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Equality news round-up: Our legal symposium continues, military spousal benefits introduced in Congress, and more

Marriage equality

By Scottie Thomaston

– Prop 8 Trial Tracker’s first-ever legal symposium continues. Here are our posts:

Our first post was from Chris Stoll, senior staff attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Tuesday’s contribution was from Ari Ezra Waldman, who teaches at Brooklyn Law School and writes at Towleroad. Wednesday, LGBT activist Scott Wooledge provided his take. Today, Vienna Hagen, aka AnonyGrl has posted her piece.

– The PPACA (“Obamacare”) was upheld by the Supreme Court this morning, in a 5-4 vote with Chief Justice Roberts joining the four moderate justices. The decision is here. The four dissenters would strike down the entire law, including the Medicaid expansion. Here are statements from the Stonewall Democrats, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Log Cabin Republicans, and the Human Rights Campaign.

– Charlotte, North Carolina voted to approve domestic partner benefits.

– A lesbian couple in Texas were shot, and one person was killed. The shooting is being investigated.

– Legislation is being introduced in Congress that would ensure gay military servicemembers who are married receive spousal benefits.

– On the rights of LGBT parents and the courts.


  • 1. Sagesse  |  June 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm


  • 2. karen in kalifornia  |  June 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    HR 6046, the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2012 is not showing up on Has it really been introduced or is this an announcement that it will be?

  • 3. Mike in Baltimore  |  June 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm


    I had to do some digging at Thomas, but finally found it:
    – introduced 6/27/2012
    – 12 cosponsors:
    Andrews – 6/27/2012
    Brady – 6/27/2012
    Davis – 6/27/2012
    Filner – 6/27/2012
    Hanabusa – 6/27/2012
    Johnson – 6/27/2012
    Langevin – 6/27/2012
    Larsen – 6/27/2012
    Pingree – 6/27/2012
    Ryan – 6/27/2012
    Speier – 6/27/2012
    Tsongas – 6/27/2012

    (I entered the following in the Thomas search boxes:
    Advanced search
    Word/Phrase: spouse
    Sponsor: Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9]
    Committee: Armed Services
    and then I clicked 'Search')

  • 4. chris hogan  |  June 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    You know this liberal support from Justice Roberts must have sent a shiver down the spines of the prop 8 supporters who were SOOOOOO confident they'd have 5 justices on their side!

  • 5. Knz  |  June 29, 2012 at 3:30 am

    All of a sudden *both* Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy seem like two conservatives (as opposed to being reactionary) who could join the 4 moderate justices in striking down DOMA and Prop 8.

    Justice Kennedy still remains the most likely conservative justice to continue to affirm LGBT rights at SCOTUS, but now Chief Justice Roberts is also a possibility.

    I don't think I can find a source for this, but I recall reading somewhere that Chief Justice Roberts, years ago, worked to aid the legal team challenging the notorious Colorado Amendment 1 which went burning down in Romer v. Evans.
    This all makes Chief Justice Roberts seem more likely to do the right thing.

  • 6. Fluffyskunk  |  June 28, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    What does the Obamacare case have to do with gay civil rights, if I may ask?

    If anything, it's a blow to individual rights – the government can now force you to purchase a service, any service, whether you want it or not, and fine you for noncompliance!

  • 7. Jacob  |  June 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Troll elsewhere, please.

  • 8. Steven  |  June 29, 2012 at 1:39 am

    That's uncalled for Jacob. If somebody agrees with you on a specific subject and disagree with other RESPECT IT, He is right it's blow to our freedoms.

  • 9. Jacob  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Your freedom to be denied medical coverage because of a pre-existing illness is not the subject at hand, caps-lock notwithstanding.

  • 10. Fluffyskunk  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I'm not interested in that sort of "freedom". They could have struck down the mandate while upholding the entire rest of the bill. Sure, the insurance companies would suffer, but screw them. I wanted single payer, not a mandate to buy a service from the corporate overlords.

    Man, Obamacare is like civil unions.

  • 11. Jacob  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Fwiw, I hope you're right, in that it's a first step to achieving the real deal. 🙂

  • 12. AnonyGrl  |  June 29, 2012 at 6:11 am

    What it has to do is that it may be an indicator of how certain Justices will vote on other issues. Whether or not you like the vote on Obamacare (and I actually disagree with you, but won't get into that here) is not really the issue. We do discuss other things here as well, because they can relate to how the general tenor of the court may go.

  • 13. Bob  |  July 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    the support of SCOTUS for Obamacare,,,, is so huge,,,,,,,, it affects every person in the U.S.,,,,,,, and frankly is a long overdue victory for Americans,,, including LGBT'S who will get affordable health care… Canadians are HAPPY for this news,,,,,,,,

    we can't fathom people being asked for payment while in stressed out emergency room situations,,,, that's not cool….

    And the really BIG thing is that president Obama did this , it was another of his goals to accomplish before taking office,,,, it shows the type of leader he is,,, and I bet if you took a poll of all nations around the world,,, they would say they want this kind of man leading the strongest country in the world,,, setting an example,,,, doing the right thing,,,,

    He continues to amaze us, cause if things didn't go his way,,, that would have cost him a lot,,,, but he did it anyway,,,, now ya got a whole whack of a lot of people who can start feeling safe and appreciating him,,,,, he's just won over a whole new whack of support ,

  • 14. Jacob  |  June 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Update from Minnesota:….

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