Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last meeting and Finals!!!

Elections have been postponed as we would like to have the input of next year's 1Ls. OUTlaw will be busy over the summer and we look forward to a productive fall. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, please feel free to email Erika Scibelli at

That being said, it's just a few days until finals here at WNEC Law! You can expect more posts after finals are over :) Best of luck to everyone!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

OUTlaw Elections & Year-End Meeting: Wednesday April 28th

OUTlaw's final meeting of the year will be on Wednesday April 28th at 12:20 in Room 1. We will be discussing a plan for next year as well as the possibility of summer projects.

Elections for the 2010-2011 academic year will also be held at this meeting. If you are interested in running for a position, please join the group on TWEN (if you haven't already) and e-mail the group before Wednesday's meeting to announce your candidacy. The positions are President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, SBA Representative, and 2L/3L Representatives. If you want to run for a position please be sure to attend the meeting in addition to sending out an e-mail. If you can attend to vote, please do!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day of Silence Speaks Volumes

Today is the Day of Silence. It is a day intended to raise awareness about the silencing effect that bullying and harassment have on the LGBTQ community. As students at WNEC Law, we are grateful for an accepting and friendly community, but we remember that there are countless LGBTQ people from all regions of the world who live in silence and in fear. Today, we remain silent for them to encourage awareness, acceptance, and peace. We hope that our silence will speak volumes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Federal Court rules that trans inmates cannot be denied hormone therapy

WNEC Law alumnus Dru Levasseur is quoted in The Advocate's article by Michelle Garcia:
"A federal court ruled on Wednesday that transgender prisoners serving time must be allowed to continue hormone treatments in Wisconsin prisons.
The Wisconsin legislature passed a law, effective January 2006, which barred prison doctors from administering or prescribing hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people while in state custody.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin's ruling on Wednesday would not grant all inmates access to hormones or surgery, but now doctors can decide whether transgender inmates can receive care, as opposed to a blanket law.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal filed a challenge to the law on behalf of transgender prisoners, shortly after it went into effect. Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal's Transgender Rights Attorney, hailed the decision.
"The court understood that medical treatment is critical for transgender people and that medical decisions should be made by doctors—not legislators," Levasseur said in a press release. "The state cannot decide to withhold treatment from people because they disapprove of their gender identity or medical needs—it’s unconstitutional." "

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day of Silence: April 16th

Recently, some members of OUTlaw participated in a photo shoot for WNEC's Day of Silence. The photo shoot was organized by members of WNEC's undergrad GSA and all photography was done by Ben Lussier Photography. Please join the event on Facebook to view all of the photos! You can find it by searching "WNEC Day of Silence (Hosted By Gay/Straight Alliance)".

Here is a quote from the GSA's page:
The Day of Silence was founded in 1996 at the University of Virginia. In 1997, the Day of Silence became a national movement and had over a hundred schools participating. GLSEN ( Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education network) adopted the Day of Silence in 2001 and became the official sponsor. Currently over 8,000 schools participate.The Day of Silence is one of the largest, student organized, non-violent protests. The purpose of the Day of Silence is to bring attention to anti-GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) name calling, bullying, and harassment. Participants spend the day being silent to symbolize the silencing felt by GLBTQ students and their allies.
Last year, WNEC had over 100 participants and this year we hope to double our numbers. This year the Day of Silence is April 16th. Those who sign up can chose to be silent to the best of their ability for the day, or simply just to show support. Supporting the cause can be as simple as being respectful of those wearing the Day of Silence shirts who are choosing to be silent."

All photos by Ben Lussier Photography.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

GLAD's DOMA challenge in Federal District Court in Boston on May 6th

Big news from GLAD!!!
"On Thursday, May 6, 2010, the Federal District Court in Boston will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in the case of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, brought by GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) in March 2009."
Continue to GLAD's full article here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Reminder: Final Clason speaker of the year!

Western New England College School of Law presents the final speaker in the Clason Speaker Series:

On Thursday April 8, 2010 at noon in the Law School Commons, Rutgers-Camden Associate Professor of Law Kimberly Mutcherson will deliver a talk entitled “Feel Like Makin’ Babies: Mapping the Borders of the Right to Procreate in a Post-Coital World.” Professor Mutcherson’s talk will address how to protect procreative rights that are not connected to sexual intercourse, such as in situations involving reproductive technologies. Professor Muterchson is an expert in family and health law, and she has served as a staff attorney at the HIV Law Project in New York. She currently serves on the Board of the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia.

Thanks to Professor Shay for this info!

"Being gay isn't a choice, but being a bigot certainly is."

A friend of OUTlaw sent us this article by LZ Granderson. It is a quick and insightful read about how the myth of the gay "lifestyle" (we hate that word, for the record...) perpetuates the injustices that the LGBTQ community face on a daily basis. Please take a couple of minutes to check it out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Update: Constance McMillen

After a judge ruled that the school district could not keep Constance McMillen and her girlfriend from attending their high school prom, parents from the small Mississippi town decided to organize a separate prom. Constance and her girlfriend were not invited to the private party and were told that the school's prom would be at a country club. That evening, Constance and her girlfriend showed up at the school sponsored event to find less than a dozen students there. Meanwhile, all other students attended the private party hosted by the parents.

Read the full article from The Advocate here.