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Equality news round up: EEOC files federal court brief supporting transgender employee, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

– The EEOC has filed an amicus brief in federal district court in an employment discrimination case involving a woman who is transgender. The brief urges the court to adopt their view that transgender discrimination is sex discrimination. Other lower courts have adopted this view.

– Bill that would have banned so-called LGBT “conversion therapy” in Virginia has died.

– President Obama spoke about the marriage cases in the Supreme Court, saying that he hopes they reach the right decision.

– The Washington Post profiles a Colorado baker who refused to write overtly anti-LGBT messages on a cake, and is now facing a discrimination complaint.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. wkrick  |  January 23, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I just found this article today. Check out the comments. Yikes…

  • 2. Rik_SD  |  January 23, 2015 at 10:09 am

    reading the comments I want to punch about 3 people

  • 3. RnL2008  |  January 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    There's one in the comment section I've dealt with over on topix's…..his name is Charlie Feather and I refer to him as Charlie "TICKLEME" Feather because his comments are just ridiculous!!!

  • 4. tigris26  |  January 23, 2015 at 10:35 am

    People can be so nasty and downright stupid in those article comment sections! I try to avoid looking at the comments, especially if it's an article that I really like and enjoyed reading what the author had to say. The rudeness and lack of decency in the people who post those comments just put a damper on my mood. Ugh!!

    Thank you for sharing the link to the article, though! Good stuff! 🙂

  • 5. Eric  |  January 23, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Putting forth superstitious justifications in forums is all the anti-gay have left. These people can't be reasoned with, if they could, then they wouldn't be superstitions in the first place.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  January 23, 2015 at 11:46 am

    A couple of trolls infesting a commenting thread. Big deal, cry me a river.The pro equality comments are more. Nobody cares at this point.

  • 7. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    If anyone had any doubt about animus towards two people of the same sex marrying, all they'd have to do is read comment thread such as these. Or listen to a southern baptist preacher or catholic priest on any given sunday morning. What part of impermissible animus don't they get?

  • 8. Eric  |  January 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    The problem is that they think it is permissible.

  • 9. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    "They" can think anything "they" want. "They" have a first amendment right to think anything "they'd" like. Where "they" cross the line is when when "their" thoughts become more than thoughts and become actions that either harm or intend to harm another. Of course, "they" will claim that Marriage Equaligists are harming them. This is where the courts and the law get involved and must weigh a balance of harms, and a balance of rights. While marriage equality may hurt "their" feelings, "their" narcissistic [anti-gay] laws, "their" hate speech, "their" animus far out weigh the harms, far out balances "their" hurt feelings. "They" apparently, think of marriage as some sort of exclusive club, like a country club to which only "they" hold the keys. The only harm that "they" can claim is that the law [government] is forcing "them" to open up "their" special private club to gays, which "they" do not like and being forced to accept gays into "their" club hurts "their" feelings. Of course "they" couch "their" harm in religiosity and a violation of "their" religious right to hate because "their" god orders them to.

    We all know the harms that the denial of equal protection and application of the law and denial of a fundamental right causes two people of the same sex, including loss of dignity, recognition, rights [over 1000 Federal rights] and responsibilities of marriage. Anyone here at EoT could write a book on the real and tangible harms that the denial of the fundamental right to marry cause same sex couples and their families. Other than "their" hurt feelings, and the courts taking away "their" right to own the word and institution of marriage and who may join "their" club, "they" can not and have not pointed to any" harm marriage equality will cause. Most of these people call themselves religious or "christians", but "they're" very selective in the tenets of "their" faith. "They" ignore two of "christianity's basic tenets – love thy neighbor as "thyself" and do unto others as you'd have done unto you. How convenient, how hateful. I'm sure that "they" would not like Marriage Equaligists to legislate away "their" fundamental rights…including the right to Love, Honor and Cherish "their" spouse.

    We, the people, Eric,…including the gay tax paying people, hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, ALL MEN Eric, are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, Eric, be they gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered, black, white, red or brown, yellow or mulatto, male or female. Denying a gay citizens right to marry the person he chooses is denying him liberty, it is denying him his natural right in the pursuit of happiness…it is animus in black and white.

