New York City Makes Stonewall Inn a Landmark – The New York Times

The Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village bar where resistance to a police raid touched off the modern gay rights movement, was made a New York City landmark on Tuesday, the first time a site has been named primarily because of its significance in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history.

“New York City’s greatness lies in its inclusivity and diversity,” Meenakshi Srinivasan, chairwoman of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, said before the unanimous vote. “The events at Stonewall were a turning point in the L.G.B.T. rights movement and in the history of our nation.”

Patrons fought back against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, and the street protests that followed for several days are credited with galvanizing gay activism in New York and globally. The rebellion is commemorated with annual gay pride parades in hundreds of cities.

“Few sites anywhere in New York have the international resonance of Stonewall,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

The vote came after a public hearing in which every speaker supported the landmark designation.

Source: New York City Makes Stonewall Inn a Landmark – The New York Times

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Calif. AG asks judge to halt initiative to kill gays

LOS ANGELES — California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked a state court Wednesday for an order allowing her to avoid processing a citizen-proposed anti-gay ballot measure that calls for executing gays with “bullets to the head.”

Harris said the so-called “Sodomite Suppression Act” proposed and named by Huntington Beach attorney Matthew McLaughlin “not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible and has no place in a civil society.”

She filed an action asking the court for declaratory relief’ and judicial authorization allowing her to avoid issuing a title and summary for the proposal. An official state title and summary are necessary steps in authorizing a ballot initiative’s sponsors to seek the signatures needed to be placed before voters.

Without the court order, Harris said she would be compelled by law to proceed with the measure, which would authorize the killing of gays and lesbians in the state.

via Calif. AG asks judge to halt initiative to kill gays.

Mike Pence Signs ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill, and the Indiana Boycott Begins – Bloomberg Politics

The boycott is on.

Within hours of signing the so-called “Religious Freedom Bill” into law in Indiana, Governor Mike Pence learned that there would be a price to pay for enacting what critics say is a brazenly anti-gay piece of legislation. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced that the the San Francisco-based company would cancel all travel to Indiana, effective immediately.

via Mike Pence Signs ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill, and the Indiana Boycott Begins – Bloomberg Politics.

Indiana Defines Stupidity as Religion – The New Yorker

INDIANAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—In a history-making decision, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana has signed into law a bill that officially recognizes stupidity as a religion.

Pence said that he hoped the law would protect millions of state residents “who, like me, have been practicing this religion passionately for years.”

via Indiana Defines Stupidity as Religion – The New Yorker.

The business case against Indiana’s religious act

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law on Thursday morning the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a political move business leaders within the state had voiced fierce opposition to in the days surrounding the Indiana legislature’s passage of the bill on Monday and it being sent to the governor for his signature.

The new law allows businesses to use an owner’s faith as a reason to refuse service to customers, including same-sex married couples. The risks from the act range from potential workplace lawsuits on religious grounds to a broader and deeper business chill in the Hoosier State, with money-making conferences and major corporations threatening to pull out, difficulty attracting key job creators like tech sector companies and a wide-ranging ripple effect on small-business owners.

The governor’s move comes during a sensitive period of time for Indiana’s economy—it has shown signs of a small-business boom in recent years, and has fared relatively well in job creation and new-company formation, but is also seeking to break out from the sluggish growth that has typified the post-crisis economic recovery

via The business case against Indiana’s religious act.

How Same-Sex Marriage Is Unfolding in 11 States – ABC News

The Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in 11 more states Monday, for a total of 30, when it rejected a set of appeals. As many as 60 percent of Americans now live in states where same-sex marriage is legal.

Here’s what’s happening Monday in the affected states:

———

COLORADO

Pueblo County is now issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. The decision from county Clerk Bo Ortiz comes after Republican state Attorney General John Suthers said Monday his office will file motions seeking to quickly lift federal and state court rulings that halted gay marriage. Suthers has yet to advise clerks if they can begin issuing licenses, but Ortiz said there was never a court order against Pueblo County to delay.

———

INDIANA

Gov. Mike Pence reaffirmed his commitment to traditional marriage on Monday but said he will follow the law regarding unions of same-sex couples. Pence said people are free to disagree over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject an app…..

via How Same-Sex Marriage Is Unfolding in 11 States – ABC News.

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Federal court strikes down Florida ban on same-sex marriage | MSNBC

For proponents of civil rights and marriage equality, the last year has been remarkably successful, though there have been some recent bumps in the road. A state court in Tennessee, for example,interrupted the winning streak last week, while the U.S. Supreme Court halted Virginia marriages that had been set to begin today.
 
But as we were reminded in the Sunshine State this afternoon, the larger trajectory of this fight clearly favors supporters of equal rights.
A federal judge on Thursday ruled Florida’s gay-marriage ban unconstitutional and ordered the state to recognize marriages legally performed elsewhere. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, however, immediately stayed his order until after the appeals process is completed.
 
