Author Archives: Tony Infanti

Where are the Women (and Gays and Lesbians)? Surgery Edition

This bizarre editorial in Surgery News has highlighted issues regarding the treatment of women and lesbians and gay men in the community of surgeons. Dr. Pauline Chen has a well-contextualized (if depressing) piece explaining the controversy over at the New York … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Science, LGBT Rights, Where are the Women? | Comments Off

Astonishing Reversal in Adar v. Smith

In an astonishing reversal, the 5th Circuit has issued an en banc decision that upholds Louisiana’s refusal to issue a revised birth certificate to a New York same-sex couple who adopted a child born in Louisiana to reflect both members … Continue reading

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Policing Gender

 This J. Crew ad has been causing some controversy over at Fox News because a mom is painting her son’s toe nails PINK! Dr. Keith Ablow had this to say about the ad: Yeah, well, it may be fun … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

A Tax Cut for Same-Sex Couples

Tax day is quickly approaching and there is much talk now of the right mix of revenue raising and spending cuts to address the budget deficit. House Republicans recently floated a long-term budget proposal larded with more tax cuts for … Continue reading

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Sexual Orientation and Censorship

Once again, the lovely children’s book And Tango Makes Three has topped the American Library Association’s list of most frequently challenged books. This book also topped the list in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The book, which is on the bookshelf … Continue reading

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Palm Center Merges with Williams Institute

The Palm Center, which was formerly known as the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military and has been a leader in research regarding the federal government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, has announced that it is … Continue reading

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Arkansas anti-LGBT Foster/Adoption Ban Struck Down

Today, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a 2008 ballot initiative that banned adults “cohabiting with a sexual partner” outside of a different-sex marriage from being foster or adoptive parents. The court found that the law violated the … Continue reading

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Estimating the LGBT Population in the U.S.

From the FLP inbox: The Williams Institute has come out with a new research brief that examines eleven different studies to come up with an estimate of the number of LGBT persons in the United States. Here are the key … Continue reading

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Refusing to Lie on Your Tax Return

With April 15 quickly approaching, married same-sex couples are once again finding it necessary to fill out two “single” tax returns to submit to the federal government. For those who find it offensive to be forced on annual basis to … Continue reading

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Harvard Lambda Legal Advocacy Conference

This weekend I participated in Harvard Lambda’s 6th Annual Legal Advocacy Conference. The title of the conference was “Queering Age: Exploring the Lived Experiences of LGBT Youth and Elders.” They had a great set of panels with a mix of … Continue reading

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GOP and “Social Issues”

The New York Times is running a story about how “a resurgent social conservative movement is shaping the first stage of the presidential nominating contest, complicating the strategy for candidates who prefer to focus on fiscal issues over faith.” Readers … Continue reading

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Marquette to Offer DP Benefits

It is unclear whether the decision is a direct result of the fiasco last year when the university rescinded an offer to Jodi O’Brien to become dean of the college of arts and sciences. Marquette rescinded to the offer to … Continue reading

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Canadian Assistance for LGBT Refugees

The Toronto Star is reporting that, with likely upcoming elections, the Canadian Immigration Minister is “warming” to the LGBT community after last year’s off-putting decision to exclude gay rights history from an updated version of the country’s citizenship guide. Not … Continue reading

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“Illegality” and Same-Sex Marriage

My earlier post on the recent poll on same-sex marriage got me thinking. I decided to do a little digging to see how the issue of denying same-sex couples access to marriage has been phrased and particularly whether the word … Continue reading

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Prop. 8 Stay and a Poll

The Ninth Circuit has summarily decided to leave a stay in place while it considers an appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that California’s Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. On a related note, it’s worth checking out Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column … Continue reading

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Teacher to Publicly Apologize for Antigay Harassment

In another instance of repeated antigay bullying, the ACLU of Florida announced yesterday a settlement with the Flagler County School District in a case of a student who had been bullied and harassed by other students and by a teacher. … Continue reading

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Ending Antigay Aid?

