like health benefits provided to the family of an employee married to a person of the opposite sex.
Representative Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington, who proposed the change, said it would “correct a longstanding injustice, end a blatant inequity in the tax code and help make health care coverage more affordable for more Americans.”