    So, just because "they" think it's permissible to promote animus in the law doesn't make it so Eric. In order for "their" thoughts to take form, "they" must take action – action that leads to harming another, and that is animus, impermissible animus. [It is] Impermissible in a country, in a society of laws, and with a Constitution that promises equal protection of laws and due process before government takes away a fundamental right from any citizen. Just sayin…

  • 10. hopalongcassidy  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Sure and most of them believe in talking snakes, worldwide floods and women being made from the rib of a man or another man coming out of a woman who never got fucked.. Medieval nonsense still infects the minds of way too many people.

  • 11. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Not only THAT hopalong…
    Most of them believe all their commandments were given to moses by an incendiary shubbery! And that some chap named Jonah lived inside a belly of a Fish…A fish hopalong! Can you imagine living inside a FiSH for three freakin' days hopalong? I hope that fish had room-service…I mean my god…the humanity! And we're supposed to take lessons on marriage from them? Really? 50% (and climbing) of their [sacred] marriages end in divorce. And people like Rush Limbaugh, and Pam Bondi would legislate and lecture us on marriage? It's like the blind leading the seeing hopalong.
    — I'll never complain about having to stay in a HoJO's for three days again….sheesh! It must have taken weeks to get rid of that FISH Smell.

    Ohhh and lets not forget…when their "god" gets grumpy or has a bad day…he DROWNS the WHOLE F'n World hopalong…the WHOLE F'n World…even every single one of the kids…except a few chosen to go on the boat. I mean, more innocent children must have been killed by drowning in that flood than all the abortions in the last 5 centuries… What's up with that???

    I mean, I have my bad days too…but I've never drowned one child much less every child on the planet! Talk about over-inclusive!

  • 12. hopalongcassidy  |  January 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    If you have Netflix or other way to get old movies, grab "Inherit the Wind" with Spencer Tracy. It's a wonderful old flick.

  • 13. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    To be fair…children are being pro-created these days w/o anyone being F'ckd. Invitro Fertilization means women don't have to be f'cked anymore. Maybe they didn't back in the day either.

    And when that dude turned water into wine….was it a Pino Grigo? A cabernet? Perhaps a Sauvignon Blanc. I sure hope it was a port… i'll only drink port. And I really hope no one was allowed to drink and drive their oxen carts after the party. That dude must have been REALLY popular at parties.

  • 14. hopalongcassidy  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    You're probably too young to remember one of my favorite old songs,
    "Have some Madeira, m'dear"

    Limeliters ca. 1963

    (I bet it's on youtube somewhere)

  • 15. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Yes. TOO YOUNG.

    Is this it?

  • 16. hopalongcassidy  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    HEEHEE…hey that's neat, I never knew Tony Randall ever did the song, I saw the Limeliters do it in person in the 60s in Tulsa…here's their version

  • 17. MichaelGrabow  |  January 23, 2015 at 9:57 am

    One of the people who co-authored the Marshall Newman amendment (that banned same sex marriage in VA) Stephen Newman could not possibly have been objectively looking at this and should have been forced to recuse himself from voting on this.

    That article does not mention it, but the one posted on stated that a man named John Linder spoke in opposition of the bill. He said his attraction towards men diminished and he had reparative therapy to thank for the life he has with his wife.

  • 18. Chuck_in_PA  |  January 23, 2015 at 10:13 am

    An excellent article on New Civil Rights Movement regarding response to Florida clerks no longer marrying anyone. I like lawyers who kick bigots in the butt like this, we need more of them.

  • 19. MichaelGrabow  |  January 23, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Wow, that's great.

    "In addition, I have committed that my law offices will perform such ceremonies for free, and even more, if the couple could not afford a marriage license, we would pay for it."

    Also, I'm glad he brought up:

    •Additionally, there is a small fee for the use of the Wedding Chapel, and that fee helps to pay the salaries of Courthouse public employees including the very Clerk of the Court who shut down this stream of revenue! The Clerk does not have the right to make such financial decisions on behalf of the City.

    I hope someone reaches out to him so he can file.

  • 20. Rakihi  |  January 23, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Here's an idea. All of those county clerk offices whose employees are too uncomfortable to perform court weddings should be required to hire someone who is willing to perform them.

    Of course, we don't want to increase the cost of the office to taxpayers so the money it would take to pay for the new hire should be gotten by reducing the work hours of the other employees.

