December 2011 Archives

On Jan. 1, 2011, most LGBT legal commentators were ready for a federal appellate court ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 -- or at least a decision on whether the initiatives' proponents had a right to be there in the first place. Challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act were under way on the East Coast -- from Massachusetts ... [Read]

A new poll released by CNN/Time this afternoon found that one in five Iowa Republican voters said "moral issues" -- like abortion and same-sex marriage -- will not be that important in deciding which candidate will get their support at the Jan. 3 Republican presidential caucus. According to the poll, likely voters have placed former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney at ... [Read]

John Geddes Lawrence, the defendant in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional across the country, died on Nov. 20, according to an obituary posted by R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. He was 68. According to the obituary, Lawrence was born in Beaumont, Texas, on August 2, 1943, served in the U.S. Navy for ... [Read]

The new series, Work It, had already caused concern at LGBT organizations before ABC started promoting the series. But any behind-the-scenes worries broke out into the open when ABC published an ad for the show, set to premiere Jan. 3. Today, the Human Rights Campaign and Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ran a full-page ad in Variety regarding their ... [Read]

The Department of Justice sent one of its top lawyers to federal court in San Francisco today to argue that the Defense of Marriage Act's federal definition of marriage unconstitutionally limits Karen Golinski's ability to secure health insurance for her wife. Golinski's case, which began as an ordinary request to include her wife, Amy Cunninghis, on her federal employee health ... [Read]

GOProud co-founder Chris Barron will be stepping down as board of directors chair at the end of the year, according to a news release issued today following a Dec. 13 board meeting of the gay conservative organization. The meeting was held following the resignation of Andrew Breitbart from the advisory council of GOProud over this past weekend after a series ... [Read]

One week after the U.S. Department of Education released a report detailing state policies on bullying, the West Virginia Board of Education took action to ensure that both "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" are included in the state's anti-bullying policies. The move brings it into line with the majority of states that the Education Department report found include ... [Read]

Following the report that the House and Senate conferees had reached a compromise on the National Defense Authorization Act, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network announced this evening that both amendments opposed by LGBT advocates in the House version of the NDAA were dropped from the conference report. SLDN also announced, however, that a provision in the Senate version of the NDAA ... [Read]

As Metro Weekly noted on Dec. 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is holding oral arguments this afternoon, at 2:30 Pacific Time, to hear from the parties involved in the litigation over Proposition 8 about two questions: whether the public release of videotapes made of the trial should be allowed and whether U.S. District Court Judge ... [Read]

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), seeking the Republican nomination for president, pushed out an aggressive anti-LGBT push this week, criticizing President Obama's human rights memorandum that supported advancing LGBT equality in foreign policy and then launching a campaign ad attacking "gays" serving "openly in the military" as part of a "war on religion" In the ad, Perry says, "You don't ... [Read]

President Obama's memorandum on use of U.S. foreign policy to advance LGBT equality prompted Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry to say in a statement, "Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America's interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers' money." In the statement, Perry said, "Just when you thought Barack Obama couldn't ... [Read]

Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a major address on LGBT equality as her Human Rights Day Address. Delivered in Geneva, Clinton acknowledged America's imperfect record on the issues but carried forth on the importance of moving forward on an international level. Toward the conclusion of her speech, Clinton directed one portion of her remarks to "LGBT men ... [Read]

At a background briefing held today in advance of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's Human Rights Day Address about global LGBT equality, the issue of marriage -- and President Obama's lack of support for marriage equality -- was raised twice. From the transcript: QUESTION:  How does the Administration reconcile the fact that the President won’t explicitly endorse marriage for ... [Read]

President Obama today issued a memorandum "directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons." Among the steps required by the memorandum are efforts to fight the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct, as well as to support the protection of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers. According ... [Read]

The Howard County Council has approved legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, making it the third jurisdiction in Maryland to do so. The measure, which extends gender identity protections to county residents in the areas of housing, law enforcement, public accommodations, financing, employment and health and social services, was initiated by Parents, Families & Friends ... [Read]

Despite a recent California Supreme Court opinion stating that the proponents of California's Proposition 8 have the authority under state law to assert the state's interest in court, opponents of the initiative today told a federal appeals court that those proponents lack the required standing to pursue an appeal before the federal court. Supporters of Proposition 8 fought back, telling ... [Read]

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Old Dominion's top law enforcement officer and a fierce opponent of LGBT rights, announced to his staff in an e-mail today that he plans to run for governor of the commonwealth in 2013, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Cuccinelli, a Republican, was previously thought to be a possible challenger to incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Warner ... [Read]

Obama Marks World AIDS Day

Posted by Chris Geidner
December 1, 2011 5:45 PM |
Today, marking World AIDS Day, President Obama said of the battle against HIV/AIDS, "make no mistake, we are going to win this fight."  Addressing a crowd at George Washington University, Obama also noted, "But the fight is not over -- not by a long shot. The rate of new infections may be going down elsewhere, but it's not going down ... [Read]