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Equality news round-up: Potential SecDef nominee has anti-gay history, and more


By Scottie Thomaston

– The Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld the state’s domestic partner registry, via Lambda Legal.

– Anti-gay legislators will introduce an anti-gay marriage amendment in Pennsylvania.

– In case you missed it: Sao Paulo will allow marriage equality.

– Potential nominee for Secretary of Defense has record of anti-gay comments and actions.


  • 1. Jamie  |  December 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

    "This case is not about whether the Wisconsin or United States Constitutions require, on equal protection or other grounds, that same-sex couples have the right to a legally recognized relationship that is identical or substantially similar to marriage. To the contrary, for the domestic partnership law to pass muster here, the “legal status” created by that law may not be “substantially similar” to the “legal status” of marriage. Because the legal and evidentiary arguments of the parties persuade us that the two are not “substantially similar,”
    we affirm the circuit court’s decision holding that the domestic partnership law does not violate the marriage amendment."

    The court is basically inviting an equal protection challenge here. The entire argument confirms that the intent of the law and constitutional amendment was to treat people differently. Infuriating.

  • 2. grod  |  December 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Jamie I agree.
    On another topic, Bangor Daily News (Dec 13) reports… G

  • 3. grod  |  December 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    BDN: The following email dated Dec 17 from Cathy Beaudoin, who oversees the licensing of notaries for Maine's Department of the Secretary of State impacts about 25,000 notaries. “If you are a Notary Public who performs marriages and you refuse to perform a marriage for a couple due to a person’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, creed, age, ancestry or national origin, you may be subject to a claim of discrimination.’’ Beaudoin wrote. “The new law authorizing same-sex marriage does not provide any exemption from liability for Maine Notaries who refuse to perform marriages for same-sex couples.”

  • 4. Lymis  |  December 23, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Infuriating in terms of the situation, but remember, Wisconsin passed a Constitutional Amendment explicitly banning both marriage equality and the creation of any other legal recognition for same sex couples that is substantially similar to marriage. The Court, could, therefore, not declare a right to marriage.

    The question before them was not whether gay people deserve equal recognition, but rather whether this registry was sufficiently unequal to meet Constitutional muster. This really was the best they could do at this point.

    Of course, where they really missed the ball was when that Constitutional amendment came before them in the first place, and they declared that banning marriage and banning civil unions counted as one issue and therefore could be put on the ballot together. THAT was infuriating, since all the polls showed far more support for civil unions than for marriage and a ban on civil unions would likely have failed.

  • 5. karen in kalifornia  |  December 23, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Also remember that Wisconsin's DP registry bestows all of a grand total of 43 benefits or around only a quarter of the rights benefits and obligations married heteros have under state law.

  • 6. Steve  |  December 23, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Over half of which are only useful after your partner dies. Which admittedly is a time when one really needs some legal protection, but it still means that those DPs are not that great for everyday life.

  • 7. Guest  |  December 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Chuck Hagel (the nominee for Secretary of Defense) has apologized for his previous comments.

  • 8. Eric  |  December 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    So what? So did Bob Barr, but our marriages are still not recognized by the federal government.

    Frankly, I find it insulting that Obama would even propose a candidate with a zero rating from HRC.

    What are this or any of the candidates' views on transgendered individuals serving in the military?

  • 9. Mike in Baltimore  |  December 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    The comments were made in 1998, when Hagel was NOT at the Pentagon.

    In 1998, Gallup Polls found between 27% and 35% of American were for marriage equality, but in 2011 and 2012, Gallup Polls found 50% or more Americans for marriage equality.

    In other words, attitudes changed as people gained more information and knowledge. And I, for one, am happy that they have changed. In the 1950s/60s, my mother was an extreme homophobic bigot. Over the years, her attitude changed, and now, at more than 85 years old, she is a supporter of full marriage equality.

    And if you are so curious as to various people's views (candidates or not) on transgendered individuals serving in the military, and you can't find a reporter who has asked that question to the various people (that you want asked), then ask them yourself. You'll probably not get a response, but that probably will tell you one of two things – they don't want to tell you, or they consider you not worth their while.

    By the way – Hagel is NOT a candidate for political office, but a rumored nominee for the Secretary of Defense post. Last time I checked, the Secretary of Defense is not a political position, but a position on the President's Cabinet.

  • 10. Tyler O.  |  December 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Passive aggressive trolling from Mike from Baltimore is back! Wahoo!

  • 11. J.R  |  December 23, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Mike in Baltimore. You're either not on our side and need to stand with your convictions, or are trolling..and not very good at it. Your apologist tone is not welcomed here. LGBT have suffered far too long to now settle for known homophobes who attempted to get gay individuals *fired* from their jobs strictly for being gay- as early as 14 years ago. That is a deplorable quality, and one that most self respecting gay people will not be overlooking.

  • 12. Amir  |  December 23, 2012 at 12:42 am

    You're not even a good troll! come on now, way too transparent. if you're gonna troll, be more skilled at it.

  • 13. Steve Johansen  |  December 23, 2012 at 12:46 am

    And here;s where your thinking is flawed, Mike. Hagel has in fact NOT apologized directly or personally to Hormel. As a matter of fact, he never once reached out to him in the past 14 years. He went after him like a witch hunt, in a harsh, cruel and very public manner. He made his sexuality to be the most vile trait, and painted him as a monster. That the man who was on the receiving end of his attacks says that he does not accept Hagel's apology, because Hagel never once reached out to him to apologize is enough for me. Another more qualified candidate is in the wings. One who doesn't have such a shady history.