  • 21. VIRick  |  January 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Ooooh, Eric Block is a cute hunk, too.

    He's also correct about the fact that Florida has spent a small fortune building accessible, modern, user-friendly, state-of-the-art courthouses all over the state. Just to give some impression of the typical, grandiose construction style, he's standing in front of the new Duval County courthouse, paid for by ALL Florida taxpayers, and designed to be utilized by ALL Florida taxpayers.

    As he mentions, use of the wedding chapel is included in the $30 add-on fee which is charged any couple who wishes to opt for the courthouse civil wedding ceremony. Also included is the officiant and the photographer. And it's all done in the next room, as a one-stop-shopping deal, as soon as the marriage license is issued. But by eliminating ALL civil wedding ceremonies (so as not to "discriminate"), they are also wiping out this $30-a-pop revenue source across-the-board, a fee which is retained by the county (most of the license fee charge is forwarded to the state). So, these obfuscating, pinch-nosed clerks are actually slitting their own throats by denying their services. Plus they're mostly inconveniencing and pissing off hetero couples (and their families, relatives, and friends), given that at least 90% of the marriages, going forward, will continue to be between heteros.

    In the meantime, while Duval County's revenue has already come to a screeching halt (along with about 18 other retrograde northern Florida counties), any and all couples wishing to have a courthouse civil wedding ceremony, only have to drive one county south to St. Johns (St. Augustine) or one county north to Nassau (Yulee). Both will graciously perform the requested ceremony with dignity and grace for everyone,– and do it all for the same $30.

    And just to be clear when reading the article, Jacksonville IS Duval County. Some years ago, the city annexed the entire county, merged city/county functions, and thus made itself the largest city in area in the entire USA.

  • 22. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Exactly how long do these "clerks" think they're going to get away with it? Anyone could have seen the law suits coming. Wouldn't a more honest solution be if you don't like following the law…quit your job and let someone else do it…properly?

  • 23. hopalongcassidy  |  January 23, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I don't know if this has been posted here, looked around & didn't see it. I won't even begin to try to describe how despicable this bitch is because nobody would believe me if they didn't read

    HB 1597 is so vile, it defies credulity. jesusfuckingchrist…

  • 24. A_Jayne  |  January 23, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    What defies credulity for me is a legislator who thinks forcing civil employees to take an unconstitutional stance against the 14th Amendment in violation of their oaths of office makes for good law.

  • 25. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Hopefully someone is collecting these bills (She stole the idea from Texas) and will put them in an amicus brief for Justice Kennedy at the April Oral Arguments. These people are so full of animus and hate, they don't even try to disguise it. They revel in their hatred of gays and try to openly legislate it. If this doesn't prove state sponsored [impermissible] animus, I don't know what does. Only a Supreme Court Order, saying the 14th Amendment DOES REQUIRE states to licence AND recognize marriage between two people of the same sex will secure our fundamental right to marry.

    People like this woman, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz are running scared and their levels of animus and hyperbole are ratcheting up. They're ratcheting up to the point of advocating disobeying Supreme Court Rulings, legislation animus into the books, and cutting off their nose to spite their ugly faces, by ending wedding ceremonies in court houses, or just ending civil marriage all together. I hope all this fist shaking backfires against them.

  • 26. guitaristbl  |  January 23, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I would hope that even in Oklahoma this lunatic and her bills will not go far. I might be expecting too much though from the state that shrieks about federalism and state sovereignty when it comes to its efforts to skip the federal constitution and federal laws when they do not like them but SUES Colorado for legalizing marijuana through referendum because it will influence the interstate circulation of Marijuana through the TINY border Oklahoma and Colorado share !

  • 27. hopalongcassidy  |  January 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Our governatrix rants and raves about state's rights and sovereignty but she never hesitates to beg the feds for help whenever a tornado levels one of our towns. She's just about as goddam goofy as this Kern bitch.

    Edit to add…the gov Mary Fallin was just re-elected which is amazing because I have yet to meet a single person who admits to having voted for her.

  • 28. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Maybe you can answer me this..

    Why are republican governesses so darn fugly? Did Rience Preibus open up a forbidden well springing from Hades from whenst they all crawled out? Have you seen Jan Brewer and Susanna Martinez…not to mention I can see Russia from my house Palin?

