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Archives – March, 2015

Equality news round-up: Another Alabama hearing coming up, and more

News from Alabama, Indiana, and more.

Continue 68 Comments March 24, 2015

Alabama updates 3/23

Briefing will be done Wednesday on the motion to certify a class-action challenge to the state’s marriage ban.

Continue 119 Comments March 23, 2015

Texas Sues to Stop Gays From Taking Family Leave

By Matt Baume

It’s been nearly two months since marriage was supposed to start in Alabama, and the state still doesn’t have its act together. Texas just filed a lawsuit to prevent gays and lesbians from taking family medical leave. And it’s going to take at least five different bills to overturn Michigan’s marriage ban.

Alabama’s still a mess of conflicting rulings. Right now, it looks like the only way that judges could comply with every order they’ve received is if nobody ever gets married ever again. First a federal court said judges have to issue licenses, then the State Supreme Court said they don’t have to. And then last week, Judge Callie Granade issued a new ruling that said, in essence, “yes you do.”

This leaves judges stuck in the same tug of war as before: state courts say one thing, federal courts say another. It’s like a big legal game of chicken, and neither side is willing to budge. The state court won’t back down, because they believe they’re right. And the federal court won’t back down, because they actually ARE right.

Meanwhile, anti-gay politicians have continued their desperate rhetoric. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court last week, claiming that marriage equality harms children. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued the Obama administration, claiming that the state should be allowed to withhold family and medical leave from married gays and lesbians. And Idaho Republicans asked Congress to impeach all of the judges who ruled that marriage bans are unconstitutional. That is a lot of judges, what they’re really asking for is a massive gutting of federal courts.

But this limited backlash aside, most lawmakers are still moving in the direction of supporting greater equality. Michigan Democrats have proposed five bill that would repeal various marriage bans. Puerto Rico, which previously defended its marriage ban, just reversed course and will now allow it to be overturned. And Congress is considering reforms that would allow LGBT couples to access Social Security benefits that they previously couldn’t.

And public support is growing too. Last week the Presbyterian Church voted to recognize gay and lesbian couples as married. And a new survey in Wisconsin shows that 70 percent of residents say that overturning the state’s marriage ban has had no effect on their lives. Of the people who said it did have an effect, about half said it was positive.

5 Comments March 23, 2015

Puerto Rico ends defense of same-sex marriage ban

Officials won’t defend the ban in Lambda Legal’s case.

Continue 139 Comments March 20, 2015

READ IT HERE: Plaintiffs’ briefs in Eighth Circuit challenge to Arkansas and South Dakota’s same-sex marriage bans

Cases will be heard May 12.

Continue 10 Comments March 20, 2015

Equality news round-up: Federal judge rules that Affordable Care Act protects against anti-trans discrimination in healthcare, and more

News from Alabama, Texas, and more.

Continue 23 Comments March 19, 2015

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