There has been a bit of buzz (e.g., here, here, and here) about an amendment that Rep. Barney Frank proposed to a House Financial Services Committee measure regarding aid to countries that physically persecute LGBT persons. Much of what is … Continue reading

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Hate Crime Victim Tells His Story

If you think that my last post described disturbing/outrageous events, take a look at this video: Hate Crimes Still Happen -Tony Infanti

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Pattern of Anti-LGBT Bullying and Harassment at a California High School

There have been disturbing reports of “a pattern of bullying, harassment and discrimination against gay and lesbian students on campus” at a Southern California high school. In a cross between Harry Potter and the Scarlet Letter, one student reported that … Continue reading

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Maryland Same-Sex Marriage Bill Dead

The bill to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples in Maryland died in the legislature there today. Debate over the bill in the state House of Delegates ended without taking a vote. In fact, in a step backwards, … Continue reading

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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal and Military Chaplains

This morning’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a story about the fears expressed by some conservative military chaplains about the effects on them of the pending repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The story is part of the meme of victimizing the … Continue reading

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Questions Raised by Obama Shift on DOMA

With some time to reflect, the administration’s shift in position raises some interesting practical questions. As mentioned in my earlier post, the administration’s decision leaves the door open to others to intervene to defend section 3 of DOMA in pending … Continue reading

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Section 3 of DOMA Is Unconstitutional

In a sharp shift, the President has ordered the Justice Department to stop defending section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (which is the provision that says that same-sex marriages will not be recognized under federal law). President … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia | Comments Off

Facebook Recognizes Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships

Facebook has now added “in a civil union” and “in a domestic partnership” to its options for relationship status. There is a great post over at the tech web site ZDNet on this change. The post, which is part tongue-in-cheek … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

Hawaii One Step Away from Civil Unions

Yesterday was a busy day for the Hawaii Senate on the LGBT front. Not only did they confirm the first openly gay justice to the state’s Supreme Court (blogged here earlier today), but they also took the final step in … Continue reading

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First Openly Gay Justice Confirmed for Hawaii Supreme Court

Yesterday, the Hawaii Senate unanimously confirmed Sabrina McKenna to the Hawaii Supreme Court. McKenna is the first openly gay person to be appointed to the court, and her appointment marks the first time that the five-member court will have two … Continue reading

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Posted in Firsts, Legal Profession, LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

Baby Steps Toward Marriage Equality in Maryland

Lambda Legal is publicizing a change to the procedure for issuing birth certificates in Maryland. No later than March 1, the Division of Vital Records has ordered that, if a woman giving birth to a child indicates that she is married, … Continue reading

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

The New York Times has a nice idea for a Valentine’s Day gift that the Obama administration can give to the LGBT community–ceasing to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act.

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Posted in Academia | 1 Comment

Disconnect Between Actions and Words

Apparently, we aren’t the only ones who have noticed the disconnect between the rhetoric leading up to the November 2010 elections and the actions of legislators since the beginning of this year. Charles Blow has a column in the New … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

Hawaii Civil Union Update

The Hawaii House of Representatives yesterday passed a civil unions bill by a vote of 31-19. This comes on the heels of the Senate’s passage of the same basic bill last month. Because the House made some changes to the … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

New Confessions iPhone App

I love my iPhone. This week, there was quite a buzz about a new app for the iPhone targeted at helping Roman Catholics with the sacrament of confession. A few days ago, Maureen Dowd wrote a whole column about the … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

Tax Law and the Culture War

U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.) recently introduced a bill in Congress titled the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” It is bill number 3 in the House of Representatives. As Representative Smith explains to NPR: “The fact that it is … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Politics | 1 Comment

Dearth of Women Candidates for Judgeships

For some time now, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Monday business section has been devoted entirely to law and the legal profession. In this morning’s edition, there was an interesting article about the dearth of women candidates for judgeships on statewide courts … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

Go Steelers!

