Category Archives: LGBT Rights

Census and Same-Sex Couples

The Williams Institute has begun releasing snapshot reports from the 2010 census and will continue doing so each week throughout the summer. This week: Hawaii and Alabama. According to the census, there are 4,248 same-sex couples in Hawaii (or 9.33 … Continue reading

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Prop. 8 Motion to Vacate Denied

Chief Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has ruled that Judge Vaughn Walker need not have recused himself from the Prop. 8 case because he was in a long-term same-sex relationship. Judge … Continue reading

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Army’s New DADT Web Site

The Army now has a web site relating to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and its (hopefully imminent) repeal. A few interesting points from the FAQ section: 1. Unrelated to the repeal of DADT, courts have held that consensual sodomy is … Continue reading

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DP Benefits for Different-Sex, but not Same-Sex Partners

What is going on up in State College, PA (home of Penn State University)? The local school district has a benefits policy that covers spouses (which in PA means only different-sex married couples) and the different-sex domestic partners of its … Continue reading

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Nevada Adopts Trans Protections

The Governor of Nevada has signed a bill banning job discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. The bill takes effect October 1. The Governor has apparently also promised to sign legislation banning discrimination on the basis of … Continue reading

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Tennessee, Open for Discrimination

Yesterday, Tennessee’s Governor signed HB 600 into law. This bill–with the appropriately Orwellian title “Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act”–“effectively reverses an ordinance passed by [Nashville] Metro Council that required contractors with the city to agree to follow Metro’s rules … Continue reading

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NY Times Coming Out Project

In the face of a society that is still deeply divided over LGBT issues, the New York Times has a new Coming Out project. Here is a description of the project from the accompanying story: The New York Times embarked … Continue reading

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Robson on “Lesbians and Abortions”

Now available on SSRN is Ruthann Robson’s article, “Lesbians and Abortions,” 35 N.Y.U. Rev. Law & Soc. Change 247 (2011).  Here is a portion of the abstract: While there are doctrinal and theoretical connections, the arguments for women’s freedom to be … Continue reading

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Wis. Governor Wants to Stop Defending State DP Registry

Taking a page from the Democratic playbook, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has asked a court to allow his administration to stop defending the state’s domestic partner registry from a constitutional attack. Here is an excerpt from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel … Continue reading

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Delaware Gets Civil Unions

Starting Jan. 1, 2012. For more on the story, click here. -Tony Infanti

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Gay Rights History at Library of Congress

As part of an exhibition on constitutional history and civil rights protections, the Library of Congress is, for the first time, displaying documents relating to gay rights history. The documents are from “gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny, who was fired … Continue reading

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Barbara Lenk Confirmed for Seat on Mass. SJC

Barbara Lenk has won confirmation for a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She now becomes the first openly gay or lesbian person to sit on Massachusetts’s highest court. Here is Justice Lenk’s bio from the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s … Continue reading

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ABA Launches LGBT Antibullying/Antidiscrimination Campaign

The American Bar Association’s Opening Doors Project has launched a new LGBT antibullying/antidiscrimination campaign–“the kids are listening.” Here is a video with a call for people to stand up against hate speech and discrimination that they produced and are encouraging … Continue reading

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Questioning Judge Walker’s Impartiality

As we warned might happen more than a year ago, the seeds planted by (since confirmed) rumors about Judge Walker’s sexual orientation have now borne fruit. Last week, proponents of Prop. 8 filed a motion to vacate Judge Walker’s judgment … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

PA Marriage Protection Amendment

At a time when our governor’s budget includes 50% cuts in funding for higher education and drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale is raising issues about (the lack of) a severance tax and (already occurring) environmental damage, Pennsylvania … Continue reading

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Discount for Lesbian Moms

A Brooklyn maternity store that is now giving a 10% discount to lesbian moms has prompted both criticism and now threats. In a one-week period, Paperno [the owner of the store] says she’s fielded five crazed callers — mostly homophobes … Continue reading

