Court Rules That Mississippi School Violated First Amendment Rights Of Lesbian Student

March 23, 2010

Alternative MSSC Prom Open To All Students Will Be Held May 8

A Mississippi federal court today ruled that school officials violated a lesbian student’s First Amendment rights when it canceled the high school prom rather than let the student attend with her girlfriend. The U.S. Court for the Northern District of Mississippi stopped short of ordering Itawamba Agricultural High School to put the school prom back on the calendar because of assurances that an alternative “private” prom being planned by parents would be open to all students. The American Civil Liberties Union had requested a preliminary injunction stopping the Itawamba County School District from canceling the prom and from prohibiting Constance McMillen from bringing her girlfriend as a date and wearing a tuxedo to the event.

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West Palm Beach Votes in Support of Allowing Gay Adoption

March 23, 2010

by Andrew Abramson | The Palm Beach Post

The city commission took a stance against the state’s ban on gay adoption, voting unanimously today to support a repeal of the ban.

Florida is the only state in the country that doesn’t allow gay adoption and state representative Mary Brandenburg has already co-sponsored a bill in the Florida legislature that would repeal the ban.

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Judge Won’t Force Mississippi District to Hold Prom

March 23, 2010

by Shelia Byrd | Associated Press

A Mississippi school district violated a lesbian student’s rights by banning her from bringing her girlfriend to the prom, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, but he stopped short of forcing the district to hold the event.

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Watch Constance McMillen Talk About Her Fight for Equality with Ellen

March 23, 2010

Trial in Same-Sex Marriage Case Is Challenged

March 23, 2010

by Adam Liptak | New York Times

Opponents of same-sex marriage have long said the issue does not belong in the courts. Lately they have gone a step further.

They say Judge Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, made a serious mistake by calling for a trial in a challenge to California’s ban on same-sex marriage rather than deciding the case based on paper submissions.

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An Absence of Class

March 23, 2010

by Bob Herbert | New York Times

Some of the images from the run-up to Sunday’s landmark health care vote in the House of Representatives should be seared into the nation’s consciousness. We are so far, in so many ways, from being a class act.

A group of lowlifes at a Tea Party rally in Columbus, Ohio, last week taunted and humiliated a man who was sitting on the ground with a sign that said he had Parkinson’s disease. The disgusting behavior was captured on a widely circulated videotape. One of the Tea Party protesters leaned over the man and sneered: “If you’re looking for a handout, you’re in the wrong end of town.”

Another threw money at the man, first one bill and then another, and said contemptuously, “I’ll pay for this guy. Here you go. Start a pot.”

In Washington on Saturday, opponents of the health care legislation spit on a black congressman and shouted racial slurs at two others, including John Lewis, one of the great heroes of the civil rights movement. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was taunted because he is gay.

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Mississippi Prom Fight Now in Judge’s Hands

March 23, 2010

by Chris Joyner | The Clarion Ledger

Itawamba County school officials and a lesbian student who challenged their policy against same-sex dates at the high school prom made their cases today in federal court.

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The State of Transgender Hate Crimes in D.C.

March 23, 2010

by Amanda Hess | Washington City Paper

Last month, D.C. police released a report breaking down every hate crime reported in D.C. [PDF] over the past five years. In 2007, changes to the D.C. Human Rights Act required police to begin recording hate-bias crimes motivated by the victim’s “gender identity or expression”—in other words, crimes that specifically target transgender victims. Since then, crimes against the transgender community have been the second most frequently recorded type of hate crime committed in D.C., after sexual orientation.

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California Court: No Free-Speech Protection for Cyberbullying

March 23, 2010

by Carol J. Williams | Los Angeles Times

Students at an elite Los Angeles private school who posted death threats and anti-gay messages on the Internet site of a 15-year-old classmate can’t claim the constitutional protection of free speech, a California appeals court has ruled.

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Malawi Church Leaders Meet on Gay Rights

March 23, 2010

from the Associated Press

Church leaders say they have met in this fiercely conservative southern African nation to “understand the phenomenon” of same sex partners days ahead of a court verdict that could send two gay men to jail for up to 14 years.

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