Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Recent news and commentary

Perry v. Schwarzenneger

Chad Griffin
is President of the American Foundation For Equal Rights, the organization that funds representation of the Perry plaintiffs. On the cover of its May issue, The Adovocate features Griffin as a standout among "Forty Under 40." (LBGT POV)

Lewis v. Harris II

Do Lewis plaintiffs have compelling evidence that marriage inequality in New Jersey gravely harms same-sex couples and their children? A columnist for dismisses the evidence: "What evidence? Emotional, unverified testimony by gay and lesbian couples that they had been denied rights to which they were entitled. Plus a report by the Legislature’s own Civil Union Review Commission ... Plainly put, the commission was stacked." (

Varnum v. Brien

"On Tuesday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m., Cornell will host Brad Clark, Campaign Director for One Iowa, and Kate and Trish Varnum, plaintiffs in this historic Supreme Court case." (Cornell College Press Release)

Domestic partnerships

“Western Kentucky University officials announced Friday that the school will begin offering health insurance to qualifying dependents — including domestic partners — of its employees, starting next year.” (Courier Journal, cross-posted by ADF Alliance Alert) Kentucky has a super-DOMA amendment. I cannot assess the odds of a legal challenge by the Alliance Defense Fund or a sister organization in the state, or the odds of a lawsuit's success.

Related News

A recent poll shows that a slim majority of Californians now support marriage equality (Los Angeles Times) "Registered voters younger than 30" support it by a margin of 3 to 1. Law professor John Culhane believes that support from younger Americans will ultimately transform public perception of same-sex marriage. (WordinEdgewise) Given strong opposition by Americans older than 64, Darrin Hurwitz, HRC Assistant General Counsel, agrees that it is "not difficult to see where public opinion is headed." (HRC Back Story)

California state legislators have advanced legislation to repeal an unenforced, 1950 law that classifies gays and lesbians as 'sexual deviants' and requires the state Department of Mental Health to conduct research on "deviations conducive to sex crimes against children." (ABC News) Hurwitz said that "[t]he existence of such a law, unnoticed by many, is a sharp reminder of where attitudes towards LGBT rights used to be and, notably, of the progress that has been made since then." He predicts that "[w]hile challenges certainly remain, eventually both the 1950 sex crimes law and the 2008 anti-marriage initiative will likely be ones for the history books in California. (HRC Back Story)

Later this month, Marriage Equality New York will honor Shannon Minter among other advocates of marriage equality. (Marriage Equality New York / The Daily Gotham)

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