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Alabama’s chief justice, Roy Moore, appeals his suspension


Alabama state sealLast week, Alabama chief justice Roy Moore was suspended from the bench after an ethics trial. Moore had written orders that urged probate judges in the state to violate the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and a federal district court’s decisions which also struck down the marriage ban.

Moore’s suspension will last until his current term is over, and because of an Alabama law limiting judicial service by age, he won’t be able to run for the office again. The ethics court was asked to completely remove him from the bench, but that decision would have had to be unanimous. Moore was unanimously convicted, but there were evident differences of opinion on the question of punishment.

Now, Moore is appealing the decision to the Alabama supreme court.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports:

In a notice of appeal, Moore argues that the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which prosecuted Moore, and the Court of the Judiciary, which Friday suspended him without pay for the rest of his term, overstepped its authority. Moore also argues that the reason for his suspension – a Jan. 6 order telling probate judges they had a “ministerial duty” to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples – was “factually and legally correct.”

“Even if it was erroneous, neither the JIC nor the COJ have jurisdiction to investigate and punish the Chief Justice for such error, because this (Supreme) Court retains exclusive jurisdiction over the administrative order,” the filing stated.

The Alabama Supreme Court will consider the appeal. Moore’s term runs through January 2019.

The petition raises several questions, including whether a provision of the Alabama constitution related to the charges violates due process and whether the ethics court can impose a punishment that effectively bars him from office without a unanimous vote.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  October 5, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Nevada: Federal Transgender Case Ruled in Favor of Plaintiff

    Per Equality Case Files:

    On 4 October 2016, in "Roberts v. Clark County School District," a case in which a transgender police officer has been suing his employer school district for discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment, including claims under Title VII, the presiding federal judge issued an Order Granting in Part Bradley Roberts’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Denying the School District’s Countermotion for Partial Summary Judgment:

    "Plaintiff Bradley Roberts is a transgender police officer with the Clark County School District (“CCSD”) who identifies as a male officer. When CCSD prohibited Roberts from using either the men’s or women’s bathrooms, Roberts sued for discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment. The parties cross-move for partial summary judgment, and I am asked to decide whether this bathroom ban violated Title VII, which prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of 'sex.' CCSD argues that Title VII only prohibits discrimination based on biological sex, not gender identity. But Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sex stereotypes, too, and the record shows that the district’s bathroom ban was based on precisely the sort of stereotyping that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has found Title VII to prohibit. So I grant Roberts partial summary judgment on the school district’s discrimination liability under both Title VII and Nevada law."

    The Order Granting in Part Bradley Roberts’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Denying the School District’s Countermotion for Partial Summary Judgment, and Granting Roberts’s Motion for Leave is here:

  • 2. VIRick  |  October 5, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Austria: To Upgrade Civil Unions for Same-Sex Couples in All but Its Name

    Vienna — Austria plans to upgrade the status of same-sex unions while still stopping short of declaring them marriages. A draft law submitted for final review on Tuesday, 4 October 2016, foresees that such partnerships will be registered at the district clerk’s office, as marriages now are. Until now, same-sex unions have been registered by the district administration department, which oversees local and municipal statutes. The draft law also will allow same-sex couples to list their common names as “family names” instead of “last names.”

    Austria’s government coalition is split on the issue of same-sex marriage. Social Democrats generally support it, while the center-right People’s Party is generally opposed. However, with these two major parties in the majority in parliament, passage of this draft legislation into law is a virtual certainty later this year (as long as it is not called "marriage").

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 6, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Marriage Equality and the Denial of Certiorari Two Years Ago Today

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Marriage Equality in 5 more states! Many more to likely follow. This morning, 6 October 2014, in a move that surprised even the most experienced Court watchers, the US Supreme Court denied all the petitions for certiorari currently pending.

    This order today brings marriage equality to the five states that had petitions before the Court: namely, Utah (14-124), Virginia (14-153, 14-225, 14-251), Oklahoma (14-136), Indiana (14-277), and Wisconsin (14-278). It also leaves the Circuit Courts of Appeals rulings in the 10th, 4th, and 7th Circuit in place as binding precedent in all the other states within those circuits.

    We should immediately begin to see action in all cases impacted by this order, i.e., stays lifted, filings in cases pending in lower courts in these and other circuits, plus marriages!

