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Open thread


Wednesday is a slow news day, I guess.

This is an open thread.

Small breaking Kim Davis update: the judge has denied her request to stay the contempt of court order as moot.


  • 1. 1grod  |  October 28, 2015 at 10:14 am reminds its reads about LGBT history
    and reported on University of Alabama at Birmingham talk by Dan Savage – part of this month's recognition. Savage is know for his It gets Better campaign. also reported on Out Week

  • 2. JayJonson  |  October 28, 2015 at 10:43 am

    The articles on Savage and OutWeek at UAB are from 2013.

  • 3. 1grod  |  October 28, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Jay: Well that was dumb of me. OR wishful thinking! G

  • 4. guitaristbl  |  October 28, 2015 at 11:06 am

    When is the HERO referendum taking place ? I think it was early November right ?
    Personally I am cautiously optimistic in this case that the ordinance will be upheld although turnouts will be important.

  • 5. sfbob  |  October 28, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Election Day. Next Tuesday.

  • 6. guitaristbl  |  October 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Wow thats awfully close…! Fingers crossed everything goes well.

  • 7. JayJonson  |  October 28, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    My fingers are crossed as well. But see the comments on the previous thread. I fear that we are likely to lose because of the kind of campaign that Houston Unites has run. Not a single ad that they have produced even mentions glbt people. One would think that those in charge of the campaign are ashamed of gay people, or at least believe that we should be invisible. I think they believe that Houstonians are stupid and that they can be fooled. Of course, the anti-HERO people are busy defining gay and transgender people as bathroom predators and we are allowing them to get away with it.

  • 8. tx64jm  |  October 28, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Early voting has already started.

  • 9. JayJonson  |  October 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Missouri Appeals Court rules against man harassed and ultimately fired for being gay. I hope this is appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court and, if necessary, in federal court.

  • 10. RnL2008  |  October 29, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Truly sad, which is why there is still work to be done…….it's ASININE that one's religious choices are protected, but who one is, which is clearly NOT a choice, is NOT protected!!!

  • 11. jpmassar  |  October 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Attorney's fees cut in half in North Dakota:

    BISMARCK — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the state of North Dakota to pay more than $57,000 in attorneys' fees and costs to lawyers who represented a Fargo couple who filed one of two lawsuits in June 2014 challenging the state's gay marriage ban.

    U.S. Chief District Judge Ralph Erickson awarded the attorneys for Janet Jorgensen and Cynthia Phillips a total of $57,351, less than half of what they requested.

    The couple was represented by national gay rights group Lambda Legal and the Faegre Baker Daniels law firm, which together had sought more than $124,000 in fees and costs — a figure the state argued was unreasonable.

    The attorneys sought reimbursement for hourly rates of $265 to $395 per hour, but Erickson wrote that "based on the recycled and straightforward nature of the legal issues in this case," an hourly rate in excess of $250 per hour "is simply unreasonable and not justified."

    Erickson noted that some of the hours billed on the case were unnecessary or duplicative, and that North Dakota was the last state in the country to face a challenge to its same-sex marriage ban.

    "Simply put, this case was not a trailblazing case on the issues presented," he wrote. "Moreover, the hours billed by the attorneys reflect an excessive amount of time spent on simple issues such as an extension of a deadline or to request a stay be lifted. The billing also reflects an excessive amount of duplicative efforts on issues that had been raised an inordinate amount of times in other cases."

    The state agreed in August to pay $58,000 in attorneys' fees and costs in the other lawsuit that was filed on behalf of seven same-sex couples who challenged the ban, which became void when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on June 26. Erickson approved that agreement on Sept. 14.

  • 12. VIRick  |  October 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    To add to this article (and to give it a slightly different spin, while gleaning through my archives for specifics):

    Back on 26 August 2015, in "Ramsay v. Dalrymple," the first of the two North Dakota marriage cases in federal court, the parties reached an agreement on the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of $58,000. As per the note above, Judge Erickson approved that agreement on 14 September 2015.

    Thus, today, 28 October 2015, in "Jorgensen v. Montplaisir," the court has awarded the plaintiffs' attorneys the sum of $57,351. It may be less than half of what was requested, but this figure is in alignment with the settlement award in the first North Dakota marriage case.

    "Ramsay" was filed on 6 June 2014 (thus making North Dakota the very last state to have a federal case challenging its same-sex marriage ban), while "Jorgensen" was actually filed even later (during that same month), but was not the lead case in that state, and as per Judge Erickson's observation, was duplicative in nature.

  • 13. VIRick  |  October 28, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Obama Administration Files Brief in Trans Student Lawsuit

    On Wednesday, 28 October 2015, the Obama administration filed a brief in support of a transgender student who is challenging his Virginia school district’s controversial policy that prevents him from using the boys restroom or locker room. In "Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board," attorneys with the Department of Education’s Office of the General Council and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division filed the 40-page brief with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond VA on behalf of Gavin Grimm. Grimm, a student at Gloucester County High School, claims in a lawsuit he filed against the Gloucester County School Board in June that the policy violates Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

    In September 2015, District Judge Robert Doumar dismissed Grimm’s request for an injunction that would have allowed him to use the boys restroom during the current academic year as his case continues to progress through the courts. Lawyers with the ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia who are representing the trans teenager appealed the ruling to the 4th Circuit Court.