  • 14. 2 Dads  |  December 23, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Failed comparison there, Mike. There's a huge gap between not being in favor of marriage equality in 1998, and Hagel's horrifically bigoted remarks about a gay man. Those who were against marriage equality were not automatically in favor of denying a job to someone based on their being gay. To link the two together defeats the purpose of your point. As for progressing? we're all in favor of that. The question at hand is…did Hagel progress? evolve? have a change of heart? Then how and why did his heart not dictate he approach the man he personally hurt all those years and apologize to him?

  • 15. karen in kalifornia  |  December 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Yeah right fine. More important to ask is how will anti gay Hagel support married active service men and women and veterans in regards to spousal benefits with or without DOMA?
    Unfortunately I think I know the answer.

  • 16. sfbob  |  December 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    It's now academic. Hagel won't be the nominee.

  • 17. Kathleen  |  December 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Kerry is nominee for Secretary of State, not Defense.

  • 18. sfbob  |  December 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Wow. I blew that one. Apologies.

  • 19. sfbob  |  December 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Had a medical procedure done yesterday morning and had been sedated. They told me not to drive until today. They should have warned me about posting stuff on the internet too.

  • 20. F Young  |  December 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Hagel apologized for making "insensitive" anti-gay remarks.

    Er, insensitive is when you fail to give due regard to how your remarks could hurt someone.

    When you aim to destroy the careers of an ambassadorial candidate and thousands of troops in order to advance your own career, it's called unscrupulous and dishonorable, not insensitive. And it disqualifies you from leading those for whom service and honour are paramount values.

  • 21. TonydouglassCa  |  December 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Was there a stay issued today by ninth circuit court on the California ex-gay therapy ban? I've seen spotty news coverage on this, I would think it would be huge news if it did happen.

  • 22. SoCal_Dave  |  December 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I heard that on NPR radio on my drive home.
    Apparently when a law is passed and then is found unconstitutional (like prop 8), it still has to stay in effect while legal challenges go on. But when a law is passed and NOT found unconstitutional, (like the gay conversion anti-quackery law) it has to be put on hold while legal challenges go on.

  • 23. Lymis  |  December 23, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I'm seeing spotty coverage too – but remember there were two separate cases and two conflicting rulings – if I recall correctly, the one that stayed the law only did so in the specific case of the single plaintiff, while the ruling that upheld the law and left it in place for everyone else. Unless there's been a change, that was news from a while back.

  • 24. TonydouglassCa  |  December 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Yep, I just found the link in Quick Hits. Sad day when judges are supporting even a stay of this much needed law.

  • 25. Duration & Convexity  |  December 23, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Would we be so forgiving if Hagel went after Hispanic people and attempted to penalize them from getting a job in 1998? How about women? Jewish folks? black folks? Then how is it LGBT have to consistently overlook the egregious track record of a man who wanted gay people to be unemployed as early as the 2000s….all because he's in dire need of a bigger pay check today? I may be gay, but that doesn't make me a fool.

    Really hope our President considers someone else, and I have full faith he will.

  • 26. _BK_  |  December 23, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I see your point, but change the year from 1998 to better fit the public perception of those other groups – then you might have a better comparison.

  • 27. A&50  |  December 23, 2012 at 1:12 am

    You're putting too much stock in public perception. Public perception still doesn't change the fact that gay people were hurt, both emotionally and their livelihood, but Hagel's remarks as early as 14 years ago. That is the narrative here. Not any calculating attempt to give him a pass on his ignorance.

  • 28. Duration & Convexity  |  December 23, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Logic fail. You much like Mike in Baltimore are equating being against marriage equality as being against gay employment. Those two issues are mutually exclusive. I was around in 1998. It really wasn't as long ago as Hagel defenders like yourself are painting it to be. Yes, the consensus was heavily against gay marriage, but it was not heavily for dragging people through the mud strictly by virtue of their being gay. 70% + of the public was not in favor of that, and there's no scientific polls to validate that notion. So in other words, Hagel was not a figure of his time, and neither was his antiquated mentality. He was by all accounts an extremist. It's healthy, if not vital, to know who you're facing and be mindful of it.

  • 29. Amir  |  December 23, 2012 at 1:20 am

    1998? was there homophobia? sure, but Hagel's commentary was militant even for 1998. We were ignored in the late 90s by most. And our rights and concerns were ignored in the late 90s. But character assassinations for being LGBT were reserved for bigots. Even back then.

    There's far better fits for this position than Hagel and we as LGBT have way too much sustainability right now to settle for someone who so clearly was against us, and other than a publicity stunt apology, has yet to prove they aren't still against us.

  • 30. Eric-ATL  |  December 23, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Hagel: Apologizing personally & directly to the man who was effected and had their life altered by your hate campaign is a sincere apology.

    Apologizing in a press release for journalist is a PR stunt.

    Most of us are not buying what you're selling. Next candidate, please.

  • 31. LightBreeze  |  December 23, 2012 at 1:31 am

    it's Hagel's action that I care most about. a history filled with anti gay votes is enough to not make even the most naive apologist gay give you the benefit of the doubt. You have to earn respect. not be granted it just because you've asked for it, while seeking a position. an apology is meaningless is it's followed by a homophobic track record on our equal and civil rights.

  • 32. JordanJorhAn  |  December 23, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Hagel told the Omaha World-Herald then "A person in that position is representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay."

    Two years later in an interview with the NY Times he said he is very proud of having a role in DADT passing as "the military is no place for social experiments"

    A leopard changes it's spots? In this case? I think not.

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