In the LGBT
FLORIDA: Fourth Marriage Lawsuit Filed
posted by Joe Jervis
Florida's fourth marriage equality lawsuit was filed today against a panhandle county clerk.
The debate over same-sex marriage is making its mark locally with the filing of a lawsuit against Washington County Interim Clerk of Court Harold Bazzel after his office refused to issue a marriage license for a local gay couple. “We followed the law,” said Bazzel.
“The statute in Florida says marriage must be between a man and a woman.” Stephen Schlairet and Ozzie Russ of Chipley filed the suit with the U.S. District Court Wednesday, March 21, naming Bazzel and several other defendants, including Governor Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi. The couple is seeking to have the law declared unconstitutional.
RELATED: Earlier this week a Key West couple filed a marriage suit against the Monroe County Clerk. In January, Equality Florida and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a marriage equality suit on behalf of six local couples. Last month the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, who authored Florida's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, filed a motion to intervene in the case. Also last month, the ACLU filed a lawsuit which demands that Florida recognize legal out-of-state marriages.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the marriages of same-sex couples who wed last week in Michigan would be recognized for federal purposes. Over 300 marriages in the state are in legal limbo while the office of Gov. Rick Snyder challenges a reversal of the state's marriage equality ban. "These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” Holder said on Friday. Metro Weekly (Washington, D.C.)/Poliglot blog (3/28), NBC News (3/28)
A Texas couple alleges that their son was rejected from a school because he is the child of lesbian parents. Tracy and Dawn Keller were promised a spot for their 3-year-old at the New Beginnings Montessori School in Bedford, but the offer was rescinded after the couple took a tour of the schools. The school later backed away from its decision and announced that it would allow the couple to submit an application. Gay Star News (3/31), WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (3/26)
Everyone Was Happier When Gays Were More Discrete
Yes, the 1940′s and 1950′s, America’s halcyon days, when the gays knew to stay in the closet – everyone was happier then, according to Scott Lively. Except the gays. And the people who married the gays, only to find out later. Oh, and the blacks. Oh, and the women. Oh wait, by everyone, he means the straight white men!
Vice President Joe Biden, during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign's annual gala Saturday, called the U.S. a leader on international LGBT rights and urged Congress to pass a bill protecting LGBT workers. Biden, who publicly backed marriage equality during his 2012 reelection campaign, criticized foreign governments such as Russia for passing anti-LGBT legislation. "As the great Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov said, 'A country that does not respect the rights of its citizens will not respect the rights of its neighbors,' and we're seeing that today in Ukraine," Biden said. Advocate.com (3/23), Washington Blade (Washington, D.C.)(3/23), Gay Star News (3/23
NOM's co-founder predicts nationwide marriage equality
National Organization for Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher said on Monday that she believes nationwide marriage equality is inevitable in the U.S. "Gay marriage advocates now have five [Supreme Court] votes for inserting a right to gay marriage in our Constitution," Gallagher said in an interview with the Huffington Post. Gallagher said groups like NOM need to refocus their mission on new objectives, including the passage of laws enshrining "religious exemptions" for employers and businesses. Gay Star News/Huffington Post, The (3/24)
Republicans at conference in Ore. vote to back marriage equality
Republican activists and officials at the annual Dorchester Conference in Oregon this weekend urged the party to shift its stance on marriage equality. With two lawsuits filed to overturn the state's same-sex marriage ban and a voter referendum on the issue moving forward, some Republicans say the issue threatens to make the GOP irrelevant in the state. Activists in attendance voted 233-162 to support marriage equality. "The government should get out of the business of telling me who I can love and who I should marry," said Kirk Maag, a gay Republican attendee from Portland. The Register-Guard (Eugene, Ore.)/The Associated Press (3/9), The Oregonian (Portland) (3/8), The Huffington Post (3/10)