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King & Spalding Fired for “Obsequious Act of Weakness”

The notoriously anti-LGBT Attorney General for the State of Virginia has fired King & Spalding in retaliation for its withdrawal from representing the U.S. House of Representatives in defending the constitutionality of the federal DOMA in court: “King & Spalding’s … Continue reading

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DOL Adds Gender Identity and Pregnancy to Nondiscrimination Policy

Here is the press release: US Department of Labor announces renewed commitment to fair treatment and equal opportunity for all of its employees New policy statements prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and pregnancy WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of … Continue reading

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Transgender Professor Denied Tenure and Fired

In contrast to the good news for Danne Johnson, a professor at another Oklahoma university has apparently been denied tenure and terminated for being transgender: Despite the complete support of her colleagues and direct superiors within Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s … Continue reading

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Another Pro-LGBT Billboard

Following up on my earlier post today, this billboard in Toledo has also given rise to a mixed reaction: According to a local news report, the Central United Methodist Church hoped that its billboard would generate conversation. And that it … Continue reading

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Planned Parenthood Taking Flak for LGBT Outreach

Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, which is an affiliate located in upstate New York, has been taking flak (reports here and here) for this billboard: A local politician objected to this billboard, which is part of the organization’s … Continue reading

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Posted in LGBT Rights | 2 Comments

Paul Clement Leaves King & Spalding to Continue Defending DOMA

Following up on my earlier post today, there are now reports that Paul Clement has left King & Spalding so that he can continue to defend DOMA on behalf of the House of Representatives. According to his letter, Clement’s decision … Continue reading

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King & Spalding Withdraw from Defending DOMA

After a week of weltering criticism, King & Spalding has decided to withdraw from defending DOMA on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives. The reason: the process used for vetting the assignment was “inadequate.” Given the concerns that Katherine … Continue reading

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ACLU’s “Don’t Filter Me” Project

As part of its “don’t filter me” project, the ACLU of Pennsylvania recently sent a letter to a Philadelphia-area school district demanding that it lift its ban on accessing LGBT content on the internet. But this problem is in no … Continue reading

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Charges in the Tyler Clementi Case

From the Chronicle: A former freshman at Rutgers University at New Brunswick who allegedly used a hidden Web camera to broadcast his roommate’s sexual encounter with another man was indicted on Wednesday on 15 counts in a case that drew … Continue reading

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Putting a Price on Discrimination

The Huffington Post has obtained a copy of the agreement retaining the law firm of King & Spalding to step in to defend section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. (Click here and here for prior posts on … Continue reading

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Arizona–Compassionless Conservatism

Coming on top of its xenophobic racial profiling law and the decision to help balance the state budget by cutting funding for organ transplants, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law yesterday S.B. 1188, which gives a specific preference to … Continue reading

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Shh! Today Is the Day of Silence

 For more info from GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network), click here. -Tony Infanti

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Transmen’s Health Care at Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, which is located in Pittsburgh (where I live and teach), has announced “Extended Clinic Hours for Transgender, FTM, Two-Spirit, Genderqueer, Gender Nonconforming, Butch Women, Queer and Questioning people.” They explain the impetus for the extended … Continue reading

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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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Joslin on “Searching for Harm: Same-Sex Marriage and the Well-Being of Children”

Courney Joslin (UC Davis) has posted to SSRN her article Searching for Harm: Same-Sex Marriage and the Well-Being of Children, 46 Harv. C.R.-C.L. Law Rev. 81 (2011).  Here is the abstract: For the past two decades, claims related to the … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Families, Feminist Legal Scholarship, LGBT Rights | Comments Off

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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Immigration Judge Adjourns Deportation Proceeding of Bi-National Lesbian Couple Pending DOMA Litigation

In what appears to be the first such action of its type, an Immigration Judge in Manhattan has adjourned deportation proceedings for the Argentine lesbian spouse of an American citizen to allow the couple to proceed with their application 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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