    SCOTUS' Order of 6 October 2014 Denying Certiorari to All Currently Pending Marriage Cases is here (see pages 39-40, noting petition numbers cited above):

  • 4. VIRick  |  October 6, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Pennsylvania: New Federal Transgender "Bathroom" Suit Filed

    On 6 October 2016, Lambda Legal filed a new federal discrimination lawsuit, "Evancho v. Pine-Richland School District," against the Pine-Richland School District in suburban Pittsburgh PA for implementing a new policy on restroom and locker room access that singles out transgender students for discriminatory treatment.

    "After years of allowing transgender students to use the restrooms that match their identity, last month the school board for the Pine-Richland School District caved to outside pressure and unfounded fears. By voting to reverse the district’s longstanding inclusive restroom practice and to restrict the rights of transgender students, the school board has violated federal law and imposed harm upon Pine-Richland’s transgender students," Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said. "Forcing transgender students to use separate restrooms—after they had been using the appropriate facilities for years without incident—is not just unnecessary, it also harms and stigmatizes them. The Pine-Richland school board should be watching out for the safety and well-being of all its students, but through their discriminatory actions they have failed Pine-Richland’s transgender students. No transgender student, anywhere, should be treated like a second-class person."

    Last month’s vote followed months of controversy after anti-LGBT groups and individuals took aim at the Pine-Richland School District’s longstanding inclusive restroom practice. In March, Lambda Legal sent a letter to the district on behalf of several Pine-Richland transgender students, urging district officials and the school board to reject the misinformation and to continue treating transgender students equally. Since then, Lambda Legal attorneys sent additional letters and have been present at several school board meetings.

    Lambda Legal's press release is here;

    The complaint is here:

  • 5. scream4ever  |  October 6, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    I will never forget the feeling of being blown away by the news. It was clear after that point that the end was in sight, and that we were going to win!

  • 6. scream4ever  |  October 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Word is that the Australian Parliament will vote on the plebistle on Monday. It's expected to fail. Hopefully the Coalition will shortly thereafter allow a free vote.

  • 7. VIRick  |  October 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Mexico: Despite Homophobic Marches, More Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

    According to Alex Alí Méndez Díaz:

    Más negativas de matrimonio (tradicional), 2 en Oaxaca, 1 en Tamaulipas. A pesar de las jodidas marchas, tendremos 3 matrimonios (de parejas del mismo sexo via amparo).

    Despite the fucking marches, we have 3 more marriages (of same-sex couples), 2 in Oaxaca, and a third in Tamaulipas (all via amparo).

  • 8. allan120102  |  October 6, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    QR looks poised to modify its civil code soon, as it is being pressure by civil rights to change the code, as ssc have been marrying since 2012 in the state thanks to a loop.

    Meanwhile in Nayarit an amparo have been granted for a same sex couple to register their daughter with its two surnames.

  • 9. allan120102  |  October 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Also Nuevo Leon governor is Livid and have ask same sex couples to marry in Coahuila so no more amparos or resolutions are granted agaisnt the state. Something that might force the state to legalize ssm. Also he said that he is against ss adoptions as they are against nature and he will do anything in its power to prevent them.

  • 10. Sagesse  |  October 7, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Tangent question: the math here is hinky. If 667 colleges employ 1300 staff, that's an average of 1.94 staff per college. Huh?

    Top Evangelical College Group to Dismiss Employees Who Support Gay Marriage [TIME]

    "InterVarsity has chapters on 667 college campuses nationwide

    "One of the largest evangelical organizations on college campuses nationwide has told its 1,300 staff members they will be fired if they personally support gay marriage or otherwise disagree with its newly detailed positions on sexuality starting on Nov. 11."

  • 11. Rick55845  |  October 7, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Do you have a link to the article?

    I wouldn't expect the math to work out predictably. They probably don't have employees on every single campus where they have chapters, and they may well have work locations that aren't even located on a college campus.

  • 12. Sagesse  |  October 7, 2016 at 10:18 am

    My bad. Forgot the link.

    If these are just 'fellowship' organizations on campus, then LGBT friendly employees could just move on to other, more accepting, groups. I read this as the 667 institutions themselves were members.

  • 13. Rick55845  |  October 7, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Interesting article. Thanks.

    I think Intervarsity is a ministry that operates on college campuses where the college allows them to. I doubt colleges are members, per se. But I don't know that much about it.

