November 2011 Archives

[Photo: Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) talks to reporters on Nov. 29, 2011, one day after announcing his retirement from Congress. (Photo by Chris Geidner.)] One day after announcing that he would not be seeking re-election to Congress, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told reporters today that pro-LGBT legislation can only be passed under Democratic control. "The only way you can get ... [Read]

Today's announcement by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that he will not be seeking re-election in 2012 will have an impact on the character of the out LGBT representation in the House of Representatives -- which already is due to lose its sole out lesbian member -- and his out colleagues responded with their thoughts this afternoon. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), ... [Read]

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will not be seeking re-election to the House of Representatives, putting an end date on his more than 30 years in Congress, where he was the longest-serving out LGBT member and rose to the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee. According to a statement put out by his office this morning, Frank will hold ... [Read]

This morning, Richard Socarides, the president of Equality Matters over the past year since Media Matters announced its creation, announced that he is leaving the organization, as is former Advocate reporter Kerry Eleveld. In a statement, Socarides said, "I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to lead Equality Matters during its first year. I've decided to return full ... [Read]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will be deciding the appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional alongside the appeal of U.S. District Court Judge James Ware's ruling denying the Proposition 8 proponents' attempt to have Walker's ruling vacated because they argued he was biased because he is gay ... [Read]

Today, lawyers for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network took the next step in their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of unequal spousal benefits granted to servicemembers in same-sex marriages, arguing in federal court in Massachusetts that "American service members and their families are among [the Defense of Marriage Act]'s victims, and our national security may suffer as a result." Telling the court ... [Read]

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, has told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the proponents of Proposition 8 do have the interest and authority to bring a post-election appeal as part of the state's initiative process. The Ninth Circuit will now take the appeal, Perry v. Brown, back under advisement and decide how ... [Read]

The winding challenge to California's Proposition 8, which prohibits same-sex couples from marrying, will take another step on Thursday, Nov. 17. The California Supreme Court announced today that it will release its opinion -- an answer to a certified question sent to it from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit -- about whether it sees state law ... [Read]

[Photo: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan addresses the National Center for Transgender Equality awards ceremony on Nov. 15, 2011. (Photo by Chris Geidner.)] On Tuesday night, Nov. 15, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary addressed the eighth anniversary National Center for Transgender Equality awards ceremony. The event, held at the Mayflower Hotel, drew a crowd that ... [Read]

This morning, Veterans Affairs Secretary Ric Shineski and his wife hosted a breakfast in the East Room of the White House in honor of Veterans Day, along with President Obama and his wife, Michelle. Among those attending: Mike Almy, a veteran kicked out of the Air Force in 2006 under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Almy didn't attend the breakfast as ... [Read]

As reported earlier today at Metro Weekly, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit nominee Edward DuMont had requested that President Barack Obama withdraw his nomination. This afternoon, Obama did so. Listed as a "withdrawal sent to the Senate," "Edward Carroll DuMont, of the District of Columbia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit, vice Paul ... [Read]

[Photo: Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) talks with Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese and legislative director Allison Herwitt, with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) at his side before the start of the committee's Nov. 10, 2011, business meeting. The Respect for Marriage Act is to be voted on at the meeting. (Photo by Chris Geidner.)] Today, the Senate Judiciary ... [Read]

After waiting more than 18 months without even receiving a committee hearing on his nomination, Edward DuMont, a partner at the Wilmer Hale law firm, has asked President Barack Obama to withdraw his nomination to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. As reported at Patently-O -- and earlier at law.com -- DuMont ... [Read]

Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Arlington) was elected as Virginia's first openly gay senator in the state's Nov. 8 elections, even as other politicians who oppose LGBT equality won victories and Democrats likely effectively lost control of the upper chamber.  With 88 of precincts reporting, Ebbin, who will replace retiring State Sen. Patsy Ticer (D-Alexandria) in a district that includes parts of ... [Read]

Election Day 2011: Liveblog

Posted by Chris Geidner
November 8, 2011 8:45 PM |
The Metro Weekly liveblog of tonight's election! [Read the "Races to Watch" from earlier today here.] 8:45 P.M. - VIRGINIA - Out gay Democrat Adam Ebbin wins in the 30th Senate District. With two-thirds of percent reporting, he's up 70-30 to Republican Timothy McGhee. Ebben, currently serving in the House of Delegates, will be Virginia's first out LGBT senator. Metro ... [Read]

The Human Rights Campaign often finds itself the subject of criticism for not taking aggressive action against politicians and others who are pro-LGBT in some respects but not in others. Today, however, HRC took a strong stand, with president Joe Solmonese striking out at Foley & Lardner LLP, the law firm where Cleta Mitchell is a partner. Mitchell recently registered ... [Read]

[NOTE: For results, see the Metro Weekly "Election Day 2011: Liveblog."] Although much of the media's political focus is on the latest developments in the Republican presidential primary race, many Americans head to the polls today in races certain to have their own -- though generally more local -- impact. Here are the top five races to watch for those ... [Read]

[Photo: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) opens a business committee meeting to consider the Respect for Marriage Act, as well as several judicial nominations. (Photo by Chris Geidner.)] Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee began its formal consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation introduced earlier this year that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Additionally, the ... [Read]