  • 29. Mike_Baltimore  |  January 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    It would appear to me that this legislative bill is a direct violation of the Romer v Evans SCOTUS decision from 1996.

    And for those who say so far there has been no animus displayed, I submit Exhibit 1, Oklahoma HB 1599. Other than GLBTs, are there any other 'detested people' specifically named?

  • 30. RnL2008  |  January 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    This is NOTHING new from that bigoted piece of trash…….she has been doing these sorts of things for a while now and yet she keeps getting reelected…….ugh:(

  • 31. mariothinks  |  January 23, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Someone please wake up the 11th Circuit…

  • 32. Zack12  |  January 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    This is in the 10th circuit.

  • 33. mariothinks  |  January 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Idk what you're talking about. I was referring to scheduling oral arguments in the Brenner case.

  • 34. guitaristbl  |  January 23, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    One of the heinous results of the republican takeover of Arkansas, new AG Rutledge is asking for new oral arguments before the Arkansas Supreme Court on the marriage case :

    This started out in such a promising way and if a ruling had come down in time, we would avoid some of that nonsense…

  • 35. bythesea66  |  January 23, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Well we can only blame that on whoever decided to delay until the new session, I suppose.

  • 36. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Well even if the Arkansas Supreme does rehear the ME Case and rules against ME (they'd have to work fast to do it all in 5 months), they will just be slapped down by the US Supreme Court the last week of June…what's the point in that? If they redo oral arguments, they're just wasting everybody's time including their own and everyone's money. Do they really want to go down in the history books as one of the two or three courts that got it wrong?

  • 37. RnL2008  |  January 23, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Are there NO court transcripts for the new Justices to read? Will having new oral arguments change? My guess is NO to both questions and ANY Government official who continues to waste the resources of the taxpayers should be held accountable!!!

  • 38. VIRick  |  January 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Remember, Rose, "People ARE stupid."

    Arkansas Attorney-General Rutledge has just been newly-elected to this post by the voters this past November, and only took office two weeks ago.

  • 39. DrBriCA  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Well, there has been a major development since the oral arguments last year: the federal district judge ruled that the Arkansas statutes & amendment were Unconstitutional! Thus, even though the new state supreme court leans more Republican, the AG has an even tougher battle ahead of her if she wants new arguments, since now she has to dance around the (stayed) federal opinion, with recent concurrent decisions in neighboring Missouri and SD. Good luck with that!

  • 40. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    What is it with these anti ME governors and AGs? They just don't know when to give up. They remind me of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Crazy Obsessed.

    At least Chris Christy, Susana Martinez, and the Gov's of PA and NV knew when enough was enough. Maybe a few other too.

  • 41. flyerguy77  |  January 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    it sounds like AG feels that with "previous sitting justices" are going to rule against the state based on the oral arguments.. Can the ARk Supreme Court deny the request?

  • 42. scream4ever  |  January 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Yes they can but that remains to be seen.

  • 43. DrBriCA  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    It just seems silly, since the AG would now have to address the recent federal decision against the state bans. Even with the decision being stayed, it still has been out there for a month, and the plaintiffs are sure to point this out!

  • 44. F_Young  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    The secret history of same-sex marriage

    This is a fascinating and incredibly informative essay on historical same-sex relationships, written by the author of the book " The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution."

  • 45. brandall  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm


    “There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples,” Granade writes. “In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”

    The ruling:

  • 46. F_Young  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm


    Okay, get to work, Wikipedia map people.

  • 47. F_Young  |  January 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    The map has been updated. Thanks, prcc27.

  • 48. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Wow that was fast! Now someone update my iOS GayStars flag please 😀

    Can't wait till all 50 stars are lit up! Only 158 days and Counting
    (Based on a June 30th Supreme Court Ruling)

    Great way to start 2015 – two new ME states in 23 days!

  • 49. scream4ever  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    And there likely will not be one since the 11th refused the one from Florida and the Supreme Court did as well!!!

  • 50. A_Jayne  |  January 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    10 short and sweet pages. Not only no stay, but holding the state responsible to provide a compelling reason to deny same-sex couples equal access to marriage laws because marriage is a fundamental right!