    In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a landmark ruling that said employment discrimination based on gender identity amounts to sex discrimination under federal law. Then-Attorney-General Eric Holder last December said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans workplace discrimination based on gender identity. The Justice Department in June argued in the Grimm case that Title IX requires school districts allow trans students to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.- See more at:

  • 14. guitaristbl  |  October 29, 2015 at 7:54 am

    I ve been reading coverage on last night's debate and they are mostly focused on the incompetence of the moderators and how they were more interested in provoking personal attacks between candidates and how Cruz was so good and he attacked the liberal media etc but let's be honest for a minute : Do these candidates need any moderators to resort to personal a ttacks really ? Hateful populism is the track on which they are walking anyway for months now…And Cruz attacking the media to fire up the cons while avoiding the questions at the same time is nothing new either really. I do wish he won points among primary voters last night though – he is one of the easiest opponents for Clinton or Sanders.

  • 15. tx64jm  |  October 29, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Given Hillary's 50% unfavorable rating… her chances of becoming president are quickly going down the drain.

  • 16. Elihu_Bystander  |  October 29, 2015 at 11:45 am

    No, the last person that I want to see on GOP ballot is Ted Cruz. There is always the possibility that he could win, and then what?

  • 17. Bruno71  |  October 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Just imagine the State of the Union addresses. The whole country would need earplugs.

  • 18. VIRick  |  October 29, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    "There is always the possibility that he could win, and then what?"

    Well, for starters, we'd all have to put up with the totally berserk "First Father," Rafael Cruz, a figure who makes the mentally-challenged son appear semi-rational.

  • 19. RnL2008  |  October 29, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Did I hear correctly that Paul Ryan or is it Ryan Paul is the new speaker for the House of Representatives? Ugh 🙁

  • 20. weaverbear  |  October 29, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Yup, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is the new Speaker. A conservative Republican, but at least not not a Tea Partier.

  • 21. RnL2008  |  October 29, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    You do know that Paul ISN'T much better than Boehner is, right?

  • 22. guitaristbl  |  October 29, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Imo there is no such possibility. Carson has the ability to fool people with his calm demeanor and actually pass his "gay marriage marxist plot" and "tax plan inspired by the bible" mental nonsense as rational positions. After all for low information voters as those these people are targeting its all about how you say something not what you say. So Carson would be a dangerous candidate even if he alienated the white supermacist voters of the GOP (and there are quite a few I am sure).
    Cruz is narcissistic, hysterical and in general not likable – something he admits as well. He could lose even to O' Malley imo.

  • 23. RnL2008  |  October 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Frankly, I've been impressed with Bernie Sanders……now, hopefully he can take it to the White House!!!

  • 24. tx64jm  |  October 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Gay romance writer plagiarized straight novels:

  • 25. VIRick  |  October 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Jim in Texas,– and your point is??????????

  • 26. davepCA  |  October 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    His point is to be a troll. By posting remarks that are about as meaningful, relevant and thought provoking as a fart in an elevator.

  • 27. weaverbear  |  October 29, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Elections have consequences.

    It used to be said, Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. Well, the Republican party has moved horribly far to the right and I AM TERRIFIED what will happen in 2016 and beyond if everyone in this country in the center and on the left do not get off of their butts and get to the polls to vote IN EVERY ELECTION from their local municipalities all the way to people we send to DC.

    Obama got a mandate in 2008, but lost it in 2010. Worse, when people did not make it to the polls, Republicans were able to take control over many state houses and legislatures in a census year, leaving them in power to redraw the districts after the census was completed. Why do you think we have seen such a swing in Congress to the right since then?

    For those of us who are focusing here on our rights, remember SCOTUS' June decision giving us marriage rights was a 5-4 decision. The next President is likely to have anywhere from 1 to 3 appointments to the Court. What kind of appointment would a Republican president make? What kind of an appointee is likely to get through the Senate as it's currently constituted, given the likes of Senators Paul, Cruz, Rubio, McConnell, et al?

    We cannot take our successes for granted. We have to be willing to get out there and work for our supporters in public office, national, state and local. We cannot afford complacency. Bush v. Gore was a stolen election, but an election can only be stolen if its close enough for that to happen.

  • 28. Zack12  |  October 29, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Indeed, Gore could have won in 2000 if our base had turned out enough to make sure there wouldn't be a recount.
    The bigger issue as you mentioned is that our base has just started to figure out what Republicans and Howard Dean (who was steering the Democrats in the right direction) kne wlong ago.
    Every election matters if you want to get your ideas through.
    From school boards and city councils to state legislature races, Republicans have made it a point to get their guy/gals on everything and from their spring their ideas.
    And it worked greatly in 2010.
    Former Blue/purple states like WI,MI,NC are now solid Red and won't be turning back until 2021 at the least.
    That is what happens when you neglect the not so sexy races, it comes back to bite you in the butt.

  • 29. JayJonson  |  October 30, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Agree with everything you say except the description of WI and MI as "solid Red." More accurately, they have changed from mostly blue to purple. Michigan, after all, has two Democratic Senators. In 2012, Wisconsin elected Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate while keeping her House Seat in Democratic (and openly gay) hands. Even with Wisconsinite Paul Ryan running for the Vice Presidency with Romney, Wisconsin voted for Obama in 2012, as did Michigan.

    But you're right. We must get our base out to vote and keep them informed and enthusiastic. We must elect progressives to city councils, legislatures, governorships, etc. The Republicans have been ruthless in gerrymandering Congressional seats. In many states, large majorities voted Democratic in the Congressional races, but thanks to gerrymandering, more Republicans won seats.

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