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Equality news round-up: Justice Sotomayor officiates same-sex wedding, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

It's time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
It’s time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
– Justice Sotomayor has officiated a same-sex wedding.

– The European Parliament has urged its member states to protect transgender people in employment.


  • 1. 1grod  |  October 13, 2015 at 11:25 am

    OT: Complaint filed against Alabama Supreme Court Tom Parker, claiming inappropriate comments on pending same-sex marriage cases and voicing personal opinions about the issue: defy the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage There is also an outstanding complaint [January 2015] to the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama regarding the chief justice Roy Moore.

  • 2. guitaristbl  |  October 13, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    It was about time this was filed, I wondered why it was not filed the moment he made those comments. Soon every "judge" on this far right hell hole they call court will have an ethics complaint filed against them if they continue like that (maybe with the exception of judge Shaw).

  • 3. Zack12  |  October 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    The fact Tom Parker is even on the bench to hear cases is a joke itself.
    He is even more of a theocrat then Roy Moore is and his former job as co-founder of the Alabama Policy Institute (A group linked with Focus On The Family) which pushed for the marriage ban in Alabama that was struck down and their history of tyring to turn Alabama into a theocracy makes him unfit to hear cases.
    The fact he and Moore are on the bench shows how foolish it is to elect judges.

  • 4. Bruno71  |  October 13, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Specifically, if he was co-founder of the API, isn't that the group that brought the case before the ALSC to stop marriage licenses in the state earlier this year? That would seem to me to be a huge conflict of interest, even if he's not currently affiliated formally with API.

  • 5. Zack12  |  October 13, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Indeed it was, which meant he should have recused himself, not that it would have mattered in the end since the rest of the justices sans Greg Shaw have shown themselves to be bigots as well as on this.
    I will say I don't think Shaw is an ally but at the very least didn't think the court system should be used to cater to a group who clearly had no standing to bring the case before the court system.

  • 6. Bruno71  |  October 13, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    There's a difference between being a bigot, and even thinking that SCOTUS did the "wrong" thing, and being unwilling to abide by SCOTUS jurisprudence. That is downright sedition. Jefferson Hughes of the Louisiana SC is also one such seditious person.

  • 7. Zack12  |  October 13, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    I remember that bigot.
    He wasn't only judge on the Louisiana SC to be a #@!.
    Justice Jeanette Knoll did a pretty good job herself of being one in her ruling stating that the court got it wrong, that only the voters who the ban in place should be able to take it out, that children need a mother and a father and that same sex couples simply equal to straight couples and therefore don't deserve the same rights.
    It's pretty much the same garbage she used when she authored the majority option upholding the state ban when a state lawsuit was filed against it.
    She ruled in favor of the plantiffs in the case mentioned below but she was NOT happy about it.
    Not the sedition crap Hughes spilled but pretty darn close to it.
    But of course, she has LGBT friends that she cares about, just like the rest of the bigots who say we don't deserve equal rights do.

  • 8. Bruno71  |  October 14, 2015 at 11:16 am

    And that's the difference. At least Knoll, who is quite obviously a bigot, knows how the Supremacy Clause works and found for the plaintiffs. Hughes voted to defy SCOTUS. I imagine Moore and Parker would both do the same thing.

  • 9. Zack12  |  October 14, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I imagine they would as well.
    My problem with Knoll is that while she respects the Supremacy Clause, she still tries to undermine SCOTUS in her temper tantrum of a ruling.
    It's not your job to relitigate a SCOTUS ruling nor undermine it sweetheart.
    Just state the Supremacy Clause applies and leave it at that.
    I would also say this, I expect the bigots to say Sotomayor should have recused herself but will say nothing about people like Knoll, Hughes, Parker and Moore.
    You think any LGBT person is going to have a fair shot from them?

  • 10. Bruno71  |  October 14, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    No, and we've been fortunate to have 5 people on SCOTUS who have had our backs in most cases. I fear what might happen if a Republican gets elected next year to that court though.

  • 11. Zack12  |  October 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Or many of the courts as well.
    The circuit court judges Clinton put on the bench aren't getting any younger nor are the few Republican judges who actually respect their job and apply the law instead of using it to push Republican ideas and nothing else.
    Obama helped turned many of the Circuit Courts like the 4th from rightwing hellholes into moderate courts but it wouldn't take much for those to be flipped right back.

  • 12. Montezuma58_1  |  October 13, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    No doubt thAt Parker is a hardcore theocrat. This article gives good insight into his actions and views.

  • 13. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 13, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Off topic:

    Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is pushing the Justice Department to open an investigation of an alleged 1954 blackmail scheme that led to the suicide of Democratic Sen. Lester Hunt of Wyoming.

    This is not an inquiry of Sen. Hunt's death (from all accounts I've seen, the ruling of suicide was correct), but rather the CAUSE of his suicide, which apparently has never been investigated (or investigated with no interest in getting to the facts, just a release of some results by a date certain.)