  • 51. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Are couples getting married this afternoon? 😀

  • 52. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    OMG! The judge who struck down Alabama was a GW Bush appointee. I'm gonna go outside and check for flying pigs.

  • 53. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    The 11th circuit isn't going to grant the state a stay. And neither is the Supreme Court. We're now at 37! YAYYYYY. South Dakota…you're next 😀

  • 54. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Does anyone know if there are any pending lawsuits to overturn the ME ban in the Navajo Nation…or any legislative action? I see in addition to 37 states, there are about 21 tribal nations with ME. Adding the Navajo nation, one of the largest would be a coup! I suppose the forthcoming win for ME at the Supreme Court won't affect the Native American Nations which withhold ME as they're sovereign?

  • 55. DrBriCA  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    It's an interesting question. I'm not familiar with tribal law, so I wonder how a tribal nation's constitution relates to the US Constitution, especially with regards to the 14th Amendment, which specifically address states.

    If anything, it would be another way to challenge DOMA section 2, which does include tribal nations, if the Navajo Nation were to quote DOMA as a reason to not recognize outside marriages.

  • 56. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Now, if the 5th CA doesn't stay it's decision in favor of ME, we'll have Marriage Equality from Coast to Coast! You'll be able to drive from California thru Arizona, New Mexico, waltz across Texas, continue on thru Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and right on into the Florida panhandle without getting unmarried on your road trip!

    Now only in Louisiana can you not cross over border into an ME state to marry your fiance of the same sex.

  • 57. SethInMaryland  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    i think the 5th panel should go for it, issueing the ruling with no stay

  • 58. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Now it's only 4 states, Louisiana, North Dakota, Nebraska and Georgia that haven't had their SSM bans overturned , removed, or disassembled by a federal district court, a legislature or by ballot. So the Supreme Court could potentially only overturn only 4 states bans, and restore the district court decision in 4 states

  • 59. DrBriCA  |  January 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Louisiana's ban was ruled unconstitutional in a state court, at least!

  • 60. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    And… it's likely to be thrown out by the 5th circuit if many of us are reading our tea leaves right. That would leave only North Dakota (which is now in a holding pattern), Nebraska and Georgia which would have their bans directly invalidated by SCOTUS. How could Kennedy an company have an issue with that? I mean children are harmed when their parents are denied the protections of marriage and are unable to understand the dignity of their families…whether marriage is withheld or not recognized by a state government or a federal government no? Why would it be NOT ok for the Federal Govt to harm children by it would be perfectly fine for a state government to harm them, or the voters to vote a harmful law into their state constitution?

  • 61. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Who's the resident statistician here? What % of American's now live in a Marriage Equality State?

  • 62. StraightDave  |  January 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    My rough math says 72%. When is enough enough?
    "Turn out the lights, the party's over." –Dandy Don Meredith, stolen from somebody else.

  • 63. scream4ever  |  January 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Counting Missouri and Kansas, we're now at around 74%!!!

  • 64. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 23, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Where were all these pro equality judges back in 1972?

  • 65. StraightDave  |  January 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    In 3rd grade.

  • 66. Tony MinasTirith  |  January 24, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Exactly, most of these judges (not all) grew up in the 60's and 70s, not in the 30s and 40s and 50s, though there are a few like Posner who did. Interestingly Kennedy and Ginsburg are children of the 40s and they have come around, so there is hope even for that generation.

    The people who are today 70 years old, will be gone in 5 to 10 years.
    The people who are today 65 years old will be gone in 10-15 years. The blink of an eye. The younger the person, the less resistive, generally, they are to marriage equality. In 15 to 20 years time there will be very few raised in the depression era left alive. In 25 years time, one generation from now, people born in 1975 and raised in the 70s and early 80s will be 65 years old, close to retirement age. 25 years will pass in the twinkling of an eye. That generation that grew up with 8 tracks, star wars, walkmans, VCRs, Apple IIs and disco and even younger will be our leaders. This up and coming generation of future leaders will have far less hostility than the depression era leaders of today. So a lot (not all) of the prejudice of today will die out along with the depression era generation. As time marches forward and we bury our dead, we will bury the prejudices, hate and animus that they carried with them. And that will be a brighter future for us still living and our posterity. The animus that remains, will be harbored mostly in the major churches and religions..but not all.

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