We start our Steelers fans out young! My daughter Rose is only a bit more than 14 months old. She watched every Steelers game with me this season, though she did miss parts of games for naps or because bed … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Sports | 2 Comments

What the Protests Mean for LGBT Egyptians

Click here to listen to Michelangelo Signorile’s interview on this topic with Rasha Moumneh, who is a researcher for Human Rights Watch. -Tony Infanti

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

Taxpayer Dollars Hard at Work

In the latest installment of “why tackle the difficult issues when you can score cheap political points through gay bashing,” LaVar Christensen, a member of the Utah House of Representatives, has introduced HB 270, the so-called Family Policy Bill. As … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

More Civil Union News

The Governor of Illinois signed that state’s civil union legislation into law yesterday. The law takes effect June 1. The copy of the legislation that I was able to find (and locating one was no easy task on the Illinois … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia | 1 Comment

Where Are the Women? Wikipedia Edition

This blog (i.e., Bridget and Ann) has (have) done a great job of calling attention to the underrepresentation of women in law reviews and symposia (for example, here and here). An article in the New York Times has now called … Continue reading

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Posted in The Underrepresentation of Women, Where are the Women? | 3 Comments

Civil Unions Advance in Hawaii

On Friday, the Hawaii Senate passed a civil unions bill similar to the one that was vetoed by the state’s last governor. The vote was slightly better than the last time around (19-6 rather than 18-7). The bill now goes … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

DADT Repeal

The Pentagon held its briefing earlier today on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The signs are encouraging that repeal will become effective some time this year. Unsurprisingly, NPR was reporting this afternoon that there will be no changes … Continue reading

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The Closet in the Big Tent

Next month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is being cosponsored by GOProud, a gay conservative organization (that I will admit I’ve never heard of before). Because GOProud thinks that the question of same-sex marriage should be left to the states, … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 2 Comments

DADT Repeal on the Horizon

I was heartened during the State of the Union speech last night to hear the President imply that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would become effective this year. Now, there are reports that the Pentagon will be issuing … Continue reading

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More Positive Marriage Equality-Related News

To follow up on my earlier post and provide some more positive news: Trying again under a new, more receptive governor, a Hawaii Senate committee passed a civil unions bill today. The bill is expected to come up for a … Continue reading

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

During the fall election campaign, we were–quite thankfully–spared a lot of the usual “culture war” rhetoric about protecting marriage from some imagined assault by same-sex couples. Instead, the campaigns seemed to focus primarily on the economy and addressing the deficit … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

The Look of (In)Justice

Apparently spurred by Justice Scalia’s provocative comments a few months ago regarding the constitutional rights of women (or, according to him, lack thereof), Dennis Curtis and Judith Resnik have put together a slide show over at Slate that explores different … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law | 1 Comment

Go Steelers!

Well, to round out my posting for today, I have to voice my hope that the Pittsburgh Steelers cream the Jets later this afternoon! As I observed two years ago in a similar post: Given that this is the Feminist … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Sports | 1 Comment

Advancing LGBT Rights in Small Steps

Probably recognizing that further legislative advances in LGBT rights are unlikely in the near term, the Obama administration has taken some further administrative steps toward advancing LGBT rights. At the end of this past week, the Department of Housing and … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

Kudos to Allentown, PA!

Allentown has now joined Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg in offering domestic partner health benefits to the city’s LGBT employees. The city has also extended family and bereavement leave to cover domestic partners. However, the Allentown Morning Call reports that discussions … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

An Interesting Critical Tax Student Note Topic

I often get asked by students for tax topics for their student notes. Normally, I suggest some places to look where they can get a sense of hot topics, etc., but don’t suggest an actual topic. But yesterday, I came … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Law Schools, Law Teaching, LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

The Geography of Nontraditional Parenting

An interesting article in the New York Times today focuses on recent data from the Census Bureau  indicating that parenting by same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country. (Note that the … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment