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Equality news round-up: Kentucky anti-transgender “bathroom bill” passes state senate panel, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

– Replies were due in the Alabama Supreme Court yesterday in the action filed by private organizations attempting to stop probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. We are still trying to get the filings. The court could rule at any time.

– A new order from Mobile County’s probate judge says he won’t issue a final adoption order to the couple who filed Searcy v. Strange, one of the marriage cases in Alabama, until after the Supreme Court issues its ruling in the marriage cases it’s hearing in April.

– A senate panel in Kentucky’s legislature moved forward a bill that would force transgender students to use the wrong bathroom, and disallow them from seeking accommodations.

– The White House has endorsed remarks made by Defense Secretary Ash Carter in support of transgender military service.

– Several things were filed in the Nebraska marriage case. A decision could come down soon in this case.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. A_Jayne  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Re: the Kentucky bathroom bill, those parents screaming about it follow the lead of creationists in the belief their children should continue to segregate using false choices rather than learn something new about the world in which they live…

    A child's mind is a terrible thing to thwart.

  • 2. FredDorner  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Didn't the federal court already rule in the Searcy v. Strange case that Mobile county can't rely on the state's ban in making the adoption determination? The action by Davis seems to be a rather blatant violation of that order.

  • 3. Jaesun100  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:36 am

    "– A new order from Mobile County’s probate judge says he won’t issue a final adoption order to the couple who filed Searcy v. Strange, one of the marriage cases in Alabama, until after the Supreme Court issues its ruling in the marriage cases it’s hearing in April. "

    So basically he is going to ignore the Ruling until the Supreme Court rules…That does not seem legal since there is no stay in Alanbama…These people's animus against GLBT make me want to puke…

  • 4. A_Jayne  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:38 am

    So this time can Judge Granade hear a contempt request?

  • 5. Sagesse  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I think they have to go through the same process as Strawser, which dealt with celebration. Searcy is the recognition case, and the Mobile county probate court judge needs to be added as a party to Searcy as well?

  • 6. Elihu_Bystander  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:48 am

    In that case, it would be appropriate for Probate Justice Don Davis to sit in federal prison until the SCOTUS rules on the 6th Circuit cases.

  • 7. FredDorner  |  February 24, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Not just contempt of court, but it seems like Davis is eager for additional penalties to be added to what the state already will owe the plaintiffs under section 1983 of the US code. Judge Heyburn in Kentucky added a $10K penalty merely because the state's arguments offended common sense.

  • 8. Mike_Baltimore  |  February 24, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I think someone from Kentucky needs to make sure the Kentucky state Senate has full knowledge of David Reimer.

    Born male, an accident at seven months (when he and his identical twin were being circumcised) caused the doctors to remove all his genitals. He was raised as a female (with sex reassignment surgery starting at 22 months) until he found out that his twin was his identical twin, and that could only mean he was male, not female.

    What if the same happened in Kentucky? Would the affected child use the male or female bathroom? And if he used the 'wrong' bathroom, would he be arrested for doing so? After all, in Reimer's case, he was born male, but raised female.

  • 9. hopalongcassidy  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I guess you all saw this shit from Arkansas….

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:37 am

    "Judge Heyburn in Kentucky added a $10K penalty merely because the state's arguments offended common sense."

    Yes, on 1 July 2014, in "Love v. Beshear," Judge Heyburn wrote one of my favorite all-time put-down quotes regarding the same-sex marriage bans: "These arguments are not those of serious people."

    Oddly, I hadn't realized that he also hit the state with a financial penalty for offending common sense. Besides the very aptly-named case name, one of the reasons I'm hoping that SCOTUS settles upon the Kentucky cases is due to the fact that both received very harsh rulings from Judge Heyburn, and this from a judge who was a GHW Bush appointee, upon the full recommendation of Senator McConnell.

  • 11. guitaristbl  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Yeap and it's about time to get this monstrosity along with the one in Tennessee to SCOTUS finally. If they think that they can hide from Romer simply because the language is supposed to be "neutrual", they'll have to make their case before SCOTUS about that.
    Nobody buys it.

  • 12. hopalongcassidy  |  February 24, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Absolutely. I just now discovered RnL2008 brought it up yesterday, my apologies I didn't see it. Too late to edit. I'll be more careful.

  • 13. drnod10  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    From the Dallas, TX news online:

    "After months of bickering, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board put on a united front Tuesday and agreed to provide survivor benefits to same-sex spouses."

  • 14. Silvershrimp0  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    The sad thing about the Tennessee law is that the Nashville ordinance that it was made in response to was pretty toothless. Nashville would have required that city contractors adopt metro's nondiscrimination policy for their own employees, but there was no enforcement mechanism.

  • 15. Mike_Baltimore  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    From 'The Advocate':
    'Texas Bill Would Jail Those Whose Chromosomes Don't Match the Restroom They're Using'
    (… )

    I wonder how Texas would deal with someone like David Reimer? Born male, then raised as female. Because he was born male, he carried a 'Y' gene.

  • 16. guitaristbl  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    And Oklahoma continues :

    One thing I will give to them is that they are not copying anyone else till now. Sally Kern really did squeeze her bigoted brain to find new, innovative ways to attacks LGBT people, ways no other state legislator has so far brought forward.

    Of course it says that many medical professionals will testify against that but I guess the Oklahoma house will be like "we don't need no stinkin scientists, cause god".
    This is child abuse and I also hope there would be some way to challenge it in court.

  • 17. A_Jayne  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I still want to know how they're going to find everyone violating these laws – especially the ones so many parents are pushing for in schools. Will the parents hold the schools responsible for verifying that only "DNA-accurate" (or "properly plumbed") females use the girls' room, and vice-versa?

    How do they propose schools accomplish that? Will all children be required to drop their drawers for inspection before entering a bathroom? Because now that they no longer fund full-time school nurses, they have no one to perform DNA tests on all the students…

    And don't those same parents scream "right to privacy" as their rallying cry? WTH?

    Of course, the answer is they haven't thought through what all the ramifications are; they're governing by frenetic reaction to voter panic instead of any kind of logic or even common sense.

  • 18. VIRick  |  February 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    I have a friend who has an extra chromosome, meaning that he was born "XXY."

    Does this mean he can use either restroom,– or is he supposed to pee in the hallway, halfway between the two? You know, it may strike some people as new news, but there always have been more than two genders.

    Oh, and who is administering this spiffy chromosome test to determine which restroom one is supposed to use? Or do we wear lapel tags?

    If they can't get over themselves about "male" and "female," then they need to start providing more restroom choices, namely, "XXY," inter-sexed, trans-gender male, trans-gender female, "fluid," none-of-the-above, uncertain, and some -of-each. Having a whole corridor full of restroom choices should solve their "problem" for them.

    Oooh, and don't forget the uni-sex restroom, and the handicapped-accessible restroom.

  • 19. A_Jayne  |  February 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Attention all attorneys potentially arguing for marriage equality at SCOTUS in April: Citing these types of laws will prove two things.

    1. Obvious animus toward LGBT people (history of discrimination re: heightened scrutiny), and

    2. Using standard democratic processes to right these wrongs isn't working (minority or politically powerless re: heightened scrutiny).

  • 20. Mike_Baltimore  |  February 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    ". . . a whole corridor full of restroom choices. . . ."

    Reminds me of the old (probably apocryphal) story of the Catholic school that was planning on building a new elementary school. The 'finalized' plans were sent to the Vatican for final approval, but the Vatican sent back the plans without approval, only a note asking if all the students were angels? The planners were puzzled by the note, but determined to 'work it out' without going back to the Vatican for the answer.

    One of the future parents, while working on the plans, had to go to the bathroom, but she first wanted to check where her daughter would go to the bathroom from her classroom. The answer was the plans had not included any restrooms, which explained the Vatican's question.