    More at:

  • 14. VIRick  |  October 13, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Switzerland: Gay Group Appeals After Hate Speech Charges Dropped Against Catholic Bishop

    Back in August, Swiss Bishop Vitus Huonder declared that the bible “unambiguously” calls for homosexuals to be executed. Huonder later apologized, saying that he’d been misunderstood, but Pink Cross, a national federation of LGBT rights groups, had already sued under Switzerland’s recently approved hate speech law. On Friday, 9 October 2015, their suit was dismissed and Pink Cross has now filed an appeal. Via Swiss Info:

    In a statement released on Monday, 12 October 2015, Pink Cross, the umbrella association for Swiss gay groups, confirmed that it had appealed to the Graubünden cantonal court against a decision on 9 October 2015 to close the three complaints filed against Huonder. The cantonal prosecutor said that the necessary conditions had not been met for the cases to go before a court or for a possible sentence. The gay rights association and two individuals had filed official complaints to the Graubünden prosecutor in eastern Switzerland on 10 August 2015, accusing the 73-year-old Swiss bishop of “inciting people to crime or violence” with his remarks made at a religious forum in Germany on 2 August 2015. Some members of the Catholic Church have distanced themselves from Huonder, with Markus Büchel, the bishop of St Gallen, saying people should not be reduced to their sexuality. Reacting to the controversy, the Swiss Bishops’ Conference released a statement in early September saying, “The Church is open to all."

  • 15. Mike_Baltimore  |  October 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Staver's latest comments on his latest court filing. (He's still lying and carefully crafting his comments so he can deny the comments.):

    Oh, and poor Kimmee – according to Staver, she is still being picked on, especially her religious beliefs, especially by the 'mean homosexuals'. According to Staver, the proof is that "It has never really been about a marriage license — Rowan County has issued the licenses — it is about [the plaintiffs] forcing their will on a Christian woman through contempt of court charges, jail, and monetary sanctions". Those meanies!!

  • 16. davepCA  |  October 13, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Yup. Now you know, Kimmee. Do NOT piss off those gays. Live and learn.

  • 17. VIRick  |  October 13, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    But having already done that, I still think she needs to consult with her Mennonite compatriots (of a much milder flavor) who are quite happily living along the road to Sodom which cuts right through the middle of Vienna Center OH 44473.

    If that cute little house for sale on that road to Sodom, for which I previously posted a link, is not to her liking, here's another older, more substantial house for sale along that same road to Sodom which may be more to her taste:

    But this one, no doubt, is well beyond her means, even given her $80,000 per year salary:

  • 18. SethInMaryland  |  October 14, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Finally Italy government introduces civil unions

    The gov was able to get through all of the adm thrown at it but like be early 2016 before it takes effect.

  • 19. 1grod  |  October 14, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Getting It Straight: John Murphy in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Sept. 24 said he began working as the executive director of St. Francis Home, which the Catholic Diocese of Richmond Virginia owns on March of this year. His orientation and marriage were 'not a problem'. The complaint alleges once the Bishop learned John was gay and married, the board was ordered to fire him. The board “unanimously refused” and the bishop's representatives did so “without severance pay, reasonable health care coverage or other termination benefits.”
    IMO this complex legal question is a good example of the wider concerns this blog ought to also address. Despite John being straight with the Board of Directors, can he be fired without benefits because he is not-straight or because his marriage is not-straight? Does his being a life-long practicing Catholic not make any difference? First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. G

  • 20. Bruno71  |  October 14, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I don't believe there's been any federal case that found a right in the US Constitution to not be terminated based on race, sex, or religion. Those rights were spelled out in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, as we all know, sexual orientation and gender identity were not protected in that law. If there is a federal court case that finds such a right in the Constitution itself, I believe it would be the first of its kind. And we also know that Virginia does not protect LGBT on the state level either. Right now, he's unfortunately SOL legally.

  • 21. Zack12  |  October 14, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    One more thing, want to address an issue I've seen come up in regards to female judges like Sotomayor, Kagan and Ginsburg.
    And that is this idea that we need more female judges on the bench in order to gain equality.
    Just because a judge is female doesn't mean she'll be on our side.
    Judge Johnnie Rawlinson of the 9th Circuit was more then happy to join a bigoted dissent by which more or less stated we should only have rights if the voters want us to.
    Edith Clement, Edith Jones, Jennifer Elrod and Priscilla Owens of the 5th circuit would have been more then happy to rule against us and write a nasty ruling in doing so.
    And of course, let us not forget Deborah Cook, who voted to uphold the bans at the 6th Circuit and would have done the same if she had been put on SCOTUS by John McCain.
    There were also bigoted female state judges as well.
    Justice Jeanette Knoll wrote the option upholding LA's marriage ban in the state lawsuit and threw a temper tantrum when she had to rule in favor of a same sex couple post Obergefell.
    Justice Barbara Madsen of the WA Supreme Court wrote the 5-4 ruling upholding the marriage ban there and here in New York, Victoria Graffeo wrote the most insulting option upholding a marriage ban in my option back in 06, when she wrote a seperate option from the main one.
    The idea that if you tell same sex couples in a "nice" way that they don't deserve equal rights or have to through hell in order to get them is somehow more acceptable then something Scalia or Alito is actually more insulting then any of the dissents written in Obergefell.
    I'm glad Cuomo didn't renominate her to the bench, "niceness" like that I can do without.
    Yes we need more female judges on the bench but they need to be liberal to moderate ones and not ones who will simply be Alito or Scalia in a dress.

  • 22. RobW303  |  October 14, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    One can always cherry-pick counter-examples. It doesn't invalidate that women in general are more likely to hold egalitarian views–particularly on issues that concern sexuality and women's rights. Just check any polls from the last twenty years broken down by the sex of the respondents.

    Of course, conservatives have no difficulty stuffing the benches with women of more reactionary views, achieving both their ideological ends and a semblance of equality.

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