  • 14. VIRick  |  October 7, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    This organization is some sort of self-appointed and self-invited evangelical "christian" fellowship ministry, claiming to be doing college outreach, while vainly attempting to remain "relevant:"

    Christian College Fellowship Threatens to Sack Staff for Supporting Equal Marriage

    An evangelical Christian college ministry has threatened to fire anyone who believes Jesus would support same-sex marriage (but which presumably should actually be read as "who would support marriage between same-sex couples"). The threat comes from the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, which has more than 1,730 staff members at 600 college campuses across America (with both numbers quite likely to be grossly exaggerated and/or totally distorted, but whatever). Still, according to it, InterVarsity claims to work to establish Christian campus fellowships at universities and colleges, aiming to create ”witnessing communities of students and faculty who follow Jesus as Savior.”

    But far from spreading “God’s love,” in a letter to staff earlier this year, they took a fire-and-brimstone approach to employees who support marriage equality, touting a new policy of “involuntary terminations” for staffers who disagree with its “positions on human sexuality” – and those positions are that they're opposed to homosexuality and to sex outside of marriage.

    Their policy document insists: “In marriage, we reflect the image of God in a unique way by joining together spiritually and physically. We were created in God’s image as male and female. Marriage is defined as a distinctive union between one man and one woman, as husband and wife, in which they covenant with one another to lifelong devotion. In addition, Christian marriage and family is not viewed as an end, but as a means of serving the kingdom of God in this world.”

    And blah, blah, blah. I'm sorry, but I can't read any further, and would much prefer to spend some quality time sucking d-ck.

  • 15. VIRick  |  October 8, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Cyprus: First Same-Sex Marriage (at British Army Base, Dhekelia)

    A British army sergeant and his partner have become the first same-sex couple to marry in Cyprus, albeit at a British military base there, thus invoking British law rather than Cypriot law. Sergeant Alastair Smith, 36, married his partner, Aaron Weston, in Cyprus on the British forces sovereign territory of Dhekelia. It is also the first-ever marriage of a same-sex couple to take place on a UK army base, and the first-ever at a UK military base overseas.

    The couple’s marriage ceremony took place on 10 September 2016 alongside the picturesque coastline of Fisherman’s Cove. The ceremony was approved and officiated by Air Vice-Marshal Mike Winston, the commander and administrator of the British Army’s sovereign base area.

  • 16. VIRick  |  October 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Germany to Pay 30M Euros to Men Convicted under Historic Gay Sex Laws

    Germany will compensate more that 50,000 gay men who were jailed for their sexual orientation. The plan will see 30 million euros set aside to compensate homosexuals who were convicted for their sexuality. The offending law, Paragraph 175, first enacted in 1871, was part of Germany’s criminal code until 1994, and made sex between men illegal. Over 140,000 men were prosecuted under this paragraph, with around 50,000 being convicted.

    A draft law will be formally announced this month (October 2016), after the initial announcement was made in May. Records of those convicted will also be cleared. Germany’s Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, said the compensations would depend on “concrete individual cases.” When determining compensation, sentence duration will be taken into consideration.

    East Germany first stopped applying the law in 1968, while West Germany followed suit a year later in 1969. However, the code was not completely abolished until 1994. Nazi-era convictions of homosexuals were lifted in 2002, but there has not yet been a pardon for those sentenced outside of that era. Under the Nazis, the anti-gay law was strictly enforced, and led to thousands of gay and bisexual men being taken away to concentration camps.

    Following the war, gay men were still often arrested and put into prison. Members of the LGBT community frequently lost their jobs and homes, and suffered social exclusion.

    As a further note, a commentator at LGBTQ Nation has posted:

    Gay Germans in the American and British sectors of divided, immediate post-WW2 Germany were merely moved from concentration camps to prisons, and their sentences continued, because of the anti-gay laws in both the USA and the UK; Gay Germans in the French and Soviet sectors were freed and allowed to try to re-build their lives like everyone else because France had no laws against homosexuality and the Soviets (at that time) did not either.

  • 17. VIRick  |  October 8, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Mexico: First Same-Sex Marriage Celebrated in Hidalgo

    Per Alex Alí Méndez Díaz:

    Esta noche, 8 de octubre 2016, estamos celebrando el primer matrimonio Higualitario en Hidalgo… una barrera menos!!!!

    Tonight, 8 October 2016, we are celebrating the first same-sex marriage in Hidalgo,– one less barrier.

    With this marriage tonight actually having taken place within the boundaries of Hidalgo state, we now have had at least one marriage of a same-sex couple occur within each and every last one of Mexico's 32 political jurisdictions. And although Hidalgo was the very last state to have had a verified marriage equality celebration, Zacatecas state was the very last one to have had an amparo granted to allow a same-sex couple to marry.