    (The reason I think the story is apocryphal is I think [I'm not Catholic and never attended Catholic schools] the plans would be sent to the bishop or archbishop for approval, not to Rome.)

  • 21. wkrick  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    A very interesting and relevant article…

    The Long, Strange History of Gender Testing

    Also, more detail about Maria Patino…

  • 22. VIRick  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I think we need to turn Cher loose on Sally Kern. Quite appropriately, Cher's originally from Oklahoma.

    Cher just finished making the new governor of Arkansas look like a wimpy fool.

  • 23. VIRick  |  February 24, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you. On top of everything else concerning gender, we also have "XY" women:

    "So sex is much more a matter of hormones than of chromosomes. Indeed, the small Y chromosome, the root of all maleness, seems to do little besides turn on the "master male switch" to start the flow of hormones. The Y holds relatively few genes, and most of them are duplicates of genes that lie on the X chromosome – as far as researchers know, only a handful of genes are unique to the Y chromosome. These include the testis-determining factor, a gene involved with male fertility and making sperm, and a third called the H-Y antigen gene, which, as far as researchers can tell, has nothing to do with sexual differentiation. In short, the Y chromosome is little more than an abbreviated version of the X with the gene for the male switch tacked on. In practical terms, this arrangement means that it is the hormone environment of the womb, not the chromosomes, that directly determines the sex of the fetus."

  • 24. seannynj  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Didn't Mississippi pass one these laws last year too?

  • 25. VIRick  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Mississippi's is worse (as if that should surprise anyone). In Mississippi, private business have the "right" to discriminate by refusing services to whomever based on the business owner's "tightly-held religious beliefs." Or some such childishly myopic hog-wash.

    It's been effectively countered by the "If You're Buying, We're Selling" campaign.

    The discriminatory bill was signed into law by Governor Bryant who just happens to have an "out" gay son. But then, Governor Bryant "rose to the occasion" and didn't allow this small, "inconvenient" fact to get in the way of his certified bigotry (as if that should surprise anyone, either).

  • 26. Fortguy  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I'm sure there are a lot of creepy lawmakers who would jump at the chance to form a "potty posse" to cop a feel on children.

  • 27. Fortguy  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman, one of the two plaintiff couples in the Texas case before the 5th Circuit, are on the cover of the new issue of Texas Monthly. The fantastic longread feature about them provides great context to the ongoing political and judicial situation in the state: To Love and to Cherish

  • 28. VIRick  |  February 24, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    "(or "properly plumbed") females use the girls' room, and vice-versa?"

    Let's begin from the beginning. There are more than two genders. In the "witch hunt" to find pre-op trans-gender males passing for female, idiots are going to find out the hard way that there are others out there who also don't quite conform to their pre-conceived notions of what constitutes "male" and/or "female." Some can be quite androgenous. Some XXY individuals appear as male, with outwardly male genitalia. Other XXY individuals appear as female, with outwardly female genitalia. All XXY individuals are sterile, and thus do not have the needed hormonal balance to make them completley male or completely female. Then there are XY females who appear as females, and outwardly have female genitalia, but who don't have the interior female "plumbing" (but who, instead, have internal male testicles), And then there are those who are inter-sexed. And then there are the post-op trans-genders whose current physical appearance does not match with their birth appearance.

  • 29. A_Jayne  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Absolutely. I agree with what variations someone would "find." I don't suggest the above scenarios will happen. I just wonder how on earth these foolish politicians intend for their pronouncements to be executed, and by whom.

  • 30. VIRick  |  February 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I suspect they'll put themselves in charge of inspecting all the "girls" to see if any of them happen to have a penis. Otherwise, I have no idea. The chromosome test won't work. The hormone test won't work. And seriously, neither will the visual inspection.

  • 31. F_Young  |  February 25, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Fortguy: "The fantastic longread feature about them provides great context to the ongoing political and judicial situation in the state:"

    Thanks, Fortguy. Indeed this is a long article, but it is well worth reading.

  • 32. VIRick  |  February 25, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Just to up-date, this Kentucky "bathroom bill" has failed.

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