“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” Hinkle wrote. “Observers who are not now of age will wonder just how those views could have been held.”
It was just six years ago that voters in Florida, with relative ease, approved a state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex couples from getting married. Amendment 2, as it was called, passed statewide, 62% to 38%.
 
But now, thanks to Hinkle, a Clinton appointee to the federal bench, the measure is unconstitutional. With the district court judge, however, agreeing to a stay, those hoping to take advantage of marriage equality in Florida will have to wait a little longer.
 
As for the larger context, let’s return to looking at the scope of recent court rulings, because it really is extraordinary.
 
It was just last month when Colorado joined the marriage-equality club, which came just a week after a federal court victory over a gay-marriage ban in Kentucky. That ruling followed two wins the week prior in Utah and Indiana. Those rulings came two weeks after a big win in Wisconsin, which came two weeks after a separate federal court struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on marriage equality – a court ruling that will not be appealed.
 
The ruling in the Keystone State came just one day after a similar ruling in Oregon.
 
Which came just a week after a federal court struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.
 
Which came just a week after a court ruled against Arkansas’ anti-gay constitutional amendment.
 
This came a month after a federal judge ordered Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The month before that, a federal judge struck down Michigan’s ban on marriage equality.
 
Civil-rights proponents have scored related victories in VirginiaOklahomaand Texas, just over the last half-year or so.
 
Florida is now on track to be the first state in the Southeast to allow same-sex marriages.

via Federal court strikes down Florida ban on same-sex marriage | MSNBC.

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Michael Putney: Lawsuit not about gay marriage — the fight is for marriage equality | Steve Rothaus’ Gay South Florida

It was a moment of stark contrasts the other day at the Dade County Courthouse: gay vs. straight, well-to-do vs. working class, secular humanists vs. evangelicals, gay lovers vs. homophobes.

What brought them together physically and separated them philosophically was gay marriage. More than 200 people — hard-core supporters and opponents of gay marriage — tried to jam into historic old Courtroom 6-1, where Judge Sarah Zabel was to hold a hearing. So many spectators they had to open an adjacent courtroom outfitted with a large TV. It was there that the anti-gay-marriage group, wearing Respect My Vote signs, broke into Amazing Grace. They were answered by the pro-gay-marriage group, which began chanting, “Marriage equality, marriage equality.” Police moved in to defuse the demonstration, but the passions on this issue will not soon be quelled.

The tide is running fast in favor of same-sex marriage. It has been since the Supreme Court last year struck down key provisions of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. The court said that all states, even those with gay-marriage bans, must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where it’s legal. Since that ruling, some 23 courts have struck down state bans as unconstitutional.

The judges — of all political stripes and persuasions — have ruled the bans violate the Constitution’s equal-protection and due-process clauses. And those guarantees trump voter-approved bans.

In half a dozen states, the attorneys general chose not to defend the bans in court because they saw the handwriting on the wall (and the court orders) and concluded they’d lose. In Florida, Attorney General Pam Bondi sat on the sidelines for several months, but finally announced a few weeks before the Miami-Dade hearing that she would defend Florida’s ban. In her court filings, Bondi said that, “Disrupting Florida’s existing marriage laws would impose significant public harm.” She failed to say exactly what the harm would be because there would be none. Still, Bondi’s arguments got a big thumbs-up from groups such as the Christian Family Coalition of Miami, which praised Bondi for being “on the right side of history.”

But she’s not.

 


Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/gaysouthflorida/2014/07/michael-putney-lawsuit-not-about-gay-marriage-the-fight-is-for-marriage-equality.html#storylink=cpy

via Michael Putney: Lawsuit not about gay marriage — the fight is for marriage equality | Steve Rothaus’ Gay South Florida.

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A Leap for Equality – NYTimes.com

On Wednesday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii signed a bill that will allow same-sex couples to marry in the state, starting Dec. 2. The measure, ending a two-decade legal and political battle, caps a remarkable year of progress toward ensuring the basic civil rights of gay Americans.

Before the election in November 2012, same-sex couples could marry in only six states. That election added three more states to the roll when Maine, Maryland and Washington approved same-sex marriage by a popular vote, the first states to do so. Counting Hawaii and the marriage equality bill that Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois plans to sign on Nov. 20, the number of states and the District of Columbia that have come to recognize the freedom to marry through legislation, court rulings or voter approval now stands at 16 compared with just nine a year ago.

The Supreme Court has also done much to make America a more hospitable environment for same-sex marriage, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act’s denial of federal benefits to married same-sex couples and nullifying Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. The justices stopped short of making marriage equality the law of the land, but it is not unusual for civil rights to advance in stages. Cases in the pipeline will provide the court with another chance to invalidate all remaining state restrictions preventing gay and lesbian Americans from marrying and denying full legal recognition of their relationship

A Leap for Equality – NYTimes.com.

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