    So, at long last, we can finally accurately state that amparos have been granted and same-sex couples have married everywhere in Mexico, without exception.

    NOTE: The same-sex couple openly married yesterday in Pachuca, Hidalgo, based on an amparo granted in June 2016, were male. Earlier, in December 2015, another couple, female, were also granted an amparo to marry, but because they chose to remain perfectly quiet about further details, we have no means of verifying if/when/where their marriage celebration actually took place. I have read several reports indicating that it may well have taken place out-of-state, due to local opposition, some months after the granting of said amparo.

  • 18. allan120102  |  October 9, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Nayarit will continue to denied same sex couple to register there kids with both surnames. The head of the civil registry said that unless congress change the law or courts grants amparos they will continue to abide by their civil code.

  • 19. VIRick  |  October 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Allan, this account from Nayarit with regard to the current Nayarit code may need some additional "translation" and explanation for those from non-Hispanic areas to fully understand the predicament, bearing in mind that Nayarit has already changed its marriage code to allow same-sex couples to marry there.

    Still, at the same time, it would appear that Nayarit failed to change the related language pertaining to the resulting surname naming procedure, at least as it pertains to children of same-sex unions. Traditionally, throughout Latin America, by law, everyone must adhere to a very precise procedure for designating surnames. For example, children must first be given the surname of their father, followed by that of their mother. At the moment, Nayarit appears to be "stuck" with this outdated language, and doesn't precisely know what to do when there's no designated father and/or no designated mother.

    Uruguay, on the other hand, when it completely revamped its entire marriage code in 2013, which among many changes, rendered the code gender-neutral and thereby legalized same-sex marriage, also totally up-ended the traditional Latin-based surname naming scheme. There, any/all couples can now select whatever surname and/or surname combination/order they desire, not only for themselves, but also for their children. This is yet another reason why Uruguay, along with Argentina, have been pushing the other Latin nations to at least recognize (if not adopt) their own thoroughly revised, up-dated, forward-thinking marriage codes.

  • 20. VIRick  |  October 9, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Team China and the 2018 Gay Games in Paris

    China plans to participate in its first-ever Gay Games in Paris in 2018, and they are already poised to dominate, at least in terms of sheer numbers. “With already 20 registrations for badminton, swimming, volleyball, marathon, bike, track, triathlon, and other sports, Team China is aiming to bring the largest delegation ever to participate in a Gay Games,” said Gay Games organizers.

    Why the sudden Chinese interest in the Gay Games? That’s thanks to Qiu Hua, who first learned about the annual games at a badminton club in 2014, and who has been promoting them in Chinese ever since. “People in China don’t know about the games, and this is the first time there has been a direct link between the games and China,” Qiu told Chinese news site, Sixth Tone.

    In 2014, a Chinese athlete tested the waters, taking home a silver for swimming, China’s first Gay Games medal. But this time around, Qiu said he hopes to have 100 team members. Building a team of that size in the world’s most populous nation is harder than it might seem. Qiu told Sixth Tone that the typical recruitment channels, LGBT athletic clubs and teams, are difficult to find.

    In China, LGBT people lack legal recognition and protections. Same-sex couples are not legally permitted to marry or adopt children, and there are no protections against discrimination. Transgender people have the right to change their legal gender, but only after having surgery. And government agencies frequently censor media with LGBT content. Under these conditions, only 5 percent of the country’s LGBT community reports being out at work or school.

  • 21. VIRick  |  October 10, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    El Orden de los Apellidos, Cuestión de Igualdad

    The Order of Surnames, a Question of Equality

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega, 10 de octubre de 2016:

    Essentially put, on 19 October 2016, the First Chamber of Mexico's Supreme Court will provide us with a concrete answer to this dilemma in a case, AR 208/2016, presented by Justice Zaldívar, and brought by a hetero couple from the Federal District who wish to reverse the official surname order for their children, with mother first, and father second.

    Geraldina has all the particulars here:

    And as a further note regarding surnames in Latin countries, we have this from Alexander Aizenstadt of Guatemala:

    Asi ya se hace en Guatemala. Los padres escogen el orden de los apellidos.

    This has already been done in Guatemala. Parents choose the order of surnames.

  • 22. allan120102  |  October 10, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    In Honduras too. Before it was always the surname of the father first but a couple of years ago congress modify the law and now the surname of the mother may be first. depends on the parents wishes.

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