Monday, July 26, 2010

WNEC Law's Non-Discrimination Policy

WNEC Law was one of the first law schools in the nation to adopt a non-discrimination policy that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Here's WNEC's policy:

"Western New England College is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. The College does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, or disability in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities."

Also, if you haven't been to WNEC Law's LGBT Life page, you can check it out here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mississippi school to pay damages to Constance McMillen

Constance McMillen, a Mississippi teen who was not allowed to bring her girlfriend to the prom, came to an agreement today with the school. Read the whole article from CNN here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

President of Ireland signs Civil Partnership Bill

Below is a press release from GLEN (Gay & Lesbian Equality Network):
President Signs Civil Partnership Bill into Law:
A great day for Ireland.
Today the 19th of July, the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, signed the Civil Partnership Bill into law.
“This is a great day for Ireland. Lesbian and gay people, their parents, families, friends neighbours, colleagues can now look forward to celebrating their civil partnerships in the near future” according to Kieran rose.
“It is a tribute to the openness and welcoming nature of Irish society and the commitment of all our legislators and is a major civil rights milestone for lesbian and gay people” continued Kieran Rose.
The Bill will deliver a comprehensive set of protections, rights and obligations for same-sex couples across a wide range of areas including home protections, pensions, taxation, maintenance, next of kin, social welfare, domestic violence, inheritance, enduring power of attorney and creation of joint tenancies.
The Bill was passed without a vote in the Dáil and with an overwhelming majority in the Seanad at the beginning of July.
For Further Information, contact:
Eoin Collins,: +353 87 9273341 or
Brian Sheehan, +353 86 2330417

Argentina legalizes same sex marriage

On Thursday, July 15, Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. Below is an excerpt from a longer AP article that can be found here.
"BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina became the first Latin American nation to legalize gay marriage Thursday, granting same-sex couples all the legal rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage brings to heterosexuals.
The law's passage — a priority for President Cristina Fernandez's government — has inspired activists to push for similar laws in other countries, and a wave of gay weddings are expected in Buenos Aires. Some gay business leaders are predicting an economic ripple effect from an increase in tourism among gays and lesbians who will see Argentina as an even more attractive destination."

DOMA Decision and D.C

  • For those of you interested in reading the DOMA decision before jumping back into your casebooks, you can read it here at the GLAD website. GLAD has also posted an article about the plaintiffs' reactions.
  • On Friday, the Washington D.C Court of Appeals struck down an initiative to put same-sex marriage on the ballot for popular vote. Below is a brief article from the AP:
WASHINGTON — D.C.'s highest court has ruled against opponents of the city's same-sex marriage law, saying they cannot ask voters to overturn it.
Opponents had wanted to challenge a law that took effect in Washington in March allowing same-sex couples to marry. They attempted to get approval to put an initiative on the ballot asking city voters to define marriage in the city as between one man and one woman. But city officials balked, saying a district human rights law barred initiatives that would authorize discrimination.
On Thursday, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled 5-4 that officials had the authority to keep the measure off the ballot and acted appropriately.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

BREAKING: U.S District Court holds DOMA "violates principles of equal protection."

GLAD just Tweeted that the U.S District Court has held that DOMA "violates... principles of equal protection". The decision hasn't been posted yet, but check for developing details. In the meantime, you can read up on the history of the case and learn more about the plaintiffs involved.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gov. Linda Lingle (R) of Hawaii vetoes civil union bill

From the NY Daily News

"Hawaii is supposed to be paradise. But maybe not for everyone.
Republican Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a controversial civil unions bill on Tuesday that would have granted gay, lesbian and opposite-sex couples the same rights and benefits as married couples.
The legislation, which was approved by the Legislature in April, would have made Hawaii one of six states – in addition to California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington – to give the rights of marriage to same-sex couples without sanctioning marriage itself.
Lingle argued that voters, not politicians, should decide on the future of same-sex civil unions.
"The subject of this legislation has touched the hearts and minds of our citizens as no other social issue of our day," she said. "It would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude to be made by one individual or a small group of elected officials."
The American Civil Liberties Union and other pro-civil unions groups said they will file a lawsuit in state court within the next month.
"We are standing ready to file that lawsuit in short order to ensure that LGBT families in Hawaii are provided equal rights and benefits," Lois Perrin, legal director of ACLU Hawaii told KITV4 News in Honolulu. "To be sure, the Hawaii Constitution already provides that and we're going to make sure that the courts agree with us."
Perrin said the lawsuit could take months and perhaps even years to work its way through he legal system.
Shortly after Lingle's announcement, many opponents of the civil unions bill applauded, dropped to their knees, cried and prayed.
"What she did was very just, and I'm very happy about it," said Jay Amina, 50, of Waianae. "It sends a good message throughout the state of Hawaii — that our people here on the islands are standing for traditional marriage."
Supporters of the civil unions were outraged, shouting "We'll keep fighting!" and sang "We Shall Overcome."
"We had hoped the governor would do the right thing for civil rights and equality," Lee Yarbrough of Honolulu said while standing with his partner. "This battle is far from over." "